Research project in Center for Global Studies to be funded by WUN

March 05, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Sophia McClennen, director of the Center for Global Studies at Penn State; professor of comparative literature, Spanish and women's studies; and affiliate faculty of the School of International Affairs at Penn State, will lead a joint research project titled “Geographies of Power: Justice, Revolution, and the Cultural Imagination,” focused on social transformation and cultural conflict with the Worldwide University Network (WUN). The WUN, a consortium of 18 research universities from five continents, has funded the project. 

More than $32,000 in research funds will be used to hold a series of meetings throughout the year, support research mobility for scholars involved in the project, and host a conference on the topic in the spring of 2013.

Using historical analysis and cross-cultural awareness, the project will emphasize shifting geographies of power in the period between the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the 2011 Arab Spring. The project is premised on the idea that “the frontiers of cultural understanding” are undergoing a transformation that can only be appreciated through a cross-cultural perspective and a multi-disciplinary methodology that is alert to the historical precedents behind current geopolitical and cultural conflicts.

In addition to McClennen, the collaboration also includes Penn State faculty members Eric Hayot, director of the Asian Studies Program; Shuang Shen, assistant professor of Comparative Literature and Chinese; Jonathan Abel, assistant professor of Comparative Literature and Japanese; and Gabeba Baderoon, assistant professor of women’s studies and African and African-American studies. International partners include Shamil Jeppie from the University of Cape Town; Ziad Elmarsafy and Anna Bernard from York University; George Pavlich from the University of Alberta; and Ang Zhihui from Nanjing University.

Penn State faculty members or students interested in joining the initiative should contact McClennen at The team plans to publish proceedings and engage in future projects with policy makers.

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Amy Tegeder

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Last Updated March 05, 2012