From political movements to technological advances to representations of race, capitalism influences everything. Explore its power.

The Global Capitalism Integrative Pathway will cultivate critical thinking on the topic of capitalism as a social, economic, and cultural form. Students will explore the historical origins and dynamics, social structures, lived experiences of, challenges to, and power of capitalism in a broad range of global and local contexts and across multiple media. The Pathway provides opportunities for students to explore the ways in which capitalism influences cultural representations and contestations, political institutions and movements, social inclusions and exclusions, technological and scientific advancements, and the dynamics of production, commerce and exchange. Themes include the environment, sustainability, the production and consumption of knowledge, dispossession, ecology, gender, identity, imperialism, labor, migration, representation, race, and social movements.

While students will construct their own animating questions, some possible examples might be:

  • How do various forms of knowledge and ways of knowing (artistic, scientific, humanistic, and technological) represent, sustain, or critique global capitalism?
  • How does global capitalism provide the conditions by which various forms of knowledge and ways of knowing (artistic, scientific, humanistic, and technological) come to be?
  • How do peoples within capitalist societies, at the local and global level, endeavor to reform capitalism, either to propose sustainable solutions to the problems generated by capitalist production, or to make capitalism operate more equitably or more productively
  • What is the impact of capitalism on the distribution of wealth and the dynamics of poverty and inequality, and how does this map on to the world in dynamic ways?

Thematic Inquiry

The Thematic Inquiry course will be offered each spring as a single four-credit course taught by the Pathway coordinator and core faculty of the Pathway on a rotating basis. The first half of the course will introduce students to global capitalism as a historical and theoretical field of study as well as an arena of contestation and engagement. Topics include theories of capitalism, imperialism, colonialism, communism, forms of resistance, neo-liberalism, globalization, urbanization, reparations, restorative justice, and the future of capitalism. In the second half of the course, students will develop an animating question, map itinerary courses, create a global-local engagement plan, and fashion some preliminary ideas for a capstone project.

Global/Local Engagement

Each Pathway requires students to pursue purposeful engagement in a local or international context, such as study away, an internship, or community-based learning.

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