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

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. 

Fall 2019 - Enduring Questions Themed Courses

Expressive Arts Courses

Expressive Arts Courses

200 level courses

Course Instructor: Eric Zivot

Course Title: The Ethics of Arthur Miller
Course Number: RFLA 200A 04 - CRN# 90391
Offered: MWF 12:00 - 12:50 p.m.

Themes: Enduring Questions/ Identity

Course Description: Arthur Miller combined social awareness with a searching concern for his character's inner lives.  In this course, we will be examining these inner lives and the ethical dilemmas that are revealed.  This class also fulfills the Ethics Competency. 

Course Instructor: Lauren Cushman

Course Title: Ethical Identities in Theatre and Film
Course Number: RFLA 200A 05 - CRN#90392
Offered: TR 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Theme: Enduring Questions

Course Description: This course will explore the ethical dilemmas presented in society and self through the lens of theater and film.  We will examine the ethical evolution that has taken place in the entertainment industry based on society's views.  Why is Blackface acceptable in 1830 but not in 2019? Is one of the many questions that will be presented throughout the class. 

Social Science Courses

Social Science Courses

200 level

Course Instructor: Joshua Hammonds

Course Title: Body Language: The Biology of Human Communication
Course Number: RFLA 200C 02 - CRN# 90398
Offered: MWF 12:00 - 12:50 p.m.

Theme(s): Enduring Questions/Identity

Course Description: This course will examine the ways in which human communication affects, and is affected by, processes that occur in our bodies. We will begin by learning about the anatomy of the brain, facial musculature, the nervous system, the endocrine system, and the immune system. We will then discuss how those and other body systems are implicated in a range of communicative phenomena, such as emotion, conflict, stress, relationship satisfaction, temperament, and sexual behavior. Counts as an elective in COM.

Course Instructor: Andrew Luchner

Course Title: The Psychology of Stress
Course Number: RFLA 200C 04 - CRN# 90399
Offered T,R 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.

Themes: Enduring Questions/Identity

Course Description: Stress seems to be everywhere, inescapable and negatively affecting the lives of everyone. What if there was a different way to understand stress?  This course provides students with the opportunity to reconsider from a psychological perspective what stress means, how it impacts us and others, and what we can do about it. Additionally, the course will introduce the practice of effective methods of stress awareness and reduction.

Course Instructor: Dexter Boniface

Course Title: The Rise and Fall of Democracy
Course Number: RFLA 200C 05 - CRN# 90400
Offered: MWF 12:00 - 12:50 p.m.

Theme: Enduring Questions

Course Description: Why do some countries democratize and others do not?  Why do some democracies flourish and others collapse?  This course seeks to answer these questions and to familiarize students with a few of the prominent theories and methods associated with the comparative study of democracy. Counts as an elective for POL major. 

Instructor: Zachary Gilmore

Course Title: Fantastic Archaeology
Course Number: RFLA 200 C7 - CRN# 90402
Offered: T,R 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Themes: Cultural Collision/Enduring Questions

Course Description: 
This course focuses on pseudoscientific and supernatural claims about the human past. Through in-depth analyses of archaeological frauds and popular alternative theories, students examine how archaeologists know what they claim to know. Students learn how to critically evaluate scientific evidence and explore the broader societal impacts of pseudoscientific arguments.

Humanities Courses

200 level

Instructor:  Anne Zimmerman

Course Title: Memoir as Literature
Course Number: RFLA 200H 01 - CRN#90404
Offered: T,R 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Themes: Cultural Collision/Enduring Questions

Course Description:
“If you read, you’ll judge...look through my things, and figure me out.” —Kurt Cobain, *Journals* On April 8, 1994, an electrician discovered a gruesome scene at a luxurious Seattle mansion. Kurt Cobain was dead. Lead singer of the tremendously popular band Nirvana, Cobain’s suicide shocked the world and cementing his place as an American rock icon. When his *Journals* were published years later, many were hoping for answers to questions he had left in the wake of his death. Can such personal writing provide readers with such insights? In this course, we will consider the concept of memoir: both as actual journals (published and not). In particular, we will examine the American Confessionalist movement as one marked by the tone of memoir, discussing the texts of major poets such as Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. Furthermore, we will address how the concept of memoir influences other cultural texts, such as television, film, and social media.

Instructor: Emily Russell

Course Title: Body Snatchers: Lit & Medicine
Course number: RFLA 200H 02 - CRN# 20406
Offered: T,R 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Themes: Enduring Questions/ Innovation

Course Description: In this course, we will examine the ways that storytelling and medicine have shaped each other. For centuries, literature and visual culture have snatched from medicine thrilling or moving stories of death, illness, and god-like doctors. More recently, developments called “the medical humanities” or “narrative medicine” have infiltrated medical training; in this field, doctors read novels and are encouraged to write stories themselves in order to more fully connect with their patients’ humanity. This fall, we will explore both of these intersections to ask what reading fiction might bring to medicine and what the universal experience of having a body—a body that gets sick and will die—brings to the study of literature.

Course Instructor: Jill Jones

Course Title: Breaking Bad and the American Dream
Course Number: RFLA 200H 04 - CRN#90408
Offered: T,R 9:30 - 10:45 a.m
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Themes: Enduring Questions/Identity

Course Description:  Breaking Bad and the Great American Novel This course will examine the series, Breaking Bad, alongside American literature and culture. We will discuss the ways in which the texts present and interrogate the American Dream, individual choice, masculinity and the moral code of society.

We will examine Walter White in the context of American literature to see if he is a particularly American (anti) hero, and to ask what his story—and its popularity in our culture—tells us about contemporary American society. We’ll ask questions: is Breaking Bad a dark comedy? Does it reify or undercut the uber-masculine hero culture? What does it say about American society (the police, education, health care, the middle class, white entitlement)? Is Walt a villain, a hero, a cautionary tale? We’ll draw conclusions (I don’t know what they are yet).

And we’ll place Breaking Bad into a larger context of literature and culture. Students will need to be prepared to do some heavy reading and even heavier “binge viewing.” A Netflix account is required. Meets ECMP competency.

Course Instructor: Steven Schoen

Course Title: Media and Violence
Course Number: RFLA 200H 08 - CRN#90412
Offered: T,R 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Themes: Enduring Questions/ Identity

Course Description: We are awash today in media depictions of violence from film, TV and video games to sports and social media. Why does violence gather audiences so effectively, and seem so thoroughly woven into our entertainment and imaginations? We will consider theories about violence and non-violence; consider depictions of violence in media forms ranging from film and TV programs to social media and news; and examine genres ranging from Hollywood blockbusters to sports, journalism, viral web videos, and political discourse.  Course counts as a SWAG elective

300 Level courses

300

Course Instructor: Julia Maskivker

Course Title: Social Justice and Ethics
Course Number: RFLA 300 01-CRN#90703
Offered: MWF 12:00 - 12:50
Theme: Enduring Questions/Innovation

Course Description: This course will review some of the most heated ethical and constitutional issues in modern times. Examples include the ethics of abortion, the death penalty, immigration, and pornography among others.

300 level

Course Instructor: Gregory Cavenaugh

Course Title: Performance of Modern Ritual
Course Number: RFLA 300 02 - CRN# 90422
Offered: T,R 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.

Themes: Enduring Questions/Identity

Course Description: Ritual lies at the intersection of the symbolic and the transformative.  A wedding ritual, for instance, is both an attempt to symbolize ideals and a speech act that produces a married couple.  This performance-based course explores how ritual functions in contemporary Westernized cultures to create, sustain, and transform identities.

300 level

Course Instructor:  Nadia Garzon

Course Title:  Changing the World: Arts, Community, and Activism_CE
Course Number: RFLA 300 08 - CRN#90428
Offered: T
,R 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Theme: Enduring Questions/Innovation

Course Description: This CE course actively explores the use of performing and visual arts in activism and social change. Students will develop and execute a Community Arts project with a community organization. Students will do on-site work (this means you will work outside of class hours with a community partner) and will prepare in class, by doing research and activities related to their chosen project.  

300 level

Course Instructor:  Nadia Garzon

Course Title: Theater for All: Image and Forum Theater   
Course Number: RFLA 300 09 - CRN# 90429
Offered: T,R 8:00 - 9:15 a.m.

Themes: Enduring Questions/Identity

Course Description: This course surveys Augusto Boal's Theater of the Oppressed, a technique developed for actors and non-actors alike, which seeks to give back the means of artistic production to the people. We will explore oppression in our lives and will use Image and Forum Theater among other tools to investigate and process our experiences. This is a hands-on lab, which means that students will participate in theater games and exercises and will be part of a performance piece.

300 level

Instructor: Sheri Boyd

Course Title: Social Choice Mathematics
Course Number: RFLA 300 10 - CRN# 90421
Offered: MWF 12:00 - 12:50
Theme: Cultural Collision/ Enduring Questions

Course Description: 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.