Global Studies 1
Reading Note #1
In the Introduction, by Giles Gunn, he introduces the ideas of globalization and how it is
expressed through the text.
He says that the terms globalization are hard to put
definitions on, but can best be described as, “the widening and deepening and speeding
up of the interconnectedness of the world” (x.)
He goes on to say that there are many
debates as to which classifications of this “interconnectedness” matter; such as economic,
environmental, and spiritual.
Also, there is confusion as to when we can pinpoint the
beginning of this global interaction.
Through this article Gunn also addresses the three
main forms of thought in the field of globalization.
These are: transformationalists,
hyperglobalists and sceptics.
Most interestingly, Gunn credits a major part of the
development of globalization to the growth of higher education.
I feel this credit is very
righteous in its message.
As people search for knowledge and become more educated,
there is a growing interest in the people of other cultures, and with new technology that
can increase research and travel; people are now more open to those in the world around
One of the points Gunn made in his argument that I found especially interesting
was that we try to place history in increments of 100 years.
I feel that this is very true,
and in doing this we limit ourselves in the way we look at time and change.
Our world is
ever changing and by dividing this change into centuries we often overlook the smaller
changes that we encounter every day.
In the Center of the Map: Nations See Themselves as the Hub of History
Reading Note #2
The article “In the Center of the Map: Nations See Themselves as the Hub of
History,” the author, Marshall Hodgson comments on early world history and mapping.
It looks into the early cultures of the Chinese, Muslim, and European empires, and how
similarly in each one, they saw themselves or other key places in their cultures, as the
center of the world.
Each culture wanted to assure their “own people would be in the
center of history…” (1.)
Even when technology had developed enough that scholars had
to recognize China was not exactly the “Middle Kingdom” they still wanted it to be
known that their empire was strong and therefore center of the globe.
While the Chinese
wanted their capital to be the center, Muslims used their religion as the basis for why
Mecca (the birthplace of Mohammed) was the center of the “earth’s surface” (3.)
Europeans the center of the globe was Jerusalem, because of Rome’s religious
They too, like Muslims, saw their faith as the center for what the globe
should be like.
Even now, I feel that Westerners have followed this trend and thought of
themselves as the most influential; even in common day maps Europe is magnified so
that the smaller countries can have geographic acknowledgment. This standard is not
especially used in regards to the small countries of the Middle East or even Africa.