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Rollins Foundations in the Liberal Arts

Innovation Themed Courses Spring 2020

Develop your creative skills and build the world of tomorrow. Investigate innovation and creativity across the centuries in all their forms, including science, philosophy, art, and entrepreneurship. Live and work as creative citizens by bringing positive changes to your global and local communities. Test the boundaries, push conventions, and devise new ways of living in a rapidly changing world.

Instructor: Rachel Simmons

Section 1:T 8:00- 10:45, CFAC 107
Section 2: W 4:00 - 6:30, CFAC 107

This course will examine identity and memory through the visual journal, a mixed media fusion of creative writing and art. Journaling is a practice of self-reflection that helps create meaning in our lives. Students will engage in timed writing activities, group critiques and mixed media techniques. Weekly written and visual reflections focus on memory, identity, aspirations and perceived obstacles to success. Fee $50.

Instructor:  Kevin Griffin

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, WAR 201

Throughout the centuries theatre has provided man with a means of self-expression, transforming the human experience into a lasting symbolic form. Expressive arts classes provide the student with an appreciation for aesthetic experience by teaching the skills necessary for individual aesthetic expression or by focusing on acquiring a critical vocabulary with which to articulate the aesthetic experience.
Innovation, creation and elevation lie at the core of every theatrical production. Its success or failure rests in the production teams ability to create a work that speaks to the audience and elevates their mood, perception or understanding of the subject matter being presented. Innovation in techniques, styles, methods and technical equipment is constant in the field; allowing artists to collaborate in ways that profoundly affect the next generation.

Instructor: Mari Robertson

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, CSS 229

Will a tariff war with China cause your next smartphone to cost $4000? What does universal health care mean and would it bankrupt the U.S.? Is green energy sustainable? These examples of hotly contested issues all involve understanding the challenges of economic policy and how decisions made on a global scale have consequences for your everyday lives. Our encompassing approach to headline events looks at the different perspectives of the topics. We explore the stakeholders, including individuals and institutions, who influence and make policy decisions that can change your daily behavior. Also analyzed are the incentives constructed in policies that act as guides for reasoned choices made by individuals. Armed with data and facts about real-world challenges, we develop an economic way of thinking about your surroundings.


Instructor: Erik Kenyon

MWF 9:00 - 9:50, ASC 243

Philosophy was born in the gyms of Athens. In this class, we will return a body of abstract thought to its original context, in an attempt to understand how training for the body sparked training for the mind. We will use archaeology to reconstruct the reality of ancient athletics and literary texts to critique philosophers’ idealized versions of this reality. We will explore a cluster of questions about the nature of happiness / the best life for a human being (​eudaimonia), the role of virtue / excellence (​arete ) in this life and what forms of education / training may help up secure both. Along the way, we will attempt to define individual virtues (courage, moderation, justice), think about the nature of physical beauty & erotic love, and evaluate concepts of mental “health” and strategies for spiritual “exercise”. We will end on a practical note, competing in our own Greek Olympic Games and using ancient materials to think about the role of gym culture and forms of well-being in our own time.

Instructor:  Steven Schoen

T,R 9:30 -10:45, Olin 220

More and more the stories we tell are digital, and you can have the skills to tell them! This course centers on multimedia expression. We will study the ways stories convey who we are and how we understand others and our world. Then we will practice telling evocative, creative, powerful stories that connect personally significant aspects of ourselves to important issues in the world. Projects will include a photo essay, short audio documentary, and short video.

Instructor:  Dana Hargrove

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, CFAC 110

What different roles do artists take in creating a social fabric or a sense of place? Encouraged to make connections between art, landscape and community, students will begin their own journey as an artist and create innovative art works that enliven/elevate their community and sense of place. Students will engage with these concepts through readings and discussion and develop these ideas creatively through a series of hands-on projects that explore various artist techniques and creative processes - all while learning about art, place and community from a theoretical, cultural, historical and practical perspective. This course will have a CE component.

Instructor: Zhaochang Peng

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, CSS 230

Innovations do not automatically translate into positive social changes. Competing ideas, conflicting interests and complex social structures all shape the ways in which innovations are generated and applied to economic life, often leading to mixed results and unequal distribution of costs and benefits across the society. How can we harness the power of technological and institutional innovations to promote public interest and facilitate social progress? To answer this central question, this course looks into influential cases in agricultural, industrial and financial sectors to understand the processes and impact of applying innovations to economic life. Special attention is paid to how lessons from the past can assist us in meeting our current economic challenges.

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, Ashley Cannaday

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, Bush 164, lab F 2:30 - 5:00, Bush 180

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. 

Instructor: Kasandra Riley

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, Bush 102; lab R 8:00 - 9:15, Bush 

Why does an egg turn white when you cook it or an avocado turn brown when you cut it? Why are some chocolate chip cookies soft and others crispy? Where do recipes come from? In this course we will discover the inextricable relationship between science and our everyday experiences as humans sustained by food. The class will focus on an understanding of how individual food components, as well as physical and chemical changes, contribute to the overall quality of a food. We will explore innovations in food science (e.g. molecular gastronomy) and how new foods are created as we conduct edible experiments to illustrate the scientific method and physical, chemical, biochemical, and microbiological principles in cooking. Science is always involved in the foods we eat, and an act of creative cooking is truly the same as conducting a science experiment.

Instructor: Pedro Bernal

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, Bush 202; lab T 2:00 - 4:30 Bush

The Science and Culture of Chocolate examines the harvesting of cacao and the production, health effects, and properties of chocolate. This course also examines the cultural importance of chocolate from the cultures of Mesoamerica to the present day. Chocolate started as a drink and it became a bar fairly recently as a result of technical innovations that eventually made possible the business that chocolate is today. From Bean to Bar, from Maya to Valentine’s Day – if you will.

Instructor: Rachel Simmons

R 8:00 - 10:45, CFAC 107

Explore contemporary graphic narratives and share the story of your academic journey through your own comic book. Reflect on global citizenship, responsible leadership and meaningful lives as you identify critical moments of growth from your time at Rollins. Course fee $50.

Instructor: Jana Mathews

MWF 9:00 - 9:50, ORLAN 115

Intructor permission to register; 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: Nadia Garzon

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, 203 ELY AUD

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.

Instructor: Nadia Garzon

T,R 8:00 - 9:15, 203ELY AUD

This course surveys Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed, a technique which seeks to give back the means of artistic production to the people. We will explore oppression and systems of oppression in our lives and in our context (racism, homophobia, sexism, etc.) 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 may be part of a performance piece.

Instructor: Valerie Summet

T,R 8:00 - 9:15, Bush 202

This course examines the role and impact of information and communication technology in society, with emphasis on ethical, professional, and public policy issues. Examples of topics we will explore include privacy, anonymity, free speech, cryptocurrency, intellectual property, data collection, and accessibility. ECMP