U.S. research universities have long endeavored to be cosmopolitan places, yet the disciplines of economics, political science, and sociology have remained stubbornly parochial. Despite decades of government and philanthropic investment in international scholarship, the most prestigious academic departments still favor research and expertise on the United States. Based on a book with the same title, this talk draws on candid interviews with scores of top scholars and university leaders to understand how international inquiry is perceived and valued inside the academy. Seeing the world is at once a work-and-occupations study of scholarly disciplines, an essay on the formal organization of knowledge, and an inquiry into the fate of area studies. This talk sheds light on the politics of knowledge production in the U.S. academy and the future of knowledge in a global era.
Seteney Shami, Director-General, Arab Council for the Social Sciences; Program Director, The Social Science Research Council
NYU Abu Dhabi Institute
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