As of 2017 and for the first time in history, more people globally live in cities than in the countryside. Taking note of this fundamental shift, the Global Education initiative proposes a two-year theme of classroom and scholarly investigations focusing on global cities. The basic idea is to create, connect, and publicize our teaching and scholarship under the general theme of global cities and the sub-themes pandemic, power, production, and peripheries.

We envision this initiative to be open to all interested faculty, departments, and programs who want to investigate more deeply the past, present, and future of cities as important places to live, produce, and govern. We propose this four-semester series that begins with a look at Pandemics (S2021), Production (F2021), Power (S2022), Peripheries (F2022).

In spring 2021, we will open the series with the issue of pandemics and global cities. We invite interested faculty to consider such far-reaching topics as the spread of disease in cities throughout history and art, the scientific tracing of global pandemics, and their social, economic or political effects. With specific regard to current events, other questions to consider include: How has/will the city evolve as we grapple with the COVID pandemic in the economic, political, environmental, sociological, linguistic, psychological, artistic, scientific arenas? Finally, where and how is Lafayette College situated as this story unfolds and these questions are answered?

  • What this is: Intellectual multi- and interdisciplinary initiative for connecting, celebrating, and publicizing interested departments, programs, teachers, and scholars and their courses and planned events.
  • How to take part: We invite departments and programs as well as individual faculty to take part in this initiative to investigate the place and meaning of the global city. Several branches and layers of inquiry come to mind:
    • Modules in existing courses designed to investigate pandemics and cities
    • Semester and interim courses
    • Programmed events such as:
      • invited speakers
      • panel discussions
      • exhibits, concerts, and/or performances
      • workshops/hack-athons
      • new ideas and formats
    • Please direct your inquiries or ideas to Angelika von Wahl and Michelle Geoffrion-Vinci.
  • What happens: Courses and events will be publicized on a dedicated global cities website that links to the College‚Äôs splash page and contains an RSS feed for announcing upcoming events.

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