2021 Clusters & Courses

Cognitive Neuroscience and Law offers an introduction to several important aspects of the study of the brain. Our cluster will include courses that include the basic principles of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and neurochemical processes, as well as a focus on the neurofunctionality of brain and... read more and view courses »

Envisioning Human Rights introduces students to the history and practice of human rights and locates those elements in present-day activism. We will study the original vision of “the human right” as it emerged in the early twentieth century, then ask where and how this vision failed or... read more and view courses »

Does one government have the right to insist on another government’s adherence to human rights standards? Do corporations have an obligation to invest in the communities where they do business? How do we reconcile the need for development and need for conservation? Who gets to decide how natural... read more and view courses »

Discoveries of the genomes of literally thousands of organisms inhabiting this planet have facilitated renewed emphasis on the study of life and its meaning in the social sciences and humanities as well as in the life sciences. For every individual, experiencing and living the implications of such... read more and view courses »

This cluster explores a rich and diverse array of cultures, societies, and histories traditionally associated with global divisions of East and West. How have these geopolitical entities been historically constructed and imagined, represented and misrepresented, lived and inhabited? With a specific... read more and view courses »

Global Energy: Past, Present, and the Future offers an introduction to a wide range of topics related to energy. This interdisciplinary cluster applies approaches and methods from engineering, materials science, and social sciences including economics and history, to solve energy problems. It... read more and view courses »

Health is affected, for better or worse, by almost every human act. Examining human health across regions, populations, and cultures reveals wide variations in health burdens and outcomes. However, how health inequity is generated and determining how to rectify it are complex processes requiring a... read more and view courses »

The Humanitarian Challenges Focus seminars introduce students to global citizenship, the challenges that face societies in our contemporary world, and approaches of both thought and action that address these challenges. "Humanitarian" by definition implies promoting human welfare, social justice,... read more and view courses »

This FOCUS cluster pursues themes associated with Duke's strategic goal of using knowledge in the service of society. Increasingly in American higher education, both public and private institutions are underscoring their commitment to civic engagement in their curricular and co-curricular offerings... read more and view courses »

When is it the right time to bluff in poker and diplomacy? Why do stock markets crash? How should the delivery of global healthcare be managed? And why do people have the values and beliefs that they do? All of these phenomena depend on models for the way that humans make decisions. This cluster,... read more and view courses »

The return of religion to the public sphere in politics and the academy is one of the great surprises of the twenty-first century. It has given rise to new local, national and global politics, and interacts with rapidly advancing science that expands knowledge and human life. This leads to... read more and view courses »

The men and women of the Middle Ages and Renaissance designed, theorized, and explored the world around them with the same enthusiasm and sophistication as today.  The questions and the ideas that moved them still shape our understanding of the relationships and tensions between science and... read more and view courses »

The aim of this Focus cluster is to take a scholarly, interdisciplinary and, we hope, fun approach to science and technology and the ways in which they reach the public. Our cluster will be a cohort of four courses dedicated to various aspects of science’s place in the world, including: patient... read more and view courses »

In this FOCUS cluster, we examine the making and remaking of the United States from a variety of perspectives--historical, political, philosophical, religious, legal and literary. What does America profess to value in its institutions, and what realities does it, in fact, institute? How are we to... read more and view courses »

 Virtual reality, fictional worlds, and games are all over the so-called real world: from education, business, and popular entertainment to how we conduct politics, meet other people, and define ourselves and our communities. Although new technologies make videogames and extended reality prominent... read more and view courses »

Over the last three hundred years, ideas of freedom have changed the world, contributing to the collapse of monarchy, the abolition of slavery, the promotion of women's rights, the rise of national independence movements, the advent of self-government, the rise of capitalism and the rise of... read more and view courses »