What is globasl? Seeking Global Citizenship and an Invitation to Contribute

By Eric Hartman

At globalsl, we aim to offer weekly blogs on global citizenship work – snapshots of happenings, readings, and resources that are relevant for others supporting the work of community-campus collaboration to honor and advance human dignity, locally and internationally. Here’s some background on how globalsl and I got here.

The gathering of resources and community at globalsl began through a couple key moments, including the interest and leadership of institutions that advanced the 2nd International (now Global) Service-Learning Summit. But a great deal of globalsl origins also tracks back to my personal experimentation with online reflection and the aim of “knowledge mobilization.” The first globalsl blog entry, from January of 2012, attempted to draw folks to the established research on globally engaged learning, and to pull together the oddly discrete discourse spaces of international education, civic education, and global development. In many ways an early raison d’ etre for the blog and website was simply that: showing opportunities for cross-pollination and shared insight across fields and disciplines that aim to support critical and consequential experiential learning. We continue to amass related, peer-reviewed and open-access resources in that vein (though we struggle to keep up, as the field grows!).

More recently I was able to contribute this June 2017 piece to the NAFSA Research blog, Global Learning and Community-Campus Partnerships: Questions Outstanding or Questions Answered? That blog emerged after I served on a panel at the International Studies Association Conference, where I re-discovered the depth and diversity of people who have not heard of most of the literature on community-engaged global learning. In many ways it’s an updated version of the first piece in 2012.

As you can see, globalsl continues to work to advance knowledge mobilization, but we have also grown in other ways in the five years since our founding. We’ve integrated with the globalsl summit series and added the work of ongoing evaluation and research through the global engagement survey. We’ve also grown, from a volunteer operation to quasi-volunteer, to now actually having a part-time editor and research manager, Dr. Nora Reynolds. Personally, since 2012, I’ve had a visiting faculty position (global studies), a tenure-track position (leadership studies), and since September of 2016 have happily found a vocational home at Haverford College’s Center for Peace and Global Citizenship, which brings me back to the current project: blogging regularly.

Through serving on the globalsl steering committee and as executive director at the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship, a lot of extraordinary and challenging content crosses my desk. Inspired by Duncan Green’s exceptional knowledge mobilization work in the development sector, I’m going to attempt to share regular snapshots of what I’m seeing and the questions that are challenging me and the individuals I work with. I’m thrilled that colleagues advancing global citizenship education and inquiry at Lehigh University (Sarah Stanlick) and the University of Cape Town (Janice McMillan) will be sharing their reflections as well (and others are invited!). This won’t be all abstracts and research maps. In the past I’ve worked to connect historical pieces, arts, and popular analysis to our work through the blog too. For instance:

The goal is to post weekly, so I’ll have to stop the reflection weekly too – a difficult discipline for someone trained in academic writing! I hope those of you who have been regular globalsl readers, commenters, and contributors will take the moment to read, share, consider, critique, or comment. This work only advances in community. Thanks for reading.

Eric Hartman is lead author of Community-based global learning: The theory and practice of ethical engagement at home and abroad (Stylus Press), co-founder of globalsl, and Executive Director of the Haverford College Center for Peace and Global Citizenship.

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