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IGHC Summer School

IGHC Summer School 2016, May 2-20: Critical Environments: Globalization, Sustainability, and Justice

There will be two two-week graduate courses that will be offered by internationally renowned experts in the field for credit (3 credits or a half-course each) towards students' graduate programs. Each course will consist of ten 3-hour seminars, for a total of 30 contact hours over 10 days (Monday-Friday for two weeks). Students receive seminar readings in advance and are expected to come to the course well prepared. The courses will have broad rubrics and the specific theme/content will be determined by the instructors. Students from institutions other than McMaster are responsible for arranging course credits through their own university.

Download the Summer School 2016 Poster

Course One: Globalst 701* - Topics in Globalization Studies 1

  • Topic: Environment, Sustainability and Disaster
  • Date: May 9-20, 2016
  • Time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
  • Location: KTH-709, McMaster University

Instructor: Dr. Kim Fortun, Professor, Department of Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Kim Fortun is a cultural anthropologist and Professor of Science & Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her research and teaching focus on environmental risk and disaster, and on experimental ethnographic methods and research design. Her research has examined how people in different geographic and organizational contexts understand environmental problems, uneven distributions of environmental health risks, developments in the environmental health sciences, and factors that contribute to disaster vulnerability. Fortun’s book Advocacy After Bhopal Environmentalism, Disaster, New World Orders was awarded the 2003 Sharon Stephens Prize by the American Ethnological Society. From 2005-2010, Fortun co-edited the Journal of Cultural Anthropology. Currently, Fortun is working on a book titled Late Industrialism: Making Environmental Sense, on The Asthma Files, a collaborative project to understand how air pollution and environmental public health are dealt with in different contexts, and on design of the Platform for Experimental and Collaborative Ethnography (PECE), an open source/access digital platform for anthropological and historical research. Fortun also runs the EcoEd Research Group, which turns ethnographic findings about environmental problems into curriculum delivered to young students (kindergarten-grade 12), and is helping organize both the Disaster-STS Research Network, and the Research Data Alliance’s Digital Practices in History and Ethnography Interest Group.

Course Description:

Through examination of disasters in Fukushima, the Gulf of Mexico, Bhopal and elsewhere, this course builds analytic tactics for understanding and responding to disaster – recognizing that while disasters are always shaped by very particular conditions and dynamics, they are also sobering in their predictability. The course also explores how disaster analytics advance understanding of slow disaster produced by climate change, toxic contamination, structural adjustment and other slow but forceful sources of vulnerability and injury.

Globalst 701: Environment, Sustainability and Disaster

Course Two: Globalst 702* - Topics in Globalization Studies 2

  • Topic: The Global Politics of Sustainability and Justice
  • Date: May 2-13, 2016
  • Time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
  • Location: KTH-732, McMaster University

Instructor: Dr. Peter Dauvergne, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia

Peter Dauvergne is a Professor of International Relations at the University of British Columbia. His research interests include the environmental poli­tics of social movements, corporations, and consumption. Recent books include The Shadows of Consumption (2008), Paths to a Green World (2nd ed., 2011, with Jennifer Clapp), Timber (2011, with Jane Lister), Eco-Business (2013, with Jane Lister), and Protest Inc. (2014, with Genevieve LeBaron). He is the founding and past editor of the journal Global Environmental Politics.

Course Description:

This course examines the politics of global environmental change, striving for critical thought that integrates both rigorous analysis and ethical reflection. The focus is on the consequences of discourses, institutions, and power struggles for global ecological change, taking an interdisciplinary approach that does not assume a background in international relations. Topics will include the power of environmentalism as a social movement, the eco-business of multinational corporations, the effectiveness of international agreements, the role of corporate governance, the value of certification and eco-consumerism, the social justice consequences of climate change, and the ecological shadows of consumption.

Globalst 702: The Global Politics of Sustainability and Justice


Students can register for only one of two graduate courses. Enrolment will be limited to 20 students per course. Students registered in graduate programs at other Ontario universities can apply to take the course through the OVGS program without paying additional tuition fees. Out-of –province students can apply through CUGTA program, but will be charged a tuition fee.

All interested students need to contact for permissions to take the courses. For further information, please contact the Graduate Coordinator,

IGHC Summer School 2015:

The Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition at McMaster University is pleased to present its Inaugural Graduate Summer School.

  • Theme: Globalization and Asia
  • Date: May 11-16 & May 19-22, 2015
  • Time: 1:00 - 4:00pm
  • Location: TSH-321
  • GLobalSt 702* Term S
  • Course Title: Asia against/as Modernity: Globalization and the Problem of Universal History

Instructor: Dr. Eric Hayot, Professor of Comparative Literature, Penn State University



Download the 2015 Summer School Poster