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Un-Framing and Re-Framing the Global: An Introduction

  • Hilary E. Kahn EMAIL logo and Zsuzsa Gille
From the journal New Global Studies


While Global Studies has been pursued for research and teaching purposes for a few decades, there is little agreement on what substantiates the field. The Framing the Global project tackles this question by arguing for a renewed engagement with the empirical. It asks global scholars to step back from the analytic, to return to a space where pre-conceived methods, theories, and disciplines do not guide our findings. In this way, scholars must engage in a pre-analytic un-framing before they can define the particularities of their global. Each author in this forum enters into the global through an entry point, a point of specific empirical significance – whether a diaspora, a classroom, a biennale circuit, the AIDS regime, or plastic buckets and masks – that guides the way they trace what is global. In addition to exploring the need for un-framing Global Studies, Kahn and Gille also explain how un-framing and re-framing might help us understand global pedagogies and pandemics, by demonstrating how critical an engagement with the empirical is for contemporary global challenges that require us to excavate our understandings and shatter concepts that predominate rather than engage.

Corresponding author: Hilary E. Kahn, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, USA, E-mail:

Funding source: U.S. Department of Education, Title VI Program

Award Identifier / Grant number: P015A1800165-20


While all 15 Framing the Global fellows are not contributing to this forum, we are appreciative for their sustained commitment to this work. We particularly thank the four other fellows who joined us in this forum and co-editor Jonathan Larson, for his superior contributions to this introduction and the forum overall. While Jonathan was not a Framing the Global fellow, he fit right in and we cannot imagine continuing these conversations without him. We are also grateful for the support of Indiana University’s Center for the Study of Global Change and for Jeremy Reed’s keen copyediting skills. Lastly, as always, we thank our families who give us the privileged time to engage in these conversations and collaborations.


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Published Online: 2020-12-02

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