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Rollins Foundations in the Liberal Arts

Cultural Collision Themed Courses Spring 2020

Examine the scientific, artistic, literary, cultural, and socioeconomic dimensions of our evolving world. Think strategically and act ethically abouy your roles. 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.

Instructor:  Suni Witmer

MWF 9:00 - 9:50, Keene 103

This course will explore how the popular music of various societies from around the world is created and transformed by musical influences from other societies and worldviews when they encounter and interact with one another. The homogenizing forces of globalization, specifically the global pop aesthetic, will also be explored. Students will examine the artistic, literary, cultural, and socioeconomic effects of global popular music. Topics of inquiry and exploration include hybridity and diversity in music; the effects of globalization on cultural development; and the social, political, and cultural ramifications resulting from expressive cultural forms expanding around the world.

Instructors:  Dan Crozier/Jay Yellen

MWF 12:00 - 12:50, Keene 101

This course will explore intersections between music and mathematics. Their inherent beauty, elegance, and shared properties will be our focus. Many of the topics will be accompanied by music listening, both inside and outside of class, and students will become familiar with a wide variety of musical styles and periods. Their appreciation and confidence in both music and mathematics will grow.

Instructor:  Chuck Archard

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, Keene 101

Why do some artists or bands have a long career and others are merely “One Hit Wonders”? Is Pop music designed to be disposable and ephemeral? This course will examine the unpredictability of the music industry and unravel many of the factors that influenced the creation of Pop hits from the 1970s to the present. Many of the factors explored in class will include talent versus looks, digital recording, the corporatization of record labels, sampling, global communication, streaming, social media, and behavioral targeting, as well as the overall zeitgeist of each era. We will also delve into the formulaic songwriting techniques used to create the perfect three-minute “Ear Candy” pop masterpiece.

Instructor: Suni Witmer

T,R 8:00 - 9:15, Keene 103

This course is an integrated study of the expressive cultures of Latin America, with an emphasis on the role the arts play in social life. Topics include pre-Columbian art; modernist arts; Spanish American and Brazilian narrative; Latin American poetry, architecture, music, theatre, cinema, and popular culture; and Latin culture.

Instructor: Yusheng Yao

T,R 8:00 - 9:15, CSS 221

China’s dramatic rise recently is an unprecedented phenomenon in world history that is changing global as well as regional economics and geopolitics. This course will help students understand what accounts for China’s rapid rise, what are the strengths and weaknesses of China’s model of modernity, what challenges China is facing and what impacts and implications that China’s rise has to the U.S. and the rest of the world.

Instructor:  Vince Melograno

Section 03: T,R 8:00 - 9:15, Boathouse
Section 04: T,R 9:30 - 10:45, Boathouse

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).


Instructor:  Phil Kozel

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, CSS 232

From the High Seas to DVDs, 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.

Instructor: Jie Yu

M 4:00 - 6:30, Bush 308

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.


Instructor: Anca Voicu

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, CSS 221

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.

Instructor:  Amy Parziale

Section 1: MWF 9:00 - 9:50
Section 2: T,R 9:30 - 10:45

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. Texts 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.

Instructor: Mario D'Amato

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, KMC 1

This course will focus on accounts regarding how the self is constructed according to Buddhist philosophy, and Western philosophy of mind and cognitive science. We will examine what the philosopher Michel Foucault has referred to as “technologies of the self,” i.e., techniques that have been employed by individuals to “transform themselves in order to attain a certain state of happiness, purity, wisdom.” So we will consider the construction of identities, and examine techniques that have been employed to function as mirrors and windows for the construction of self, through studying the theory of Buddhist meditation.

Instructor: Scott Rubarth

MWF 9:00 - 9:50, KWR 310

This course examines the philosophical, metaphysical, theological, scientific, and ethical implications of selected science fiction films. Special focus is given to the Matrix trilogy. Students critically engage in topics such as the nature of reality and knowledge, personal identity, artificial intelligence, transhumanism, existentialism, and how to live ethically in a post-apocalyptic world. The course seeks to develop critical and creative skills necessary for understanding mind-blowing movies and unraveling philosophical mysteries.

Instructor:  Margaret McLaren

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, Sullivan House

Daily we are confronted with ethical questions about how to act in our personal lives and in the world as responsible and engaged citizens. In this course you will learn the moral theories and frameworks that justify moral judgments, and how to apply them to pressing social and political issues such as abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, immigration, human rights, multiculturalism and women’s rights, global poverty, cultural sovereignty, and world hunger relief

Instructor: Ashley Kistler

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, CSS 119

This course explores the intersections of cultures on Rollins' campus and in Winter Park. Students will use the ethnographic research methods to explore Rollins' history and its contemporary cultures. Through fieldwork and independent research, students will take an interdisciplinary approach to analyzing the cultural collisions that shape life at Rollins.

Instructor: Barry Allen

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, Beal 1

This course explores the uniquely American circumstances that gave rise to the development of jazz, baseball and National Parks. All of these icons of Americana exhibit many of the dynamic (and often conflicting) forces at work in American history. For example, the preservation of land in National Parks ran directly counter to the essentially materialistic and exploitative approach to nature that governed 19th century America. Jazz represents the collision of European and African musical forms, which produced an unprecedented opportunity for exploration and innovation. And (sadly), baseball is at odds with a contemporary American culture that is increasingly violent, impatient and overbearing. Underlying themes of the course include the roles of race, class, gender and capitalism, as well as the relationship between the individual and the group.

Instructor: Jana Mathews

MWF 9:00 - 9:50, Orlando Hall 115

Instructor permission only; registration through International Programs

While the Middle East is home to some of world’s oldest and most spectacular ancient civilizations, the region has long struggled to keep hold of its historical artifacts. Centuries of intermittent social, political, and economic instability helped give rise to and fuel the practices of confiscation, looting, and illegal selling and exportation of cultural property overseas. As we will see firsthand, it’s not just big-time art thieves who are stealing history; tourists can and do buy objects plundered from Egyptian tombs in local markets and on the street. This Spring 2020 rFLA 300 course and linked field study to Egypt and Jordan builds on this year’s rFLA Common Read Curriculum on travel by asking: who owns the past and why should we care? What drives our impulse to handle and bring home archeological souvenirs? Who is the ‘best’ steward of the material past? Is it possible for western museums to acquire and display artifacts without fueling the illegal arts trade and perpetuating colonialist narratives?

Instructor:  Jennifer Cavenaugh and Meredith Hein

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, Bush 176

This course asks students to reflect on how their own identity has been shaped by power and privilege (or the absence thereof) and then asks them to identify and analyze systems of oppression at work in their own community. Finally, it empowers them with tools to create a specific positive social action to address a problem they have identified in their community. The course will also utilize the techniques of Augusto Boal's "Theater of the Oppressed" to empower students to address one aspect of oppression through community-based advocacy or activism. As part of this class, you will engage in community-based experiences through service-learning projects and individual engagement with local community organizations, using your previous skills and knowledge to address one of the community partner's needs. In addition to taking your learning outside of the classroom and engaging with local community organizations, you will also reflect on how you would like to put your knowledge to use after graduation. CE course

Instructor:  Suni Witmer

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, Keene 103

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

Instructor: Giselda Beaudin

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, Olin 104

Instructor permission only; registration through International Programs

In a culturally relative view, there are many ways to experience and understand the world. As we confront global problems that require consensus around values, cultural relativism becomes a significant challenge. Students will draw on their experiences abroad and course readings to examine concepts of cultural relativism, social constructivism, and identity. They will consider how we might move forward past tolerance to action in our increasingly globalized world and begin to articulate their own sense of commitment beyond relativity.

Instructor: Sheri Boyd

MWF 9:00 - 9:50, Bush 208

How do different societies choose their leaders? What roles do tradition and ideology play in the structure of government? We will research and compare voting systems and representative legislatures from around the world, applying principles of voting theory and fair division to study the ways diverse groups of people select and empower their leaders.