Friday, January 28, 2011

Global imagination

One month of teaching later and it is time travel again, this time to Indonesia, a country that for long has been high on my “list” of places to visit. Being the fourth most populous country in the world with an overwhelmingly Muslim population, Indonesia seems to offer a particularly important piece in the global puzzle.

Though inevitably shallow, I think travelling, at its best, can help with constructing that puzzle, to challenge our geographical prejudices and open our senses to the unexpected. While teaching one of my courses (the one on “Globalization and Justice”) I was again reminded of a wonderful piece entitled “Global ignorance” by Martin Lewis. Published in Geographical Review in 2000 (90:4 603-628) but still most timely, Lewis makes a strong case for why scholars of globalization must engage with local contexts and look beyond the tired “The West and the Rest”-imagery.


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