Region Courses

To gain historical, political, and cultural knowledge depth related to one part of the world, ICS majors choose a Region concentration and complete four courses chosen from an ICS-approved list of Region courses, or taken during a study abroad program.

These four Region courses must originate from at least two disciplinary or interdisciplinary departments (which is how Duke courses are listed on the ICS course page) and meet ICS region criteria. A region may be chosen from the following options:

  • Africa
  • China and East Asia
  • Europe
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Middle East
  • Russia and Central Asia
  • South Asia
  • Transregional *

These broad regions are based on historical, cultural, political and/or economic histories of connection. Many of the courses offered at Duke fall into these categories. However, ICS also recognizes that the world has experienced connection and rupture through the often violent and uneven historic and contemporary processes of imperialism, colonization, and globalization.

We encourage students who are interested in transregional projects to speak with an ICS advisor and discuss the possibility of creating an alternative plan of study. Possible areas of focus include The Black Atlantic, Asian American and Diaspora, Mediterranean Studies, Indian Ocean, etc.

*Please work with your adviser and the ICS DUS to present a thoughtful and intentional proposal to the DUS that includes a brief paragraph explaining what holds your site together, a list of possible courses (these can extend across both global comparative and region requirements for the major, and language study). You might make an argument for more than one language relevant to your proposal.

Region Criteria

Region courses focus on cultural, social, historical, political, economic, and/or identity dynamics; course content is theoretically informed; course content empirically engages with fieldwork, archives, literary, artistic, and cultural artifacts or processes, and/or statistical data; course content largely focuses on a particular place or region; and course content examines dynamics that occurred at any time from 1500 to the present, although it may include content that began in earlier periods.

Depth Requirements in Region and Global Courses

To ensure depth, ICS majors are allowed no more than one course at the 100 level ito fulfill the eight courses required for Region and Global categories.

ICS majors are required to take at least one approved ICS course at the 400 level or above in the Region or Global categories. The second semester of the honors thesis course sequence does not exempt majors from this requirement.

ICS treats study abroad courses approved for Region or Global as intermediate — between 200 and 399.