The Liberal Art University in Hong Kong
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New cluster courses

(approved in 2021-22)


Creativity and Innovation Cluster

CLA9028 Soft Power and Translation
Soft power, a term coined by Joseph Nye, refers to “the ability to shape the preferences of others” and a country’s capacity to achieve its purposes through co-opting and persuading others instead of coercing them through military or economic strength (Nye 2004: 5). Translating a country’s cultural products into foreign languages is an important means to increase the country’s soft power. This course introduces the definition of soft power and the relationship between soft power and translation, evaluates the effectiveness of different translation strategies for promoting a country’s soft power, and further explores more creative and innovative ways to translate different cultural products so as to better promote the country’s cultural soft power.

CLA9029 Creative Movement and Dance
This course introduces body movement as a means for creativity and expression. It assumes no previous experience of dance. Contemporary dance techniques will be introduced to expand the bodily potential. Different choreographic skills will also be introduced to expand creativity utilizing the bodily expression. Creativity by different dance artists will be studied to further the knowledge on how creativity is exercised in the contemporary dance world.

CLA9030 The World of Cultural Dances in Hong Kong
Through learning and experiencing cultural dances, this course widens students’ horizon in world cultures. Students will be brought into contact with a variety of dances which are originated from regions and traditions around the world, with some brought by travelers and immigrants to Hong Kong. Examples include a range of cultures in the selected areas of Europe, South America, Africa, India, East Asia and Southeast Asia. Assuming no previous training in dance, the course allows student to explore the origin of those dance styles, intertwined with other artforms including music, costumes and rituals, and how their stylistic evolutions have taken place through time and the changes in cultural environment. Through that the course helps students to build the artistic literacy and appreciation towards the sophistication within any single dance style. The course will emphasize on the experiential learning of these cultural dances through the expression using our bodies, connecting creativity and expression focusing on bodily means.


Humanities and the Arts Cluster

CLB9033 Introduction to Musics of the World and Sustainability
“Sustainability” is often understood as management of finite resources for both present and future use, most commonly with regards to natural resources and often with an eye on possible economic benefits. The study of music and sustainability, however, allows students to reexamine the latter term’s in a deeper level: from the preservation and revitalisation of specific types of endangered music, to community-building and sustenance through music, and finally to the use of music in promoting the protection of the nature. Through studying the experiences of traditional musics around the world, students will engage critically in a range of topics where music and various notions of sustainability meets, such as cultural policy, cultural heritage management, community-building, tourism and economy, activism, conflict and peace-building, well-being, and environmentally-sustainable practices. Students will learn about practical application of these understanding in a final project related to music and sustainability in Hong Kong.


CLB9034 Music Across the Generations: Western Popular Music in the Post-World War II Period
This course will investigate the intersection of music and social evolution in the post-World War II period, between approximately 1945 and 1980. Under the overarching umbrella of “The Development of a Youth Culture and Inter-Generational Dialogue”, it will be organized around three primary topics, focusing on core aspects of those processes: 1) Race and the Civil Rights struggle; 2) the Peace Movement (in particular, resistance to nuclear weapons and to the Vietnam war); 3) the Sexual Revolution and gender issues. For all of these topics, attention will be paid to both social/political developments and relevant musical expressions relating to them, in a variety of music genres but primarily rock ‘n’ roll. No prior musical knowledge or experience is expected.


CLB9035 Korean Pop Culture in a Global Context
Korean popular culture has recently gained critical attention in the global media marketplace. Particularly, Hallyu (the Korean Wave), a term coined in Asia describing the widespread popularity of Korean cultural products and its regional and trans-regional influences, has been prominently addressed by the scholars, the critics, and the fans altogether in many parts of Asia. Through readings, discussions, in-class screenings, and presentations, this introductory course aims to provide a comprehensive view of contemporary Korean culture, society, and politics through examining some of the most representative forms of popular culture.

Science, Technology, Mathematics and Society

CLD9030 The Brain, Mind, and Behaviour
What happens in the brain when you are asleep? Why wouldn’t someone with memory loss forget how to talk? How does the brain solve problems and make decisions? The above questions and many similar ones concern how the mind works, especially in relating brain and neural activities to everyday behaviour. In this course, you will learn the basic principles and knowledge about how the brain works and relate them to various kinds of behaviours and psychological phenomena in your daily life. The beginning of the course will focus on the fundamentals of neuroscience, such as neural units and neural signals, functions and organization of the nervous system, and neural development. The remaining part of the course will connect the basic neuroscience knowledge with various topics in psychology. Examples of such topics include sensation and perception, learning and memory, language, decision making, consciousness, sleep, motivation, social interaction, etc.


Values, Cultures and Societies Cluster

CLE9036 Buy, keep, throw: Consumption as a way of life
Who doesn't love shopping? In Hong Kong, as in many other societies, shopping is a way of life. We buy stuff for sustenance, everyday use, fun, gifting, vanity, identity, social status, to cope with pressure and more. Shopping keeps the economy going, makes our lives more comfortable and enjoyable - or does it? Shopping can also become an addiction, create debts, waste, and take up valuable time and living space. This course examines how meanings, identities and relationships are created by producers and consumers, and what happens to stuff after we bought them. We will also look at shopping and disposal of consumer goods from the perspective of the global economy and environmental sustainability.

CLE9037 Japanese Society
This course introduces students to sociological perspectives on contemporary Japan. Japan is a unique Asian country that (1) had “modernized/industrialized” rapidly in the 19th century; (2) was defeated in World War II and transformed its social system drastically; (3) has achieved remarkable economic growth and been praised for “Japan as Number One” in the mid-20th century; (4) has faced a serious economic recession afterwards and experienced the “Lost Decades”; and (5) now comprises various socio-economic characteristics (e.g., the most aged population worldwide, only Asian country among G7, a high suicide rate, serious gender inequality, modest economic inequality, and popular culture). Among these features, what are peculiar to Japan and what are common across societies including Hong Kong? Why are some of them observed only (or particularly) in Japan? Answering these questions contributes to better understanding not only Japanese society per se but also broader social problems even in other parts of the world. In this course, students will consider the characteristics of contemporary Japan through sociological theories and methods with close attention to 11 topics: population, economy, politics, education, health, work, family, gender, stratification, happiness, and culture. Students will also undertake original research projects to analyse the current situation of Japan from a comparative perspective.

Full list of cluster courses