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Rollins Foundations in the Liberal Arts

Spring 2022 RFLA Seminar Courses

The following seminar courses will be offered in the RFLA curriculum for the spring 2022 semester.  In order 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 that fall under the five themes: Cultural Collision, Enduring Questions, Environment, Identity, 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.

Spring 2022 RFLA Course Offerings



Course: RFLA   300, 1       Instructor:  Vidhu Aggarwal                         Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Pleasure and Pain in Media and Literature

Prereq: Two 200-level RFLA courses; the third 200-level RFLA course can be taken concurrently; Themes: Identity, Cultural Collision; counts for a 200 ENG elective

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 (political science, art, counts for a 200 ENG elective.

Course: RFLA   300, 2       Instructor:  Barry Allen                  Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  America's Gifts

Prereq: Two 200-level RFLA courses;  the third 200-level RFLA course can be taken concurrently theme: Cultural Collision

Course Description: 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.

Course: RFLA   300, 3       Instructor:  Ashley Kistler                            Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Constructing the Common Read

Prereq: Two 200-level RFLA courses; the third 200-level RFLA course can be taken concurrently; themes: Identity, Enduring Questions

Course Description: In this course, you will come together to select the texts that will be assigned in the rFLA/RCC courses. You’ll earn course credit for working through the films, essays, podcasts, and stories you’ve been wanting to read. You’ll work in teams to create teaching materials that professors could use in their courses. And you’ll have the opportunity to volunteer to teach some of those fall sessions yourself, getting training on how to lead class discussions on the most pressing questions of our time.

Course: RFLA   300, 4       Instructor:  Sheri Boyd                   Days/Times: MWF, 9:00 - 9:50
Course Title:  Social Choice Mathematics

Prereq: Two 200-level rFLA courses; the third 200-level RFLA course can be taken concurrently; themes: Cultural Collision, Identity,

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: RFLA   300, 5       Instructor:  Dan Myers                                  Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Consulting in the Community_CE

Prereq: Two 200-level RFLA courses; The third 200-level RFLA course can be taken concurrently; Themes:  Innovation, Environments; CE course

Course Description: How do you compute without computers? This course surveys problem solving and mathematical techniques developed by the ancient Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greeks, and others. Bring your abacus and learn how ancient peoples solved the problems of civilization: representing numbers, sailing by the stars, mapping the world, keeping track of money and time, and BUILDING THE PYRAMIDS.  CE course.

Course: RFLA   300, 6       Instructor:  Hilary Cooperman                    Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Critical Performance Ethnography

Prereq:  Two 200-level RFLA courses; the third 200-level RFLA course can be taken concurrently; Themes: Identity, Cultural Collision

Course Description: In this course students will think critically about their everyday lives as a site of research. They will learn to notice and examine the relationships and actions of those around them and to think about these acts as contributing to, or resisting social norms and discourses. They will engage in their own research project by choosing a particular site in which they have some kind of vested interest. Finally, they will learn to think about various ethical stances and the importance of cultivating a sense of justice and ethics in the way in which they themselves "perform" their research. Counts for ECMP.

Course: RFLA   300, 7       Instructor:  Rochelle Elva                              Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Computers in the Non-Greek Zone

Prereq:  Two RFLA 100 -level course; the third 200-level RFLA course can be taken concurrently; themes: Cultural Collision, Identity

Course Description: In our modern environment, education can no longer be considered complete with just the 3Rs. computer literacy is quickly becoming the 4th fundamental requirement for a complete education of the global citizen. This project-based course presents an introduction to computer science concepts and exploration of the meaning and expressions of computer literacy in our time. Other topics covered will include issues surrounding the evolution of the computer, the social impact of computer use, how and why computers work and dispelling some infamous myths about computer science, the internet, and its applications. Counts for ECMP.

Course: RFLA   300, 8       Instructor:  Jim McLaughlin and Yudit Greenberg             
Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Learning and Teaching About the Holocaust

Prereq:  rFLA 100 and two rFLA 200 courses; the third 200-level RFLA course can be taken concurrently counts as JWS elective; Themes: Identity, Enduring Questions.

Course Description: This interdisciplinary course addresses Jewish life in Europe before the Holocaust, the history of antisemitism, major events of the war, persecution of Jews and other targeted groups, and death and survival in the ghettos and concentration camps. We will examine the experiences of children and women, bystanders, rescuers, and resisters. Also, we discuss faith during and after the Holocaust, forgiveness, and how the Holocaust is represented in diaries, memoirs, poetry, and other artistic forms. Counts for Jewish Studies elective.


Course: RFLA   300, 9       Instructor:  Lisa Tillmann                               Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Incarceration & Inequality

Prereq:  Two 200-level RFLA courses; the third 200-level RFLA course can be taken concurrently; Themes: Identity, Cultural Collision

Course Description: U.S. jails and prisons hold ~2.2 million people; the same number work for Wal-Mart, the world’s largest private employer, worldwide. The U.S. incarcerates more people than any other country. Class, race, nationality, and sex profoundly affect a person’s interactions with official “justice” systems, influencing, e.g., who gets stopped, patted down, searched, arrested, and/or charged; who receives what kind of legal representation (if any); who is prosecuted, pressured to plead guilty, and/or convicted; who does time and how much. This course examines ways privilege and inequality manifest in, e.g., the War on Drugs; the militarization of policing; prison privatization; solitary confinement; the death penalty; and extrajudicial imprisonment, torture, and killing. Crosslisted with CMC 325.


Course: RFLA   300, 10                    Instructor:  Mattea Garcia                   Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Communication and Wellbeing

Prereq: Two 200-level RFLA courses; the third 200-level RFLA course can be taken concurrently

Course Description: This course will explore how communication plays a role in our sense of well-being. From resilience and compassion to social support and empathic listening, we will explore how wellbeing is created and supported through communication and interaction. We will explore how we talk about wellbeing, including the pressures of the wellness industry and “good vibes only” social media. Readings will come from a variety of disciplines as we think about our own subjective well-being and how we might foster wellness in ourselves and others. Counts for WCMP.

Course: RFLA   300, 11                    Instructor:  Whitney Coyle           Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Make Some Noise

Prereq: Two 200-level RFLA courses; the third 200-level RFLA course can be taken concurrently; theme: TBA

Course Description: What comes to mind when you think of noise? Is it good, bad, inevitable? In this course, students will explore a variety of noises encountered in everyday life - good noise, bad noise, ways to quiet noise, and make noise.

Course: RFLA   300, 12                    Instructor:  Valerie Summet        Days/Times: MWF, 9:00 - 9:50
Course Title:  Technology and Society

Prereq: Two 200-level RFLA courses; The third 200-level RFLA course can be taken concurrently.

Course Description: 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. Counts for ECMP.

Course: RFLA   300, 13                    Instructor:  Sarah Parsloe             Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  My Body Myself

Prereq: Two 200-level RFLA courses; the third 200-level RFLA course can be taken concurrently; theme: Identity, Enduring Questions

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.

Course: RFLA   300, 14 & 15                    Instructor:  Sunni Witmer           
Days/Times: section 14 - 8:00 - 9:15; section 15 - TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Music and Politics in the Americas

Prereq: Two 200-level RFLA courses; the third 200-level RFLA course can be taken concurrently; theme: Identity, Cultural Collision

Course Description - 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 relate to music, will be examined.

Course: RFLA   100A, 1                    Instructor:  Kim Dennis                 Days/Times: MWF, 12:00 - 12:50
Course Title:  History of Art: Renaissance-Modern

Themes: Identity, Cultural Collision

Course Description: This course examines gender identity and sexuality in art of the Italian Renaissance. Topics will include ideal masculinity and femininity, the male and female nude, homoeroticism, marriage, and childbearing.


Course: RFLA   100A, 2                    Instructor:  MacKenzie Ryan       Days/Times: TR 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Global Borrowings in Art

Themes: Identity, Cultural Collision

Course Description: Ever wonder why Buddha has a round belly? Why is art full of naked women? Why do we call elegant dinnerware “china?” Why is Jesus often represented as a good shepherd? Why ivory is a European luxury item, even though elephants live in Africa and Asia? In this class, we will explore artworks as the visual ramifications when cultures collide. We will challenge our initial assumptions that art is quintessentially one thing by looking into histories of trade and exchange to discover how global interactions have influenced art worldwide. By looking to art, we begin to see how our shorthand definitions of both ourselves and others can be complicated. We will explore how meaning can be fluid, changeable, and sometimes open to hijacking when artistic borrowing occurs. Course activities include field trips to local museums and art collections; close readings of works in the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art and at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum.

Course: RFLA   100A, 3                Instructor: Jennifer Cavenaugh     Days/Times: T,R, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Jack the Ripper

Themes:  Enduring Questions, Identity

Course Description: For over 125 years the mystery of Jack the Ripper has remained unsolved. Over a 3 month period in London, five women were brutally murdered and their killer was never caught. Just as suddenly as they started, the murders stopped and the mystery has tantalized playwrights and artists ever since. This class will focus on the plays, films, and television stories that try to answer the question, "Who was Jack the Ripper?" We will also try to understand who his victims were and why they have been overlooked so often in the dramatic representations of the case. We will focus on the intersections of gender and class that shaped the original case file and examine how the artists who came to represent the case on stage and screen may have been influenced by their own identities, anxieties, and biases.

Course: RFLA  100A, 4                     Instructor:  Missy Barnes              Days/Times: MWF, 10:00 - 10:50
Course Title:  Freedom to Move

Theme: Identity; Must register for DAN 135

Course Description: This course is an introduction to movement and somatics. It is designed to enhance students’ kinesthetic awareness and general movement skills as well as introduce some basic dance techniques. Students will learn about functional anatomy as it applies to movement. Explorations and exercises from a variety of methods, including the Alexander Technique, will be employed. This class will be held in the dance studio and students will be expected to regularly engage in physical activities. Because there are no street shoes allowed in the dance studio, students enrolled in the course will be required to work with bare feet during certain class periods. This course is a co-requisite for RFLA students with DAN 135.


Course: RFLA  100A, 5 & 6                 Instructor:  Nadia Garcia             
Days/Times: section 5 TR 8:00 - 9:15; section 6 TR 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Theater, Brutality, and U.S. Intervention

Themes: Cultural Collision, Identity

Course Description - This class will explore early and modern theater works born out of colonization, neo-colonization, and violence; works that search for social justice through theater in a world where U.S. foreign policy, corporations, and the legacy of colonization continue to oppress so-called “developing countries.” Students will learn about the Latin American countries and the context in which the works were produced and will participate in stage readings (will read out loud).

Course: RFLA   100C, 1                    Instructor:  Anna Szopa                 Days/Times: MWF, 9:00 - 9:50
Course Title:  Business for Social Impact

Theme: Innovation

Course Description: How can business be used to tackle critical social and environmental problems in our world? You will learn how successful social entrepreneurs create and drive positive change, and how and why meaningful social changes happen. After considering the root causes of problems our society faces, you will identify and explain new approaches to making change through for-profit, non-profit, or hybrid social enterprises, like founders, employees, and ecosystem developers, among other roles. This is a project-based course; you will develop your ability to recognize opportunities in the midst of pressing local and global problems and apply concepts and frameworks to further develop those opportunities.

Course: RFLA   100C, 2 & 3                Instructor:  Wendy Brandon        Days/Times: section 2 T,R, 8:00 - 9:15; section 3 T,R, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Food Democracy

Theme: Cultural  Collision

Course Description: The largest, most efficient producer of milk in the world is the US, followed by India and China. For this distinction, dairy cows spend their lives being fed with hundreds, even thousands of other cows, in indoor stalls or crowded feedlots. Constantly impregnated (artificially), each cow can produce milk up to 305 days a year because mother and newborn calf are separated immediately. This separation causes the mother visible emotional distress that will last days. After 3 or 4 years, dairy cows can’t produce enough milk so are sold off for hamburger meat. Every time we drink or buy milk, we are "taking sides," choosing between human value-oriented food production and high volume, “efficiency” production. Whether or not we want to be involved, we are. Food Democracy asserts it is the right and responsibility of all citizens to participate in decisions to determine food policies and practices locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. This course is an introduction to the revolution that is taking place in our food system--our food democracy—to produce healthy, quality foods that are safer for the environment and foster relationships between farmers and communities. Counts for ECMP.

Course: RFLA   100C, 5                    Instructor:  Sharon Carnahan      Days/Times: T,R, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Children of the World

Theme: Cultural Collision,

Course Description: Around the world, children experience the same milestones in very different ways! This lecture, discussion, and project-based course introduce children around the world by exploring cultural variations on common developmental experiences, such as pregnancy and birth, early childhood, friendship, and peer relations, religious training, adolescence, and the passage to adulthood. By learning the fundamental steps in human development, and ways of describing a culture, students gain a window into the lives of children around the world. We focus on the development of identity, and the environmental and cultural forces which shape our understanding of self.

Course: RFLA   100C, 6                    Instructor:  Amy McClure              Days/Times: T,R, 8:00 - 9:15
Course Title:  Identities: Conformity & Deviance

Theme: Identity

Course Description: Who am I? Am I truly unique or merely a product of my environment? How might my personality, values, feelings, and behaviors differ had I been born on the other side of the planet, in another time, or even just in another body? In this course, we will address precisely these kinds of questions by examining the complex processes through which identity is formed within society. In particular, we will explore the ongoing tension between human agency and social structure. We will examine the conditions under which people are likely to conform or deviate from social norms. We will employ a sociological perspective to make sense of all these questions and many more.

Course: RFLA   100C, 7 & 8                    Instructor:  Ja'Nya Jenoch               
Days/Times: section 7 MWF 9:00 - 9:50; section 8 MW 1:00 - 2:15
Course Title:  Life on Film

Theme: Identity, Cultural Collision

Course Description - As the saying goes “Art imitates life.” One of our most enduring and impactful art forms has been the motion picture. Ever since the silent film era, movies have been used to portray life and all of its complexities. This course will introduce a variety of film genres to students to enhance their knowledge of the major areas of sociology. Students will be able to critically think and communicate about society as they learn how film mirrors life and in turn shapes our social and cultural identities. They will learn how art imitates life, and how life imitates art.

Course: RFLA   100H, 1                    Instructor:  Todd French                Days/Times: T,R, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Extremes of Religion

Theme: Cultural Collision

Course Description: This course examines the roots of extremism in religious belief and practice. Tracing topics such as fasting, sexual politics, sacred ritual, and terror, it will examine when religious passion and devotion transform into what society deems "extreme."

Course: RFLA  100H, 2                     Instructor:  Kathryn Norsworthy                 Days/Times: MW, 1:00 - 2:15
Course Title:  Mindful Activism

Theme: Cultural  Collision, Identity,

Course Description: Mindfulness involves remaining present, grounded, and non-reactive, even in the most intense circumstances such as when engaging in activism and social change.  Impactful social movements have been crucial in advancing peace and justice in our own society and around the world.  How are they organized?  What roles do activists play at various stages in a movement and how can we mindfully navigate this work?  In this experiential course, we will examine several important social movements, theories, and concepts linked to their success, and what we can learn and apply in developing activist campaigns to address some of the most pressing contemporary social justice issues, such as gender-based violence, immigrant rights, and lgbtq+ rights.  As a developing activist, you will identify your own strengths and challenges and engage in experiences, including the cultivation of mindfulness as the foundation of social justice work, that promote your growth and effectiveness in this work.

Course: RFLA  100H, 3     Instructor:  Emily Russell                               Days/Times: T,R, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Gruesome Anatomy

Prereq: Themes: Identity, Enduring Questions,

Course Description: The minute focus of a medical examiner during the autopsy; the seductive cry of the carnival barker asking you to, “Step right in"; the varied ways in which doctors, both real and fictional, repurpose corpses for new ends; each of these acts associated with bodies is surprisingly similar to the skills of reading and writing well. In this course, we'll read about bodies at all kinds of extremes: from medical cadavers to murder victims, to freak show performers. In the process, we will learn to think differently and more critically about reading by analyzing texts that are themselves strange, often both in subject matter and style.

Course: RFLA  100H, 4 & 5             Instructor:  Suzanne Jamir           
Days/Times: Section 4: T,R, 8:00 - 9:15; Section 5: 9:30 – 10:45
Course Title:  Ghost Stories & Place_CE

Themes:  Enduring Questions, Identity; CE course

Course Description: Ghost stories are attached to place. In the South, we are arguably more familiar with ghost stories, and such stories are frequently intertwined with places so that these ghost stories reflect their communities in ways that incorporate and transcend time, thereby illuminating sociological perspectives and identity politics. We will explore how some regional and local ghost stories originated, endure now, and reflect the flux in communities and their places. Our course will utilize an artistic approach, focusing on creative writing, the fictional writing of ghost stories that are original or linked with existing ones. Students will also be asked to engage with traditional research and community-based research to write their ghost stories as well as to compose reflective artist statements.  

Course: RFLA   100H, 6    Instructor:  Denise Cummings                     Days/Times: T,R, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Native American Media and Culture

Course Description: Through critical analysis of representation and the ways Native- and non-Native-created texts (film, digital video, television, radio, print media, art, literature) have contributed to the construction of racial and ethnic identities, this course specifically addresses how contemporary Indigenous peoples reclaim textual production to (in)form identity, reconstruct the past, revitalize culture, and assert sovereignty and treaty rights. Course foundations address American Indian prehistory, the European colonial period, and the American period of American Indian history and experience. The course broadly confronts how a variety of media texts and traditions intersect with questions of race, ethnicity, and other identity categories, how such texts have engaged with diversity and marginalization, class and inequality, and how they may affect identity formations and relations. Assignments address the demonstration of information and media literacies and written competencies. Students will also create short video diaries—expressive autobiographical pieces exploring some aspect of their own identities and/or experiences.

Course: RFLA   100H, 7   Instructor:  David DiQuattro              Days/Times: MWF 9:00 - 9:50
Course Title:  Outsider in Philosophy

Theme:  Cultural Collision

Course Description: This course will examine authors and characters in philosophy, literature, and film who are not comfortable at home in their culture, or tradition; or who find themselves as strangers in a strange land. These authors and the characters they create will allow us to see and critique the modern world as outsiders. Several of the figures we will encounter will be aware of their outsider status due to some physical handicap or physical affliction.

Course: RFLA   100H, 8   Instructor:  Lisa Tillmann              Days/Times: F: 1:00 - 3:30
Course Title:  Body Liberation, Food Justice

Theme:  Identity, 

Course Description: Whose interests are served by the ways we relate to our bodies, to others’ bodies, to eating, and to food? In the arenas of body and food, who has what kind of power? Who profits and at whose expense? How can we resist and promote healthier relationships with the body and food?

Course: RFLA  200A, 1                     Instructor:  Dana Hargrove                           Days/Times: T,R, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Picturing Place

Prereq:  RFLA 100; Themes: Identity, Enduring Questions; counts as a 200-level ART elective, $ 50-course fee

Course Description: 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 artworks 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 art 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. counts as a 200 elective in ART. The course fee is $50.

Course: RFLA   200A, 2                    Instructor:  Audrey Hope                             
Days/Times: Section 2 - T,R, 9:30 - 10:45; Section 10 -M,W2:30 - 3:45
Course Title:  Introduction to Sculpture

Prereq: RFLA 100: theme: Innovation, Fee $50,

Course Description: This studio course introduces the fundamentals of contemporary sculptural practice with an emphasis on spatial awareness, problem-solving, and conceptual development. Consideration is given to the range of three-dimensional forms as found in both contemporary art and design, and in different cultural and historical contexts, as well. There is a course fee of $50.

Course: RFLA   200A, 3             Instructor:  Robert VanderPoppen                 Days/Times: T,R, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Greek and Roman Art in Myth

Prereq: RFLA 100; Theme: Identity,

Course Description: Greek Myth served as a repository of stories that helped not only the Greeks but also Ancient Romans and Renaissance Italians comprehend the world around them. These later cultures did not simply replicate the stories of the Greeks, however. Myth served as a means of cultural negotiation, and of grappling with a shared historical past. This course explores the culturally embedded choices of artists in rendering myths visually within their own historical context. Counts for an elective in CLS.

Course: RFLA   200A, 4                    Instructor:  Dan Crozier                 Days/Times: MWF,12:00 - 12:50
Course Title:  Music in Europe

Prereq: RFLA 100; Theme: Cultural Collision

Course Description: The twenty-five-year period between 1890 and 1915 gave rise to some of the most rapid and radical changes in style, in the very syntax of the language, that Western Music had seen since the Middle Ages. We will examine these striking developments in terms of composers and works from three cultural centers: Russia, France, and Austria.  We will view their work in the context of the other arts, the cultural climate of the times, and as it relates to the impending Great War.

Course: RFLA   200A, 5                    Instructor:  Archard, C                    Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Musical One Hit Wonders

Prereq: RFLA 100; Theme: Cultural Collision

Course Description: 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.

Course: RFLA   200A, 6                    Instructor:  Dan Flick                      Days/Times: MWF, 9:00 - 9:50
Course Title:  Music Meets Life

Prereq:  RFLA 100

Course Description: With music and creativity at their 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: RFLA   200A, 7                    Instructor:  Molly Breckling                          Days/Times: MWF, 9:00 - 9:50
Course Title:  Music and Revolution

Prereq: Themes: Identity, Cultural Collision,

Course Description: People have sought to overturn those in power throughout history, spawning countless revolutions, uprisings, and protests. Freedom fighters often use music as a tool for spreading their messages and gathering followers. This course will examine instances of revolt and unrest and the music used to inspire activism around the world from the 18th century to the present. Students will learn of music from the classical western tradition, global revolutionary music, and contemporary popular music.

Course: RFLA   200A, 8       Instructor:  Hilary Cooperman                                 Days/Times: MWF, 12:00 - 12:50
Course Title:  Peacebuilding through Theater

Course Description: This course employs performance as both theory and practice in order to study peacebuilding and peacemakers. This course is predicated on the belief that the human being and personal connection are key components of peace education. Therefore, an embodied, human approach to understanding conflict through the eyes of those living its consequences and fighting on the front lines of peace activism is privileged. This course also presupposes the value judgment that peacebuilding cannot fully emerge without transforming structures of power in order to make them more equitable. Therefore, this course focuses on the way that marginalized people all over the world work to obtain visibility and voice.

Course: RFLA   200A, 9                    Instructor:  Robin Gerchman                       Days/Times: T,R, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Dance and Activism

Prereq:  RFLA 100; themes: Identity, Cultural Collision

Course Description: Dance is one of the most honest forms of expression. This course focuses on dance as an activist practice across geographical locations and an empowering agent against great adversity. From the works of Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham and Bill T. Jones, to gumboot dancers in West Africa and the One Billion Rising movement, this course explores dance as a form of intervention that blurs the boundary between dancer and activist.

Course: RFLA   200C, 1,2                Instructor:  Sydney Yaeger                          
Days/Times: Section 1: T,R, 8:00 - 9:15; Section 2: 9:30 – 10:45
Course Title:  Social Media, Society, and Me

Prereq: RFLA 100 Theme: Identity

Course Description: This course provides an overview of major topics in anthropology and social media, with a focus on issues of identity, authenticity, and performativity, as well as networks of trust and influence. Focusing on the enduring question of “Why we post” and the consequences of doing so, students will consider their own experiences in the light of social science, such as social media profile creation as a rite of passage critical to identity exploration and formation.

Course: RFLA   200C, 4                    Instructor:  Mari Robertson         Days/Times: T,R, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Big Problems: Panics, Crashes, and Pandemonium

Prereq: 100 RFLA course; theme: Cultural Collision; counts for a 200-level elective in Economics,

Course Description: 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 our surroundings.


Course: RFLA   200H, 1                    Instructor:  Greg Cavenaugh                 Days/Times: MWF, 9:00 - 9:50
Course Title:  Rhetoric of Religion

Prereq:  RFLA 100; Theme: Identity,

Course Description: This course investigates world religions as symbol systems designed to make sense of lived experience. Most religions are by nature rhetorical because most religions aim to persuade others to adopt a specific worldview, belief system, and code of conduct. This course will explore the persuasive symbolic means by which diverse religions communicate their understanding of reality. Counts as a 200-level elective in COM.


Course: RFLA   200H, 2              Instructor:  Anne Zimmerman             Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Telling Your Story: Memoir Writing

Prereq: 100 level RFLA; Theme: Identity,

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.

Course: RFLA   200H, 3               Instructor:  Scott Rubarth                  Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Sci-Fi, Philosophy, and Film

Prereq: 100-level RFLA course; Theme: Cultural Collision, Innovation,

Course Description: 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. ECMP

Course: RFLA   200H, 4                    Instructor:  Margareth Kupetz                    Days/Times: MWF, 9:00 - 9:50
Course Title:  Coming to America

Prereq: 100-level RFLA course: Theme:  Cultural Collision

Course Description: The number of Latinos in the United States today is over 50 million, which is more than 16 percent of the population. These immigrants, one of the fastest-growing groups in 20th century America, are impacting the political, economic, and social life of the country. Where once Latino immigrants were concentrated in pockets of the United States, today they are dispersed in all 50 states, have diverse ideologies, and have become critical components of the globalized economy. Latino immigration is a topic with a complex history. This class will explore the major Latino immigration waves of the last century into the United States with a particular emphasis on the consequences of different Latino nationalities on politics, literature, music, and food. As these microcosms integrated into broader communities, the resulting fusion with traditional American culture has resulted in the rich multiculturalism we see today.

There are few better examples of cultures colliding than what we see with the impact of Latino culture in the United States. From Marco Rubio to Sonia Sotomayor, Carlos Santana to Rita Moreno, and tacos to black beans and rice, Latinos and the diverse cultural heritage they brought with them have transformed the United States. The artistic, literary, cultural, and socioeconomic impacts of Latinos can be seen and felt in virtually every aspect of contemporary American life. “Coming to America” will encourage students to think beyond political debates surrounding undocumented workers and instead focus on how Latinos are impacting how we all live, work, and play.

Course: RFLA   200H, 5 & 6            Instructor:  Li Wei                           
Days/Times: Section 5: MWF, 9:00 - 9:50; Section 6: MWF: 10:00 – 10:50
Course Title:  Otherness in World Music

Prereq: 100 RFLA course; themes: Identity, Cultural Collision; counts as an AAAS elective,

Course Description: Is music a universal language? If yes, where is semantics? If not, why do Gangnam Style and some other "ethnic" music enjoy huge popularity across cultures? While the musical expression is a common human behavior, the meaning of it is often culturally specific. In this course, we will look into the cognitive and semiotic aspects of music and examine how music shapes our cultural perception of identity. In particular, we will look at some important historical moments and cultural sites of world music (a mass-mediated, cross-cultural evolving popular music genre), examining how accelerated transnational movements of people, ideas, and information reshape the soundscape of the modern world and our perception of the cultural boundary.ECMP counts as an AAS elective

Course: RFLA   200H, 7                Instructor: Elke Framson               Days/Times: MWF: 10:00 – 10:50

Course Title:  Transcultural Competence

Prereq: One RFLA course; theme: Cultural Collision

Course Description: Our professional and social surroundings are increasingly transcultural and shaped by cultural and linguistic diversity. In addition, modern workplace demands and professional opportunities take many of us to countries where people speak a different language and have different cultural standards. How can we learn to communicate appropriately and effectively with people from diverse cultural backgrounds? In this class, we will explore the links between culture, language, and communication, analyze the challenges of intercultural interaction, and learn ways to overcome them. Our theoretical explorations will be supported by case studies of real-life scenarios as well as interactive games and activities. Students will gain a solid foundation for the development of intercultural sensitivity and transcultural competence, so that they can successfully communicate, operate, and co-operate in diverse settings at home and abroad.

Course: RFLA   200H, 9                                 Instructor: Stacey Coffman-Rosen

Days/Times: T, R 8:00 – 9:15

Course Title:  Disability, Body, & Identity

Prereq: 100 RFLA course; themes: Identity, counts as a 200-level CMC elective

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 critically examine how disabilities, bodies, and identities overlap and determine how we interpret and occupy bodies in intersecting categories. Course topics include but are not limited to: 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.  Counts as an elective in the CMC Major.

Course: RFLA   200H, 10                                    Instructor: David DiQuattro

Days/Times: T, R 9:30 - 10:45

Course Title:  Labor, Leisure, and Culture

Prereq: 100 RFLA course; themes: Identity, counts as a 200-level CMC elective

Course Description:  This course will examine several aspects of labor and leisure. Through the works of Josef Pieper, Wendell Berry, and others will raise questions such as the following: What is leisure, and what is it for? How is leisure connected to what it means to be a human being? How do modern ideals of ‘busyness’ ‘usefulness’ ‘efficiency’ and others present obstacles to the cultivation of meaningful leisure? Is the vice of sloth connected to boredom and inability to enjoy meaningful leisure more than it is connected to laziness? How is leisure important for stepping back from and critiquing cultural assumptions from within? What does it mean to be connected to a place, and to labor in a way that has regard for preserving that place? Through raising these questions, we will gain insight into modernity and the fundamental changes in the rhythms and shape of human life it has wrought.

Course: RFLA   200S, 1            Instructor:  Rachelle Yankelevitz                Days/Times: TR, 8:00 - 10:45
Course Title:  Dog is Love: The Science of Human-Animal Interaction

Prereq: RFLA 100; Theme: Enduring Questions,

Course Description: Humankind has a special relationship with the dog. We 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 the objective, replicable conclusions that can improve the lives of humans and animals alike.

Course: RFLA   200S, 2                     Instructor:  Emily Nodine            Days/Times: MWF, 12:00 - 12:50
Course Title:  Springs, Swamps, and Sinkholes

Prereq: 100 RFLA course; themes: Environments, Cultural Collision; counts as a 200 level ENV elective,

Course Description: Florida's unique position in the landscape and underlying geology result in a delicate mosaic of interacting land and water that has been affected by little but the rise and fall of sea level for millions of years... until humans came along. People as early as the native Americans have tried to tame Florida’s wilderness and reshape the landscape to suit their own needs. Following European colonization, people largely succeeded in “reclaiming” its wetlands for their own purposes, realizing only recently that doing so threatens the natural systems and creatures that we too depend upon. Springs, Swamps, and Sinkholes examine the natural processes of Florida ecosystems, with a focus on wetlands and waterways, to evaluate how human influence has altered diverse habitats, how it might be employed to repair them, and how we might forge a path toward co-existence in this landscape. counts as a 200 level ENV elective

Course: RFLA   200S, 3             Instructor:  Kasandra Riley                    Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  The Science of Sustenance

Prereq: 100 RFLA course; themes: Innovation, Enduring Questions,

Course Description: Why does an egg turn white when you cook it or 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 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.

Course: RFLA   200S, 4     Instructor:  Ashley Cannaday                      Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Lasers and Light

Prereq: RFLA 100; MCMP; Themes: Innovation, 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.

Course: RFLA   200S, 5              Instructor:  Jay Pieczynski                Days/Times: MWF, 9:00 - 9:50
Course Title:  Biology of Athletes

Prereq: rFLA 100 level course; Theme: Identity

Course Description: This course will look at the biology of athletes through the analysis of their genetics, physiology, and biochemistry.

Course: RFLA   200S, 6            Instructor:  Samantha Fonseca               Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  The Science in the Art of Leonardo DaVinci

Prereq: RFLA 100; Theme: Enduring Questions,

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.