Most courses on politics and international relations focus on such issues as power, political economy, the military and military balance, diplomacy and inter-governmental relations. There is a missing agenda in the study of world affairs — and that is the role of culture at both the national and global level. This course seeks to explore how differences in culture contribute to the shaping of political actions, relations and policies internationally, and to understanding the nature of hegemonic and counter-hegemonic discourses engendered by the global hierarchy of cultures. This dual theme will be explored in the context of the functioning of language, literature, and popular culture as sites of cultural encounters with international political ramifications. Finally, in addition to providing a specifically cultural framework for understanding national and international politics and political relations, the course will show how political ideologies rooted in cultural difference and cultural hierarchies have responded to and/or led to the galvanization of languages, literary texts, and popular culture to influence politics at the national and international levels.