This year, the Global Studies Literature Review (GSLR) offers a new issue (No. 7) focused on the theme, “Framing the Global.” Inspired by Hilary E. Kahn’s edited volume Framing the Global: Entry Points for Research (Indiana University Press, 2014), which offers a set of academic research perspectives on disentangling global phenomena from local and transnational lived worlds, the GSLR editors sought to extend this challenge of global analysis to scholar-practitioners within international education. As professionals in a field that assumes global mobilities, how do we articulate the meaning of “global” for our own professional work? And, how does this impact our shared knowledge of the world that our students and colleagues in higher education seek to understand?
Included in this issue are a set of featured essays with innovative and intellectually demanding considerations of the entry points to our work in international education. Kahn urged the scholars involved in the original Indiana University’s Center for the Study of Global Change project to challenge and disrupt their own disciplinary assumptions through experimentation with new methodologies grounded in ethnographic and empirical data of the lived world. This juncture served to open “entry points” to describe the partial, relational, symbolic, negotiated, and enacted characteristics of “globals” that shape specific research topics (Kahn 2014, pp. 6-7). The essays presented here extend this work in ways that disrupt our own assumptions about international education as a field, and offer new thinking about both methodology and grounded experience.
Larson’s essay reviews Kahn (2014) in company with Kennedy (2015) in considering how frameworks of academic knowledge relate to global transformations as both fields of study and of action. The potential of scholar-practitioners to advance global social justice is at the heart of this call for engagement to serve as public intellectuals. From a different theoretical view, Frank proposes a new entry point, the “geoframe,” following new approaches in literary criticism and new historicism. He provocatively suggests ways in which our imaginations in and of the world are intertwined in shaping how we create meaning in the world. The implications for international educators suggest myriad ways in which we comprehend—and thus facilitate cultural knowledge of—location and communities.
Rajakumar’s essay applies the framework of “socio-material assemblages” from Gille (2014), a contributor to the Kahn volume, to the institutional structures of international branch campuses. Her first person narrative as a global student, scholar, and teacher within international higher education reveals ways in which these transnational projects reproduce structures of global hegemony and delimit aspirations of individuals within such institutions. In contrast to this view from a transnational experience, Leise counters the central focus of Kahn’s Framing the Global (2014) with his argument that global analyses too often position the United States as an antagonist within global dynamics as an unexamined component of western hegemony. Through a discussion of the dissimilar categories used to report and serve international and domestic students within U.S. higher education, his argument reveals the unstated national project underlying global mobility.
Two book review essays included in this issue also shed light on how we engage with the notion of “the global” in our field. McAllister-Grande’s review essay of Leask (2014) and Williams and Lee (2015) explains how these two works contribute to our efforts to internationalize campuses and curricula, yet at the same time reproduce existing paradigms and disciplines. His review essay supports the challenge implicit in Framing the Global with the conclusion that we need to include perspectives from outside the formal walls of academic knowledge. Sanderson reviews Geraghty and Conacher’s (2014) volume on the linguistic contact that occurs as a result of migration, along with Jackson’s (2014) foundational overview of the critical social, geographic, and political dimensions underlying language use and intercultural communication. Sanderson suggests that both treatments inform our work with students as linguistic migrants by framing intercultural communication in a broader social and political context than simply intercultural proficiency.
Along with these essays, issue 7 offers several synopses of new publications in our field. Gozik’s review of Leask’s Internationalizing the Curriculum (2015) complements the essays by Larson and McAllister-Grande with an overview of Leask’s important work in curriculum internationalization. Stanley’s review of Sassen’s Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy (2014) also provides an invaluable complement to the issue, reminding readers that calls for global citizenship demand more informed analyses of global political struggles. McCleary summarizes the Spanish publication Patrones culturales y sociedad contemporánea: Apuntes para una ciudadanía global (Sierra Huedo 2015), arguing that it is important to read global authors’ own analyses of approaches similar to those of Kahn and Sassen.
Finally, Barrie summarizes Deardorff’s most recent contribution to assessment, Demystifying Outcomes Assessment for International Educators: A Practical Approach (2015), with its emphasis on practical approaches and tools for assessment. And, since career placement is one such desired outcome, it is fitting to conclude with Thomas’s review of The Purposeful Graduate: Why Colleges Must Talk to Students about Vocation (Clydesdale 2015), which reflects on the importance of mindfulness and intentional preparation for meaningful employment and citizenship.
We hope these essays and synopses deepen and expand our conversations in the field and lead us to even newer entry points and frameworks for appreciating the complexity of this world we share.
From the Global Studies Literature Review Editors,
Emily Gorlewski, Rebecca Hovey, and Bryan McAllister-Grande