Fall 2014 RCC Courses

All incoming first-year and transfer students will be registered in an RCC course for their first semester at Rollins. Check out the course offerings below for Fall 2014!

Rollins College Conference (RCC)

Rollins College Conferences are drawn from all academic disciplines—encompassing the arts, the sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences.

I Like to Move It Move It
Missy Barnes
This course will focus on a variety of movement forms. Students will learn about functional anatomy, and explore a variety of movement approaches including the Alexander Technique, Viewpoints, Laban Movement, and dance. This class will be held in the dance studio and students will be expected to regularly engage in physical activities. Because there are no street shoes allowed in the dance studio, students enrolled in the course will be required to work with bare feet during class.

Making Movies
Dr. Bill Boles
Nowadays everyone carries a movie camera in their pocket. And thanks to some inventive apps, you can put together a movie, for example, of your visit to the Magic Kingdom while waiting in line for Space Mountain. However, while everyone can make a film, not everyone can be called a filmmaker. In this class students will have an immersive experience related to the making of movies. Over the course of the semester students will make eight to ten short films, working individually and in groups. In addition, they will also learn how to write a screenplay, while craft the first act of a full length film script. NOTE: The expectation of students enrolled in the course is that they have some experience making movies. If a student has questions, please contact the professor.

Rollins: Making It Up As You Go Along
Dr. David Charles
Explore theatre without a script in this conference course designed for students who like living on the edge! In the tradition of Theatresports, ComedySportz, Sak Comedy Lab, Spolin Games and Whose Line Is It Anyway, students will discover the excitement of creating theatre on the spot, investigating story elements, scene structures and comedic devices. Learn how to find order in chaos, stories from silence, and laughter from the seemingly absurd. "Rollins: Making It Up As You Go Along" is the course for those seeking comfort on the stage, sharpened leadership skills and who wish to uncover the untapped potentials of group creation in a fun-filled on-you-feet environment! Whether you loved working on your high school theatre productions, or always wondered what life was like in front of the footlights, this is the class for you.

Fight Club, God, and the Buddha
Dr. Mario D'Amato
What does the movie “Fight Club” have to do with religion? A lot. A number of contemporary films contain more or less explicit messages about the meaning of life and death, the possibility of salvation, the ultimate aims of human existence, and other issues that have traditionally belonged to the domain of religious discourse. In this course we will closely examine some of these films, reading them as texts alongside other texts. That is to say, we will study these films in conjunction with readings on religion. We will examine films such as “Donnie Darko,” “Thelma and Louise,” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” and our readings will discuss aspects of Buddhism, Taoism, and Kabbalah. The primary aim of this course will be to train ourselves to be more reflective about the religious messages conveyed in contemporary film.

American Exceptionalism or Dysfunctionalism?
Dr. Donald Davison
American Exceptionalism or Dysfunctionalism explores the seeming craziness of one of the greatest democracies in history. How can the world’s most powerful democracy appear to be so dysfunctional? Why is one political party willing to close government and threaten default on the U.S. debt? What makes the Tea Party so powerful when it represents only a minority of the population? Why is the American view of the responsibility of the state for the poor and vulnerable different from the developed democracies of Europe? Is America in decline, or does its strength lie in society, in spite of its elected leaders? 

The course compares the American political system to politics and policies in other countries, especially the European democracies. Students will consider the uniqueness of the American political system and learn the sources of its current dysfunction. The course is especially designed for international students who desire an introduction to the American system, but is open to everyone who wants to appreciate the fundamental sources of American political dysfunction.

German on the Fast Track
Dr. Nancy Decker
The subject of our Conference will be “German on the Fast Track” and it is just that -- elementary German and fast! German is an extremely useful language for anyone interested in high tech, continental philosophy, tourism, the automotive industry, beer brewing, protecting the environment, world class soccer, classical music, techno, or dog obedience training (just to name a few). In this course, which meets five days a week, you will earn the equivalent of two semesters of course credit in elementary German.


The course is limited to those students with no more than one year of high school German. The course is also not appropriate for students who have spent more than six weeks in a German-speaking area. The idea is to learn the basics of German so that you can advance quickly in the language and then spend some time overseas. Participants will be well on the way toward preparing themselves for a semester abroad at our partner universities in either Bremen or Munich or for the Dual Degree Program at the University of Reutlingen.

Rollins Book Club (AMP RCC)
Dr. Margot Fadool
Rollins Book cCub is just what the name implies – a book club.  The objective of this course is to kick start your journey toward becoming a global citizen. We will read and discuss books from a variety of cultures around the world. You will learn about the early days of the Cuban revolution, living on the streets in India, foot binding in China and other cultural phenomena.

The Mystics: Drugs, Eroticism, and the Occult
Dr. Todd French
Whether through drugs, extreme forms of love, secret communities, or other unique technologies of the body and mind, the Mystic has employed every tool imaginable in the quest for experiencing the divine. This course will ask what mysticism is and how it has been constructed in various communities throughout history. Students will read the great mystical texts of ancient worlds—including Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Christian, Islamic and Taoist traditions—as well as assess how contemporary authors and philosophers have understood the mystical endeavor. A foundational question the course will address is whether the mystical experience is available through personal technologies of the body, or is a communal endeavor, constructed through religious tradition? We will employ documentary film, guest speakers from various traditions, and primary texts in our quest for understanding The Mystics.

Exploring Marine Biology
Dr. Fiona Harper
Three-quarters of our planet is covered by another world, a world of fascinating creatures, strange interactions and incredibly diverse ecosystems. In this conference course, we will explore this other world, known as the marine environment and the organisms that live there. Selected groups of marine organisms will be used to develop an understanding of biological processes and principles that are basic to all forms of life in the sea. As we investigate the ecology of marine ecosystems, we will examine their vulnerability to the impacts of human activities and explore ways in which we can preserve these habitats 

Marine biology, like all sciences, is a dynamic and active field of research. Every day new species of marine organisms are described and even new coral reefs are discovered, like the 667 acre reef off the coast of Thailand found in February 2006. This course makes extensive use of technology so that students will leave the course with the technological skills necessary to succeed in college.

What Should We Do? Social and Ethical Problems of Our Time (Honors RCC)
Dr. Julia Maskivker
This course offers a dynamic view of various pressing issues that affect today's advanced societies. In particular, the course will analyze and discuss questions such as the morality of immigration policies, the death penalty, abortion, pornography, and the ethics of torture, among others. In all these cases, students will become familiar with the ethical and political theories that are given for and against these issues. In this way, students will acquire the capacity for thinking critically and independently. Additionally, they will learn about realities affecting current democracies around the world. The class is based on interactive discussions, instructive visual materials, and contemporary readings.

Bad Breakups
Dr. Jana Mathews
As Miley Cyrus and Khloe Kardashian can attest, even the most stable relationships can meet tragic and unpredictable ends. This course uses literature and culture to examine what happens when romance (broadly defined) heads South. Topics include the rise of reality dating shows and changing conceptions of love (The Bachelor, Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?); the politics and ethics of separation and abandonment (custody battles, corporate bankruptcies, and professional sports player transfers and trades); the architecture of “Dear John” letters and breakup songs (hello Adele and Taylor Swift); the biology of lust and rejection; and real and imagined political dystopias (The Hunger Games). This course satisfies the College’s writing general education competency, so you can expect to produce and revise three analytical papers in addition to several shorter writing assignments.

Business Not as Usual: You Can Make a World of Difference
Dr. Cecilia McInnis-Bowers and Ray Rogers
This course introduces students to the connections and interdependencies of business and society; entrepreneurial thinking and innovation; and career and life planning. Concepts pertaining to the Triple Bottom Line will be explored, which balances social responsibility, environmental sustainability and economic growth and development with ethical behavior and global citizenship. We will help connect various domestic and global processes (political, economic, cultural, legal, demographic, geographic and historic) to understand how the business system functions, how business affects you, and how you can affect business. Dimensions of the Entrepreneurial Orientation and Innovation Orientation will be considered when thinking about and creating solutions to challenges faced by business and society. Students will focus on self-development, motivational fit, and reflective practice, aligning productive careers with meaningful lives.

Cultures in Conflict: America at War in Asia
Dr. Robert Moore
This course will focus on the nature of conflict, including violent conflict or war, as this has occurred between the U.S. and different countries in Asia.  In particular we will consider the conflicts Americans have experienced with Imperial China since the nineteenth century, with Japan during World War II, with North Korea, the People’s Republic of China and Vietnam during the Cold War, and with Iraq, Iran and the Taliban.  We will also consider the conflict engendered by British imperialism in South Asia.  In each of the above-named cases the causes of the conflicts were interpreted differently by the people on each side.  We will take a close look at the forces underlying these struggles, the reasons for the different understandings to which each side adhered, and the role of cultural differences as a source of both misunderstanding and conflict in each case. 

Your Choice; Your Health
Dr. Rich Morris
We will be considering the decisions that shape your health in this course.

The World is 1996
Dr. Jim Norris
This course will focus on what was the world like in 1996. How was the economy? What were the major political issues? What music was popular and how did you get it? Who won the Super Bowl? What was the latest in technology? The course will examine these of other social and cultural development that unfolded in 1996.

Drawing the Landscape
Rachel Simmons
Drawing the Landscape teaches students the basics of drawing and composition through an extensive study of the urban and natural landscapes of Central Florida. Many class meetings will be held off campus as we explore locations in Winter Park and Orlando such as pedestrian-friendly streets, plazas, city parks and gardens in search of what qualities have made the landscape such a compelling subject for artists for centuries. Projects will focus on developing essential drawing skills such as perspective, proportion, scale, texture, value and line to create landscapes which address the role of the landscape in our daily lives.

Communication, Disability, and Social Justice
Dr. Anne Stone and Marissa Corrente
This is an introductory course designed to examine the attitudes and perceptions of and toward persons with disabilities, how communication creates and perpetuates an inaccurate and unjust depiction of disabled persons, the communicative behaviors of persons who are disabled and the nondisabled during their interaction, and how theories of communication and social justice can illuminate how this socially interactive inequity may be remedied.

Modern American Economic Issues
Dr. Martina Vidovic
This course is an examination of the most pressing social and economic problems confronting the United States society and the world today. We will use basic economic concepts to discuss and debate controversial real world issues in areas of health care, the distribution of wealth and income, crime and drugs, education, environment, inflation, unemployment, budget deficits and international trade.

Latin America Goes to the Movies
Dr. Gabriel Barreneche
In this engaging RCC course, students will explore how the peoples and cultures of Latin America, one of the most diverse and fascinating regions of the globe, have been represented in film. We will examine how Hollywood movies, as well as films from around Latin America, have portrayed the history of the region as well as today’s most pressing issues. For example, we will look at the questions of race, religion, politics, the role of women in society, the arts, revolution, music, immigration, among other fascinating topics. The films we will study will be in both English and Spanish, but no previous knowledge of Spanish is necessary since the films are subtitled.

Food in a Changing World
Dr. Wendy Brandon
On a planet with sufficient food for all, a billion people go hungry; another billion over-consume all the wrong things.  Our global food system has failed to provide the world’s people adequate nutrition, food security, or environmental sustainability. Now, several threats from population growth, climate change, and the unsustainable use of resources have converged, intensifying pressure on people and governments around the world to transform the way food is produced, distributed and consumed. Responsibility for action lies with us all. In this course, we investigate why we eat what we eat and examine the political, social, and cultural reasons for US food policy and practice. While US Food Policy is part of the problem, it is also part of the solution for a sustainable global food system.

Animating Alice
Dr. Julie Carrington
You will learn and practice some specific problem-solving skills that will be useful in many different areas. You will also become familiar with the computer language Alice, as you use it to build short 3-D animations, tell stories, and design games. On Thursdays, we will go to Glenridge Middle School, where you will work one-on-one with the young kids, helping them learn Alice programming. Not only will this activity help reinforce your own problem solving and programming skills, but it could end up being a wonderful, life-changing experience for these school children. It is often in the middle school years that students, especially girls, turn away from fields involving science and math, and the fun and accessibility of the Alice programming language can help you reverse this trend and make a lasting difference in these kids’ lives.

Exhibiting the Self in 21st Century Visual Culture
Dr. Kimberly Dennis and Dr. Amy Galpin
This course will introduce you to theories of identity-specifically gender, race, class, sexuality, and ability-and to issues of privilege and oppression. You will reflect on how identity theory applies to your own life and relationships. You will also learn how contemporary artists have engaged with these theories, drawing from and building on them through different media. As a class, we will work together to produce a student-curated exhibition of works by internationally-acclaimed artist Kara Walker. 

The course will feature guest speakers from a variety of disciplines and trips to local and regional museums. You will be introduced to museum studies, develop stronger writing and critical thinking skills, and complete an original research project on one of the works in the exhibition.

Making Art in the 2D
Dana Hargrove
Making Art in the 2D is a broad, cross- disciplinary investigation of art, artists and processes. Basic visual art concepts will be covered while we discover contemporary artists and think about contemporary art themes. Projects incorporate drawing, painting, mixed media and basic computer graphics and will help you solve visual problems and increase your ability to read, analyse and make art.

Writing About Monsters
Dr. Jill Jones
In this course, we will examine, discuss, and write about the monster in literature, film, and popular culture. Reading will include Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dexter. Viewings will include King Kong and The Walking Dead as well as the adaptations of Frankenstein and Dexter. Students will be required to travel to The Enzian Theater outside of class time several times during the semester. There will be a lot of reading, writing, and discussion in this class--it's intellectually challenging but fascinating and fun.

Theatre of Ideas (Honors RCC)
Dr. Erik Kenyon and Thomas Ouellette
Do you want to be happy? Of course you do, but what does happiness consist in really? Success? Wealth? Loving relationships? A sense of purpose? Giving back to your community? In this course, we'll explore questions of what makes for a good life and what happens when things go off track. We will approach these questions from the twin angles of contemporary theater and Greek philosophy. In practical terms, your time will be spent puzzling through ancient texts with Prof. Kenyon and working up scenes from current plays with Prof. Ouellette. Our hope is that the juxtaposition of old and new, abstract and embodied will encourage new and creative ways to think about questions of what it means to be human. The course will culminate in a public performance of select scenes, accompanied by a program book analyzing them from a philosophical perspective. No prior background in philosophy or theater is required - just an open mind.​

The Heroic Odyssey
Dr. Scott Rubarth
This course is an examination of the ancient Greek concept of the Hero and its relevance to contemporary life. Student will examine a wide range of Greek Heroes and Heroines. We shall attempt to identify the traits that promote human excellence and examine ancient and modern “virtue ethics.” We shall discover that Heroes come in many forms, shapes, sizes, and genders and that the Heroic life requires serious commitment, training, discipline, and hard work. In short, Heroism is the product of cultivated human excellences. Finally, we shall consider what a 21st century hero should look like and attempt to identify contemporary role models and examine how they rose to greatness. This course is for those who are not satisfied simply to fit in, take the easy way, and be part of the crowd. It is for those who wish to live remarkable lives.

Fashion in the Global World
Dr. MacKenzie Moon Ryan
Have you ever thought about where fashion trends originate? Or about how our clothes communicate certain things about ourselves? From the high heel to the color pink, from the paisley pattern to the three-piece suit, fashion trends borrow existing materials, patterns, cuts, and styles from inspirations across time and space. In this class, we will explore these influences and trace designs across the globe. We will investigate how meaning is dependent on culture and how our vantage point directly contributes to our understandings.

The Geniuses behind the Music
Dr. John Sinclair
To understand and value the great musical masterworks of the Western art tradition one must study the geniuses who created these masterpieces. Through studying master musicians and their respective magnum opuses we will explore how to listen perceptively and then converse thoughtfully about music. Through listening and analyzing the music from Bach to Beethoven, Chopin to Copland, Mozart to McCartney, Schubert to Sousa and Wagner to Williams we will be inspired by the creative spirit and the emotional and intellectual impact that great music produces.

How Ancient Chinese Thought Can Teach Us in Modern American Life
Li Wei
This course explores some of the key concepts from ancient Chinese religiocultural traditions. It draws on some contemporary scholarship and interpretations to learn not only about Chinese ancient ways of thought but also how they might have dealt with some contentious sociopolitical issues in a modern western society, such as abortion, marriage and family, and education.

Rise of Modern China
Dr. Yusheng Yao
As China is emerging as the next world superpower, a good knowledge of its modern experience and identity is necessary for a citizen with a global awareness. This course will help students understand the extraordinary experience of China’s rise and identity change by examining its modern history and literature.

Real World: Rollins College
Dr. Tricia Zelaya
From Animal House to Old School to the newest blockbuster Neighbors, college life has been depicted in a variety of ways in popular culture and in the media. In many cases, colleges and their students are portrayed by outdated, inaccurate, and unflattering stereotypes. Using identity development theory, the history of higher education, film, books, and popular media, this course will explore those stereotypes in an effort to unearth their origin and to compare and contrast them with the experiences of today’s undergraduates.

Who Teaches RCC Courses?

Professors are drawn from all academic disciplines—encompassing the arts, the sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences. The faculty member teaching this seminar course also serves as the student’s faculty advisor during their first year. The RCC is not a prerequisite for any other course at Rollins, so students may still advance if they fail their RCC course. However, no RCC may be taken for credit/no credit, so the grade earned in the RCC course will appear on the student’s transcript.

Dr. Claire Strom
Rollins College
Director of General Education
1000 Holt Avenue - 2762
Winter Park, FL 32789
407.646.2270
cstrom@rollins.edu