Course Spotlight

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

Strengthen your schedule

The Hamilton Lugar School (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 the complete lists below:

Summer 2022 Fall 2022

East Asian Languages and Cultures

EALC-E 204, "Bubble Tea versus Bubble Gums: Languages and Cultures of East and West"

Class #: 14302

Location: Online

Instructor: Chien-Jer Charles Lin

In this course, we explore how East Asian languages and Indo-European languages differ and how these differences can be related to different cultures, ways of thinking, worldviews, and misunderstandings. Topics include written scripts, sense of time and space, food and menus, kinship and familial relations, metaphors about life, gender and sexuality, politeness and formality, writing styles and information sequencing, idioms and sayings, and translations of languages and cultures. Students who are curious about how languages differ and the possible connections with various aspects of their lives will find this course interesting.

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EALC-E 300, "Kung Fu Knights of China"

Class #: 8397

Location: Online

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 of 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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Bubble Tea versus Bubble Gums: Languages and Cultures of East and West

In this course, we explore how East Asian languages and Indo-European languages differ and how these differences can be related to different cultures, ways of thinking, worldviews, and misunderstandings.

Instructor: Chien-Jer Charles Lin

EALC-E 204, Class #: 14302

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International Studies

INTL-I 204, "Human Rights and International Law"

Class #: 5806

Location: Online

Instructor: Nicole Kousaleos

This course considers the relationship between human rights and freedom. We look at the nature and practice of human rights in relationships among individuals, groups, and institutions while also exploring the nature of freedom and how people seek it through human rights. In this course we treat human rights and freedom as ongoing arguments, productive processes, and arenas of contestation, as means of constructing aspirations, seeking and challenging power, developing ways of life, and finding fulfillment. The course considers positive and negative consequences of framing relationships and power in terms of human rights and critically examines uses of human rights to manage problems.

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INTL-I 205, "Culture and Politics"

Class #: 6089

Location: Online

Instructor: Peter Nemes

This is the core course for the International Studies Culture and Politics thematic concentration. The course focuses on communication as a process governed by culture-specific and institution-specific rules. Among the subjects to be discussed are: the circulation of ideas, images and artistic expressions across national borders; interpersonal and cultural forms of communication; the role and relevance of digital media in the world; the importance of communicative practices in different cultures; and what is at stake for individual and group identities in the process of communicating on a global level. We will also discuss topics such as cultural globalization, public culture and artistic presentation, freedom of artistic expression, the relations between culture, art and religion and the political economy of culture. Finally, we will also examine the role of the arts in the formation and transformation of identity. By the end of the semester students will be able to evaluate the complexity of global communication and the intricacy of different cultural and linguistic identities around the world.

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INTL-I 220, "Global Connections"

Class #: 6452

Location: Online

Instructor: Peter Nemes

This class is a survey and analysis of the scope of global connections and interdependencies that characterize the contemporary world.  We live in an extremely connected world--linked to peoples, cultures, and countries from all around the globe through a very complex network of dependencies and interdependencies.  Many of us disregard not only the historical, cultural, and political processes that led to this scenario, but also the very links of interdependencies properly speaking.  One of the main goals of this course is to create awareness and understanding of these critical cross-cultural connections as they profoundly impact individual and collective identities, the rhetoric over human rights discourses around the world, national and regional policies and politics, and our perception of the "other" in the hierarchical value system that these dependencies and interdependencies create.  Through the use of relevant examples and case studies from around the globe we will discuss an array of significant topics, break down stereotypes, contextualize and analyze connections, recognize our place in the global puzzle, and exercise our ability to think ethically about international issues. It will be an enriching and stimulating class that you will greatly benefit from -- both personally and professionally.

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INTL-I 310, "Order, Upheaval, and Change in Global Politics"

Class #: 14256

Meeting Time: Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri, 10:45am-12:55pm

Location: Online

Instructor: Hussein Banai

This class offers a critical examination of the sources of continuity and change in global politics. With a focus on historical and contemporary case studies, this course aims to illuminate the limits and possibilities of political forms, international institutions, (trans)national movements, and networks in global politics.

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INTL-I 425/506, "Women and War"

Class #: 8203

Meeting Time: Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri, 1:25pm-3:35pm

Location: Online

Instructor: Clémence 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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INTL-I 426/500, "Geoeconomics, National Security, and the Return of Great Power Competition"

Class #: 10866

Meeting Time: Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri, 1:25pm-3:35pm

Location: Online

Instructor: Sarah Bauerle Danzman

Global economic governance is rapidly changing as advanced industrial countries are reassessing the national security implications of an open economic system. This course will explore the rising use of geoeconomic statecraft in trade, finance, investment, and technology policy, and will assess the likely effects of these policy changes on global governance.

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Women and War

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.

Instructor: Clémence Pinaud

INTL-I 425/506, Class #: 8203

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Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures

MELC-M 204, "Topics in Mid East Culture & Society, “Meet the Middle East”"

Class #: 8182

Location: Online

Instructor: Asaad Alsaleh

What is common between Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Jobs, and Jesus? (Hint: they all have roots in the Middle East). What is it like to live in the Middle East? What often defines the relationship between the Middle East and the West? These questions and many more will be discussed in our intellectual journey to the Middle East. We will examine the historical, literary, and cultural aspects of the region. Current political and social issues, such as terrorism and refugees, will be covered through engaging readings, documentaries, and flexible asynchronous modality.

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MELC-M 205, "Arabian Nights in Summer"

Class #: 14253

Location: Online

Instructor: Asaad Alsaleh

This course introduces students to The Arabian Nights, or The Thousand and One Nights, (in Arabic: Alf Layla wa Layla), which is one of the most popular and powerful stories throughout the centuries. Known for their imaginative richness and almost never-ending plots, these fanciful stores come from different cultures and have impacted Western consciousness since 1704, when the text reached Europe in a French translation by Antoine Galland. Transmitted from oral narrative to written texts in various versions and languages, the Arabian Nights have continuously ignited the imagination of countless readers, entertaining storytellers, and contributors with the passion to add more stories. Students will join Shahrazad, the main character, in her fictional adventures to different worlds, cultures, and literary genres. The course is taught in English with no Arabic language required.

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MELC-M 206, "Modern Arab Culture"

Class #: 14254

Location: Online

Instructor: Asaad Alsaleh

Do you know that shaking a cup of coffee is a coded message of hospitality in some parts of the Middle East? Have you ever thought of the Middle East without conjuring up the politics of oil and terrorism? Knowing a foreign culture enables us to appreciate the diversity of the human experience at large. It breaks stereotypes and builds bridges of understanding among world citizens. In this course, we will know about Arab culture, identity, cultural productions, and more.

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Topics in Mid East Culture & Society, “Meet the Middle East”

What is common between Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Jobs, and Jesus? (Hint: they all have roots in the Middle East). What is it like to live in the Middle East? What often defines the relationship between the Middle East and the West? These questions and many more will be discussed in our intellectual journey to the Middle East.

Instructor: Asaad Alsaleh

MELC-M 204, Class #: 8182

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