The University of Georgia campus is a divided space. Each department sits in its own place and interactions among the disciplines are sporadic. The Global Capitalism Initiative (GCI) intends to remedy this spacial disconnect by creating a coalition of diverse departments, including history, geography, philosophy, sociology, English, and economics, under the unifying theme of Global Capitalism. Each year of the three year grant period, the GCI will put on the Capfest film festival, a graduate student conference on Global Capitalism and the Global South (GCGSC), and an ongoing monthly workshop series. This inclusive Willson Center Faculty Research Cluster will link faculty and graduate students together in order to facilitate an alliance and collaboration, linking UGA humanities and social sciences programs.
The Capfest film festival will be held at Cine in downtown Athens. The films chosen will explore the impact of Capitalism on workers throughout the world. Each year, members of the initiative will decide on a specific topic that would range from labor strife to the glories of capitalism, choose four global pictures, show the films, and then facilitate a discussion among the participants about the major ideas, themes, and visual aids presented. We plan to invite community groups, including the Economic Justice Coalition, to attend and contribute to these discussions.
Held in the Russell Library, the GCGS Conference will solicit papers from graduate students across campus and throughout the country. The GCGS Conference would allow participants to communicate with one another about a wide variety of topics dealing with the historical development and contemporary problems of capitalism. In association with the History Department Gregory Lecture, graduate students from participating departments would invite a well-known scholar to serve as the keynote speaker. Graduate students will organize and run the conference, meet their peers from other departments and universities, introduce their work in a professional setting, and to get feedback from their peers.
Both regional and out-of-state scholars would present pre-circulated papers to our ongoing workshop.
We would aim for eight papers per year, with four scholars coming from UGA and nearby schools and four coming from outside the region. Bringing distinguished academics from various locations to the UGA campus would broaden our institutional appeal and allow for our program to become a model for other universities.
The Global Capitalism Initiative will shatter the existing geographic boundaries that divide our campus and will connect a cohort of diverse scholars under the broad theme of Global Capitalism and the Global South. By working together, our hope is to increase the visibility of the University of Georgia as a leader in the study of Global Capitalism.