Rollins Foundations in the Liberal Arts

Enduring Questions

Jack the Ripper, climate change, Bigfoot, crime scenes, suicide bombers, peacebuilding, pirates, the Third Reich, American politics, and one hit wonders: Examine big questions that do not have simple answers. As we find comfort in what we hold to be true, we remain fascinated by that which eludes us. Explore what we may not know about our world, our community, our friends and families, and ourselves. Through a diverse array of courses, students will examine all kinds of enduring questions — ranging from artistic marvels and scientific wonders to political and cultural blind spots—in order to acquire the skills necessary to unlock the enduring mysteries of the universe… or at least of contemporary college life.

Enduring Questions

Jack the Ripper, climate change, Bigfoot, crime scenes, suicide bombers, peacebuilding, pirates, the Third Reich, American politics, and one hit wonders: Examine big questions that do not have simple answers. As we find comfort in what we hold to be true, we remain fascinated by that which eludes us. Explore what we may not know about our world, our community, our friends and families, and ourselves. Through a diverse array of courses, students will examine all kinds of enduring questions — ranging from artistic marvels and scientific wonders to political and cultural blind spots—in order to acquire the skills necessary to unlock the enduring mysteries of the universe… or at least of contemporary college life.

Spring 2019 - Enduring Questions Themed Courses

100 level enduring questions themed courses

100 level enduring questions themed courses

Expressive Arts (A)

Robin Gerchman

Moving Stories and Conversations
Transcript Title: Moving Stories
Course Number: rFLA 100A
Meets: MWF 9:00 - 9:50
Theme(s): Identity and Enduring Questions

Course Description:
Through dance, reading, reflective writings and conversations, this course will give students an awareness of their authentic voice in society. A synergy of movement, written word and voice is the platform from which this is to be created.  Students will narrate who they are, what they stand for, and what they believe in.  The opportunity to share this with the community will compel the students to create their own personal "moving" story.

Nadia Garzon

Theatre, Creativity & Social Change 
Transcript Title: Theatre, Creativity & Social Change 
Course Number: rFLA 100A
Meets TR 8:00 - 9:15
Theme(s) Cultural Collision and Enduring Questions

Course Description:

Discover creativity through the use of various artistic languages and theater tools, while exploring the use of theatre for social change around the world. This is a hands-on lab, which means that you will participate in theater exercises and games, as well as work on arts and crafts projects.

Eric Zivot

Shakespeare's A.R.S.E
Transcript Title: Shakespeare's A.R.S.E.
Course Number: rFLA 100A
Meets: MWF 9:00 - 9:50
Theme(s):  Cultural Collision and Enduring Questions

Coure Description: 
Why would anyone care what Shakespeare had to say 400 years ago? What is it about these plays that allows them to be produced today? The plays allow us to examine some of the most difficult and perhaps intractable problems we face. Who's world will this be; the young or old? Do brown lives matter? Are opportunities equally available to men and woman or does gender dictate destiny?  

Social Sciences (C)

Hannah Ewing

Barbarians
Transcript Title: Barbarians
Course Number: rFLA 100C
Meets TR 9:30 - 10:45
Theme(s): Cultural Collision and Enduring Questions

Course Description:
Barbarians: we think mysterious, hairy, wild, violent people with no culture and who pose a threat to civilization itself. But what is a barbarian? Who determines barbarianism? And how do civilizations integrate strange and new peoples into their worldviews? This class examines literary and historical run-ins with ‘barbarians’ in Europe and the Middle East, from the ancient Greeks sneering at pants-wearing Persians, to Romans shocked by milk-drinking Britons, to the sheer terror inspired by the Germanic and Mongolian invasions, to the early modern European ideal of the ‘noble savage.’ By studying how dominant civilizations wrote about, imagined, and interacted with ‘barbarians,’ we question the ideas of civilization and barbarism, uncover truths about both parties, and explore the larger impact of the ‘civilized’ and the ‘primitive.’ This course will involve community engagement and real-world application of the ideas encountered in class.

Vincent Melograno

Sport in Perspective
Transcript Title: Sport in Perspective
Course Number: rFLA 100C
Meets: Section 1:  TR 8:00 - 9:15; Section 2: TR 9:30 - 10:45
Theme(s): Cultural Collision and Enduring Questions

Course Description:
Sport, an integral part of everyday life, influences and shapes individual identities. Critics argue that the preoccupation with sport distracts people from societal inequities and economic turmoil. Is it better to keep people focused on the World Cup, Olympic Games, and Super Bowl? While sport celebrates human values of freedom, justice, and courage, this assumption is at odds with reality. Sport is intimately related to power, control, and authority. The course will: (1) examine how sport functions in relation to and in conflict with personal values (adult-organized youth sport, school-based sport, worldwide club sport, virtues/exploitation of college athletes, professional sport as a monopoly, and intersection of sport with religion and politics); (2) analyze the interaction between culture and sport, ethical/moral decision making, effects of race, ethnicity, gender, social class, age, sexual preference, and disability on sport access and participation, and deviant rule breaking, violence, performance enhancement, hazing, and gambling; and (3) explore the interplay between sport and society worldwide (sport media revolution connecting countries through technology, international consumer marketing/retailing of sport equipment and apparel, migration from country to country of athletes, coaches, and officials, exchange of values reflecting various cultures, human rights violations, and Olympic economics versus nationalism).

Humanities (H)

Extremes in Religion
Transcript Title: Extremes in Religion
Course Number: rFLA 100H
Meets: Section 1: TR 8:00 - 9:15; Section 2:  TR 9:30 - 10:45
Theme(s): Cultural Collision and Identity

Course Description:
Ranging from body modification to glorification of the perfect virginal form; abject poverty to extraordinary wealth; rolling saints to popes and bishops; megachurches to monastic retreats; and selfless love to imposed terror— Religion has mapped an array of extremes onto various cultures throughout world history. This course will begin by seeking instances of extreme religious behavior and ask how these movements have become normative in various communities. Determining why and when religious practice progresses from passion and devotion to that which our society deems “extreme,” we will explore what narratives are employed to maintain the feverish pitch of holy otherness. Restraining simple criticisms of those actions that are not in harmony with personal experiences, the student will search for motivating.

200 level enduring question themed courses

200 level enduring question themed courses

Expressive Arts (A)

Lauren Cushman

Ethical Identities in Theater and Film
Transcript Title: Ethical Identities in Theater and Film
Course Number rFLA200A
Meets: TR 9:30 - 10:45
Theme(s): Enduring Questions

Course Description:  This couse will explore the social and self-identities of what is considered ethical in theater and film. We will examine the ethical evolution that has taken place in the entertainment industry based ons society's views.   Why is Blackface acceptable in 1830 but not in 2018?

Social Sciences (C)

Phil Kozel

Economics of Piracy
Transcript Title: Economics of Piracy
Course Number: rFLA 200C
Meets: T,R: 9:30 - 10:45
Theme(s): Innovation and Enduring Questions

Course Description: 
From the High Seas to DVD’s, this course explores maritime and digital piracy. Beginning with the “Golden Age” of piracy in the Caribbean to modern violations of intellectual property, we will consider the motivations/ desires of pirates along with their social and economic consequences.

Piracy is inherently an interdisciplinary subject with social and economic impacts, both good and bad.  The mystery concerns how piracy continues to exist today despite numerous legal and other issues; the Marvels relate to how piracy has fundamentally changed society and culture over and over again.  Piracy, for example was mysteriously crucial for the economic development of the USA even though the USA is now the strongest opponent of piracy.  Piracy raises a host of ethical issues which we will consider, along with critically examining the rhetoric surrounding piracy and its impacts.

Mike Gunter

Climate Wars: The Politics of Climate Change
Transcript Title: The Politics of Climate Change
Course Number: rFLA 200C
Meets: T,R: 9:30 - 10:45
Theme(s): Innovation and Enduring Questions

Course Description: 
With a dizzying array of scientific, economic, cultural, social, and political variables shaping climate change, even those that recognize it as a threat tend to see climate change as both temporally and geographically distant, unfolding decades down the road – on the other side of the world. Using the narrative lens of ecotourism, our class tackles this misunderstanding, examining locales from here at home to the Galapagos Islands to the Antarctic Peninsula. 

Humanities (H)

Erik Kenyon

Philosophy at the Gym
Transcript Title: Philosophy at the Gym
Course Number: rFLA 200H
Meets: MWF 9:00 - 9:50
Theme(s): Innovation and Enduring Questions

Course Description: 
Western Philosophy was born in the gyms of Ancient Athens. In this course, we will join Socrates as he engaged people at the wrestling arenas in discussion of the good life. We will explore Plato's idea that music & gymnastics prepared the soul for philosophy and Aristotle's idea that virtue can only be obtained through practice. We will use physical health as a model for thinking about psychological health and think about the current relevance of ancient practices of "spiritual exercise."

Amy Parziale

Intergenerational Trauma in Literature and Film
Transcript Title: Trauma in Lit and Film
Course Number: rFLA 200H
Meets: Section 1: MWF 9:00 - 9:50; Section 2: TR 9:30 - 10:45
Theme(s): Identity and Cultural Collision

Course Description: 
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 after-effects of cultural collisions like war, genocide, and imperialism by analyzing the representation of intergenerational trauma in literature and film. exts include: books I was the Child of Holocaust Survivors, Kindred, Dreaming in Cuban, and Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven; and films Waltz with Bashir and Return of Navajo Boy, as well as Kara Walker's video installations.  Our guiding questions will be: How is trauma passed between generations, and how it is represented?; and What are the ethical, cultural, and socio-political ramifications of both trauma and representation?  Concepts and contexts related to trauma, identity, nation-state, globalization, imperialism, class,gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and the humanities will be explored in depth.

Sciences (S)

Anne Murdaugh

Fiat Lux
Transcript Title: Fiat Lux
Course Number: rFLA 200S
Meets: MWF 9:00 - 9:50; Lab - F 2:00 - 4:00
Theme(s): Innovation and Enduring Questions

Course Description: 
From LEDs, the creation and manipulation of light has transformed our world.  In this course, students will examine current scientific models of light and the optical devices we use every day. Students will gain an appreciation for how innovations in optics improve human lives and spur technological revolutions.

Ashley Cannaday

Lasers and Lights
Transcript Title: Lasers and Lights
Course Number: rFLA 200S
Meets: TR 9:30 - 10:45; Lab - M 2:00
Theme(s): Innovation and Enduring Questions

Course Description: 
Light is a huge part of everyday life, crucial for vision, phone screens, the pictures we upload to social media, and healthcare.  This course will explore the nature of light and delve into several important applications.  We will "shed light" on many interesting phenomena caused by light to better understand the world around us.

Suzanne Woodward

Identity and the Social Self
Transcript Title: Identity and the Social Self
Course Number: rFLA200S
Meets: MWF 9:00 - 9:50; Lab 4 x a semester F: 2 - 5
Theme(s): Enduring Questions

Course Description:
How are identities and cultures of those on the margins represented and negotiated? What are the dangers of a single story, or identification? How to deconstruct marginalization in diverse, micro and macro educational contexts? This course will use the power of personal narratives produced in the tensioned intersections between the dominant and oppressed cultures in education to let students explore the wounds that are made and could (not) be healed in schools and communities.

Whitney Coyle

Physics and Technology for Future Presidents
Transcript Title: Physics for Future Presidents
Course Number: rFLA 200S
Meets: MWF 9:00 - 9:50A; Lab - T: 8:00 - 10:45
Theme(s): Innovation and Enduring Questions

Course Description: 
Picture the most successful, well-informed leaders in the world today - how much physics do they know? From energy to climate change, space travel, and nuclear war - we will focus on the physics affecting decisions of today's politicians, policy makers, and CEOs. Some essential topics include: energy and power, gravity and space, radioactivity, atomic bombs, electricity, and light.

Ellane Park

Discovering a Small World of Nanobots, Nanomedicine, and Nanomaterials
Transcript Title: Chemistry of Nanomaterials
Course Number: rFLA 200S
Meets: TR 9:30 - 10:45; Lab R 8:00 - 9:30
Theme(s): Innovation and Enduring Questions


Course Description:
How can your ipod or laptop get any smaller? Why does sunscreen contain titanium oxide nanoparticles? How small is "nano"? Through discussions on science fiction novels and learning of scientific principles, this course will explore how nano-sized objects are studied and used to advance fields of medicine, electronics and biomaterials. The course offers the opportunity to explore the lab, where we will perform experiments to measure the color changes of solutions that contain nanoparticles.

300 level - enduring Questions Courses

300 level - enduring Questions Courses

Amy Armenia

Who Cares for Children and Elders_CE
Transcript Title: Who Cares for Children and Elders_CE
Course Number: rFLA 300
Meets: TR 9:30 - 10:45
Theme(s): Innovation and Enduring Questions

Course Description: 
Everyone needs care at some point.  How do we, as individuals and as a larger society, make sure we can provide care to those who need it, and meet the needs of caregivers? In this class, we will use psychological and sociological perspectives to think and innovate about care and care systems for children and elders.  Community Engagement class.