The student-driven Critical Development Forum at UW offers a seminar this autumn, open to students from all disciplines, through the Department of Geography. When the seminar was first offered, last winter, we were fortunate to have several engineering students in the class, and we would love to have a similarly diverse group of students
this fall. I will be facilitating the seminar, with Prof. Matt Sparke serving as the faculty advisor. More information on the course is below.
Autumn 2012 course offering — back by popular demand!
GEOG 497 B:
Making the Most of Good Intentions:
Evaluating Global Development Work Critically
2-4* credits, student-directed seminar, autumn 2012
Facilitator: Orion Donovan-Smith (International Studies; Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies)
Faculty Advisor: Professor Matt Sparke (Geography, Global Health, International Studies)
Wednesdays, 2:30-4:20 pm, Raitt 109
Email email@example.com to request a spot. Include your name, major, year
in school, and a few sentences about why you are interested in taking
the course. Please note: The seminar will be limited to 15 students,
not 20, as indicated on the time schedule.
Course website and e-syllabus (from Winter 2012 session): cdfseminar.tumblr.com
When are good intentions not enough? When are they harmful? How can we
best use our good intentions to make a difference in issues of
poverty, injustice, and inequality? This is a forum for students with
good intentions – those of us who serve and advocate for the poor and
marginalized locally and globally – to take a pause from the ongoing
momentum of our work for self-reflection. The seminar provides an
academic space to complement the student-driven Critical Development
critically and honestly on our motivations and explore the
contradictions of our past, current, or future work and advocacy.
Readings will unpack the historical, social, political, economic,
cultural, and environmental context of our engagement in development
and global (in)justice. The seminar is not intended to provide answers
or dissuade taking action. Instead, we hope to inspire students to
overcome the fear of questioning good intentions in order to deepen
the impact of their work and effect structural social change.
The success of the course relies upon students from all disciplines
and levels of experience. We especially encourage engineering, health
science, natural science, and arts students who might never have taken
a social science/humanities course to enroll. Students with extensive
experience working in local or global development and justice work as
well as students still exploring their options are encouraged equally
to be part of the forum. The variety of students in the course during
winter quarter of 2012 allowed students to push their own boundaries,
and listen to ideas from all perspectives.
of designing a project to engage the University and local community in
the themes of the course. Where better to spark change than right on
our own campus?
Contact Orion via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Critical Development Forum (CDF, http://students.washington.
critical dialogue between students, faculty, and professionals at the
engaged in global development and global justice work. We encourage
those interested in challenging poverty and inequality to reconnect
with one another, critically reflect on their work through a social
justice lens, and challenge themselves to move beyond good intentions.