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Rollins Foundations in the Liberal Arts

Fall 2024 RFLA Seminar Courses

The following seminar courses will be offered in the RFLA curriculum for the fall  2024 semester.  To satisfy your RFLA requirements you must take:

  • 1 Rollins Conference Course
  • 4 competencies courses (one course in each of these four areas: foreign language, mathematical thinking, writing, and ethical reasoning)
  • 5 Foundations seminars fall under the five themes: Cultural Collision, Enduring Questions, Environment, Identity, and Innovation.
    • At least one course in Expressive Arts(A), Social Sciences(C), Humanities(H), and Sciences(S).
    • One(1) 100-level course, three(3) 200-level courses, one(1) 300-level course.

Please be sure to check the divisional exceptions list for courses that may count towards rFLA credit.

Please be sure to check the interdisciplinary course list for courses that could satisfy interdisciplinary majors.

Course: 91786 RFLA 100A 01

Instructor: R Simmons

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title: Visual Journals

Prereqs: Fee:$50

Course DescriptionThis 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.

Course: 92706 RFLA 100C 02

Instructor: P Rickert

Days/Times: MWF 12:00 - 12:50

Course Title: The 2024 Election

Prereqs: Open to 2027 cohort only.

Course Description: This course will follow the weekly twists and turns of the 2024 U.S. elections focusing primarily on the national presidential and congressional elections. In addition, the course will provide a sampling of the research in political science and history that will help make sense of the 2024 election and beyond, including the structure and administration of U.S. elections and the political attitudes and behaviors that bring that structure to life. Students can expect to follow the election closely, learn how to predict elections and create their own forecasts, and identify how campaigns, demographic shifts, and economic factors work together to make democracy function.

Course: 91791 RFLA 200A 01

Instructor: A Hope

Days/Times: MW 2:30-3:45P

Course Title: Introduction to Sculpture

Prereqs: RFLA 100; Fee: $50

Course DescriptionThis studio course introduces the fundamentals of contemporary sculptural practice with an emphasis on spatial awareness, problem-solving, and conceptual development. Students will investigate sculptural form as a means of cultural production through technical exercises, hands-on studio projects, critiques, slide lectures, readings, and discussions. The objective of this course is to give students an understanding of contemporary conceptual issues, materials and strategies for making sculpture. Students will develop their technical, formal and conceptual knowledge of art making, while beginning to identify the vocabularies and concerns that inform their own work. Students will expand their technical and problem-solving skills both through general demonstrations and exercises and in response to unique problems arising from their own projects.

Course: 91792 RFLA 200A 02

Instructor: D Roe

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title: Introduction to Photography

Prereqs: RFLA 100; Fee: $50

Course Description: This course focuses upon the practice of photography as a fine art, while considering the influence of its commercial, scientific and personal applications. Students will be encouraged to make connections between their everyday understanding of the photographic image – through social media and family albums, advertising or history books – and how this informs their own artistic application. Students will leave this course with an experiential understanding of digital techniques and methodologies and competence in the critical discussion of images. A series of lectures, shooting assignments, lab work, reading assignments and group discussions will cover basic techniques and issues of artistic expression. Innovations in the medium have greatly impacted how the photographic image is both created and received. Highlighting the creative endeavors of past and current practitioners by covering the history of photography will enable students to more fully consider and discuss their own work and the work of others. Students will gain perspective by positioning their own work alongside the traditions of the history of photography as well as the more recent histories of lens and time-based media such as film/video and on-line imagery.

Course: 91793 RFLA 200A 03

Instructor: D Hargrove

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title: Drawing & Composition

Prereqs: RFLA 100; Fee: $50

Course DescriptionThis studio class will strongly establish a beginning point from which you will develop and refine your understanding of drawing as a creative visual inquiry into mark-making and drawing. You will learn how to translate and interpret three-dimensional forms onto two-dimensional surfaces with a variety of drawing materials both traditional and contemporary while also learning how to communicate visually.

Course: 92559 RFLA 200A 04

Instructor: C Archard

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title: Musical One-Hit Wonders

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course DescriptionWhy 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 and Popular music 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 and historical context of each era. We will also delve into the formulaic songwriting techniques used to create the perfect three-minute “Ear Candy” pop masterpiece.

Course: 92560 RFLA 200A 05

Instructor: J Roos

Days/Times: MWF 12:00-12:50P

Course Title: Masters Go to the Movies

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course DescriptionWhile a script may help us in knowing what to think, music helps us to know how to feel. Music in a film enhances the action and mood and together facilitates an integrated work of art that becomes bigger than the sum of its parts. One can hardly listen to a movie score and not notice that musical classics have always been a part of the movies. From Bach to Bernstein, Mozart to Mancini, and Williams to Wagner this class will listen to great music found in movies and study the musicians that made it possible.

Course: 92561 RFLA 200A 06

Instructor: D Flick

Days/Times: MWF 12:00-12:50P

Course Title: Music Meets Life

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course DescriptionWith music and creativity at its core, this course will focus on the countless ways that music touches our daily lives and will celebrate how music can both define us as individuals and bring us together as one world. At no time in history have artists had such a broad reach to influence change and help shape our future. So, whether your interests tend toward being the creator, promoter, producer, performer, or consumer, music’s modern frontier provides a place of limitless opportunity and diversity.

Course: 92562 RFLA 200A 07

Instructor: M Breckling

Days/Times: TR 08:00-09:15A

Course Title: Country Music-Industry Defining

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course DescriptionDespite country music’s roots in the folk music of Appalachia and the American South, since it first became a commercialized art form in the 1920s, entrepreneurs have attempted to manipulate the images of country performers to either exaggerate or downplay their representation of southern identity, all in an effort to expand the style’s share of the music market. This course will examine the history of country music from three perspectives: its musical style and its evolution, its portrayal of the culture of the American South, and the influence of the country music industry on how those identities are projected in order to appeal to the broadest audiences. Students will learn about country music styles and their origins from the 1920s until today.

Course: 92563 RFLA 200A 08

Instructor: M Breckling

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title: Music and Fairy Tales

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course DescriptionFairy Tales are not merely source material for Disney movies. They are remnants of folklore, stories used for centuries to pass life lessons onto children. Many such stories implicitly use music as part of their plots, and many more have inspired musical works. This course will explore these stories from their origins and identify how music is used to pass on the lessons hidden within fairy tales, as well as how those lessons are distorted through later musical settings.

Course: 91790 RFLA 200C 01

Instructor: Z Gilmore

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title: Fantastic Archaeology

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course DescriptionThis 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.

Course: 91787 RFLA 200C 02

Instructor: D Painter

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title: Communication and Society

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course DescriptionStudents in this course will explore the central role of communication in the development and evolution of cultural and social norms. Moreover, students will analyze the ways in which verbal, nonverbal, and visual communication are used in interpersonal, public, and professional contexts to create meaning and develop relationships. Finally, students will evaluate a wide variety of communication sources, messages, and practices to develop their critical thinking skills in the Information Age.

Course: 92526 RFLA 200C 03

Instructor: Y Yao

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title: China's Rise 

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course DescriptionChina’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 China’s rise has on the U.S. and the rest of the world.

Course: 92574 RFLA 200C 04

Instructor: M Nichter

Days/Times: MW 2:30-3:45P

Course Title: Black Lives Matter 

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course DescriptionRace shapes our lives in profound ways. In this course, we will analyze the causes and consequences of racial inequality in the United States, with a focus on the experiences of African-Americans. Topics covered will include residential segregation, unequal schools, hiring discrimination, and biased policing. We will also examine the work of movement activists fighting for racial justice.

Course: 92577 RFLA 200C 05

Instructor: S Brown

Days/Times: MWF 12:00-12:50P

Course Title: Patient Experience

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course DescriptionEach of us will be a medical patient at some point in our lives or a caregiver for someone else, and these experiences can be stressful, intimidating, and even discriminatory. This course examines critical issues and tensions between providers and patients in the US medical system in order to design a more equitable, healthier future.

Course: 92586 RFLA 200C 06

Instructor: L Poole 

Days/Times: MW 2:30-3 :45P

Course Title: Identities/Conflict:The 1960s

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course DescriptionThis course focuses on identities and cultural collisions, examining events, people, and grassroots uprisings in the United States that led to a number of conflicts: Civil Rights, the Vietnam War, women's rights, gay rights, counterculture, and the rise of the environmental movement. The echoes of this era are still being felt today, as evidenced by continuing debates about race, rights, and power in the twenty-first century. This turbulent era shaped the modern identity of the United States and of Americans. We will spend the semester identifying and analyzing this amazing decade and will investigate documents and primary historical sources to do so. We likely will discover a variety of interpretations of different events and movements and that is the beauty and agony of history—we never stop learning or reinterpreting past events. Importantly, we will look at how the following decades were affected by the 1960s.

Course: 92597 RFLA 200C 08

Instructor: W Zhang

Days/Times: W 2:30-5:00P

Course Title: Asian Dynamics 

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course DescriptionThe importance of Asia derives from its large population, long history, complex and diverse societies and cultures, and rising economic significance. As the peoples and nations of the world become increasingly interconnected, successful leaders will benefit from a mastery of this key region. ASA203 (303) - Dynamics of the Asian Community in the 21st Century: An Interdisciplinary Study on the Past, Present and Future of Asia will provide a unique opportunity for students to study one of the most important regions in the world today and to examine one of the most pressing issues of our time: the rise of Asia in the 21st century. Through the international seminar series given by multiple Asian Study scholars, students will develop a comprehensive understanding of the historical, social, cultural, political, and economic forces that have shaped modern Asia. The goal of the course is to help students grow and become global citizens, who can look forward to the prospects of cooperation with people around the globe in building a better, conflict-free world. No previous knowledge about or experience in Asia is required to take this course.

Course: 92660 RFLA 200C 10

Instructor: D Boniface

Days/Times: MWF 12:00-12:50P

Course Title: The Rise and Fall of Democracy

Prereqs: RFLA 100

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.  

Course: 92722 RFLA 200C 10

Instructor: S Saiyed

Days/Times: MWF 9:00 - 9:50

Course Title: Primates and People

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course Description: This course focuses on the intersecting worlds of humans and other primates. Together, we will uncover what it means to be human through the relationships we develop with primates, who are our biological and metaphorical kin. We will examine this kinship and how it leads to interesting and diverse roles for primate species in human life. From monkeys working as coconut pickers in Thailand to chimpanzees used in traditional medicine in Cameroon, this course explores primate relationships from across the world.

Course: 92554 RFLA 200H 01

Instructor: S Schoen

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title: Media & Violence

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course DescriptionWe 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. SWAG elective.

Course: 92645 RFLA 200H 02

Instructor: A Prieto-Calixto

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title: Spanish Identity Through the Lens

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course DescriptionIn this course, we will explore how the Spanish-speaking world defines its ethnic, religious, cultural, and national identities through film, documentary, and other visual artifacts. We will consider how diverse Spanish identities have been created, revised, and used.

Course: 92590 RFLA 200H 03

Instructor: J Brown

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title: N/A

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course Description:

This philosophy course will investigate foundational questions that have pushed the boundaries of human thought and driven the quest for knowledge for more than two thousand years.  The questions students will investigate and discuss include: What is consciousness?  Are humans free to act according to their wills?  Are humans determined to act according to the laws of physics and neurology?  Are humans pre-determined to act according to the cosmic design of a higher being?  Is A.I. alive?  These questions are perfect for curious students looking for a course that has lively investigations, discussions, and debates.

Course: 92644 RFLA 200H 04

Instructor: A Prieto-Calixto

Days/Times: TR 08:00-09:15A

Course Title: Spanish Identity Through the Lens

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course DescriptionIn this course, we will explore how the Spanish-speaking world defines its ethnic, religious, cultural, and national identities through film, documentary, and other visual artifacts. We will consider how diverse Spanish identities have been created, revised, and used.

Course: 92565 RFLA 200H 05

Instructor: V Brown

Days/Times: MWF 12:00-12:50P

Course Title: The End of Innocence

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course Description: Students enrolled in “The End of Innocence” will study short works of fiction, creative nonfiction, art, and documentary film to explore the “coming-of-age” trope. Texts will include a broad range of authors representing stories and experiences from around the globe. Through these works, we will grapple with the very concept of “coming of age” as a universal condition, and not just a Western conceit, while we investigate the many forms rites of passage may take, especially when rooted in times of conflict.

Course: 92564 RFLA 200H 06

Instructor: J Mathews

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title: Literature & Law

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course Description: This course examines legal-themed novels, plays, short stories, films, and true crime podcasts to explore the rich and surprising intersections between literary storytelling and legal practice and culture. In the process, you will learn how to scrutinize texts, build a rock-solid case using evidence, and craft clear and persuasive oral and written arguments that will serve you well in the classroom, the courtroom, and everywhere in between.

Course: 92662 RFLA 200H 07

Instructor: S Coffman-Rosen

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title: Disability, Body, and Identity

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course Description: How do we relate to bodies, minds, and identities that are different than our own, and how does that determine our place in a changing society? In this course, we will examine how disabilities, bodies, and identities intersect and determine how we interpret and occupy bodies in intersecting categories. Course topics include media and disability; becoming disabled; disability, race, gender, and sexual orientation; Deafness and Deaf culture; aesthetics and fashion; disability and sports; and “outsider” sexuality. You will examine your own "body politic," and the bodies of others. Course readings will be supplemented with film, cultural artifacts, personal writing, and interactive projects.

Course: 92695 RFLA 200H 08

Instructor: R Diaz-Zambrana

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title:  Lat Am Lit: Race/Class/Gender

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course Description: This course will study the representation of gender, class, and race in Latin American literature culture, and cinema through the analysis of literary texts, films, art, and other cultural products. Given the diverse sociocultural construction of Latin America, this course will examine the ongoing effect of some of its most prevalent struggles, such as marginality, historical trauma, and exclusion, in shaping its societies and subjectivities past and present. We will also take an in-depth look at some of Latin America's cultural representations as a product of a complex intersection of national politics, ethnic identities, and social privilege in the context of a globalized world. Readings will include literary works by such writers as Rigoberta Menchú and Junot Diaz as well as perspectives on film and popular culture from figures such as Frida Kahlo, Shakira, and Celia Cruz.

Course: 92738 RFLA 200H 09

Instructor: J Wu

Days/Times: MWF 9:00 - 9:50

Course Title:  Chinese Calligraphy & Hist Art

Prereqs: RFLA 100; No prior experience with Chinese language necessary

Course Description: This introductory course explores the rich history and artistry of Chinese calligraphy, emphasizing its philosophical and aesthetic underpinnings as well as its revered status within Asian culture. Students will delve into the development of the Chinese writing system and explore the lives and contributions of famous calligraphers, gaining appreciation for the historical contexts and artistic nuances of their works. Through lectures, discussions, and demonstrations, the course critically examines calligraphy's role as a medium of self-expression and cultural enrichment. Additionally, the course offers hands-on practice where students will learn to use the Chinese writing brush, execute individual strokes, and construct characters primarily in the regular style, developing both proficiency and a personal creative connection to this profound art form. No prior experience with the Chinese language is needed. 

Course: 91798 RFLA 200S 01

Instructor: S Guerrier

Days/Times: 08:00-10:45A

Course Title: Cancer: Where is the Cure?

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course Description: Discusses the principles of cancer biology. Explore topics such as basic cell biology, cancer research models, therapeutics, and the challenges to finding a cure.

Course: 91799 RFLA 200S 02

Instructor: W Coyle

Days/Times: MW 1:00-2:15P

Course Title: Electricity & Making for Change

Prereqs: RFLA 100 & MCMP

Course Description: This project-based course explores the current movement of making through the disciplines ofphysics and computer science. The course will cover foundational principles of electronic circuitbuilding and will explore the interaction of hardware and software to sense and respond to thephysical world using a microcontroller (Arduino). Throughout the course students will be encouragedto try new things and create with their newfound expertise in each domain. The semester-longproject will ask the student to choose one of the UN SDGs on which to focus their newfound makerskills.

Course: 91800 RFLA 200S 03

Instructor: A Cannaday

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title: Physics of Everyday Things

Prereqs: RFLA 100 & MCMP

Course Description: Have you ever found yourself wondering: how do musical instruments produce the beautiful notes we hear? How do bicycles move? What causes light bulbs to emit light? In this course, we will use the principles of physics to answer the question “How does THAT work?” We will explore familiar objects, such as microwaves, televisions, bathroom scales, and engines, and use physics to explain the inner workings of the world around us.

Course: 91801 RFLA 200S 04

Instructor: S Fonseca Douguet

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title:  Science of Leonardo da Vinci

Prereqs: RFLA 100 

Course Description: Leonardo da Vinci was a man ahead of his time.  He thrived in arts, science, and technology, uncovering new directions with scientific art.  We will investigate his life and the breadth and depth of his scientific studies.  The topics include anatomy and physiology, plant morphology, geology, mechanics, waves, optics, fluid dynamics, civil engineering, ballistics, and mathematics. 

Course: 91802 RFLA 200S 05

Instructor: R Yankelevitz

Days/Times: TR 09:30 - 10:45; MW 1:00 - 2:15

Course Title: Human Animal Interactions

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course Description: Many of us consider dogs our best friends, yet we have a lot to learn about their abilities and preferences. In this course, we will study our canine companions, and other domesticated animals, in order to learn how to use the tools of science to reach objective, replicable conclusions that can improve the lives of humans and animals alike.

Course: 92584 RFLA 200S 06, 07

Instructor: I Biazzo

Days/Times: Section 06: TR 08:00-09:15A; Section 07: TR 9:30 - 10:45

Course Title: FL Biodiversity & EnvScience

Prereqs: RFLA 100

Course Description: Think of this course as a conversation about complex local and global issues from the perspective of a well-rounded critical thinker. From this perspective, you will see connections, patterns, and issues you probably never noticed. At the same time, we will learn about Florida's natural history and how those issues relate to conservation in Florida. Labs will consist of outdoor nature walks where you will learn about biodiversity.

Course: 91813 RFLA 300 01

Instructor: M Robinson

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title: AsianAmer Identity Thru Repres

Prereqs: Two RFLA 200 & WCMP

Course Description: This course will examine how Asian American Identity is represented through various means including, but not limited to media, the arts, gender, food, and politics.  Students will first gain a historical and contextual foundation of Asians in America and the challenges and consequences that representation or misrepresentation that Asian Americans face.

Course: 92241 RFLA 300 02

Instructor: H Mesbah

Days/Times: MW 2:30-3:45P

Course Title: Global Journalism

Prereqs: Two RFLA 200 & WCMP

Course Description: This class is about global news, global media organizations and networks, and global issues presented in specific global media outlets. Students will analyze news in the global press, explore the historical, legal, ethical, and political contexts of those news outlets, and critique theories and effects of globalization.

Course: 91810 RFLA 300 03

Instructor: A Murdaugh

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title: Tilt and Spin

Prereqs: Two RFLA 200 & WCMP

Course Description: The Earth’s axis is tilted by 23.5 degrees. This tilt unevenly distributes the sunlight across the Earth, giving rise to unique cultural practices, the early science advancements, seasons, and biodiversity. The tilt also influences the effects of and solutions to climate change. In this course, students will explore the intersection of culture, policy, and science to more deeply understand how our path through the stars shapes our past and future.

Course: 92567 RFLA 300 04

Instructor: L Littler

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title: Racial Fictions

Prereqs: Two RFLA 200 & WCMP

Course Description: In this course, we will examine race as fiction—a carefully constructed narrative that draws audiences in and solicits their belief in its “truth.” We will consider how race has been made, revised, and used in American culture. Course texts will include novels, multidisciplinary scholarship, news media, and pop-culture artifacts.

Course: 91812 RFLA 300 05

Instructor: S Parsloe

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title: My Body, Myself

Prereqs: Two RFLA 200 & WCMP

Course Description: This course explores how we communicate to (re)create embodied identities, producing and resisting cultural definitions of “normalcy.” We will focus on specific embodied experiences, including illness, injury, disability, fatness, queerness, and race. We will also consider how people respond to identity threats, including their own changing, unpredictable bodies. As part of your semester-long interview-based project, you and a partner will develop a podcast episode exploring one aspect of embodiment that you find particularly fascinating.

Course: 92576 RFLA 300 06

Instructor: V Aggarwal

Days/Times: TR 11:00-12:15P

Course Title: Pain & Pleasure in Media & Lit

Prereqs: Two RFLA 200 & WCMP

Course Description: We will examine “negative” affects (unease, shame) in the formal structures of various cultural products: films, television, comics, literature, and artwork. What makes up our fascination with certain forms of negativity, particularly when it is ritualized through narrative and performance? How do we consume such emotion as pleasurable? We will examine these questions critically, theoretically, and artistically, via the lens of gender, race, and sexuality. Why are certain types of “negative” emotions privileged in our art, culture, and media? Are these expressions self-indulgent, cathartic, consoling, liberating and/or all of the above? Eventually, you will do a final project where you apply the ideas and concepts from this class to an area of interest to you.

Course: 92588 RFLA 300 07, 12

Instructor: S Boyd 

Days/Times: Section 07 - MWF 09:00-09:50A; Section 12 - MWF 8:00 - 8:50

Course Title: Social Choice Mathematics

Prereqs: Two RFLA 200 & WCMP

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.

Course: 92600 RFLA 300 08

Instructor: K Riley

Days/Times: WF 1:00-2:15P

Course Title: Unwinding DNA and Justice

Prereqs: RFLA 100 and 2 RFLA 200 & WCMP

Course Description: The unique genetic information carried in each of our cells is a record of a core piece of our identity. We leave traces of our personal DNA records everywhere we go. The determination of an individual’s DNA characteristics, known as DNA profiling, has been used as evidence in criminal trials since the 1980s. What is forensic DNA profiling? How is DNA profile evidence obtained, handled, safeguarded, introduced, and explained to prove or rule out a suspect’s presence at a crime scene, secure conviction, or raise reasonable doubt? What criminal information cannot be obtained using DNA profiling? This course addresses these and other complex questions by walking through the science of DNA testing from the 1980s to the present day. Students will be challenged to think critically about the benefits and limitations of DNA evidence illustrated in specific cases of how DNA evidence has been used in the conviction of violent offenders and the wrongly accused. At the end of the course, each student will present a research project that analyzes the economic, social, cultural, environmental, technological, and/or political impact of the use of DNA evidence in the exoneration of an innocent prisoner. Projects will highlight how our bias in relation to socioeconomic status, nationality, ethnicity, race, gender, religion, and/or sexuality can affect how DNA evidence is used in our legal system.

Course: 92684 RFLA 300 09

Instructor: N Garzon

Days/Times: TR 08:00-08:50A

Course Title: Conflict/Stories/Identities_CE

Prereqs: Two RFLA 200 & WCMP

Course Description: This course examines the use of theater to tell stories, assert identities, and question realities. Students will explore their own story of self, while engaging with early and modern theater works born out of colonization, neo-colonization, and violence; works that search for social justice through theater in a world were U.S. foreign policy, corporations, and the legacy of colonization continue to oppress Latin America. This is a CE class; students will engage with a partner organization.

Course: 92694 RFLA 300 10

Instructor: M Olson

Days/Times: TR 09:30-10:45A

Course Title: Exploring Digital History

Prereqs: Two RFLA 200 & WCMP

Course Description: This hands-on course explores the merging realms of public history and digital humanities, and the methodologies historians employ in their research and writing within modern contexts and technological frameworks. Over the course of the semester, we will take a critical look at some of the institutional, infrastructural, and political issues involved in interrogating digital humanities. Students will delve into digital archives as well as create and interpret public history platforms, to grasp the techniques historians employ in the creation and utilization of these digital mediums.

Course:  92710 RFLA 300 11 

Instructor:  J Mathews

Days/Times: TR: 08:00- 09:15

Course Title:  Sports and Pop Culture

Prereqs:  Two RFLA 200 & WCMP; Counts for 200-level ENG course; Meets with ENG 244.

Course Description: Sport is one of the master organizing categories of American society, influencing everything from foreign policy to race relations to what kind of cereal we eat to how we spend our afternoons on any given Sunday. This course explores the intersections between sports and popular culture via film, texts, and interactive activities. Topics include Super Bowl commercials, half-time shows, and stadium cities; controversies surrounding race and class, match-fixing, megaconferences, and paying student-athletes; extreme sports (base jumping, parkour); weird sports (toe wrestling, hot dog eating), and the popularity of gladiatorial blood sports. 

Course:  92726 RFLA 300 13

Instructor:  S Tisha

Days/Times: TR: 08:00- 09:15

Course Title:  AI & Natural Intelligence

Prereqs:  Two RFLA 200 & MCMP

Course Description: This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding intelligence, using machine intelligence as a framework to explore both artificial and natural intelligence. Starting with broad questions, we'll gradually delve into specific inquiries about the workings of brains and computers. By examining the capabilities of machines like voice recognition and game-playing, we'll gain insights into the similarities and differences between artificial and natural intelligence. Additionally, we'll discuss the ethical and societal implications of AI. This course is designed for students interested in computers who are comfortable discussing ethical concerns.