Going Global

Research in Arts & Sciences spans every continent. In this series, hear from anthropologists, economists, historians, and more as they examine problems and ideas from around the globe.

Image Nicolas Raymond / Lara Mukahirn

September 28, 2017

Creators and Copycats: The Business of Fashion in Guatemala

In an indigenous Maya community in highland Guatemala, sociocultural anthropologist Kedron Thomas noticed a trend. Despite companies' increased efforts to protect their brands against "piracy," knock-off clothing fashion was everywhere. In her book Regulating Style: Intellectual Property Law and the Business of Fashion in Guatemala, Thomas takes a deep dive into this style scene. What do brands mean for the Maya people of Guatemala? What are the goals and effects of intellectual property laws in this context? Who is a fashion creator, and who is a copycat? And who gets to decide?

December 10, 2015

Remembering Baghdad

Going Global: Episode #11

How do you remember home? Nancy Berg, a professor of Hebrew and comparative literature, examines this question as it relates to Jewish writers from Iraq. In the mid-twentieth century, the thriving Jewish community in modern-day Baghdad quickly came to an end. Years later, those who experienced life in Baghdad - and also the children of those exiled - turned to literature to share their memories. Berg shares some of these authors and stories and describes the vibrant cultural scene brought to life in these works.


November 11, 2015

Islam, Immigration, and What It Means to Be French

Going Global: Episode #9

The following podcast was released just days before the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris. As the attacks continue to shape attitudes about the migrant crisis, we hope the podcast can provide some helpful context and history. For updated commentary from John Bowen, please see his op-ed in the Los Angeles Times.

In 2015 alone, hundreds of thousands of migrants have fled war-torn Syria and elsewhere and made their way to Europe. While many Europeans have welcomed the refugees, some countries have expressed reluctance to accept Muslim asylum seekers. When thinking about the ongoing crisis, anthropologist John Bowen sees a discouraging consistency with the larger history of Islam and immigration in Europe, particularly in France. Here he talks about that history and and how Europe, and France in particular, can best move forward.


November 4, 2015

India and Biotechnology

Going Global: Episode #8

India has more hungry people than any other country in the world. Can biotechnology solve this enormous problem? Glenn Stone, professor of sociocultural anthropology and environmental studies, describes the controversies and debates surrounding the role of genetically modified crops in the developing world. Stone writes about food, farming, and biotechnology on his blog, FieldQuestions.



October 21, 2015

When Countries Cheat

Going Global: Episode #7

As our world becomes increasingly interconnected, countries enter into more and more international agreements. Tens of thousands of such agreements help form common rules about everything from trade relations to environmental policy to immigration rights. But what happens when countries break the rules? In his latest book, International Courts and the Performance of International Agreements, political scientist Matt Gabel examines how international courts work and how they can be most effective.

October 14, 2015

The Human Problem Facing Global Cities

Going Global: Episode #6

In an increasingly global and interconnected world, cities from Chicago to Rio de Janeiro confront similar issues. Where and how will people live as urban centers become both larger and more dense? What are the effects of urban renewal on lower-income populations? Carol Camp Yeakey, director of the Center on Urban Research & Public Policy and Interdisciplinary Program in Urban Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, shares her perspectives on urban studies in a global context.

A version of this podcast first aired in our 2013 Cities series.

October 7, 2015

In a Global Economy, What Happens to Elections?

Going Global: Episode #5
When battling for votes and popular support, political parties across the globe have often chosen to focus on economic issues. But as countries become more and more integrated into a larger, global economy, does this remain true? Or, do non-economic issues like immigration, the environment, and social justice become more prominent? In a recent paper, graduate student Dalston Ward, along with two of his classmates and political scientist Margit Tavits, examined the role of globalization in how political parties have changed strategies over time.

September 23, 2015

Migration and Change in the Himalayan Highlands

Going Global: Episode #4

High in the rugged mountains of Nepal, communities in the valley of Nubri are confronting rapid changes. In recent years, the majority of school-age children from Nubri leave their villages to be educated in boarding schools or monasteries outside the valley. What opportunities do these children have once they finish school, and what happens to these ethnically Tibetan communities if the children never come home? Anthropologist Geoff Childs, who has been working in Nubri for decades, explains a complicated story of outmigration and cultural change.

September 16, 2015

Natural Gas in the New Bolivia

Going Global: Episode #3

Modern debates over energy and natural gas often center on environmental issues and global warming. Yet in places like Bolivia, where many citizens still use firewood as their main energy source, the conversation can sound much different. There, the desire for convenience and progress often overrides environmental concerns, and in some cases, also the rights and safety of indigenous people. Anthropologist Bret Gustafson is working on a book about gas and power in Bolivia. Here, he discusses the complicated relationship between energy, politics, the environment, and indigenous rights.