When Cultures Collide

Global Change

Examine the scientific, artistic, literary, cultural, and socioeconomic effects of our evolving world. Watch preview video to learn more about this neighborhood.



When Cultures Collide

This neighborhood encourages students to examine the scientific, artistic, literary, cultural, and socioeconomic dimensions of our evolving world. Students in this neighborhood are challenged to think strategically and act ethically in their roles.  They develop the capacity to analyze issues with multiple complexities and develop nuanced perspectives.  Topics of inquiry and exploration include hybridity and diversity in religion, music, and philosophy; the effects of globalization on humanity and the natural world; and the social, political, and cultural ramifications resulting from societal, and natural migrations around the world.
Paul T. Stephenson
Associate Professor
Bush Science Center, room 214B
(407) 646-2481

B.A.  Hartwick College, 1984
M.S. Johns Hopkins University, 1992
Ph.D. University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 1998

My current research interests include investigating the regulation of hydrolytic enzyme secretion in carnivorous pitcher plants (particularly Nepenthes ventricosa), cloning and characterizing candidate enzymes, using fluorescent in situ hybridization to identify their presence in specific tissues, and Real Time PCR to assess their expression.  In 2007 I began a new research project investigating hydrolytic enzymes involved in mixotrophic metabolism of toxic, algal bloom causing dinoflagellates.  Most recently I have begun a population genetics study of White Mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa).  In the past I have worked on projects studying programmed cell death during floral senescence and vascular tissue differentiation.


MacKenzie Moon Ryan

Global Borrowings in Art
Transcript Title: Global Borrowings in Art
Course Number: WCC100A2

Ever wonder why Buddha has a round belly? Why art is full of naked women? Why we call elegant dinnerware “china?” Why Jesus is often represented as a good shepherd? Why ivory is a European luxury item, even though elephants live Africa and Asia? In this class, we will explore artworks as the visual ramifications when cultures collide. We will challenge our initial assumptions that art is quintessentially one thing by looking into histories of trade and exchange to discover how global interactions have influenced art worldwide. By looking to art, we begin to see how our shorthand definitions of both ourselves and others can be complicated. We will explore how meaning can be fluid, changeable, and sometimes open to hijacking when artistic borrowing occurs. Course activities include fieldtrips to local museums and art collections; close readings of works in the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art and at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum.


Eric Zivot

Shakespeare's ARSE:  Agism, Racism, and Sexism Explored
Transcript Title: Shakespeare's ARSE
Course Number: WCC100A3

Why would anyone, today, care what Shakespeare had tosay 400 years ago? What is it about these plays that wouldallow them to be produced so often; even today? The plays allow us a way to examine some of the most difficult,challenging and perhaps intractable problems we face.Whose world will this be; the young or old? Do brown lives matter? Are opportunities equally available to men andwoman or does gender dictate destiny? Why not come andtake a good hard look at Shakespeare's A.R.S.E.?


Susan Lackman

Global Music
Transcript Title: Global Music
Course Number: WCC100A

Music and language are clues to what a culture deems important and how those within that society interact.  By studying music (and, to a lesser extent, curiosities of language) of world cultures, we can find points of universality as well as ways to understand The Other.


Sunni Witmer

Global Pop Music
Transcript Title: Global Pop Music
Course Number: WCC200A5

The pop music aesthetic, which began in the 1960s in the United States and Great Britain, has now moved to all corners of the globe. The study of this worldwide musical
style is the focus of this course. Topics include: the globalization of music and the music industry; the impact of colonialism on local musical traditions; the commodication of culture; musical traditions and modernity; the role of music in politics; and, social diversity in pop music. Associated genres such as rap, hiphop, and reggae will also be explored. In addition to written assignments, listening projects are also assigned. No prior musical background is required to take this course.


Wendy Brandon

Food Democracy
Transcript Title: Food Democracy
Course Number: WCC100C4

In this course, we will provide an historical overview of the U. S. industrialized food system.  We will probe problms created by industrizlized food, examine alternatives, explore connections between food, culture and society by looking at the construction of personal and collective identities in terms of body, race, and ethnicity; class, gender, national, and social movements.


Anne Stone

Intergenerational Communication and Bridging the Digital Divide
Transcript Title: COM Health Disparities
Course Number: WCC201C1

This community engagement course focused on intergenerational communication- how we communicate across and between generations- from a cultural perspective.  We will focus on generations as different cultures and will use knowledge of communication technology and skills to identify and connect the needs of the community partner to bridge the "digital divide."


Ted Gournelos

Popular Culture and Social Change
Transcript Title: Popular Culture and Social Change
Course Number: WCC201C2

This course will examine how popular culture plays a role in social change, both to reflect it and to inspire it.  Students will research case studies of the popular culture of their choice from multiple methods to make a case for why we should see popular culture and social evolution as deeply connected. 


Anca Voicu

Quo Vadis Europe?
Transcript Title: Quo Vadis Europe?
Course Number: WCC201C3

This course covers the European countries’ economic development after WWII to the present day. In doing so it presents an economic framework for understanding the historical past and the change following the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. Focus will be placed on the interconnectedness among various European economies situated in the Eastern and Western parts of the European continent, and their interactions within the international economy.


Amy Parziale

Cultural Conflicts & Collisions in Multiethnic Literature & Film
Transcript Title: Multiethnic Lit & Film
Course Number: WCC100H5.1

Native American Gemma Benton wrote: “Our ancestors knew that healing comes in cycles.  One generation carries the pain so the next can live and heal.” This literature and film course examines the collision of cultures across multiple generations through an intergenerational trauma lens, exploring issues like memory, disaster and imperialism.


David DiQuattro

Labor, Leisure, and Culture
Transcript Title: Labor, Leisure, and Culture
Course Number: WCC200H2

This course will examine several aspects of labor and leisure. Through the works of Josef Pieper, Wendell Berry and others it will raise questions such as the following: What is leisure and what is it for? How is leisure connected to what it means to be a human being? How do modern ideals of ‘busyness’ ‘usefulness’ ‘efficiency’ and others present obstacles to the cultivation of meaningful leisure? Is the vice of sloth connected to boredom and inability to enjoy meaningful leisure more than it is connected to laziness? How is leisure important for stepping back from and critiquing cultural assumptions from within? What does it mean to be connected to a place, and to labor in a way that has regard for preserving that place? Through raising these questions we will gain insight into modernity and the fundamental changes in the rhythms and shape of human life it has wrought.


Patricia Tome

Latin America Through its Cinema
Transcript Title: Latin America Through its Cinema
Course Number: WCC200H6

How has popular cinema portrayed Latin American society and history? How has cinema affected the people and culture of the region? In this class, we will watch feature films from various countries which grapple with various events and issues pertinent to today's society. Through these films we will both critically examine historical developments in Latin America as well as learn about the aesthetic conventions used by narrative films to convey meaning.


Samantha Fonseca

The Science in the Art of da Vinci
Transcript Title: The Science in the Art of da Vinci
Course Number: WCC100S4

Leonardo da Vinci was a man ahead of his time.  He thrived in arts, science and technology, uncovering new directions with scientific art.  We will investigate his life and the breadth and depth of his scientific studies.  The topics include: anatomy and physiology, plant morphology, geology, mechanics, waves, optics, fluid dynamics, civil engineering, ballistics and mathematics. 


Emily Nodine

Springs, Swamps, and Sinkholes
Transcript Title: Springs, Swamps, and Sinkholes
Course Number: WCC200S5

Florida's unique position in the landscape and underlying geology result in a delicate mosaic of interacting land and water that has been affected by little but the rise and fall of sea level for millions of years... until humans came along. People as early as the native Americans have tried to tame Florida’s wilderness and reshape the landscape to suit their own needs. Following European colonization, people largely succeeded at “reclaiming” its wetlands for their own purposes, realizing only recently that doing so threatens the natural systems and creatures that we too depend upon. Springs, Swamps, and Sinkholes examines the natural processes of Florida ecosystems, with a focus on wetlands and waterways, to evaluate how human influence has altered diverse habitats, how it might be employed to repair them, and how we might forge a path toward co-existence in this landscape.


Bobby Fokidis

How to connect the dots. Science and pseudoscience
Transcript Title: How to connect the dots. Science and pseudoscience
Course Number: WCC200S6

Never in history has such unprecedented scientific knowledge been available.  Yet discourse between the public, policiticians, and scientitsts has never been more at odds.  This course explores  scientific controversies and teaches the biological concepts needed to test the validity of pseudoscientific claims, such as conspiracies and myths about human health.


Maurice O'Sullivan

Florida in History and Legend
Transcript Title: Florida Crime Fiction and Film
Course Number: WCC300

How have Floridians sorted out the radically different visions of the Sunshine State offered by colonists and natives, Northern snowbirds and Cuban immigrants, conchs and crackers, developers and environmentalists? This class will explore literary and legendary, cinematic and political collisions over Florida’s identity during the past 500 years.


Sunni Witmer

The Role of Music in the Political and Social Justice Movements in the America
Transcript Title: Music and Politics in the Americas
Course Number: WCC302

This course focuses on the role music has played, and continues to play, in influencing and de၁ning political and social justice movements throughout the diverse societies of the Americas. Theoretical constructs such as nationalism, identity, ethnicity, race, and class, as they relate to music, will be examined.


Lisa Tillmann

Incarceration and Inequality
Transcript Title: Incarceration and Inequality
Course Number: WCC305

Walter Scott, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice: two men of color and a Black boy of 12. Any of us can watch video of their deaths at the hands of police. What is--and ought to be--the relationship between the US criminal justice system and the communities it "serves and protects"? How can our engagement as citizens bring more justice to our justice system? Course may count as CMC elective.