Volume 9, Numbers 1-2 ”Globalism and Theory” Contents

Editor’s Note

The past few years have marked an acceleration of scholarship devoted to globalization. There is reason to believe that the study of globalization will be noted by posterity as the defining debut of the twenty-first century academic agenda. Recent events such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings, and the events of September 11, 2001 have solidified a central role and certain future for globalization studies. There is a growing conviction that the study of globalization is not merely an academic topic, but one with wide-ranging socio-political—or geo-political—ramifications. Today, more than ever, there is an imperative both within the academy and the public sphere to better understand and answer pressing questions about the processes of globalized commerce, culture, politics and identity.

Even if the imperative to understand the flows and processes of globalization is more widely acknowledged, this does not imply that answers will be any more forthcoming. Accounts of globalization often involve a dizzying array of considerations, and often find themselves in uncharted disciplinary and methodological territory. It is not uncommon to find economic, political, ethical, aesthetic and technological considerations intervening with each other in globalization studies. The numerous methodological, disciplinary and theoretical challenges faced by globalization studies suggest a future replete with lively discussion and vigorous debate.

In many respects, globalization studies already encompass or have eclipsed the various other ”studies” that have emerged in the closing years of the twentieth century. Postcolonial, queer, cultural, new media, trauma, disability and numerous other studies now have the added requirement of accounting for globalism in their practice, or risk becoming anachronistic. Co-editor Christian Moraru and I hope that the essays in this collection will assist you in both navigating the emerging discourse of globalization, and in understanding better the relationship between globalization and theory.

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