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Global Connections


Admission requirements

Only students who are admitted to the master’s programme Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology can take part in this course.
This course forms the basis of the MA specialisation Global Connections.


This MA specialization-course examines global connections through the flows and boundaries of things, people and ideas as political, economic and cultural processes which are affected by international, regional or national institutions. We will draw on debates regarding concepts such as globalization, capitalism, governance, markets and citizenship and use various examples to highlight different aspects of these debates. Instead of looking at ‘the global’ and ‘local’ as fixed divides, we will examine how the movement of capital or commodities, people and ideas operate at multi-scalar levels and strengthen or weaken global inequalities; the sovereignty of states and markets; and the boundaries of cultural identities and nationhood. Apart from looking at private financial institutions and multinational companies, we will also examine the role of Corporate Social Responsibility and the Fair Trade Movement in influencing the conditions of global connections. More specifically we will follow the movement of particular commodities such as coffee, tobacco, money, gold and of migrant workers. Geographically, this specialization focuses on the links between the countries in ‘the North’ and those in ‘the South’ and the links within these regions, in both the present and in the colonial past. The course will be divided into four parts: introduction on approaches and concepts; the flows of commodities, people and ideas; the embedding of global processes; global crisis, financial markets and housing.

Keywords: globalization and capitalism; governance and sovereignty; migration and citizenship; commodity values and circulation; cultural meanings.

Course objectives

Students who follow this course will develop:

  • a firm foundation in political and economic anthropological theory,

  • academic skills necessary to analyze processes that affect different groups of people in society,

  • knowledge to connect issues that are politically relevant and urgent in the current world situation with local day-to-day events,

  • research skills and methodologies within the framework of global ethnographies,

  • skills which are relevant in policy making; NGO consultancy; social activism; or journalism.

Time table

7 October – 2 December 2010

  • Thursdays
    7, 14, 21 and 28 October: 10-13 h in room 1A03
    4 November: 10-13 h room 5A41
    11, 18 and 25 November: t.b.a
    2 december : 10-13 h room 1A33

  • Fridays (every other week):
    8 and 22 October: 13-16 h room 1A24
    5 and 26 November: 10-13 h room 1A24 (no class on 19 November)

Mode of instruction

Total 10 ECTS = 280 study hours (sbu):

  • Lectures 8 × 3 h / 24 hours (36 sbu)

  • Group discussions 4 × 3 hours (24 sbu) *

  • Study of literature 675 pp (112 sbu)

Assesment method

  • Weekly assignments = 32 sbu *

  • Final paper 6 pp = 48 sbu


Blackboard will be used to spread course-relevat information and assignments.

Reading list

To be announced on Blackboard.


Admission requirements

Only students who are admitted to the master’s programme Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology can take part in this course.
This course forms the basis of the MA specialisation Media and Material Culture.

Description / Course objectives

The course Media and Material Culture explores questions regarding the circulation of media, objects and technologies, the economic and political infrastructures and conditions thereof, their inflection within everyday lifeworlds, and the ideological understandings of diverse forms and processes that turn them into one thing in one place and something different in another. We are interested in the ways in which images, sounds, objects, and more abstract forms of circulation inform and shape forms of embodiment, sensory perception and experience, more broadly conceived. How do media form part and parcel of social movements and cultural and political practice, including that of today’s heritage politics? What role do new, allegedly democratizing media technologies play in providing access to some while excluding others? What kind of ‘worlds’ are conjured via commodity displays in such settings as museums, malls, internet sites, or city streets? Of interest, too, are the publics called forth by diverse mediations as well as the constraints—ideological, cultural, political, economic, financial, governmental, technological—that contour the possibilities and effects of such forms in particular places and times.



  • 5 and 12 October, time and location to be announced

  • 19 and 26 October, 10-13 h, room 1A33

  • 2 – 30 November, 10-13 h, room SA37

Fridays (3 × 3 hours):

  • 8 and 22 October, 13-16 h, room SA05

  • 12 or 26 November, 10-13 h, room SA05

Mode of instruction

Total 10 ECTS = 280 study hours (sbu):

  • Lectures (Tuesdays) 8 × 3 h / 24 hours (36 sbu)

  • Group discussions (Fridays) 3 × 3 hours (18 sbu) *

  • Study of literature

  • Museum visits (8 sbu) and museum assignment (28 sbu)

  • Presentation (42 sbu)

Assesment method

  • active student participation is expected,

  • weekly assignments (AQCIs) (7 total, of which one may be missed or a fail, no re-dos permitted),

  • two museum visits,

  • one museum assignment (2/3 pages),

  • one class presentation.


Blackboard will be used to post the assignments and other course related information.

Reading list

  • Fred Myers (2002) Painting Culture. The Making of an Aboriginal High Art. Durham, NC: Duke University Press

  • Karen Strassler (2010) Refracted Visions. Popular Photography and National Modernity in Java. Durham, NC: Duke University Press

  • Amanda J. Weidman (2006) Voicing the Modern: The Postcolonial Politics of Music in South India. Durham, NC: Duke University Press


Students must chose only one MA elective course based on the topic of their research.
Registration for the MA electives will be possble in September 2010 at the Secretariate of the Institute CA-DS (room 3A19, Pieter de la Court building) as well as on Blackboard.