Author to discuss building the ‘community economy’ at URI Honors Colloquium Nov. 18

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116

KINGSTON, R.I. — November 7, 2003 — Julie Graham, co-author of The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It): A Feminist Critique of Political Economy, will speak at the University of Rhode Island Honors Colloquium on Tuesday, Nov. 18.

Graham’s lecture, “Constructing the Community Economy in the Face of Globalization,” will be held in the Chafee Social Science Center, Room 271, at 7 p.m. Like all colloquium programs, her talk is free and open to the public. This year’s public lecture series is entitled, “The Futures of Globalization.”

“Globalization is supposed to mean the end of economic self-determination for local communities,” Graham said. “Their options are few, according to the experts: either adjust to the demands of the global economy or consign yourself to economic backwardness and privation.”

Graham’s talk will offer examples of communities that have achieved economic well being on their own terms, and outlines the strategies that produced their success. She will look at the Mondragon cooperatives in the Basque region of Spain, the women-owned cooperatives in Kerala, India, and community oriented capitalism in western Massachusetts.

“All of these initiatives participate in both local and world markets, with the goal of generating employment, empowerment and investment funds to capitalize more community-based businesses in their localities,” Graham said.

Graham will also discuss the even more unorthodox economic development strategy of meeting local needs directly, rather than by generating employment and wages. In conventional terms, development involves bringing in outside investment and transforming the local economy to meet the demands of globalization.

“In this alternative vision, development involves people re-creating themselves and their communities as they recognize and build on the wealth they are already producing locally,” Graham said. “We see that many supposedly deprived or depressed regions are actually sites of abundance, leading to a revisioning of ‘economic development.’”

Julie Graham is a professor of economic geography at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her current research and teaching involve reevaluating economic concepts in the light of feminist and postculturalist theory. She is presently working with a group of UMass graduate students to produce alternative economic representations in which noncapitalist activities are both visible and viable.

Please visit for the most current colloquium information and a complete schedule of events and directions, or contact the URI Honors Center at 401-874-2381 or

The program’s major sponsors are: URI Honors Program and President’s Office, The Providence Journal, Fidelity Investments, URI Foundation, URI College of Arts and Sciences and the URI College of Business Administration.

Other sponsors are URI’s Office of Student Affairs, Alumni Association, Multicultural Center and College of Pharmacy.