Eve Darian-Smith | New Global Studies
With the global political tide pushing increasingly narrow state-framed worldviews there is a retrenchment of how people understand their relational place in, and connection to, the world. This essay argues that precisely because of the rise of hyper-nationalism (and accompanying anti-democratic trends) there is an urgent need to pursue the globalizing of public education and the coproduction of global knowledge more generally. I suggest that the emerging field of Global Studies, which has been gaining ground in the United States and even more so around the world in recent decades, offers a pedagogical pathway to promoting critical interdisciplinary perspectives and fostering equality and respect for others. My basic claim is that Global Studies shares with liberal education a core mission to promote peace in a world of cultural diversity. But in calling for epistemological pluralism – and highlighting the American (western) epistemological underpinnings of the liberal arts that are deeply implicated in colonial histories of racism, oppression and silencing of non-western knowledge – Global Studies also highlights the inherent limitations of liberal education that as a new field of inquiry it seeks to overcome.