The Global Graduate: Graduating in the Era of the Global University

  • Juan M. Aldape MuñozEmail author
  • Lisa Skwirblies


This chapter focuses on the figure of the ‘global graduate’ and the process of its implementation in, production of and use as an advertisement for international university programmes. The authors trace the hidden agendas of this figure and its potential rootedness in the growing neoliberal implications for higher education today. They therefore approach the ‘international’ in International Performance Studies from the angle of the global graduates it produces, attracts and excludes. By charting two personal accounts of circulating within this particular system of global education, they provide unsettling examples of how international performance pedagogy is implicated in the production of ‘global graduates’ in institutionally and non-institutionally aligned spheres. They discuss the ‘global graduate award’ of the University of Warwick and the ‘border-crossing’ practices in the ‘radical performance pedagogy’ of La Pocha Nostra. With an emphasis on proficiencies in cultural dexterity, collaboration and embracing mobility, both strategies of ‘re-warding’ (as in ‘awarding’) and of ‘curating’ (a ‘radical’ disciple) clearly employ the language of cultural capital that features in neoliberal virtues. By unveiling the language of cultural capital that is akin to features of performance research, such as internationalism, mobility and cultural exchange, the authors show how the performative strategies of ‘re-warding’ and ‘curating identities’ work with, within and against it.


  1. Alaimo, S. (2000). ‘Multiculturalism and the Epistemic Rupture: The Vanishing Acts of Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Alfredo Véa Jr.’ MELUS, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 163–185.Google Scholar
  2. Anzaldúa, G. (1999). Borderlands/La Frontera. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books.Google Scholar
  3. Barba, E. (2007). ‘Is Performance Studies Imperialist? Part 3: A Forum.’ TDR: The Drama Review, Vol. 51, No. 4, pp. 7–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carlson, M. (2004). ‘Become Less Provincial.’ Theatre Survey, Vol. 45, No. 02, pp. 177–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Comaroff, J. & J. Comaroff (2012). Theory from the South: Or, How Euro-America Is Evolving Toward Africa. Boulder: Paradigm Publishing.Google Scholar
  6. Grosfoguel, R. (2013). ‘The Structure of Knowledge in Westernized Universities: Epistemic Racism/Sexism and the Four Genocides/Epistemicides of the Long 16th Century.’ Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 73–90.Google Scholar
  7. Lei, D. P. (2011). ‘Interruption, Intervention, Interculturalism: Robert Wilson’s HIT Productions in Taiwan.’ Theatre Journal, Vol. 63, No. 4, pp. 571–586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lim, Eng-B. (2009). ‘Performing the Global University.’ Social Text, Vol. 27, No. 4–101, Winter, pp. 25–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lim, Eng-B. (2012). ‘Neoliberalism, the Arts, and the Global University’ in L. Nielsen & P. Ybarra (eds.) Neoliberalism and Global Theatres. Performance Permutations. New York: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  10. Mbembe, A. (2012a). ‘At the Centre of the Knot.’ Social Dynamics, Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 8–14.Google Scholar
  11. Mbembe, A. (2012b). ‘Theories from the Antipodes. Notes on Jean and John Comaroff’s TFS.’ The Johannesburg Salon, vol. 5, February, pp. 18–25.Google Scholar
  12. McKenzie, J. (2006). ‘Is Performance Studies Imperialist?’ TDR: The Drama Review, Vol. 50, No. 4, September, pp. 5–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. McKenzie, J., et al. (eds.) (2009). Contesting Performance: Global Sites of Research. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  14. Mohanty, Chandra T. (1989). ‘On Race and Voice: Challenges for Liberal Education in the 1990s’ Cultural Critique, vol. 14, December, pp. 179–208.Google Scholar
  15. Obarrio, J. (2012) ‘Symposium Theory From the South’ (Edited by. A. Mbembe) The Johannesburg Salon, 5, September, pp. 5–9.Google Scholar
  16. Public Affairs, UC Berkeley. (2014). Berkeley Global Campus: A new, bolder vision for Richmond Bay. Accessed 31 August 2016.
  17. Reinelt, J. (2007). ‘Is Performance Studies Imperialist? Part 2.’ TDR: The Drama Review, Vol. 51, No. 3, pp. 7–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Richardson, H. (2012). ‘Foreign Students Made to Queue through the Night’ BBC new, 2 October. Accessed 31 August 2016.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.University of WarwickCoventryUK

Personalised recommendations