SUMMER 2008: [Trans] National Identities and their Publics
CMCT 6116 3.0 credits
Professor Rosemary J. Coombe
Canada Research Chair in Law, Communication and Culture
TEL x30157 (York)
Office Hours: Goldfarb 303C, Thursdays 3-5 pm or informally, after class.
Class Meets: Mondays and Wednesdays 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Room: TEL Building 011
The course will explore changing relationships between communications technologies and national identities paying attention to challenges that Canada faces along with other multicultural states under conditions of neoliberalism, globalization, and the intensification of migration and cultural flows. We consider key concepts such as the nation, national territory, the mediation of personal and social identity, publics and public spheres, globalization, cosmopolitanism, transnationalism, and diaspora. The course readings employ and elaborate theories derived from Benedict Anderson, Benjamin, Butler, Calhoun, Gramsci, Habermas, Jameson, David Morley, and Michael Shapiro.
The course will consider the perceived importance of culture and communications in Canada and India (as settler and postcolonial societies) under conditions where mass media communications assumed dominance. We will then consider the extent to which processes of globalisation and new information communications technologies are posing new challenges to national identity while transnational processes create new opportunities for alternative forms of nation-building, new publics, and new forms of global civil society. Do emerging social movements enabled by digital technologies strengthen or undermine “the nation” or demand that we conceptualise it differently? Debates about the possibilities of a “transnational public sphere” are now interdisciplinary. Moreover, a cultural studies of transnationalism explores the ways in which commodities and commodity-chains have become new communicative means for exploring national ‘goods’ and transnational imaginaries.
Course Number: CMCT6116
Field: Communication & Culture
School: York University
Date Published: May 12, 2008