Project Overview

Framing the Global is a combined initiative of Indiana University Press and the Indiana University Center for the Study of Global Change, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The project seeks to support scholarly research and publication that will develop and disseminate new knowledge, approaches, and methods in the field of global research.


Image via Hetx (Flickr)

Global Studies emerged in the 1980s as intellectuals, professionals, and practitioners began to take note of the rapidly increasing transnational flows of people, ideas, and products, and the social, political, economic, and cultural consequences of these trends. Soon thereafter undergraduate degree programs, research organizations, and academic journals emerged to support this intellectual inquiry into the global and transnational impacts of these processes of change. Now, in the 21st century, graduate degree programs, international conferences, and advanced scholarship are pursued under the umbrella of Global Studies.

Even with increasing popular and scholarly attention to global issues, however, Global Studies as an academic pursuit lacks a disciplinary home, a framework of understanding, and a set of empirical methods. Scholars and practitioners have few interdisciplinary tools at their disposal that can be profitably applied to the complexity and give-and-take of globalization. Disciplinary paradigms typically encourage either macro- or micro- considerations of globalization and provide few means and methods to empirically investigate the bi-directional linkages that connect these dimensions.

Framing the Global fellows taking part in a video conference.

Framing the Global fellows taking part in a video conference.

It is not that astute scholars have not considered these linkages; they have, but often from disciplinary angles and for specific audiences. What remains less available for global researchers are the empirical methods and broader interdisciplinary frameworks necessary for rigorous studies of transnational linkages. In fact, it may be this lack that leads to criticism of the Global Studies field for its inability to incorporate both the universalistic and empirical, the transnational and cultural, the public and private, and the sub-state and supra-state and to fully grasp the connections between the homogeneity of the global and the heterogeneity of the local. A Global Studies that is as pertinent as it is scholarly must incorporate considerations of content and structure, the individual and the universal, and the local and global.

The Framing the Global project aims to fill the need for this kind of global research by developing innovative approaches that will generate new knowledge, explain global phenomena, and provide means of tracing and exploring the transnational linkages that are too often left out of Global Studies. It is  producing new scholarship about how to conduct global research that is applicable to a variety of lived, political, discursive, cultural, public, private, and academic contexts.

The Initiative and its Goals

The three goals of Framing the Global are:

  • to identify, explore, and integrate new interdisciplinary perspectives for the study of global issues
  • to promote and advance research on globalization, global studies, and transnational phenomena
  • to facilitate the publication by Indiana University Press of innovative work generated by this research

The program’s goals are being achieved through four major components:

  • a working group of scholars and practitioners who have and will continue to generate and apply new integrative approaches to Global Studies and prepare essays and book manuscripts
  • a program of visiting scholars/lecturers who have given public lectures at Indiana University, meeting with classes, and consulting with the working group
  • an international conference that presented and assessed the findings of the working group
  • a book series in Global Research Studies published by Indiana University Press