Global Studies Positioning Series

Global Studies Positioning Series (GSPS)

The Center for the Study of Global Change created the Global Studies Positioning Series (GSPS) in 2011 as a brownbag lunch series to explore global phenomena. It brings scholars, practitioners, government officials, journalists, business people, and others together with IU faculty, staff, and students in an informal, collegial setting. GSPS is always free and open to the public. Attendees are welcome to bring their lunch and are encouraged to bring their perspectives!

Fall 2022’s GSPS on Global Indigenous Identities

As part of a larger project on Global Indigenous Studies in partnership with the National Resources Centers in the IU Hamilton Lugar School, the Global Center will be organizing this Fall 2022’s GSPS on Global Indigenous Identities. Please visit this page again in September for more details. 


What is global?

GSPS provides an opportunity to discuss this question with professors and practitioners who are currently examining a global phenomenon in their varied contexts and diverse academic disciplines and professions. What are the different disciplinary perspectives on the issue? How do we define, analyze, study, research, and/or describe global phenomena? How does interdisciplinary dialogue further understanding of and action in regard to a pressing global issue?

Previous series

Resilient Global Cities

This Global Studies Positioning Series takes an interdisciplinarity approach to exploring the processes and practices of resilience as they take place in cities around the world. Speakers in the series will answer questions including: How do cities promote sustainable development, well-being, and equity and what are the challenges in doing so? How do people and communities respond to efforts to cultivate resilience? The broad scope of presentations in this series seeks to complicate our understanding of resilience and demonstrate the multiple and competing elements involved in developing resilient cities. By illuminating and challenging approaches to building and maintaining resiliency in cities around the world, this series aims to advance knowledge related to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12: Sustainable Cities and Communities. Resilient Global Cities is part of the IU College of Arts and Sciences Themester programming. Learn more at:

  • Rendered Surplus: The Struggle for Schooling Amidst Anti-Migrant Policies in Beijing

September 23rd

Presenter: Eli Friedman. Professor Eli Friedman is an Associate Professor in the Department of International and Comparative Labor, and Director of International Programs at the ILR School, Cornell University. His primary areas of interest are China, development, education, social movements, urbanization, and work and labor. Professor Friedman currently has two major research streams, the first of which looks at state responses to worker unrest in China and the development of labor relations institutions. The second is a study of Chinese urbanization, with a particular focus on access to education for rural to urban migrants.

Check the Video of this Presentation.

  • Temporary Migration and the Making of Ethnic Inequality

October 14th, 2021

Presenter: Hilary Holbrow. Hilary J. Holbrow is Assistant Professor of Japanese Politics and Society at the Hamilton Lugar School for Global and International Studies. She is an International Research Fellow at the Canon Institute for Global Studies in Tokyo, an Associate in Research at Harvard’s Reischauer Institute for Japanese Studies, and a member of the US-Japan Network for the Future. 

Japan’s Technical Intern Training Program (TITP) brings young people from other parts of Asia to Japan to fill menial jobs on a temporary basis. Proponents argue that TITP allows Japan to both mitigate labor shortages and circumvent the challenges of integrating low-paid foreigners as long-term members of Japanese society; critics highlight how the program puts interns at risk for trafficking and exploitation. But despite their disagreements about TITP’s merits or demerits, both groups depict the program as self-contained and separate from the broader employment landscape.

In fact, hundreds of thousands of non-TITP foreign workers and millions of Japanese work in firms that use TITP. I investigate whether, in light of its high degree of integration with the rest of the labor market, TITP has negative spillover effects for other types of foreign workers. Using unique employer-employee data from nearly 4,000 firms, I find that although TITP firms appear to be no worse for Japanese workers than other firms, non-TITP foreign workers face substantial wage penalties when they work in TITP firms. The results imply that by enabling dehumanizing and derogatory treatment of interns themselves, TITP may engender broader denigrating attitudes towards foreigners—attitudes which in turn have consequential and negative effects on opportunities and outcomes for foreign workers regardless of their individual visa or employment status.


Global Positioning Series: Resilient Global Cities

Amman: Contesting Neoliberal Urban Transformations “Awareness Building, Resistance, and Activism”
Presenter: Rami Daher

This Global Studies Positioning Series takes an interdisciplinarity approach to exploring the processes and practices of resilience as they take place in cities around the world. Speakers in the series will answer questions including: How do cities promote sustainable development, well-being, and equity and what are the challenges in doing so? How do people and communities respond to efforts to cultivate resilience? The broad scope of presentations in this series seeks to complicate our understanding of resilience and demonstrate the multiple and competing elements involved in developing resilient cities. By illuminating and challenging approaches to building and maintaining resiliency in cities around the world, this series aims to advance knowledge related to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Rami Daher is Associate Professor at the School of Architect and Built Environment at the German Jordanian University (GJU) and a practicing architect and general director at TURATH: Architecture & Urban Design Consultants. He taught at the American University of Beirut’s Department of Architecture & Design; at Texas A&M’s College of Architecture, and at Jordan University of Science & Tech (holding position of Department Head between 2003 and 2006). Daher is a co-founder and a principal of TURATH: Architecture & Urban Design Consultants (1999-present), and Metropolis: Cities Research Council (2008- Present), the research arm of TURATH.TURATH had worked on several leading urban regeneration and adaptive reuse projects in Amman and in the region including the urban regeneration of Rainbow and Faisal Streets in Amman, the adaptive reuse of the Amman Electricity Hangar and the Building of Ras al AinGallery, the adaptive reuse of Abu Jaber House in Salt, the interpretation center for the Church of the Map in Madaba, in addition to several residential houses in the City Amman. Furthermore, TURATHhad worked on the conservation, interpretation, and management of several World Heritage and other Sites including Erbil Citadel, Qa’a’at al Bahrain, Sir Bani Yas Island and in Al Ain City in the UAE, and the Baptism Site in Jordan to mention a few. Daher’s ongoing research and publications investigate the politics and dynamics of public place making and of conservation of cultural heritage, neoliberal urban transformations in the region, and cultural heritage definition, conservation, adaptive reuse, and management.


  • Title: Syrian Refugees in a Host State: The Citizenship Identity Challenge for Syrian Students in Jordan’s Public Schools

Time: February 15, 2021 at 3:30 PM (ET)

Presenter: Patricia K. Kubow (Indiana University) is Professor in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies and Curriculum & Instruction at Indiana University. Her comparative research focuses on global-local constructions of democracy and citizenship education especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. Her international work has been recognized by The President of the U.S./The White House and the U.S. Agency for International Development and her co-authored textbook, Comparative Education: Exploring Issues in International Context, is used worldwide. 

  • Title: Critical Analysis of Turkish Refugee Education Policies from 2011 to Today

Time: March 23, 2021 at 11:00 AM (ET)

Presenter: Dr. Ozlem ERDEN-BASARAN 

  • Title: Complicating the ‘Forced’ Migration Narratives of Young Africans: Insecurity, Poverty, or Mundane Social Processes of Mobility?

Time: April 14, 2021 at 3:30 PM (ET)

Presenter: Jean Pierre Ndagijimana is a Rwandan Research Scholar and Visiting Global Fellow at the University of San Francisco. He holds a BS in Clinical Psychology, a Master’s Degree in International and Multicultural Education, and currently, he is a doctoral candidate in International and Multicultural Education at the University of San Francisco. Ndagijimana works at Partnerships for Trauma Recovery (PTR), a not-for-profit organization healing the psychological impacts of human rights abuses among refugee/immigrant communities. He has developed and delivered psychoeducational training for the African diaspora, refugees and asylum seekers related to healing the impacts of trauma forced displacement, and difficulties in adjustments.

  • Title: Nation and Counternarration: Reflections on Solidarities and Impasses in Educational Research with Newcomer Youth in France

Time: October 12, 2020 at 2:30pm

Presenter: Roozbeh Shirazi, Associate Professor in Comparative and International Development Education at the University of Minnesota

Introduction: The question of migration, and attending debates on its political, economic, and cultural effects, is an increasingly prominent aspect of political discourse in France. Schools are often central sites for processes of immigrant ‘integration,’ and yet, the forms of membership available to newcomer immigrant and refugee youth within schools remain limited. Shirazi's research utilized digital storytelling as a means for newcomer youth to produce knowledge of their experiences in the suburbs of Paris. This talk explores how a visual participatory approach may enable immigrant and refugee youth to work as active knowledge-makers rather than as passive objects of research, and how counternarration can intervene in broader demands of ‘integration’ that frame the lives of these youth.  

  • Title: Refugee: The Uses of a Policy Category in Ecuador’s Educational Settings

Time: October 12, 2020 at 2:30pm

Presenter: Diana Rodriguez Gomez, Assistant Professor in the Educational Policy Studies Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Introduction: The refugee category is often utilized as a finite and bounded concept. This is illustrated by the common use of notions such as “refugee learner,” “refugee teacher,” “refugee desires,” and “refugee needs”. In this presentation, I rely on ethnographic research conducted in Quito, and La Misericordia – the easternmost town on the Colombian-Ecuadorian border – to examine the meanings and uses of the term “refugee” in the Ecuadorian educational realm, more specifically among public schools and nonformal educational workshops provided by international non-governmental organizations. Here I show how and when the label becomes useful by contrasting how different stakeholders variously interpret and make use of it. I draw from critical refugee studies to argue that “refugee” is not only a protective measure but also a bureaucratic label with flexible and dynamic value. I demonstrate that refugee is not a neutral and stable category, but a contentious and highly political term.

Global Careers in Indiana

This spring’s Global Studies Positioning Series explores the international aspects of ‘work’ in Indiana from an interdisciplinary perspective.  Our confirmed speakers will be discussing the contemporary diversity of jobs in Indiana that support the state’s global connections and multilingual communities.  

  • International Business with Richard Snodgress (February 5th, 2020)

Formerly Commercial Manager at Caterpillar Inc., Mr. Snodgress worked with colleagues around the United States and the globe on U.S. manufactured products that were internationally exported. He will describe his experiences in international business settings as well as the workforce skills and global competencies important for careers in Indiana.

  • Health Care with Dr. Gloria King (February 26th, Noon, GISB 2067)

As the Diversity & Inclusion Manager at Eskenazi Health, Dr. King and her team support multilingual and multicultural patients, families, and communities in central Indiana. Dr. King will describe her work as well as the workforce skills and global competencies that are important for careers in health.

The United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in December 1948. What does the future of global and universal human rights look like? Is it time to look to new models to better meet an international population’s needs? This fall’s Global Studies Positioning Series will view codified human rights from an interdisciplinary and transnational perspective, retrospectively and towards the future.

  • Thursday, August 30, Noon, Social Science Research Commons (Woodburn Hall 200)
    • “Seeing Beyond Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: The ‘Human Devastation Syndrome’ as a New Term for the Children of Syrian War”
    • Dr. Mary Stylidi, Regional Commissioner for Unaccompanied Minor Refugees, Greek Ministry of Education, Research and Religion Affairs and at the UN High Commission for Refugees
    • Abstract: According to a prominent neuropsychiatrist with the Syrian-American Medical Society, the children of the Syrian War are suffering from “Human Devastation Syndrome,” a new term of a mental disorder stating that these children have internalized their disaster above and beyond what even soldiers experience. 
    • Cosponsored with IU’s Institute for Advanced Study, the Center for International Education, Development, and Research (CIEDR), and the Center for the Study of Global Change
  • Friday, October 19th, Noon, Hazelbaker Hall (Room E159), Wells Library
    • "Invoking International Human Rights in Ireland's Abortion Debate"
    • Dr. Kate Hunt, International Studies
    • Abstract: Does international law influence domestic policies on issues such as abortion? The Republic of Ireland recently held a referendum on repealing the Eighth amendment of their Constitution, which was the main legal impediment to legalizing abortion. Prior to this referendum taking place, there was a vibrant and intense debate about abortion in Ireland. This talk discusses the ways that international human rights law and language were used in discourse surrounding abortion in Ireland's debate over the issue. 
  • Thursday, November 29th, Noon, GISB 3067
    • "The Postcolonial Regime of Human Rights: Social Justice Activism in Jamaica”
    • Dr. Marvin Sterling, Anthropology
    • Abstract: Through ethnographically situating the discourse and practice of human rights, this presentation highlights Jamaican activism of gay rights, an issue which has commanded much national and international attention. Dr. Sterling argues particularly for a postcolonial analysis in the effort to appreciate the dimensions and possibilities of gay rights and human rights activism, while also fully acknowledging the ways in which the postcolonial legacy is today articulated in relation to the neoliberal dilemmas currently facing the nation.  
  • "Remembering, Reading, Writing Nigeria with a Global Pen: An Adventure in Literary Anthropology," with Ulf Hannerz, Professor emeritus of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University
    • Cosponsored with CaMP Anthropology, College Arts and Humanities Institute, Anthropology, Horizons of Knowledge, Media School, International Studies, Center for the Study of Global Change
  • Megan Stifel, Founder & CEO of Silicon Harbor Consultants, LLC.speaking as part of the International Symposium on Sustainable Development  "Sustainable Cybersecurity: A Global Perspective."
    • Coponsored with IU CIBER, Center for the Study of Global Change, Center for the Study of the Middle East, East Asian Studies Center, Inner Asian & Uralic National Resource Center, Russian & East European Institute, IU Cybersecurity Program, and the Ostrom Workshop.

Rather than relying on the nation-state as the primary frame of reference for understanding global phenomena, grounded and critical global studies recognizes the confluence of non-state actors and entities that respond to and give meaning to transnational issues. From civil society and multinational corporations to armed organizations and the media, non-state actors tackling global issues have become increasingly visible in recent decades, such that it is no longer appropriate or realistic to only conceptualize global challenges as responsibilities of nation-states. Examples of the global expansion of responsibility beyond the nation-state abound, and the Fall 2017 Global Studies Positioning Series will explore how non-state actors are tackling global challenges, including the benefits and the drawbacks, and the difficulties and the possibilities. Scholars and practitioners will be invited to discuss the topic from a variety of regional, practical, empirical, and disciplinary perspectives.

  • “Think Globally, Park Locally: Strategies in Kazakhstan for Coping with the Global Car Problem” with Gardner Bovingdon, IU Department of Central Eurasian Studies
  • “The Relationship Between LGBT Inclusion and Economic Development: Micro and Macro-Level Evidence” with Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, Department of Women and Gender Studies, Rutgers University View an interview with Dr. Rodgers.
  • “Alliance for Freedom, Restoration, and Justice” with Ashleigh Chapman, President/CEO of AFRJ 
  • "The Transnational Impact of the Black Panther Party" with Jakobi Williams, IU Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies

Art is both a product of our cultural, economic, and geopolitical environment as well as a sociopolitical agent. As such, art is an entry point to broader global issues and human struggles and accomplishments: it can celebrate and advocate for human rights, and it can be repressed, censored, or involved in the denial or absence of human rights.

  • “What Matters in Making. The challenges of sustaining livelihoods with craft for export” with Mary Embry, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Apparel Merchandising
  • “Punk, Pop, and Revolution in Wartime Peru”, with Shane Greene, Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology
  • “Urban Guerrilla Tactics: U.S. Performance Art and the Politics of Radical Resourcefulness”, with Faye R. Gleisser, Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History
  • “Take me to Jermany” a personal perspective on the refugee crisis, with Charlotte Schmitz, Professional Photographer
  • Hillary Clinton in Global Perspective with Diana O’Brien, IU Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science
  • The Geopolitics of Your Bathtub: Why who does your housework matters with Cynthia Enloe, Research Professor at Clark University, Massachusetts An Institute for Advanced Study Branigin Lecture, Co-sponsored by the Department of Gender Studies
  • Linking war economies and sexual violence in South Sudan with Clémence Pinaud, IU Assistant Professor in the Department of International Studies, moderated by Aynur Onur-Cifci (Anthropology)
  • The Rise of China and the Changing Nature of Power in the 21st Century with Adam Liff, Assistant Professor in the SGIS East Asian Languages and Cultures Department
  • Globalization and Mass Politics: Retaining the Room to Maneuver with Timothy Hellwig, Associate Professor in the Political Science Department and the Director of the IU Institute for European Studies.
  • States in Flux in the Middle East with Feisal Amin Rasoul Istrabadi, the founding director of the IU Center for the Study of the Middle East, Professor of Practice (International Law and Diplomacy) in the Maurer School of Law and School of Global and International Studies.
  • Cybersecurity and Changing Notions of Power States with Fred Cate, IU Vice President for Research, Director of the Center for Law, Ethics, and Applied Research in Health Information. Moderated by Professor Scott Shackelford, Assistant Professor, Business Law and Ethics, Kelley School of Business
  • Building and Burning Bridges: South Asian Diasporas and Nation States with Ishan Ashutosh, Assistant Professor, IU Department of Geography
  • The Global Refugee Crisis: Teaching the Successes and Perils of International Response with Elizabeth Cullen Dunn, Associate Professor, IU Departments of Geography and International Studies, SGIS
  • Political Communities of Convenience: Migration, Urbanization, and Work in Sub-Saharan Africa with Loren B. Landau, Professor and Founding Director, African Centre for Migration and Society, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Personifying the State: The Individual in International Relations with Robert Oprisko, Ph.D., Research Fellow, IU Center for the Study of Global Change, SGIS; Author of Honor: A Phenomenology (Routledge, 2012) and co-editor of Michael A. Weinstein: Action, Contemplation, Vitalism (Routledge, 2014).
  • The Political Ecology of Water: Human-Water Relationships in a Changing Climate with Stephanie Kane, Professor, IU International Studies, School of Global and International Studies. Cultural anthropologist, ecologist, and author
  • Ocean Trade: Window into Global History with Pedro Machado, Associate Professor, Department of History
  • Cybersecurity and the Search for Global ‘Cyber Peace’ with Scott Shackelford, Assistant Professor, Business Law and Ethics, IU Kelley School of Business
  • Madelin Pérez Noa, Lyrical Surrealist Artist, Founder Por La Costa, Illustrator
  • Peter Davis, Internationally-recognized documentary filmmaker (Madiba and Me; Che, Fidel, and Me; Hoagy)
  • Fariba Nawa, Freelance Journalist, Author of Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords, and One Woman’s Journey through Afghanistan (2011)
  • IU Framing the Global Fellows
  • Linda Woodhead, Professor of Sociology of Religion and Director of Religion and Society Programme, Lancaster University, Great Britain Director
  • Matthew Connelly, Professor of History, Columbia University, New York
  • Kathleen Claussen, Visiting Assistant Professor, Maurer School of Law, IU Bloomington
  • Legal Counsel, Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague, The Netherlands
  • Anne Griffiths, Professor, Legal Anthropologist, Law School, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Michael Curtin, Professor of Global Studies, Department of Film and Media Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Alison Klayman, Director/Producer/Cinematographer of human rights documentary feature film Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
  • IU Framing the Global Fellows
  • Carolyn Nordstrom, Professor of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
  • Richard Wilk, Professor of Anthropology, IU Bloomington
  • Saskia Sassen, Professor of Sociology, Columbia University, New York