Course Spotlight

There's more than one way to see the world.

Strengthen your summer schedule

HLS offers hundreds of courses that strengthen your global knowledge and regional expertise while helping you meet degree requirements.

We've highlighted a few here, but check out iGPS for our complete list of learning opportunities in International Studies, East Asian Languages & Cultures, International Law & Institutes, Central Eurasian Studies, Middle Eastern Languages & Cultures, and African, European, Latin American, Russian, and Southeast Asian studies.

This page features courses in the following academic sessions:

  • Summer Semester (May 11–July 30)

Summer Semester (May 11-July 30)

The following courses take place during the Summer 2021 semester.

African Studies

Class #: 15202

Meeting Time: Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri, 1:15pm-3:25pm

Location: Hybrid-Distance Video & Online

Instructor: Betty Dlamini

Gumboot Dance: Beauty from Pain is an interdisciplinary course that includes the history, culture and performing arts (chants, songs, and dances) of Southern Africa. It explores how the early gold mine workers in South Africa transformed an oppressive and painful situation into a beautiful and enjoyable experience by drawing from their various cultural practices. The class emphasizes diversity and inclusivity as portrayed in the communal lifestyles of African cultures and gives you the opportunity to create your own small teams or communities within the class. In your team you contribute in creating chants, songs, and dances, one at a time. You discuss the issues faced by the early mine workers and identify similar current issues that are relevant to us and our own local communities here where we live. We chant, sing and dance together, and later you chant, sing, and dance with your team. You perform your own composed chants and songs and choreographed dances that have the core traits of gumboot dance. Through chants and songs, you learn a few words in some of the languages of South Africa as well as words in the languages that are represented in the class.

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Class #: 13915

Meeting Time: Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri, 10:35am-12:45pm

Location: Distance Synchronous Video

Instructor: Amadou Sow

 

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Great Wall of China

This course focuses on China's new electronic "Great Firewall." To really understand how and why China has invested so heavily in its new Firewall, we will briefly review the history of China's physical wall, since China draws on the old physical Great Wall as a model.

Instructor: Michael Brose

CEUS-R 260, Class #: 13945

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Central Eurasian Studies

Class #: 15318

Location: 100% Online All

Instructor: Jamsheed Choksy

This course introduces students to ancient Near (or Middle) Eastern cultures. The survey begins with early farming communities of 8000 BCE at sites like Fayum, Jericho, Çatal Huyuk, and Jarmo. It then covers the Bronze and Iron Age kingdoms of the Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Israelites, Egyptians, Hittites, and Iranians plus the spread of Hellenism. Emphasis will be placed on understanding and analyzing agriculture, urbanization, state formation, dynastic history, social stratification, literacy, legal and economic issues, and religions including temple cults, Gnosticism, Mithraism, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, Judaism and Christianity. Archaeological and textual information will be utilized in conjunction with visual aids. No previous knowledge or course prerequisites are needed.

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Class #: 13945

Meeting Time: Mon/Wed/Fri, 11:20am-12:30pm, Tues/Thurs, 10:20am-11:20am

Location: Hybrid-Distance Video & Online

Instructor: Michael Brose

The "Great Wall" that most people know about is a physical wall separating China from the steppe area and the nomads who lived there. Today the Chinese state has built a new electronic wall to serve the same purposes as the old physical wall; defending China from enemies and providing a jumping-off offensive position to attack potential enemies. This course focuses on China's new electronic "Great Firewall." To really understand how and why China has invested so heavily in its new Firewall, we will briefly review the history of China's physical wall, since China draws on the old physical Great Wall as a model. That will prepare us to understand what things the Chinese government sees as most threatening to its existence and how it is deploying the Great Firewall to fight those threats. By the end of this class you will understand how China's one-party system works, and how new concepts like cyber nationalism are driving China's actions, especially in the areas of domestic social control and foreign policy.

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Popular Culture in East Asia

The class is also about the nature of popular culture itself. We examine how pop culture not only entertains, but produces social meaning, often in contested ways. Underlying all of these discussions will be the issue of globalization.

Instructor: Scott O'Bryan

EALC-E 119, Class #: 13949

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East Asian Languages and Cultures

Class #: 13949

Meeting Time: N/A

Location: Distance Synchronous Video

Instructor: Scott O'Bryan

No region of the world has had more new, explosive cultural influence around the world in the last thirty years than East Asia. Whether the exciting, diversifying, and ever-engaging forms of Japanese manga, Korean television dramas and films, or Chinese visual art, the creative energy and global popular appeal of East Asian cultural forms has marked a turning point in modern cultural history. This course provides an introduction to the fascinating, contemporary popular cultures of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China and the ways East Asian popular culture has been consumed around the world. The class is also about the nature of popular culture itself. We examine how pop culture not only entertains, but produces social meaning, often in contested ways. Underlying all of these discussions will be the issue of globalization. We will see how the transnational flow of culture affects local societies and individual identities, a process that today shapes our own culture and society no matter where we call home.

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Class #: 8225

Meeting Time: Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri, 10:20am-12:40pm

Location: Distance Synchronous Video

Instructor: Chien-Jer Lin

Are you ready for an adventure about linguistic diversity? This course will take you to explore interesting topics on the relation between language and thinking in East Asian (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) and Southeast Asian languages. We ask the following questions in this course:

How different are world languages? Do people speaking different languages think differently? In which ways can people of different language backgrounds misunderstand each other?

The topics of this course will include: linguistic intuition, crosslinguistic differences in word formation, language contact and change, writing systems, numerical cognition, metaphors (e.g., space and time, body and emotions), multilingualism, and issues in comparing thought processes in the East and the West.

If you are interested in the following questions, this is a right course for you:
How different are world languages?
Do people speaking different languages think differently?
What is the advantage of being multilingual?
How do people of different language backgrounds misunderstand each other?

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Class #: 13950

Location: 100% Online All

Instructor: Nick Vogt

This course offers a survey of the culture of China, Japan, and Korea from the Neolithic Era to the 17th century. Through sources ranging broadly across history, literature, religion, and art, we will investigate the traditional cultural patterns of East Asian civilizations, with special consideration for the complex exchange and interactions between them. Topics to be explored include classical philosophy, writing practices, foodways, theater, music, Buddhism, vernacular fiction, military institutions, and more.

Students will acquire broad historical knowledge about China, Korea, Japan, and the East Asia region; engage with East Asian literature and media in a historically and culturally informed manner; learn how pre-modern history, literature, and culture of East Asia continues to shape modern life; and learn how to acquire the background knowledge necessary to approach literature and media of different world regions.

No prior knowledge of East Asian history or of an East Asian language is assumed or required. All primary source readings will be in translation.

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Class #: 14701

Meeting Time: Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri, 10:20am-12:30pm

Location: Distance Synchronous Video

Instructor: Yiwen Zheng

This course explores the literary and cultural representations of the Chinese “knight-errant” (xia) from early imperial China to the 21st century. The figure of “knight-errant” as a champion of justice is one of the perennial favorites celebrated in traditional and modern Chinese literature and culture. In this course, we will investigate what defines a Chinese knight-errant and its cultural ramifications.

We will sample applauded works of both fine literature and popular culture about the Chinese knight-errant. These texts will help us investigate and better understand China’s past and present, especially what it viewed as a paradigm and cherished values. Course materials cover several important literary forms: historical writings, short stories, poetry, and films. This course intends to show the elasticity of the martial arts discourse in the Chinese context as well as in the backdrop of global pop culture. Topics to be covered include masculinity and femininity, means of combat and non-violent power, state and the individual, modern and antiquity, west and east, and more. In general, this course uses literary works and cinema as an entry point to engage a larger discourse important to the understanding of regional literature and world cultural history.

All reading materials and class discussion are in English, and no prior knowledge of Chinese literature and history are assumed or required.

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Climate Change

Climate change is a cross-cutting contemporary problem: it intersects with issues of culture and politics, conflict, security, human rights, development, and governance. This class explores how the science and politics of climate change is negotiated in international institutions.

Instructor: Jessica O'Reilly

INTL-I 102, Class #: 13881

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International Studies

Class #: 13881

Location: 100% Online All

Instructor: Jessica O'Reilly

Climate change is a cross-cutting contemporary problem: it intersects with issues of culture and politics, conflict, security, human rights, development, and governance. This class explores how the science and politics of climate change is negotiated in international institutions.

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Class #: 13882

Meeting Time: Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs, 4:20pm-6:10pm

Location: Distance Synchronous Video

Instructor: Feisal Istrabadi

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., began his term in office after a period of tremendous change in the U.S. foreign policy posture. His predecessor, Donald J. Trump, challenged and upended several norms of U.S. foreign policy that had enjoyed longstanding bipartisan support. These norms include U.S. participation in international institutions, many of which were founded with the U.S. as a principal driving force, such as the United Nations; the commitment to alliances such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and alliances with Japan and South Korea; a commitment to free trade, among others. This course examines those core foreign policy issues, and will focus on comparing and contrasting President Biden's aspirational foreign policy agenda against the realities that some of the Trump Administration's actions will constrict the ability of the new Administration to chart a different course, at least quickly. Students will assess the current U.S. foreign policy posture as developed over the prior four years to assess where the Biden Administration policies are likely to deviate from those of its predecessor, where it might choose to maintain those policies as a matter of the national interest, and where it may be unable initially to change course, even should it wish to do so.

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Class #: 13913

Meeting Time: Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri, 1:15pm-3:25pm

Location: Distance Synchronous Video

Instructor: Noah Arjomand

What makes news real or fake? Who creates fake news, why, and how does it spread? And how do answers to those questions vary over time and around the world? This course will take a global perspective to understanding truth and falsehood in the media and their effects on societies and on international relations. From the philosophy of bullshit to the history of the yellow press to analyses of online networks, we will bring together a wide range of sources and disciplines to consider fake news as a political tool, as a side-effect of the social organization of news making, as a product being sold to consumers, and as either a threat to or an inescapable aspect of democracy.

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Class #: 13883/13884

Meeting Time: Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri, 10:35am-12:45pm

Location: Distance Synchronous Video

Instructor: Clemence Pinaud

This course introduces students to the topic of women and war, spanning across different time periods and regions. It equips students to look critically at women's assigned roles and at gendered identities in peace and in wartime, from a solid historical and comparative perspective. By the end of this course, students will understand women's experiences in war, and look critically at concepts such as "motherhood," "combat" or "sexual violence." The course covers five main topics in the study of women and war: an introduction to the concepts of gender, militarization and images of women; women's place in the war economy and as victims (along with men) of sexual/gender-based violence war; women's agency and their multiple roles in armies and other armed groups; women as perpetrators of violence and extremism; and women, the making of gendered ethnic identities and of a national history in the aftermath of war.

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Youtubing the Middle East: Learning, Reflecting, Enjoying

Through this platform, students will learn interesting facts about the Middle East. From renowned poets reciting their poetry to documentaries about Middle Eastern countries to stand-up comedy, you will have a virtual and intellectual trip to the Middle East.

Instructor: Asaad Alsaleh

MELC-M 305, Class #: 15160

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Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures

Class #: 13837

Location: 100% Online All

Instructor: Asaad Alsaleh

 

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Class #: 13836

Location: 100% Online All

Instructor: Asaad Alsaleh

 

View more NELC courses

Class #: 15160

Location: 100% Online All

Instructor: Asaad Alsaleh

Through this platform, students will learn interesting facts about the Middle East. From renowned poets reciting their poetry to documentaries about Middle Eastern countries to stand-up comedy, you will have a virtual and intellectual trip to the Middle East.

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AI & Race to Rule the World

Explores the rapid improvement of Artificial Intelligence, the widespread use of AI in every sector of the economy and society, and the impact its adoption is having on global and international politics and economies. No prior knowledge of AI needed.

Instructor: Isak Nti Asare

SGIS-S 202, Class #: 14403

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