Debating Globalization Fall2016

Professor Christopher Connery
Departments of Literature/History/
History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz
Email: [email protected];
wechat: chrisconnery
Tuesdays 1:30 -4:00
Instructor office hours: by appointment
Debating Globalization
Fudan University-University of California
Joint Program in International Studies
Fall 2016
(Note: subject to modification)
The year 2016 and this city offer distinctive perspectives on globalization. In the West, 2016 has seen
extraordinary developments in the recent history of globalization: the vote in the U.K. to leave the
European Union; the prominence in the U.S. political campaigns of protectionist or otherwise antiglobalization rhetoric; debates about immigration and refugees, and debates about the meaning and future
of the slowing of China’s growth rate. Over the last twenty-five years, China has become a major player
in the world economy, and Shanghai is the symbolic and representative center of that development,
resuming the role it held from the mid-nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century as China’s
primary window onto the world. Based on this rise, many pundits have predicted that we have entered
the “Asian Century”; others are more pessimistic, about China and about everywhere else. The aims of
the course are: to develop a perspective on globalization as a concept, as an historical process, and as a
political phenomenon; to understand Shanghai in the context of globalization, as an example of a “global
city” and as a city whose particular history and urban identity shape its globality in distinctive ways; and
to investigate Chinese responses to and attitudes toward globalization.
The course will draw on materials in history, social sciences, literature, film, and journalism. It will
incorporate occasional guest lectures by residents of or visitors to Shanghai, and will include
several field trips. A primary textbook is Shanghai itself. We will place considerable emphasis on
your development of powers of observation and analysis. This does not mean subjective
impressions, but rather the way you process information from lectures and reading, and styles of
observation as modelled by your professor and others in order to train yourselves as scholars of
You are responsible for all reading and for all lecture content, including on tours. I also expect you
to spend a lot of time exploring Shanghai. Much important information will be conveyed in
lectures, so if you need to miss a lecture for any reason, arrange ahead of time to have the lecture
recorded. Attendance will be taken every day and grades will be adversely affected by unexcused
absences. Field trips are mandatory. Some are in a group; some are to be organized on your own,
individually or in small groups.
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Course Readings
Course readings will be emailed to students and will also available at the UCEAP website.
Web Resources
Note: You will need a VPN to access many of these materials.
News Sources:
You should all have access through UCEAP to the New York Times. Please read it for globalizationrelated news and editorials (including archives). Other worthwhile news sources include the Wall Street
Journal, Financial Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, Le Monde Diplomatique (English edition).
Most UC campuses have access to these sources through their libraries).
Shanghai-related websites:
Virtual Shanghai is a superb resource and I encourage you to spend a
lot of time on it. Maps, photographs, articles, books, including old guidebooks: you can really get to
know the city through it. The bookmark page has some good Shanghai links too.
The photographer Xizi. He’s my favorite photographer of Shanghai, and you can see his work at his
personal Douban (Chinese facebook) page,
If you have trouble navigating this page because it’s in Chinese, to get to the photo collections go here
and click on the thumbnail:
Shanghai online magazines, newspapers, and bloggers. The local events weeklies can be somewhat
undependable for information, but give you some sense of what the city is like for English-speaking
residents. . , , . Shanghai’s
government-run English-language daily newspaper has a site at
Shanghai-based English-language bloggers whose sites have good photographs and some interesting
information include (look on his “categories” list for Shanghai entries);
Shanghai-based historian and novelist Paul French’s mostly historical blog: ; Hugues Martin’s ; long-time Shanghai
blogger Sue Ann Tay’s ; and Shanghai-based tour leader and historian
Katya Knyazeva’s blog:
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China News
For Chinese environmental issues: is excellent.
For Chinese financial and economic analysis: and
For general China reporting, especially good on business and economics:
Australian-based site with scholarship, reporting, commentary on politics, society, culture, and other
General China news:
China Media Project (news, reported and unreported with a media focus):
China in Africa:
China and the South China Sea (many translations of Chinese sources):
China Labour Bulletin:
China Labour Net:
This is just a start. I encourage you to do web exploring on your own and share your findings with the
Course Requirements and Grading
1. Attendance and participation
Class attendance (including participation in the walking tours) is mandatory. Plan to come on time;
students arriving more than 5 minutes late will not be credited for that day’s attendance. Only absences
supported by medical or other university-approved written documentation will be excused. I understand
that personalities differ, and that some people are more comfortable speaking in a group than others. I
will not penalize shyness, but attentiveness and engagement are part of participation.
Class time requires your focused attention and active participation. Prepare to question and discuss.
Because of the unavoidable temptation to multitask engendered by electronic devices, computers, cell
phones, iPads, etc. must be used only to consult course readings during discussions. Otherwise they must
be turned off (not just silenced) and put away during class.
Civility is also a requirement in this class. In “Debating Globalization” I hope we have debates. I am
presenting material with opposing viewpoints, and some of you may have strong views on certain issues.
Disagreement is fine. It will be important to support your positions with evidence and reason, and to
hold yourselves to the same standards to which you hold others, while maintaining an atmosphere of
curiosity, inquiry, and mutual respect.
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Outside of class I will communicate mainly by Wechat. Please install it on your phones and we will form
a class chat group. Please do not use our class chat group for non- class-related conversation (I encourage
you to have another class chat group that doesn’t include me for these things).
2. Reading assignments, quizzes, and take-home quizzes
Students should complete the reading for each week before coming to class. There will be periodic
closed-note unannounced quizzes on course readings, as well as short take-home open-note quizzes. The
purpose of the quizzes is to help you stay current on the class reading. There will be no make-up quizzes
except in case of a medically excused absence.
3. Interview Project: Shanghai Life
Each student will do a paper based on interviews with a Shanghai resident (native Shanghainese or
Chinese immigrant to Shanghai preferred; expatriate if the instructor judges this choice to be a fruitful
one), plus background research in at least three written sources that contextualize that person’s lifecourse or experience of the city. I will provide more details on this assignment in class. The topic must
be approved by the instructor in week 4. The essay should be about 1000-1200 words (typed/printed),
and will be due by the beginning of class on October 18. Paper grades drop 1 letter for each day late.
4. Group Report
Each student will participate in a group of 4-5 people to prepare a group report on some aspect of China
and Globalization. Topics include but are not limited to the following: China and the Environment;
China and Africa; China and the South China Sea,; China’s Hollywood Strategy; China and the Global
Internet; China and the “One Belt One Road” Plan; Chinese Nationalism; the Trans-Pacific Partnership
and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. More details about this assignment will be provided in
the first few weeks of the course, and the topics and group assignments need to be finalized, with
instructor approval, by October 25. A rough draft of the written group report will be due on November
22, and the final report will be due in class on December 6. Each student should plan to provide about
1000-1200 words (typed/printed) of well-researched writing.
5. Final Presentation
Each group will prepare and present a brief presentation based on their group project, including visual
materials as well as an oral report. This final presentation comprises the final examination requirement
for the course.
Academic Integrity
Scholars draw upon the writings and thinking of others all the time. To do so without citing your sources,
however, is plagiarism, a violation of academic integrity that will incur penalties and may be grounds for
failing the course. When in doubt, cite.
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There may be unannounced guest lectures for part of some classes, depending on guests’ availability.
Class time might also include film screenings. Every class will include lecture, q and a, and general
discussion. Lectures could also include a quod libet (“what you like”) component. If in your
explorations of Shanghai or in your reading you encounter a topic on which you would like a short
lecture, please request by wechat. I’ll see what I can do.
Week 1, September 6 Introduction to the Course and Discussion of Contemporary Issues
Please read recent news reports from recent weeks and be prepared to speak for 3 minutes per
person on one or more of the following subjects: Globalization, Brexit, and the EU; Trump
and Globalization; Hillary Clinton and Globalization; Bernie Sanders and Globalization; the
Trans-Pacific Partnership; Refugees; or a globalization-related topic of your choice that has
been in the news in recent weeks (Note: it is OK if you choose a topic that will later be part of
your group project but this is not required.)
Week 2, September 13 Globalization in Historical Perspective
Timothy Brook, Vermeer’s Hat, chapters 1, 2, 3, 8.
Kenneth Pomeranz, “Chinese Development in Long-Run Perspective”.
Week 3, September 20 Globalization as Concept
Leslie Sklair, “Competing Concepts of Globalization”.
“Globalization”, in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Frederick Cooper, “What is the Concept of Globalization Good For?”
Saskia Sassen, “The Global City: Strategic Site/New Frontier”.
Browse “Theories” , “Issues”, and “Debates” section of The Globalization Website (Emory
Optional Reading (an easy read): Dale Wen, “China Copes With Globalization: A Mixed
Week 4, September 27 Shanghai Global City: The Pre-War Years
We will meet at the Bund ,at a location to be announced. After the Bund we will travel by shared
cab to the site of the Greater Shanghai Plan, near Fudan. The tour will end in Daxuecheng,
across from the Jiangwan Stadium. Note: This class-meeting will go over-time, and we will
probably not finish before 6:30. Please plan accordingly.
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Marie-Claire Bergère, “The Other China’: Shanghai from 1919-1949”.
Kerrie McPherson, “ Designing China’s Urban Future: The Greater Shanghai Plan 19271937”.
Also read material on The Bund in Virtual Shanghai. Henriot, “The Shanghai Bund: A
History Through Visual Sources” has links to period photographs:
Week 5, October 4
National Day Holiday
Week 6, October 11 Shanghai Global City: The Socialist Period and Beyond
We will meet at Caoyang New Village and then go by shared cab to Huaihai Road. Note: This
class-meeting will go over-time, and we will probably not finish before 6:30. Please plan
Wing-chung Ho, “The (Un-)Making of the Shanghai Socialist ‘Model Community’: From the
Monolithic to Heterogeneous Appropriation(s) of the Past”.
Yu Hai and Fei Yan, “A Story of Shanghai Spaces, from the Maoist to the Dengist Era.”
Tingwei Zhang, “Striving To Be A Global City From Below: The Restructuring of Shanghai’s
Urban Districts.”
Qin Shao, Shanghai Gone: Domicide and Defiance in a Chinese Megacity, chapter 2.
Weiping Wu and Shahid Yusuf, “Shanghai: remaking China’s future Global city.”
Week 7, October 18 Globalized China: Economics and Logistics
“Logistics” in Wikipedia.
Marc Levinson, The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World
Economy Bigger, chapters 1 and 14.
Loren Brandt and Thomas G. Rawski, China’s Great Economic Transformation, chapters 1, 4, 16
(120 pp.)
Saskia Sassen, “Locating Cities on Global Circuits”
Shanghai Life paper due in class.
Week 8, October 25
Globalized China: Boosters and Doubters
Martin Jacques, When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a
New Global Order, chapter 1, 11, 12. Also read around in Martin Jacques’s website, , particularly links such as and and .
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Ho-fung Hong, The China Boom: Why China Will Not Rule the World, chapters 1,3,5,6,
Yasheng Huang, Synopsis of Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics and chapter 4, “What is
Wrong With Shanghai”.
Optional: Minxin Pei, Yasheng Huang, Eswar Prasad, “Rethinking the Chinese Economic Miracle”
(recording of a public discussion).
Week 9, November 1 China Into the World
Henning Melber , “China in Africa: A New Partner or Another Imperialist Power?”
Ching Kwan Lee, “The Spectre of Global China”.
Peter Nolan and Jin Zhang, “Global Competition After the Financial Crisis”.
Peter Nolan, “Imperial Archipelagos: China, Western Colonialism, and the Law of the Sea”.
Read news sources and relevant websites (see above) for analyses of current situations.
Week 10, November 8 Labor
Chan, “Who Speaks for China’s Workers?”
Pun and Chan, “Global capital, the State, and Chinese Workers”
“Kneeling, Demanding Their Wages”
“The Poetry and Brief Life of a FoxConn Worker”.
Hao Ren, Zhongjin Li, and Eli Friedman, China on Strike: Narratives of Workers’ Resistance,
Week 11, November 15 Consumption and Leisure
Yunxiang Yan, “Of hamburger and social space: Consuming McDonalds in Beijing.”
Wang Xiaoming, “Under the sky of Shanghai”.
James Farrer, “Dancing through the Market Transition: disco and dance hall sociability in
Weiping Wu, “Cultural Strategies in Shanghai: regenerating cosmopolitanism in an era of
Week 12, November 22 Arts and Culture
Christopher Connery, Interviews with Zhao Chuan, Yao Bo, Xu Duo.
Zhao Chuan, “Physical Odyssey”.
Drafts of project reports due.
Guest Lecture/Discussion with Zhao Chuan.
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Week 13, November 29
Group Project Presentations (1)
Week 14, December 6
Group Project Presentations (2)
Final draft of group report due by beginning of class.
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