MLS 515I: Ethical Dilemmas in Modern Society This course is about the scientific and empirically based study of the social and individual religious behaviors of people. From altruism to exorcism, from first communion to fevered visions of a heavenly city, some of humankinds most interesting behaviors are related to religion. Our topics will include definitions of religion; social sources of individual religious beliefs; religion, mental health, and mental illness; the psychology of conversion; cult membership; the psychology of evil; prayer and meditation; and life after death experiences. Students will draw from sources across the liberal arts in completing their individual portfolios on a topic of interest.
MLS 516G: Masterworks - U.S. Campus Rebels: American Pragmatism & Experimental Education Birthed as a melting pot of diverse practices/beliefs and as a rebel nation reacting against stale European dogma (crown, church, social determinism of ones life path), America developed its own maverick philosophical school of thought: classical American pragmatism. In 20th century U.S., this grew into a full-blown educational approach that still underpins most smaller U.S. colleges: U.S. liberal arts education, a model that came to be the envy of many other countries globally. This course charts theories, practices, and people that mark US. liberal education, with a special view to 20th-c. and present-day national debates about its value, uses, and relevance. Includes a case study of Rollins own historical role in this development, and the spinoff of the historic Black Mountain College, NC.
MLS 515J: The American War in Vietnam This class will consider the American presence in Vietnam from the late 1950s to 1975. It will use history texts, original documents, novels, memoirs, and movies to consider the reasons behind the war, the experiences of Americans and Vietnamese during the war, global opposition to the war, and the long-lasting ramifications of the conflict in terms of politics, diplomacy, and society.
MLS 515K: Science, Pseudoscience, and the Art of Skepticism Can immunizations cause autism? Is climate change caused by humans? Do some people have ESP? Can cell phones cause cancer? Our answers to these and many other questions rely on an understanding of the difference between pseudoscience and science. Pseudoscience is characterized by unsupported claims that are presented as the conclusions of a scientific investigation. These claims appear plausible, and the aura of scientific respectability often leads to public acceptance. However, the methodology employed in pseudoscience is not scientific. In this course students investigate the difference between science and pseudoscience. The theory and practice of pseudoscience are investigated, and current and historical instances of pseudoscience are analyzed. The course highlights the importance of critical thinking, skepticism and understanding scientific methodology.
MLS 516H: Masterworks - Travels with Don Quixote In 1605, a young writer from Spain did something no one had ever done before: he published a book about the adventures of a farmer and his unlikely sidekick and changed the way the world understood the role of the novel. The setting reflected a Spain caught between a decadent Golden Age and a quickly disappearing rural life; the characters were deep, reflective, and imperfectly human; and the story offered a loving commentary on hope, disillusionment, and ultimately, how we should live our lives. Today, this novel is not only considered the most cherished piece of literature in the entire Spanish literary canon, but it is also the best-selling single-volume book of all time. In this course, we will read the first volume of Don Quixote and consider how the stories of Don Quixote, his friend Sancho Panza, and their two homely donkeys became some of the most beloved tales in the Western imagination. To give depth to our reading, we will complement the novel with theoretical texts designed to help us understand the historical, social, gendered, and cultural contexts of Spain in the early 17th century.
MLS 516I: Masterworks - The Olmsteds & John Nolen: Exemplars of the American Renaissance The American Renaissance was a generational effort to mold an unparalleled prosperity into a new urban civilization, the last full flourish of the Renaissance that begun in Italy in the 15th century, Henry Hope Reed writes. This course will examine the period through the works of Frederick Law Olmsted Sr., Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. and John Nolen.
MLS 602 The Human Order The social and political philosophies of the ancient world reflect the effort to shape the human community according to a universal order in which human beings have a natural place and a natural purpose. In this course, students explore the social and political thought of ancient Greece and Rome in the context of the culture in which that thought arose. The course also examines the cosmology and science of the ancient world, with an emphasis on the attempt to direct the powers of reason to the discovery of a natural order.
MLS 603 Religion and Western Culture The society that emerged from the ruins of the Roman Empire brought together classical, Germanic, and Christian elements to forge a new western European culture. This course traces the interaction of these strands through an examination of religion, social and political development, and changes in the arts. Students will examine the medieval synthesis in which religious concerns predominated, explore the factors that lead to its breakdown, and enhance their research skills at the graduate level.
MLS 604 The Origins of Modernity If ancient social and political thought can be characterized by the attempt to fashion a human order that reflected the order of the universe, modern thought must be characterized by the effort to establish order in the human community without the help of a divine being and without knowledge of a transcendent natural order. This course investigates the various ways in which modern social, aesthetic, and political thinkers endeavor to rest human society on purely secular foundations.
MLS 605 Milestones of Modern Science Science has always been concerned with the search for order, whether it be to explain the starry phenomena in the night sky; the diversity of substances like rocks, water, and wind; or the nature of our own origins. This course pursues the pathways of science since the 17th century, concentrating on some of the exceptional ideas in biology and physics, with excursions into chemistry and mathematics. We study how the accumulation of knowledge acquired by technical tools and extraordinary thinking fabricates a new view of the universe and indicates our place in it.
MLS 606 Masterpieces of Modern Literature This course explores the ways in which literature has come to question and define values in the modern world. As writers have endeavored to come to grips with the social, political, and spiritual dislocations of modern life, they have pursued themes of meaning, identity, community, and communication in order to examine the complexities and perplexities of the human condition.
MLS 690 Thesis Project The culmination of the degree program is the completion of a thesis project. Working under the direction of a faculty mentor and with the support of a liberal studies seminar, students apply the knowledge they have acquired in the program in designing and executing a final project. The project may be a research study or a creative work supported by a critical or theoretical essay. Refer to section entitled Thesis Project for guidelines and additional information.
MLS 680 Independent Study Please refer to Independent Study Guidelines for approval procedure.
MLS 681 Internship Guidelines [2, 4, or 6]Please refer to Independent Study Guidelines for approval procedure.
MLS 682 Independent Study Abroad Please refer to Independent Study Guidelines for approval procedure.
MLS 691 Thesis Extension Students who have not completed the thesis requirement by the end of the semester must register and pay for MLS 691 Thesis Extension (at the billing rate of two credits). Continuous enrollment in MLS 691, during the fall and spring terms only, is expected until the thesis is completed. Refer to section entitled Thesis Project for guidelines and approval process.
MLS 505 Aesthetics and Politics of Art This course is framed by the question when does art/artistic representation have ethical impact? It examines how aesthetic criteria for judging artworks might or might not overlap with ethical criteria. We will explore the work and life of Leni Riefensthal; cultural imperialist tendencies of glossy tourist-art-books about impoverished locations; the Bauhaus movement ; representational versus non-representational art; the Warhol effect of blurring art and everyday consumer goods; handmade artifacts versus mechanical reproductions; and the theme of moral imagination through arts of philosopher Martha Nussbaum and others.
MLS 506 Medieval Times This course celebrates the writings of the major authors of the medieval period. Topics include virgins, vixens, and cuckolds; forms of persecution and prosecution; and the bestselling book in the world.
MLS 515M Goethe's Faust: Making a Bargain with a Devil Johann Wolfgang von Goethe spent his entire life grappling with issues wrapped up with the legend of Faust and his bargain with Mephistopheles. This course will shift each week to focus on differing perspectives from which to approach this most famous work of German literature. We will investigate Goethes work from diverse points of view including: a. Goethes sources for the drama b. the works dramatic structure c. Goethe and developments in natural science d. infanticide e. magic and the black arts f. the divided nature of human beings g. the influence of Faust on other works of art.
MLS 516M James Joyce: Inventing the Modern Novel When the Modern Library listed James Joyces Ulysses as the best English language novel of the twentieth century-and his Portrait of an Artist as the third best one-it was simply endorsing the widespread belief that Joyce had not only invented the modern novel but created two of the centurys most enduring works. This Masterwork class will begin with The Dead, the final story of Dubliners and Joyces example of a beautifully crafted traditional short story. We will then discuss Portrait, the autobiographical coming-of-age novel which first introduced his experimental approach, and, finally, begin a conversation about Ulysses, a novel so rich that no one has ever claimed to master it.
MLS 542 Manets Olympia Manets painting is now a highly regarded work of art, admired for its frank depiction of a nude prostitute and her black servant, as well as its innovative style. When it was first exhibited in 1865, however, it caused a scandal for the same reasons. This course will examine the paintings intersections of sexuality, race, and social class--seen as offensive at the time--in the context of rapidly changing cultural, social, economic, and demographic conditions in mid nineteenth-century Paris.
MLS 551M Teach and Learning Humanities Contemporary Teaching in the Humanities provides a foundation in both learning theory and the practical application of teaching methodologies in various modalities and contexts. Designed for discipline experts within the humanities preparing to teach at the college level, the course provides strategies and techniques to deliver and measure effective instruction for a diverse student body. In addition to learning theory applications, specific topics include how to lead meaningful class discussions, alignment, assessment, learning styles, and the effective use of learning technology.
MLS 553M The Great Gatsby This course offers an in-depth exploration of F. Scott Fitzgeralds most critically acclaimed novel. We will examine biographical and cultural relevance, but most importantly, our goal will be to establish literary qualities within The Great Gatsby making it worthy to be called an American literary masterwork.
MLS 556M Conceptions of Justice What is justice? This question has taxed philosophers and political thinkers for millennia. Aristotle and Plato defined it as treating equals equally, and unequals unequally. The moderns of the 17th century revolutionized the political and philosophical landscape by positing a principle of universal human equality. Social reformers of the 19th century offered utilitarian justifications for political and economic change. How did all these conceptions of justice vary from each other? What ideals of equality remain a legacy of which epoch, and what can we learn from all these different conceptions of fairness?
MLS 571M Faulkners Absalom, Absalom! This intensive course offers an in-depth exploration of William Faulkners tour de force novel, Absalom, Absalom! While the text is deeply American, set in the Civil War era and flashing forward and backward more than fifty years on either side, it is more significantly a novel of universal and Biblical complexity. We will examine Faulkners unique writing style, his intricate thematic layering, and the novels place in American literature and as one of the masterpieces of twentieth-century fiction.
MLS 574 Spirit of the Counter-Reformation in Art and Music What effect did the Counter-Reformation have on the visual arts and music of the seventh century? This course will focus on the theological treatises of St. Teresa and St. Ignatius Loyola and their influence on artists and composers such as Caravaggio, Borromini, El Greco, and Palestrina.
MLS 576 Existential and Humanistic Psychology Can people really change? Do we have control of our future? What does it mean to be a person? The first half of this course looks at these issues from the perspective of existential and humanistic psychologists Ludwig Binswanger, Rollo May, Viktor Frankl, and Carl Rogers. The second half looks at nontraditional approaches to existential and humanistic issues including biofeedback, mind-body connections, dream interpretation, meditation, and learned optimism. [Fall 2011]
MLS 579 Chaucers Canterbury Tales This course will focus on the crowning achievement of Chaucers poetic career. It is the first work to gather the entire spectrum of English folk and to give them voice. The carnival and the controversy that it plays out on the stage of pilgrimage allows Chaucer to create a complete library of medieval genres and an enduring statement about the human condition. Students will learn enough of the language to do a close reading of each tale, place the authors achievements in the context of our contemporary theories, and, adopting one of the tales, produce a paper that is linked to their own version of the tale. We will end the term, then, with a story-telling pilgrimage of our own.
MLS 580 Psychology of Religious Experience This course is about the scientific and empirically based study of the social and individual religious behaviors of people. From altruism to exorcism, from first communion to fevered visions of a heavenly city, some of humankind�s most interesting behaviors are related to religion. Our topics will include definitions of religion; social sources of individual religious beliefs; religion, mental health, and mental illness; the psychology of conversion; cult membership; the psychology of evil; prayer and meditation; and life-after-death experiences. Students will draw from sources across the liberal arts in completing their individual portfolios on a topic of interest.
MLS 580M Masterworks Independent Study Please refer to Independent Study Guidelines for approval procedure.
MLS 581 The Designer as Social Critic: Activism and the Arts and Crafts Movement During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, members of the Arts and Crafts movement attempted to influence society through their art and writing. In Europe, this movement was largely socialist and reflected reactions against historical revival in design and architecture, as well as the predominance of mechanization in production. To a large extent, the U.S. version of the movement abandoned socialism and anti-industrialism and focused more on developing a new style of design that was simple, honest, and uniquely American. In this course, we analyze critical writings and artistic styles that typified the Arts and Crafts movement in Europe and the United States. Our studies will include the works of John Ruskin, William Morris and the British Arts and Crafts movement; Elbert Hubbard and the Roycrofters; Gustav Stickley and the Mission Style; and Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School.
MLS 582M Masterworks Independent Study Abroad Please refer to Independent Study Guidelines for approval procedure.
MLS 583 Modern Theories of Personality This course will look at psychological theories of human nature. We will read and discuss the major theories of personality as represented by Freud, Jung, Skinner, Rogers, Erikson, and others. We will also complete personality measures and interpret the results. The class will be run on a humanistic model in which students take responsibility for their own learning.
MLS 587 Picturing War From Roman triumphal arches to the Abu Ghraib photographs, war has been the subject of much of Western visual culture. Imagery can be just as effective at promoting war and national identity as in questioning the ethics of armed conflict and other forms of large-scale aggression. This course examines the historical contexts and rhetorical strategies of the imagery of war in the Western world, focusing mainly on art, with some attention to film.
MLS 588 The Art of Landscape Design: From Renaissance Garden to Green City The health of a society can be discerned by the quality of its landscape, and the manner in which it is designed. The Renaissance Garden is the point of origin for this class, the rebirth of the classical ideal. From this early effort to reunite humanity and nature, the evolution of landscape design will be studied through the Baroque, Enlightenment, Romantic, and Modern periods. The course will culminate with a focus on Florida, with field trips to Bok Tower Garden.
MLS 590 American Civil Liberties This course will examine the question of the proper balance between national security and civil liberties in times of emergency from the perspectives of political philosophers like John Locke, the founders of American Constitutionalism like Thomas Jefferson, and current Presidential Administrations like that of G.W. Bush. The primary purpose of this course is to give students a historical perspective on the development of American civil liberties.
MLS 591M The What, Why and How of Art The course introduces students to the foundations of visual art through the exploration of modern and contemporary art works as well as hands-on studio work. No previous art courses are required. The course will incorporate exhibitions at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum and other Central Florida art venues.
MLS 592 Rococo to Revolution: Gender, Race, and Power in 18th-Century French Art This course examines the dramatic changes that took place in French 18th-century visual culture, focusing on issues of gender, race, and power. Visual culture includes not only art and architecture, but fashion, interior decoration, and landscape gardening. We will explore representations of kingship and queenship, womens empowerment within the restrictions of 18th-century gender roles, and images of slavery in an age of liberty, among other areas.
MLS 597M Psychology Gets Religion This course is about the scientific study of the social and individual religious behaviors of people. From altruism to visions of a heavenly city, some of humankind�s most interesting behaviors are related to religion. We will begin with readings by William James, and continue into the empirical basis of this field of study. Topics include definitions of religion and spirituality; religious and nonreligious child-rearing; the psychology of worship; religion, mental health, and mental illness; and psychology on the brain. [Fall 2011]
MLS 599M Italy in the High Middle Ages In this period of plagues and popes, cultural cross-currents such as ancient learning and faith, conflicts of spiritual and secular power, syntheses of Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic styles, the emergence of cities and universities, all combine to lead Italy to the cusp of the Renaissance. Students will undertake readings in theology and poetry as well as study selected examples of architecture, sculpture and painting. Readings will focus on Dominic, Francis and Aquinas; Petrarch, Dante and Boccaccio. We will compare the paintings of Cimabue, Duccio and Giotto. One class will feature a guest lecture by a noted specialist in medieval musicology, who will explain the Squarcialupi Codex and the music of Francesco Landini, using examples from the composers work. [Spring 2012]