THE GLOBAL EXPERIENCE Instructor: L. D. Russell Office: Alamance 318-D, Office Hours: MWF 2:30-3:30 p.m. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, CB# 2301, Phone: 278-5243 If God’s in his heaven and all’s right with the world, then why is that so many millions of his children suffer horribly the gut-wrenching pangs of hunger due to widespread poverty? As citizens of the richest nation on Earth, we bear the responsibility not only to ask this most important of questions but also to offer thoughtful answers that take us beyond mere words into the realm of action. What are the causes of poverty, not only in faraway lands but also here in America? Is this just the way of the world, the luck of the draw, or are there things we as a nation and as individuals do to help make and keep these people poor and hungry while we enjoy “the land of plenty”? What, if anything, can we do to even the global playing field, lessen our waste and share our wealth? If you think none of this applies to you, then you are in the right place. Open your mind, drop your defenses, and buckle your seatbelt for a harrowing journey to see and feel “how the other half lives.” For a moment or two, let yourself ask, “What if everything I’ve learned in my life is wrong?” Let go of your parents’ opinions, put away your high school diploma, and step into a brave new world. In short, the purpose of this course is twofold: 1) to help you understand that, like it or not, you are a global citizen with social, economic, and political responsibilities; and 2) to better equip you to meet those responsibilities. No, we’re not here to steal your joy – if anything, you will leave this class with a deeper sense of what you learned (or should have) in kindergarten: each of us is happier when we share and share alike. The texts we will be using are Robert M. Jackson’s Global Issues, John C. Ryan and Alain Thein Durning’s Stuff: The Secret Lives of Everyday Things, Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains, Keven Bales’ Disposable People and Elon’s webpage Understanding the Global Experience (http://idd.elon.edu/theglobalexperience/start.htm). Videos about world poverty and hunger will be shown in class. The regular reading assignments constitute a crucial part of the course, so for many assignments you will turn in a typed, one-page reaction paper, as an opportunity to express what you think, ask questions, and as a springboard for class discussion. Late reaction papers will receive only half credit. An essential part of your educational experience in the course will be to choose and attend five cultural events from Elon’s cultural calendar (http://www.elon.edu/eweb/news/cultural_events) and to submit on each event a one-page reaction paper within one week of the date of the event. You will also turn in a class project based on further research and do a class presentation. The midterm and final exam will cover all materials, including lectures, discussions, films, and readings. Because the classroom is the crucible in which we learn, this course has a zero tolerance absence policy. Grading: 20% = Attendance and class participation 20% = Reaction papers 30% = Term project 30% = Class presentation Our class will will seek to achieve six main goals: 1. the importance of individual responsibility. 2. the relationship of humans to the natural world. 3. globalization and tribalization as powerful global forces. 4. the impact of imperialism and colonialism. 5. the nature of culture. 6. the plights of disempowered groups. These goals will help us understand our connection to the world we inhabit, our responsibilities to this world, and the rights we possess as inhabitants. Filtering everything we read, write, and discuss through these themes will help us to ground the objectives in our world, to see their impact on the world we are inhabiting. Effective writing and speaking skills Complex quantitative reasoning skills Information literacy skills The capacity to view issues from other cultural perspectives The ability to communicate effectively with people from other nations and cultures An understanding of their interconnectedness with other people and the environment, as well as their responsibility to both A mature understanding of how knowledge is constructed through academic inquiry within and across disciplines The intellectual curiosity essential to life-long learning Ethical decision-making skills to promote the common good A vital and integrated sense of self: mind, body and spirit All sections of The Global Experience address a significant number of these themes each semester; however, it is up to the individual faculty member to decide which themes will receive priority through readings and assignments in any given class section. 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) The importance of individual responsibility; The relationship of humans to the natural world; Globalization and tribalization as powerful world forces; The impact of imperialism and colonialism; The nature of culture; 6) The plights of disempowered groups. Once you accepted your invitation to Elon University, you agreed to meet the high standards we value in the academic world. This means you will demonstrate personal honesty and respect the rights of others. You must take responsibility for all your actions, and submit work that you know to be your own. When using the ideas of others, you will demonstrate this using forms developed for this use. I will use Blackboard and email to distribute some assignments, projects, readings, and Internet links. You should check both every day.