Monday, July 23, 2007

Day Six: International Studies Summer Institute - Rounding Out Week One

Friday the 13th began with a round table discussion on the role of globalism in various regions around the world. It really amounted to a mixed bag, with those studying the underdeveloped regions - Latin America and Africa primarily - painting a negative picture of globalization. For those studying the developed and developing regions the picture was a bit brighter.

What I would have really liked to hear was a discussion that accepted the reality of globalization for the foreseeable future, and then ways in which the various regions can learn to grow within a globalized world.

The Role of Media in World Affairs
To address this important topic, the film Control Room was shown and discussed. Unfortunately, it presented only a biased view of the war in Iraq and the media coverage of Al Jazeera. Without balance it is difficult to have a serious discussion on any polarizing topic, particularly not one of this magnitude. It was really a missed opportunity.

Summer Night of Lotus!!

After a day of intense discussion of important issues, participants had a chance to relax and enjoy a diverse collection of musical groups. The Summer Night of Lotus concert allowed everyone to get to know each other a little better. Another one of the real strengths of the Institute has been the effort to provide as many of these cultural activities as possible. For myself, teaching geography is far more enjoyable when I been exposed to some of the cultures about which I teach.

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