Showing posts from April, 2013

Talking About "the West": What's "Western"?

A few weekends ago I attended a conference in West Virginia with several other Georgetown students to present a paper of mine I had written last semester. The conference was very fun and my paper ended up winning third place out of the undergraduates, which was awesome. However, the panel session I presented in was entitled "Relations Between the West and 'the Rest.'" I don't know why, but they placed "the rest" in quotes, but not "the West." "The West" has always seemed to me like a problematic term to use when talking about the modern world, and although it's really commonly used, it did bother me a little at the time. (By the way, you'll have to forgive my use of "scare quotes." You'll see a lot in the post.)

A few days later, I watched a YouTube video where the commentator made a statement about Mexico: He said that in recent decades Mexican families had been adopting a more "Western" diet, and al…