International journalist connects with Occidental students

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Renowned journalist and Director of Publications at Yale University’s Center for the Study of Globalization Nayan Chanda came to Occidental on Tuesday to discuss his journalism career and the significance of globalization. Ambassador and Diplomacy and World Affairs Professor Derek Shearer organized Chanda’s visit, which consisted of both a school-wide presentation and a more informal conversation with a small group of students.

While on campus, Chanda sat down with students to discuss his career, what he had learned through his work and the future careers of students. Part of the discussion focused on the soft power of India, Chanda’s birthplace. He discussed the connection between this soft power and the widespread practice of yoga, the popularization of various India-based movies (like “Life of Pi” or “Slumdog Millionaire”) and the proliferation of Gandhi’s teachings.

Following the discussion, he gave a presentation in Choi Auditorium open to all students.

Chanda’s latest book “Bound Together: How Traders, Preachers, Warriors and Adventurers Shaped Globalization” was published in 2007 after returning from his time as a journalist in Southeast Asia. The book explores globalization from the first days of humanity to the modern age of technology. Shearer considers the book a “must-read” for everyone.

Chanda’s media-filled presentation, entitled Visualizing Globalization: Bound Together in the 21st Century, highlighted the connecting forces of globalization from antiquity to the present.

“[Globalization] is an enduring trend to reconnect human communities with a thickening web and increasing speed, creating in the process global awareness,” Chanda said.

Chanda made it clear that globalization is not an exclusively modern phenomenon, explaining that the first examples of globalization can be traced to the nomadic processes of early humans. Chanda substantiated this claim with examples from across history. Examples ranged from the global path of coffee, spices and other ancient trade items to modern goods such as Boeing aircrafts and Apple products. He came to the conclusion that today’s globalization is distinct from that of the ancient world in many ways, but that it is a process that is here to stay.