Call for Abstracts: Rethinking Globalization and the Question of Scale

Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 12:00am

Rethinking Globalization and the Question of Scale:

Interdisciplinary Perspectives from the Humanities and Social Sciences

Sponsored by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences,

the Department of English, and

The Fifth Annual Research Symposium of the
Ph.D. Program in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media

NC State University

April 24-26, 2014

We seek participants for roundtables on issues related to globalization and scale for our symposium “Rethinking Globalization.” Each of the five roundtables will include 4-5 participants. Each participant will give a 5-7-minute presentation, followed by ample discussion. Roundtable presentations may focus on the participant’s scholarly work or on general questions and ideas about the topics of globalization and scale.

"Rethinking Globalization" will bring together an international, interdisciplinary group of scholars to consider theoretical and methodological conceptualizations of scale—how people, capital, goods, material infrastructure, ideas, and power aggregate along or slide among different degrees or levels of attachment, from personal to local to national to transnational.

Of particular interest is how we can examine phenomena such as uneven development, imperialism and neoimperalism, and resistance movements without necessarily reproducing scale-as-usual—that is, without taking for granted the limiting, received categories of the local, the national, or the international.

Cultural geographers, economists, sociologists, and historians, as well as scholars in literary studies and media studies, have taken up questions of scale in their research. This symposium will consider how the issue of scale cuts across disciplinary boundaries, and how the insights of one paradigm may illuminate the assumptions of another. The symposium will also explore possibilities for an interdisciplinary examination of scale in relation to current developments in the Humanities, including the relatively recent focus on transnational forms of comparison. Such an interdisciplinary discussion will help us rethink assumptions in transnational comparative methods (and in texts and artifacts that are themselves transnationally comparative) that might depend upon and resist scalar designations of the local, the national, and the transnational. 

The symposium will be organized around a series of plenary speakers from a variety of disciplines. These speakers include:

Paul Adams, Department of Geography and the Environment, U. Texas at Austin

Rey Chow, Program in Literature, Duke University

Hsuan Hsu, Department of English, UC Davis

Alan Latham, Department of Geography, University College London

Saskia Sassen, Department of Sociology, Columbia University

Sarah Sharma, Department of Communication Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill

Kathleen Wilson, Department of History, SUNY Stonybrook

In addition to these speakers, we seek roundtable participants. Please please send a brief abstract (approximately 250 words) detailing your presentation by March 20, 2014 to James Mulholland (, Rebecca Walsh (, and Steve Wiley ( Decisions will be made and participants notified by March 28, 2014,


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