Communication 550: International and Global Communication
Fall 2012

O’Kelly 319
Monday, 3:00–5:50pm

Prof. Kyle Conway
Office: 221D Merrifield
Phone: 777-4344
Email: kyle – dot – conway – at – und – dot – edu
Office hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30–10:45am, and by appointment

Course description

This course adopts an interdisciplinary approach to global communication (drawing not just on communication but also literature, anthropology, and art) by examining it through the lens of cultural translation. “Cultural translation” describes a number of competing ideas whose origins and developments (in anthropology, post-colonial literary studies, and cultural studies) we will explore. This exploration will help us develop a vocabulary to describe the forces shaping the global circulation of different texts (televisual, filmic, literary) and the effect of this circulation on the cultural communities that produce and consume them.



Antoine Berman, The Experience of the Foreign: Culture and Translation in Romantic Germany
Néstor García Canclini, Hybrid Cultures: Strategies for Entering and Leaving Modernity
Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Globalization and Culture: Global Mélange, 2nd ed.
Albert Moran, New Flows in Global TV
Nikos Papastergiadis, Cosmopolitanism and Culture
Lisa Parks and Shanti Kumar, eds., Planet TV: A Global Television Reader
Edward Said, Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World, rev. ed.
Serra Tinic, On Location: Canada’s Television Industry in a Global Market

Articles: available electronically


Participation 10%
Class facilitation 20%
Paper proposal 20%
Paper 50%

Grading scale

A: 90–100% B: 80–89% C: 70–79% D: 60–69% F: 0–59%


Class facilitation

Each week, a different person will be responsible for facilitating class. Facilitators have three responsibilities: first, to post a summary of at least one of the readings to the class blog; second, to come with three or four discussion questions; and third, to post a media text to the blog before class, to serve as a basis for discussion.

Summaries should identify questions that authors ask, answers they provide, and evidence they use. Their length will not matter, as long as they efficiently and clearly summarize the reading.

Discussion questions should use the readings as a starting point, and they should focus on application, extension, and interpretation. They should require people to go beyond the text to find answers. (In other words, because everyone will have read the material, and the facilitator will post a summary to the website, they should not focus on mere comprehension.)

The media text (which could be a YouTube clip, a document, in short, anything that provides something concrete to talk about) will also serve as a way into the texts. During class, facilitators will be free to organize the discussion as they see fit, posing discussion questions and examining the media text.

Paper proposal

Your proposal should include 1) a clear statement of the question you want to address, 2) a description of the relevant context, and 3) a short bibliography of relevant primary and secondary sources. It should be about 1,000 words long.

You will turn in your proposal by posting it on the class blog. It is due before class on Oct. 15.


You will produce a seminar paper of 6,000–9,000 words. Please think of this as a first draft of a potential article to submit and publish in a peer-reviewed journal.

You will turn in your paper by posting it on the class blog. It is due Dec. 12 by 5:30pm.


Academic honesty

All policies described in UND’s Code of Student Life (available at apply in this class. Also, please note that you may not turn in work that has been or will be turned in for credit elsewhere unless you make an explicit, justifiable request by week 10 of the semester.


Attendance is mandatory. You get one free absence. After that there will a penalty.

Email and grades

FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) prevents me from discussing grades over email. However, I am more than happy to meet with you during my office hours if you would like to discuss your grade.

Cell phones

As a courtesy to me and to your classmates, please turn cell phones off during class.

Recording devices

Please do not record class sessions (either audio or video) without my explicit permission.

Reading schedule

What is globalization?

Aug. 20: Course introduction/overview
Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (PDF) and “The Translator’s Task” (PDF)

Aug. 27: Globalization and modernity
Weber, “Bureaucracy” (PDF)
Taylor, “Two Theories of Modernity” (CFL link)
García Canclini, Hybrid Cultures (entrance, chaps. 1 and 3, exit)

Sept. 3: Labor Day – no class

Sept. 10: Cultural and political geography
Hall, “Cultural Identity and Diaspora” (PDF)
Habermas, “The Postnational Constellation and the Future of Democracy” (PDF)
Appadurai, “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy” (chap. 2 in Parks and Kumar)

Great debates

Sept. 17: Media imperialism vs. counterflows
Herman and McChesney, “The Rise of Global Media” (chap. 1 in Parks and Kumar)
Fejes, “Media Imperialism: An Assessment” (PDF)
Tomlinson, “Media Imperialism” (chap. 6 in Parks and Kumar)
Harindranath, “Reviving ‘Cultural Imperialism’: International Audiences, Global Capitalism, and the Transnational Elite” (chap. 8 in Parks and Kumar)

Sept. 24: Clash of civilizations vs. hybridity
Huntington, “The Clash of Civilizations?” (CFL link)
Nederveen Pieterse, Globalization and Culture (all)

Cultural translation: concept/theory

Oct. 1: Translation as rewriting
Conway, “Cultural Translation” (PDF)
Lienhardt, “Modes of Thought” (link to text and PDF version – article runs from p. 95–107 of PDF)
Geertz, “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cock Fight” (CFL link)
Crapanzano, “Hermes’ Dilemma: The Masking of Subversion in Ethnographic Description” (PDF)
Jordan, “Ethnographic Encounters: The Processes of Cultural Translation” (PDF)

Oct. 8: Translation as transposition
Translation Studies forum on cultural translation (PDF)
Bhabha, “DissemiNation: Time, Narrative, and the Margins of the Modern Nation” (PDF)
Conway, “Cultural Translation, Global Television Studies, and the Circulation of Telenovelas in the United States” (CFL link)

Cultural translation: heuristic approach

Oct. 15: Governing relationships: economic – PAPER PROPOSAL DUE
Tinic, On Location (chaps. 1–4 and 6)
Curtin, “Media Capital: Towards the Study of Spatial Flows” (PDF)

Oct. 22: Governing relationships: cultural/political
Said, Covering Islam (introductions, chaps. 1 and 3)

Oct. 29: Salient issues
Papastergiadis, Cosmopolitanism and Culture (introduction, chaps. 1–5 and 8)

Nov. 5: Textual manifestations
Moran, New Flows in Global TV (all)

Nov. 12: Veterans Day – no class

Nov. 19: Macro-level implications
Berman, The Experience of the Foreign (“Manifestation,” chaps. 3–9 and 11, conclusion)

Nov. 26: Dialogues and dialogism
Bakhtin, “The Problem of Speech Genres” (PDF)
Buddle, “Media, Markets and Pow-wows: Matrices of Aboriginal Cultural Mediation in Canada” (PDF)
Sanchez, “Intertribal dance and cross cultural communication: Traditional powwows in Ohio” (PDF)

Dec. 3: Revisiting the nation
Renan, “What is a Nation?” (PDF)
Anderson, “The Origins of National Consciousness”
Bhabha, “DissemiNation: Time, Narrative, and the Margins of the Modern Nation” (re-read)