21st century

Our research cluster analyzes the specific features of contemporary globalization, emphasizing the social forces, fields, and trajectories that are shaping our world today.

Areas of Research

Gender and Islam research area image
Gender & Islam
human rights protest sign
Human Rights
Media and culture research area image
Media & Culture
Political economy research area image
Political Economy


  • Globalization & Culture (4th edn.) cover
    PublicationsMay 2019
    In this seminal text, Mellichamp Professor Jan Nederveen Pieterse disputes the view that we are experiencing a “clash of civilizations” as well as the idea that globalization leads to cultural homogenization, arguing instead that we are witnessing the formation of a global mélange culture through processes of cultural mixing or hybridization.
  • conference poster image
    EventsApril 2019
    The Mellichamp Global Dynamics Initiative cosponsors the 7th biennial Media Fields conference, "Display: Excess and Visibility in Film, Media, and Culture," exploring topics ranging from migrant detention centers and adult trade shows to electronic control weaponry and theatrical video game performances.
  • EventsMarch 2019
    This presentation by UCSB alumnus Greg Burris examines the history of Black-Palestinian relations, analyzing linkages that have been fashioned through a variety of media forms. Co-sponsored by the 21st Century Global Dynamics initiative.


a global studies journal

mural of head in profile over barred window clutched by human hands
November 7, 2019

[T]here is a need to decolonize doctoral education worldwide. Considering that academia falls somewhere between true globalization and Western intellectual hegemony, diversification is a good idea. [...] But there is a more insidious problem. If a scholar is caught in the situation where to make their field respectable is to follow an American-European way of doing things, one may not easily be able to escape, as the dominant paradigm is the only resource known to you that confers respectability. This is a Gramscian reality. This is how hegemony works.