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Release: Oct. 25, 2001

UI hosts globalization conference Nov. 1-4

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Scholars from across the United States will address the issue of globalization at a four-day conference, "Interrogating the Globalization Project," at the University of Iowa Thursday, Nov.1 through Sunday, Nov. 4 at the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU).

The conference begins with a keynote address on "Globalization or Denationalization? Political and Theoretical Implications" by globalization scholar Saskia Sassen, the Ralph Lewis professor of sociology at the University of Chicago. Her lecture begins at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 in the R. Wayne Richey Ballroom in the IMU and is free and open to the public.

Sassen is the author of "The Global City, Guests and Aliens" and "Globalization and Its Discontents." She has written extensively on globalization's effects. Her presentation will highlight the theoretical and political implications of studying globalization as a process that links and distances various states and people, generating wealth and opportunity for some, while re-entrenching systems of socio-economic inequality for others.

The conference will focus on three related issues: the nature of the diffusion of the liberal democratic state across the world; the impact of globalization on culture and culture change; and the impact of globalization of capitalism on human rights. There is a $10 fee for the public to attend the whole conference. However, UI students can attend the entire conference for free.

Rex Honey, UI geography professor and director of the Global Studies Program (GSP), said the event is essential and timely in bringing together new ideas on the implications of globalization.

"The events of last month show that the United States not only drives globalization but is subject to it as well. Globalization has been a 'project' of the United States, international business, and multi-lateral organizations," Honey said. "We will 'interrogate' that project, examining what globalization is, how it occurs, and how the costs and benefits are distributed. We will ask whether the ways globalization occurs should be changed so that the process of globalization is both more just and less precarious."

Among the more than 20 scholars and experts participating will be globalization scholars Kevin Cox from Ohio State University, John O'Loughlin from the University of Colorado, Hilbourne Watson from Bucknell University, Jane Collins from the University of Wisconsin and Susan Roberts of the University of Kentucky.

The sponsors of the event are UI International Programs, the Global Studies Program, the International Studies National Resource Center (NRC) Grant from the U.S. Department of Education and the African Studies Program (ASP).

More information on the conference is available online at This site will be used as a means for participants and interested parties to share their thoughts before gathering in Iowa City.

For more information, a complete conference schedule, or special accommodations to attend this conference, contact Lesli Lanning, (319) 335-2823, or Rex Honey, (319) 335-0370,