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Meeting One:

At our first meeting of the fall we will have a brief introduction to our common reading: Against the Grain by James Scott. This books overturns long-standing beliefs in the social sciences about the development of “civilizations.” Specifically, Scott explores the transition of early hunting-and-gathering-societies into agricultural societies. By condensing today’s best archaeological and historical knowledge about early state formation and domestication, Scott creates a new picture of how and why humans came to live in the great heaps of plants, animals, and microbes characteristic of agragrian societies.


We are using the book as both an example of the kind of topics we hope to cover in Global Studies here at Kingsborough but also as an approach to a collaborative research methodology that bridges our various disciplines and roles on the college. We want to reconsider notions of sustainability, particularly as outlined by the United Nations, and we want to consider how fresh viewpoints and inclusive spaces here on campus can help forward an academic agenda in the New Climate Regime and how this informs are efforts here at Kingsborough.

The following meetings will be shaped by our participants interests and our needs here at the college and in our communities.



Since our first set of meetings in Spring of 2019 we have grown. In addition to teaching faculty we have had members of Student Affairs and the Sustainability Council join our meetings. We have had members from the Student Union and Inter-Cultural Center and faculty from English, Sociology, Political Science, Art and Science discuss how students can gain better understanding about ecological-social systems through hands-on experience.

We have reached out to the Urban Farm and Wellness Center and will be solidifying the connections Spring 2020. We will also be putting together an interdisciplinary panel for Eco-Fest 2020.


For a record of previous meetings and some of the ideas they have generated, scroll below.


You can also find links to various resources below (coming soon!):




Meeting 1:


Kingsborough established a Global & Environmental Studies program in the mid-200’s but there is no available paper trail for the reasoning or design of the program. As a Liberal Arts Concentration several courses are identified as required in the Kingsborough Catalogue as follows:


One document from 2011 stated the purpose of the Concentration as:

The Global & Environmental Studies option in Liberal Arts examines the relationships of people, culture, and society with the biophysical environment. The interdisciplinary course of study takes aspects of politics, history, anthropology, language and science and creates a holistic theoretical and practical understanding of current pressing global issues.

This option allows the student to investigate natural as well as political, economic, and social systems. The ability for young people to succeed in tomorrow’s society emerges not from a set of skills alone, but also from the ability to acquire (transform and share) knowledge, reflect, and react.

In our first meeting we will discuss the following:

  1. Is a Global Studies option a good fit for Kingsborough students?
  2. What possible transfer options would make the most sense for these students?
  3. How can faculty and staff provide a supportive environment for students for major and career exploration?

Click here for Reading One to be discussed at Meeting Two:

The Assault on Global Education Author(s): James A. Caporaso and James H. Mittelman Source: PS: Political Science and Politics, Vol. 21, No. 1 (Winter, 1988), pp. 36-44

Discussion Question:

What are the particular challenges of teaching global issues in our courses?

Reading Two can be located at KCTL. Please ask Jocelyn for your free copy of

Against the Grain.

This reading will be co-facilitated with Prof. Stuart Parker (Sociology). Each semester we will focus on a different global theme using a new book.


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