Full course descriptions for upcoming classes



Illinois Global Institute recently announced a grant initiative that supported course development across the Urbana campus. A total of 33 courses in 22 departments across 6 colleges and schools are now being developed as on-line or hybrid classes. These classes focus on global learning and are intended to bridge and connect students to our world through creative pedagogies and new methods and materials.


The Illinois Global Institute is comprised of ten area and global studies centers and thematic programs: Center for African Studies; Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies; Center for Global Studies; Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies; European Union Center; The Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies; Program in Arms Control and Domestic and International Security; Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center; Women and Gender in Global Perspectives.



ACE 251 – The World Food Economy
Hope Michelson
This course examines recent, rapid, continuing changes in the global demand for food, and in its supply and distribution. We will use basic economic concepts to understand systems of food demand and supply, and to study how changes in these systems impact populations, markets and the environment. We will pay special attention to population growth, income growth, technological change, and natural resources as influences on food production and consumption. We will also look at how nation states try to ensure food security with policy initiatives, and the role of international markets in balancing supply and demand.

ANTH 499 – Anthropology of Policing
Jeffrey T. Martin
Introduction to the study of policing, using anthropological theories and methods. Includes a comparative historical survey of the diverse forms of power and authority which have been bundled into modern ideas of police, considers a range of authors contributing to contemporary debates about policing in anthropology, and supports student research on both theoretical and engaged topics. This semester’s focal topic will be a comparative study of policing in the People’s Republic of China and the United States of America. Against the backdrop of the very different ways these two countries utilized their police powers in response to the novel Coronavirus pandemic, we will explore the deeper meaning of “policing” in light of the contrast between China’s historical experience with revolutionary policing, and the aspirational idea of “police abolition” which has recently emerged from America’s ostensibly liberal tradition of governance.

ARCH 321 – Environment, Architecture, and Global Health
Christina Bollo
This course surveys current research at the intersection of the built environment, health, and well-being. It emphasizes relationships among people and multiple scales of the environments they inhabit and the health and well-being consequences of these relationships. It comparatively
examines these relationships within a broad range of Western and Non-Western cultures and contexts by introducing significant historical and contemporary theories, data of relevance, research processes, and applications in environmental design and planning processes. To improve person-environment fit, the roles of social groups, institutions, and organizations in the person environment-health/well-being nexus within various cultural and geographic contexts are examined and compared.

ARTH 110 – Introduction to the History of Art and Visual Culture
David O’Brien
This course introduces participants to foundational questions that shape the disciplines of art history and visual studies. It is not a comprehensive survey. Rather, it provides students critical frames for examining the visual world from various temporal, geographic, and methodological perspectives. Students will investigate the history, interpretation, and criticism of selected cultural objects, images, places, and spaces across time and around the globe.

This course satisfies the General Education Criteria in Fall 2020 for:
Cultural Studies - Western
Humanities – Lit & Arts

BCS 115 – South Slavic Cultures
David Cooper
Exploration of South Slavic cultures in the historically rich and complex region sometimes referred to as “the Balkans,” focusing particularly on those groups found within the successor states of the former Yugoslavia. Critical look at the traditional view of the region as the crossroads or the bridge between East and West, and at the term Balkanization which has become a pejorative term used to characterize fragmented, and self-defeating social systems.  This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for:  
Cultural Studies - Non-West; Social & Beh Sci - Soc Sci

CHIN 201 – Elementary Chinese I
Chilin Shih
Introduction to Mandarin Chinese, including basic skills in speaking, reading, and writing. Not open to students with a background in Chinese language.

EALC 250 – Introduction to Japanese Culture
Christopher Thane Callahan
This course is an historical and topical introduction to Japanese Culture, which begins by examining the sources of Japanese culture and identity in the ancient past and then traces the development of Japanese culture through history up to present day Japanese society. Although it is common to regard “Japan” as a homogenous society and “Japanese culture” as a monolithic and unchanging whole, our approach will demonstrate the heterogeneous, dynamic and ever-changing complexity of Japanese culture and society, mindful of the varying ways both Japanese and others have defined and re-defined who “the Japanese” are and what their culture was and is.

EALC 398-D – Yellow Peril Redux: From Coolies to Communism, Trade Wars and Coronavirus
Dan Shao
This undergraduate seminar bridges the disciplinary gap between cultural, economic and political studies of U.S.-East Asian interactions. It aims to introduce to students an interdisciplinary study of the historical roots and cultural idioms beneath the contemporary economic and political debates concerning the “Trade Wars” and the pandemic caused by coronavirus, beneath the broader popular rhetoric and political policies that deeply impacts people’s daily life and contributes to the divisive acrimony in U.S.-East Asian relations. Students will study Yellow Peril across the demarcation between humanities, economics, law and business, and between theoretical and empirical research. Students will be trained to examine primary sources from a variety of genres, including legal cases, news reports, films, political cartoons and governmental documents from the late 19th century to the present. Topics to be covered include Origins of Yellow Peril, Vincent Chin and Japanese Cars, Industrial/Corporate Espionage and Law, Politicians on Trade War, Science and National Interests, The Japan / China that Can Say No, Coronavirus and Yellow Peril Redux. Our interdisciplinary approach and transnational topics will help to translate academic research to classroom teaching and address real-life concerns faced by people from various walks of life in this era of community reconstruction via cross-border cultural and economic confrontation, controversies, communications and conversations.

EALC/CWL 275 – Masterpieces of East Asian Literatures
Jingling Chen
What do holy monks, star-crossed lovers, and shapeshifting monsters have in common? In this course, we will read some of the great classics of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese literature, and explore the rich socio-cultural contexts behind these works. You will gain a finer appreciation of these cultures and hone your critical skills. Works covered include The Tale of the Genji, The Journey to the West, and The Story of the Stone, and some most famous poems from the area.

EURO 199 – Smart Cities
Walther Glodstaf, Emanual Rota
This course examines the concept of ‘Smart Cities’ with examples from four European Cities – Paris, Vienna, Rome, and Granada – that vary in size, their culture, and ways in which they have implemented the EU guidelines for ‘Smart Cities’. We will be looking at an array of questions such as:
What is a ‘Smart City’? How did the concept evolve?
How is it applied today in a wide range of critical domains of a functioning city such as sustainability, food-production chains, infrastructure, technology and energy management?
How are perceptions of ‘Smart City’ shaped by culture?
What must the future ‘Smart City’ look like to deal with challenges such as pandemics, economic crises, and climate change etc.?

GLBL 100 – Introduction to Global Studies
Timothy Wedig, Charles Fogelman, Valeria Bonatti, David Schrag, and Alyssa Bralower
Foundation course for understanding a range of contemporary issues and learning to analyze them from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Students consider globalizing trends within themes of wealth and poverty; population, cultures, and human rights; environment and sustainability; and governance, conflict, and cooperation. Course objectives are to enhance knowledge of human cultures, their interactions and impacts on the world; develop skills for successfully negotiating realities of contemporary societies; and promote values for global learning, diversity, and sustainable futures. This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for Social and Behavioral Sciences and Western Comparative Studies.

GLBL 240 – Global Health
Valeria Bonatti
The course provides an introduction to issues and problems in global health. As the world becomes more and more interconnected it is important for students to be aware of health issues from a global perspective. We will consider a variety of issues that influence the health of different populations and countries. The topics to be discussed include: the environment, nutrition, education, the medical system, culture, and agency involvement in health. Case studies will be used to demonstrate some successes at addressing these issues and problems that were encountered.

GLBL 350 – Poverty in a Global Context
Charles Fogelman
Examines global poverty in the context of international development debates and practice. Despite global commitments (for example, the Millennium Development Goals), decades of research, and new and innovative policies, the “solution” to widespread and lasting poverty alleviation remains elusive. Class will define poverty and how it is measured, considered who is poor and why some people are more vulnerable to the negative effects of poverty than others, and examine what causes some countries to remain poor.

GWS 363 – Gender, Health and Popular Culture
Karen Flynn
In this interdisciplinary course, we explore the role popular culture including television, magazines, newspapers, and social media, to name a few-play in the representation and dissemination of health information broadly conceived. This course is thematic and addresses relevant and current issues plaguing our society both locally and globally. The course begins with the theoretical and analytical framework that will serve as a basis for class discussions and assignments. While gender is a key category of analysis, we utilize an intersectional analysis that considers how markers of difference, such as race (including whiteness), age, ability, sexuality, religion, class and nationality affect the ways that we think about health and constructions of gender.

HIST 104 – Black Music
Marc Hertzman
What is black music, and how do we know what we think we know about it? Together, we will examine musical creations pioneered by Africans and individuals of African descent over several centuries and across hemispheres. Doing so will allow us to consider the unity of the African Diaspora and its music, and also examine internal differences and diversity. Special focus is given to Latin America and the U.S., but, depending on the semester, we will also read about, listen to, and talk about music and musicians in Asia, Africa, and Europe.

HIST 260 – Russian History from Early Times to the Present: Experience, Imagination, and Power
Mark Steinberg
The history of “Russia” (Rus, Muscovy, Imperial Russia, the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation) from medieval times to the present. Although an introductory “survey course,” my aim is that we look beneath the surface of events to explore how individuals and groups experienced, interpreted, and made their own history. Most readings are primary texts, created at the time, so that we can listen to the past in its own voices as we try to understand, explain, and interpret. Three large (and related) interpretive questions are at the center of our exploration—experience (especially the experiences of everyday life); imagination (ways of thinking, feeling, seeing, and dreaming as expressed in ideas, ideologies, religion, and art); and power (rulers and their ideals as well as dissent and rebellion).
SPECIAL NOTE: This course will be on-line (both synchronous and asynchronous) until we are assured of safe classroom gatherings. We lose some valuable experiences in being remote from barrier-free classrooms and from each other. But we can also make positive changes and take advantage of these forms. I have done my best to figure out the best forms and structures for on-line learning. I am still learning. Above all, I ask that we regularly talk about what we can do to make the course in this format better. Your input is essential, in advance and throughout the course.
- Lectures will be available asynchronously.
- Discussions of readings will be live at the regular course time.

HIST/EALC 120 – East Asian Civilizations
Roderick Wilson
This course provides a survey of the past four centuries of East Asian history from the political and economic heights of the Qing Empire in China, the Choson dynasty in Korea, and the Tokugawa shogunate in Japan through the turbulent decades of imperialism, colonialism, nationalism, and industrialization to the region’s resurgence in the 1980s and 1990s. To help make sense of this long history, the course is subdivided into the following four chronological units: Era of Growth and Stability; the Nineteenth-Century Transformation; Alternate Modernities; and East Asia since 1945. Across these four periods, you will encounter a variety of historical sources that introduce you to all manner of people - the high, the low, women, men, outcastes, foreigners, and ethnic minorities. The sum of these voices and experiences should provide you with a broad understanding of people’s experiences in early modern and modern East Asia.

JAPN 203 – Intermediate Japanese I
Misumi Sadler
Students practice conversational skills at an intermediate level within a variety of everyday practical situations. For example, they give directions on certain things, and describe their future plans and what has to be done to accomplish their goals. Their reading and writing skills are expanded at a discourse level. They learn how to use transitional devices and a variety of clause connective devices to read/write longer texts as well as how to write functional materials including directions, thank you letters, Japanese resume.

JAPN 305 – Advanced Japanese I
Misumi Sadler
JAPN 305 is specifically for students who have successfully completed 250~300 instruction hours of Japanese study. The course solidifies the grammar, vocabulary and kanji foundation built during students’ study at the beginning level, and expands their four language skills (i.e. listening, speaking, reading, and writing) and the socio-cultural knowledge they need for communication.

KOR 201 – Elementary Korean I
Jeeyoung Ahn Ha
FA 2020 KOR 201 will be taught as remote instruction and require students to meet synchronously for 50 minutes on MTWRF. This course will provide a communicative learning environment through Zoom, Moodle, Google Doc, Padlet, Quizlet, and Flipgrid. Students will be asked to turn on their cameras during class meetings and upload digital images and videos of their works as well. Before each class, students are required to study the vocabulary through online activities, read the textbook, and watch a short lecture slide, as class time is assigned to real-life based practices and communicative activities, where students will practice reading, listening, speaking and writing through tasks.

The course starts from the Korean Alphabet (Hangul), and students will learn basic vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structures as well as commonly used expressions. Each lesson is situation or topic-based and consists of model dialogues, narration, and oral and written wrap-up tasks. Topics include daily activities and personal environment such as campus life, classes, daily routines, hobbies, etc. Students will be expected to engage in vocabulary-building, target structure-focused, and simple, routine conversational tasks in various formats and learn to use culturally appropriate expressions for familiar settings.

KOR 221 – Korean Reading and Writing I
Jeeyoung Ahn Ha
FA 2020 KOR 221 will be taught as remote instruction and require students to meet synchronously for 50 minutes on MTWR. This course will provide a communicative learning environment through Zoom, Moodle, Google Doc, Padlet, Quizlet, and Flipgrid. Students will be asked to turn on their cameras during class meetings and upload digital images and videos of their works as well. Before each class, students are required to study the vocabulary through online activities and read the textbook, as class time is assigned to real-life based practices and communicative activities, where students will practice reading, listening, speaking and writing through tasks.
This course is designed to help students achieve Novice high or Intermediate Low level of proficiency in the Korean language. Students will learn basic vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structures as well as commonly used expressions. Each lesson is situation or topic-based and consists of a model conversation, narration, reading, and oral and written wrap-up tasks that will expose students to Korean culture and help them acquire intercultural competence as well. Topics include daily activities and personal environment such as introduction, family and friends, campus life, hobbies, etc. Students will be engaged in vocabulary-building and target structure-focused class activities and tasks in various formats that they can utilize in real life contexts. At the course completion, students should be comfortable in simple communication on familiar topics.

LAST 170 – Introduction to Latin America and the Caribbean
Ellen Moodie
Interdisciplinary introduction to the ways of life of Latin American peoples, their origins and current expressions; discusses social, economic issues, and domestic and international policies related to them in the context of other societies in developing countries.

LER 199 – Global Women Workers in the 21st Century
Emily E. LB. Twarog
This course explores the evolution over time of the social, political, and economic construction of the “woman worker.” We will study a series of 21st century case studies from countries such as Turkey, India, Brazil, Cambodia, England, Nigeria, US, and South Africa. We will also explore how various global institutions rely on the perpetuation of gender imbalances. Women’s public and private lives globally have been defined by social construction and the needs of capitalism.

MUS 132 – Popular Music Studies; Topic: Music of Puerto Rico
Carlos Roberto Ramierz
This course will provide a cultural history of popular music genres of Puerto Rico and its diaspora. The course will be organized in three units: Unit One will be a historical survey of Puerto Rican popular musical genres; Unit Two will have a strong emphasis on the intersection of music and the politics of race, class and gender; Unit Three presents a series of case studies in reggaeton—arguably one of the most popular contemporary Latin genres—and highlight the ways reggaeton has developed from a localized underground Caribbean genre into a commercially successful global pop phenomenon that incorporates diverse Latin American and international styles.

MUS 133 – Introduction to World Music
Donna A. Buchanan
An interdisciplinary, introductory survey exploring traditional, popular, and classical music styles from around the world from an ethnomusicological, anthropological, and area/cultural studies perspective. Course units demonstrate how music—and sound in general—is investigated and appreciated as a form of human expression whose significance is situated in sociocultural context. Primary course objectives are to provide an understanding of how music interacts with other expressive media (e.g., dance, textiles, visual art) and sociocultural domains (e.g., belief, ecology, language, economics, healing, politics, and social structure); and to enhance student abilities to listen to and comprehend the music of their own societies and those of other peoples. Through a series of case studies, students learn basic musical concepts, the musical specifics of various geographic areas (instruments, genres, artists, identifying features), and some of the many ways that musical practice and social process are co-constituitive around the globe. What can music tell us about the diversity and interconnectedness of human life? About humanity itself? About the world around us? How and why music makes us human, what and how music “means,” and why music matters are fundamental questions that this course strives to

MUS 418B/518B – Regional Studies in Musicology: Eurasian Musical Excursions
Donna A. Buchanan
Startling vocal polyphonies and shimmering string ensembles. Gymnastic dancing and chivalric epics. Mythologies of musical magic and medicine. Songs of valor, love, and anguish. This interdisciplinary course explores the legacy of traditional musical life in Armenia, Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine—four contemporary Eurasian countries that are, on the one hand, nations with lengthy and complex political histories, and on the other, recently established post-Soviet states that are also the site of ongoing strife and ethnic conflict. Although the syllabus is organized by country, at least five factors will emerge as intercultural links across this complicated area: shared Christian heritage; a history of sharply delineated gender codes; a legacy of Russian and Soviet imperialism; the contemporary experience of postsocialism on the cusp of a rapidly changing Asia, Europe, and Middle East; and cultural repositories of indigenous beliefs whose folkloric, ritual, and musical manifestations intertwine fundamentally with the natural world. Course topics will survey the history, regional distribution, popularization, and social significance of vernacular musics in diverse media and venues—from the fields to the festival stage to flashmobs. Course materials will draw upon recordings, music videos, literary works, and films in addition to anthropological, area, and ethnomusicological studies. Whenever possible, students will engage first-hand with representative instruments, vocal practices, and regional specialists. While the ability to hear, identify, and understand the significance of regional genres and their distinguishing features is a primary course objective, students from both within and outside the School of Music are encouraged to enroll; instructor expectations will be modified accordingly. Graduate students from outside Music who wish to register for MUS 518 should contact the instructor for permission.

PSYC 235 (AL1, AB1, AB2) – Introduction to Statistics
Michelle Y. Wang
Development of skill and understanding in the application of statistical methods to problems in psychological research; topics include descriptive statistics, probability theory and distributions, point and interval estimation, and hypothesis testing. During the present online course transition, it is likely that the description may be modified to reflect the new development.

RST 150 – Foundations of Tourism
Carla Santos
Survey of travel and tourism with emphasis upon tourist behavior, motivations, preferences,
decision-making, attractions, transportation services, facilities and information sources. Examines travel and tourism as an element of leisure service delivery from an interdisciplinary perspective.

RUSS/ENG 322; CWL 324 – Dostoevsky
Harriet Murav
What brings people together in a deeply divided society? Reading a Russian novel together, slowly and carefully—on Zoom. We read one novel, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s last work, The Brothers Karamazov. Terrorism, political and economic uncertainty, and religious revival characterized Russia in the 1870s. Dostoevsky grappled with the major questions of his era and ours. His characters debate the causes of crime, economic inequality, and the meaning of sin and redemption. A revolutionary as a young man, Dostoevsky was sentenced to death, but was reprieved. He doubted religion, and yet later proclaimed his belief in the resurrection of the body and eternal life. In The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky asks: if there is no God, is everything permitted? How are we each responsible for everyone? No Russian, no long paper. Lots of conversation and a mock trial.

SAME 250 – Introduction to Middle East Studies
Angela Williams
This course introduces students to studies of the region known as the “Middle East”. How this region has been defined will be the topic of the first week of class. The Middle East is remarkably diverse geographically and culturally. Advancements in human development – such as writing systems, mathematics, sciences, as well as religious practices – have their origins in this region, home to what has been called “the cradle of civilization.” Despite this, a general understanding of the history and contemporary developments in the region remain understudied in U.S. education. The multidisciplinary materials in this course aim to teach students to think critically about the region’s representation and scholarship around it and to determine how, within their own fields of study, knowledge of the Middle East can be used in their future careers To this end, the course has an extensive breadth – touching on the historical developments that shape the identities in this region as well as the modern-day representations coming from the region. Throughout this course students will gain an appreciation of the developments to human civilization that have originated in the region and be introduced to some of the important pressing social, political, cultural and environmental issues today, giving students a foundation to be able to continue to take courses on the region and develop expertise within their own field and majors. Students will also be making self-reflections on their own perceptions of the region, how those perceptions have been shaped and how they have changed over time and may change over the course of the class.

SOC 162 – International Health Policy
Caitlin Vitosky Clarke
Introduction to International Health Policy is a fully online and asynchronous course, meaning it does not meet at a particular time. The course introduces students to global health issues from a sociological perspective. Topics include but are not limited to: Colonial Medicine, Structural Violence, Social Constructions of Health and Disease, Water Supply and Sanitation, Epidemics, Pandemics, and Syndemics, Maternal Health, Infectious Diseases, Noncommunicable Diseases, and Mental Health.  Our world is increasingly interconnected, resulting in greater attention, urgency, and awareness of the impact of health and illness globally. In this course we will examine the global distribution of disease, including persistent and emerging health disparities. We will examine the historical approaches and changes in international health policy, including the in-depth examination of several major cases. Lastly, we will consider how major organizations and healthcare systems work to improve global health, including the successes and challenges that these systems face.

UP 246 – International Environmental Planning and Governance
Sean Kennedy
Examines the environmental pressures affecting and created by cities and urbanization in the global South. Students will learn about the historical and contemporary drivers of environmental change and the potential implications of new planning approaches to current and future environmental challenges. Activities include interactive class discussions, small group exercises, and a team-based project in which students design collaborative planning interventions to address specific environmental issues in an international city of their choice.

UP 260 – Social Inequalities and Planning
Ken Salo
In this class we explore how interacting social inequalities of ‘race’, class, and gender shape and associated conflicts are shaped by processes of uneven urban development. We explore these interactions in three steps to develop an argument that social inequalities are historical products of interacting everyday social and spatial conflicts. Firstly, we frame current social conflicts as surface expressions of historical or deep-rooted socio-spatial inequalities. We then study classical and critical theories or explanations for how social inequalities of ‘race’, class and gender shape and are shaped by urban spatial forms. Lastly, we explore case studies of how collective movements of urban residents reproduce and resist dominant forms of urban development that segregate cities into suburban enclaves for its rich, racialized white 1% and inner-city ghettoes for its poor and racialized non-white 99% residents. Students will write four reviews of assigned readings; post reviews of class discussions and create a story map of how a current urban social movement is challenging social inequalities of race, gender and class and segregated places.

UP 423 – Community Development in Global South
Faranak Miraftab
Introduces students to the main theoretical frameworks and conceptual building blocks of urban
and community development in the global South. It helps students to develop a critical grassroots focused understanding of the approaches to development planning, the notion of community participation and empowerment, and the role of various actors including the non-government organizations and the community-based groups. This course caters to upper level undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in working in the field of international development as volunteers or as development practitioners and professionals through non-profit groups, international development organizations, or other public or private development agencies. The course aims to establish the links between the conceptual understanding of development at a macro level, and its practice at the community level. In the analyses of community development strategies, there is an emphasis on the range of actors involved in these processes. These include the poor, non-governmental and community-based organizations, as well as public agencies and international organizations. Examples and case studies from Africa, Latin America and Asia will be brought into the course and class discussions to achieve an understanding of variations and similarities of the problems faced and solutions achieved in addressing issues of community development in these contexts.

VCM 547 – Global One Health
Will Sander
Students will be exposed through lectures from visiting and invited guests, small group discussions, readings, and projects to various facets and health problems in both public and veterinary health globally with emphasis on low-income countries. Emphasis will be on how to understand and work within the frameworks at the national and international level to address the biggest challenges and coming threats of the health of people and animals. The survey of topics will provide a foundational understanding for further in-depth study and work in international health.

The Illinois Global Institute is comprised of ten area study centers and thematic programs: Center for African Studies; Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies; Center for Global Studies; Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies; European Union Center; The Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies; Program in Arms Control and Domestic and International Security; Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center; Women and Gender in Global Perspectives.