2023 Clusters & Courses (We are in the process of updating cluster information for fall 2023!)

Cognitive Neuroscience and Law

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 » for the Cognitive Neuroscience and Law cluster.

Ethics, Leadership & Global Citizenship

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 » for the Ethics, Leadership & Global Citizenship cluster.

Exploration of Genetics and Genomics

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 » for the Exploration of Genetics and Genomics cluster.

Geopolitics & Culture

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 » for the Geopolitics & Culture cluster.

Global Energy: Past, Present, and Future

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 » for the Global Energy: Past, Present, and Future cluster.

Global Health: Problems and Paradigms

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 » for the Global Health: Problems and Paradigms cluster.

Humanitarian Challenges

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 » for the Humanitarian Challenges cluster.

It’s Not Too Late to Build a Better World

It is almost a cliché to say the world is facing cataclysmic crises—of governance, of the environment, of inequality in wealth, opportunities, and capacities. Many reformers confront big challenges like these with proposals that essentially tinker at the margins and stop short of exposing deeper… read more and view courses » for the It’s Not Too Late to Build a Better World cluster.

Knowledge in the Service of Society

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 » for the Knowledge in the Service of Society cluster.

Medicine, Ethics, and Health Policy

Medicine, Ethics, and Health Policy will include courses that explore policy issues in end of life care by considering personal and societal ethical issues, help students to develop scientific, clinical, and social perspectives on the issue of addiction and substance abuse disorders, and help… read more and view courses » for the Medicine, Ethics, and Health Policy cluster.

Modeling in Economic and Social Sciences

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 » for the Modeling in Economic and Social Sciences cluster.

Science and Religion in Public Life

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 » for the Science and Religion in Public Life cluster.

Science and the Public

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 » for the Science and the Public cluster.

Scientists, Artists, and Polymaths in the Renaissance

Scientists, Artists, and Polymaths in the Renaissance explores the role of creativity, discovery, and innovative thinking in the intertwined histories of art and science. Although the arts and sciences have in more recent days been considered two distinct branches of human knowledge, this was not… read more and view courses » for the Scientists, Artists, and Polymaths in the Renaissance cluster.

The American Experiences

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 » for the The American Experiences cluster.

Thinking through Music and the Arts

Immersion in the Duke departments and programs in music and the arts is an important backdrop for this new Focus cluster that brings artists and musicians to the classroom, as well as taking students to performances in music, theatre, film, and visual arts.  The opportunity to combine research,… read more and view courses » for the Thinking through Music and the Arts cluster.

Virtual Realities, Fictional Worlds, and Games

 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 » for the Virtual Realities, Fictional Worlds, and Games cluster.

Visions of Freedom

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 » for the Visions of Freedom cluster.