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Rollins Foundations in the Liberal Arts

Spring 2021 RFLA Seminar Courses

The following seminar courses will be offered in the RFLA curriculum for the spring 2020 semester.  In order to satisfy your RFLA requirements you must take:

  • 1 Rollins Conference Course
  • 5 competencies courses (one course in each of these four areas: foreign language, health and wellness, 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.

Instructor:   MacKenzie Moon Ryan

Two Sections:
10465 MWF 9:00 - 9:50; mode: Virtual
10795 MWF 12:00 - 12:50; mode: Virtual

Theme: Identity, Cultural Collision

Ever wonder why Buddha has a round belly? Why is art full of naked women? Why 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 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.

Instructor:  Rachel Simmons

T: 8:00 - 10:45; mode: Mixed

Theme: Identity; course supply fee $50

Ever wonder why Buddha has a round belly? Why is art full of naked women? Why 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.

Instructor:  Robin Gerchman

T,R: 9:30 - 10:45; mode: Face to Face

Theme: Identity

Through dance, reading, reflective writings and conversations, this course will give students an awareness of their authentic voice in society. A synergy of movement, written word and voice is the platform from which this is to be created.  Students will narrate who they are, what they stand for, and what they believe in.  The opportunity to share this with the community will compel the students to create their own personal "moving" story.

Instructor:  Eric Zivot

MWF:  9:00 - 9:50; mode: Face to Face

Theme: Enduring Questions

Why would anyone care what Shakespeare had to say 400 years ago? What is it about these plays that allows them to be produced so often; even today? These plays allow us a way to examine some of the most difficult, challenging, and perhaps intractable problems we face. Who's world will this be; the young or old? Do brown lives matter? Are opportunities equally available to men and women or does gender dictate destiny? Why not come and take a good hard look at Shakespeare's A.R.S.E (Ageism, Racism, Sexism Explored) 

Instructor:  Sunni Witmer

Two sections

10846 - T,R 8:00 - 9:15, Mode: Face to Face
10847 - T,R 9:30 - 10:45, Mode: Face to Face

Theme: Cultural Collision, Identity

The pop music aesthetic, which began in the 1960s in the United States and Great Britain, has now moved to all corners of the globe. The study of this worldwide musical style is the focus of this course. Topics include: the globalization of music and the music industry; the impact of colonialism on local musical traditions; the commodi၁cation of culture; musical traditions and modernity; the role of music in politics; and, social diversity in pop music. Associated genres such as rap, hiphop, and reggae will also be explored. In addition to written assignments, listening projects are also assigned. No prior musical background is required to take this course.


Instructor:  Hannah Ewing

T,R: 8:00 - 9:15, Mode: virtual

Theme: Cultural Collision, Enduring Questions

Barbarians: we think mysterious, hairy, wild, violent people with no culture and who pose a threat to civilization itself. But what is a barbarian? Who determines barbarianism? And how do civilizations integrate strange and new peoples into their worldviews? In large part, this class examines literary and historical run-ins with ‘barbarians’ in Europe and the Middle East. By studying how dominant civilizations wrote about, imagined, and interacted with ‘barbarians,’ we question the ideas of civilization and barbarism, uncover truths about both parties, and explore the larger impact of the ‘civilized’ and the ‘primitive.’

Instructor: Mari Robertson

T,R: 9:30 - 10:45, Mode: virtual

Theme: Cultural Collision

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: Wendy Brandon

Two Sections

10490 T,R: 9:30 - 10:45, Mode: Face to Face
10794 T,R 8:00 - 9:15, Mode: Face to Face

Counts for ECMP; Theme: Cultural Collision

 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 the 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 they 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.

Instructor: Joshua Savala

T,R: 9:30 - 10:45, Mode: Face to Face

Themes: Identity, Cultural Collision

This class seeks to understand the place of the Pacific in history over the past few centuries. Over the course of the semester, we will cover topics as varied as slavery, migration, social movements, colonialism, and piracy, while pulling readings from history, anthropology, sociology, literature, and geography. We will ask questions about the definition of the Pacific, different types of slavery, the shape of migration and diaspora, and the relationship between people and animals, among others. Central to the course is experimenting with the problem: what does a Pacific approach—and an oceanic approach at that—do for our understanding of the world?

Instructor:  Alice Davidson

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, Mode: Mixed

Theme: Identity

Lifespan Development focuses on human development from conception through the end of life. Theories of human development, current research, and practical application will be integrated throughout the course to provide a basic understanding of the profound changes that occur in the developing human being in cultural context across the lifespan. These changes involve physical, cognitive, language, social, and emotional development. This course is appropriate for students pursuing a variety of fields, including education, nursing, and other health professions. 

Instructor:  Denise Cummings

T, R: 9:30 - 10:45, Mode: virtual

Theme: Cultural Collision

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.

Instructor:  Jana Mathews

M,W,F: 9:00 - 9:50, Mode: Face to Face

Theme: Cultural Collision; counts as a 100-level elective in ENG

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.

Instructor:  Kathryn Norsworthy

MW 1:00 - 2:15; Mode: Virtual

Theme: Identity, Cultural Collision; counts as a 100-level elective for CMC, SWAG, and AAAS

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 in 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.

Instructor:  Todd French

T,R: 9:30 - 10:45, Mode: Face to Face

Theme: Cultural Collision

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."

Instructor:  Victoria Brown

T,R 11:00 - 12:15, Mode: Mixed

Theme: Identity

How can story truth complement happening truth, and which is truer? In this course, we will read and analyze short fiction from around the globe. How do tradition and progress, history and upheaval, and the continued clashing of cultures impact the stories we tell? Is our shared humanity enough to sustain our ability to empathize with each other in our ever-fracturing world? Students will research national conflicts, explore how writers create art (beauty) out of conflict and mine their own histories, experiences, and knowledge to tell their own stories.

Instructor:  Ryan Musgrave

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, Mode: mixed

Theme: Identity

What do Portland, OR and Orlando, FL have in common? A lot, actually: population size; increasing urban development pressures; and pressure to preserve green space/nature. This course compares the 'going green' steps of these cities as U.S. bookends, to examine national and global urbanist ethics. We will draw on readings, films, case studies, and guest speakers to examine the challenges and successes faced by our local Orlando environment and cities, generally, implementing sustainable urban growth.

Instructor: Steven Schoen

T,R: 9:30 - 10:45, Mode: virtual

Theme: Environments

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, a short audio documentary, and a short video.

Instructor: Dana Hargrove

T,R: 9:30 - 10:45; Mode: mixed

Pre-Requisites:  One 100-level RFLA; Theme: Innovation; can count as an elective in ART

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.

Instructor: Dan Flick

MWF: 09:00 - 09:50; Mode: Face to Face

Prereq: rFLA 100: Themes Cultural Collision, Innovation

With 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.

Instructor: Missy Barnes

MWF:  9:00 - 9:50, Mode: virtual

Pre-Requisites: One 100-level RFLA; Theme: Identity and Cultural Collision

Theatre helps us understand who we are; it can explain, examine, ridicule, or celebrate the human condition. Gender is a fundamental aspect of personal and social identity. This course examines specific examples of the complex facets of gender identity and expression through a range of theatrical works.

Instructor:  Amber Hope

T,R: 8:00 - 9:15, Mode: Face to Face

Pre-Requisites: One 100-level RFLA; Theme: Innovation

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 form as found in both contemporary art and design, and in different cultural and historical contexts, as well. There is a course fee of $50.

Instructor:  Caitlin Mohr

T,R 9:30 - 10:4, Mode: virtual

Pre-Requisites:  RFLA 100; Themes: Expressive Arts, Identity

This course will examine song literature through the perspectives of the poet, composer, and performer.  Elements of song will be examined in repertoire from Copland to Lady Gaga to the musical Hamilton.  Students will reflect on the breadth of their personal experiences and expression of self-identity in relation to a diverse community of artists of the past and present.

Instructor - Dan Crozier

MWF 12:00 - 12:50, Mode: Face to Face

Prereq: rFLA 100: Themes: Cultural Collision

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.

Instructors: Marianne DiQuattro/ Hilary Cooperman

TR: 9:30 - 10:45; mode Mixed

One 100-level RFLA; Themes: Cultural Collision, Identity

"What is it you plan to do with your ONE wild and precious life?" MARY OLIVER. This course delves into self-discovery and asks students to consider who they are and how they plan to craft their lives. We will look at how we become a responsible leader, a deeply engaged member of our community, and what it means to pursue a meaningful life. Course topics will include mindfulness, resilience, compassion, and service.

Instructor: John Sinclair

TR 9:30 - 10:45, Mode: Mode: Face to Face

Prereq: rFLA 100; Themes - Cultural Collision, Innovation

Poetry is the "music" of language as music is the "language" of sound. Most lyrics and poetry are more memorable than ordinary speech and when combined with music, the result can be an even more expressive and fused art form.

Instructor:  Nadia Garzon

T,R: 8:00 - 9:15, Mode: Face to Face

Theme: Cultural Collision, Identity

This course will examine how Latin Americans have used theater and performance to tell their stories, assert their identities, and question their realities. Students will be introduced to early Latin American theater works born out of colonization and violence, as well as later works produced in the midst of conflict and neo-colonization. Students will participate in stage readings and other theatrical activities (meaning that students will read out loud and will engage in performance pieces).

Instructor: David Painter

T,R:  9:30 - 10:45; Mode: virtual

Prereq: RFLA 100 Themes: Enduring Questions, Enduring Questions; can count for a 200-level COM elective - CE course

Students 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.

Instructor:  Dexter Boniface

10807 MWF:  12:00 - 12:50; Mode: Face to Face

Prereq: RFLA 100; Themes: Identity, Enduring Questions; can count as a100 level elective for POL

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.  

Instructor:  Phil Kozel

T,R 9:30 - 10:45; Mode: mixed

Prereq: RFLA 100; Theme: Cultural Collision

From the High Seas to DVDs, this course explores maritime and digital piracy. Beginning with the "Golden Age" of piracy in the Caribbean to modern violations of intellectual property, we will consider the motivations/ desires of pirates along with their social and economic consequences.

Instructor:  Stephanie Gonzalez-Guittar

M,W,F:  9:00 - 9:50, Mode: mixed

Prereq: RFLA 100; Theme: Identity, Cultural Collisions

This course presents an overview of the Latinx experience in the United States with a special focus on intersectionality, stereotypes, and identity formation and management. In this course, we will answer questions such as: Who makes up Latinxs in the U.S.? How is the Latinx experience similar/different to other ethnic groups in the U.S.? How do social institutions affect Latinxs’ identity and life chances? Topics include but are not limited to Latinx identity, family and household structure, gender roles, sexuality, educational attainment, labor force participation, and health outcomes among Latinxs living in the U.S.

Instructor: Brittani Sahm

T,R 9:30 - 10:45; Mode: mixed

Prereq RFLA 100, Theme: Identity

Sports “fanatics” are viewed as some of the most passionate and loyal followers of competitive sporting teams, athletes, and events. Fanatics are also infamous for their verbal and physical violence that accompany this near-obsession with sport entities. In this course, students will explore the experiences of extreme fanatics to better understand and reflect on their own (normal or abnormal) attachment to sporting entities, as well as learn how fanaticism impacts their connections with others. 

Instructor: Zachary Gilmore

MWF 9:00 - 9:50; Mode: Face to Face

Prereq: RFLA100: Themes: Cultural Collision, Enduring Questions; counts for a 200-level in ARCH minor and ANT 200-level major elective

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

Instructor:  Ben Hudson

T,R: 9:30 - 10:45; Mode: Face to Face

Prereq: RFLA 100; Themes: Cultural Collision, Enduring Questions

This course will consider the figure of the witch as a cultural and social phenomenon across the globe from Russian folktales to Caribbean rituals. Students can expect to analyze poetry, novels, and works of sociology in addition to classic films like The Wizard of Oz to understand how the witch has been constructed as a maligned cultural figure.

Instructor:  Mario D'Amato

T,R 9:30 - 10:45; Mode: Face to Face

Prereq: RFLA 100; Theme: Identity 

This course will focus on accounts regarding how the self is constructed according to Buddhist philosophy, and responses and critiques from the perspective of Western philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and psychoanalysis. It will also examine what the French philosopher-historian Michel Foucault has referred to as “technologies of the self,” i.e., techniques that have been employed by individuals to “transform themselves in order to attain a certain state of happiness, purity, wisdom,”1, etc. So we will consider the construction of identities, and examine techniques that have been employed to function as mirrors and windows for the construction of self. To that end, we will also study the theory of Buddhist meditation, and critically examine the ways in which Buddhist meditation has been analyzed in Western philosophy and cognitive science.

Instructor:  Li Wei

Two sections

10512 T,R 9:30 - 10:45, Mode: virtual
11135 T.R 12:30 - 1:45, Mode:  virtual

Prereq: RFLA 100; Theme: Identity

Is music a universal language? If yes, where is semantics? If not, why Gangnam Style and some other "ethnic" music enjoy huge popularity across culture? While 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 cultural boundaries.

Instructor:  Scott Rubarth

T,R: 9:30 - 10:45; Mode: mixed

Prereq: RFLA 100; Humanities, Enduring Questions; course counts for a 200-level elective in PHI; ECMP

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. This course also satisfies the ECOMP.

Instructor:  David DiQuattro

MWF 9:00 - 9:50; Mode: Face to Face

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

This course will examine several aspects of labor and leisure. Through the works of Josef Pieper, Wendell Berry, Neil Postman and others it 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’ and ‘efficiency’ 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? How can we think of colleges and universities engaged in meaningful leisure (“school” is derived from the latin word for leisure), and what is the importance of universities in a culture rife with amusements but struggling to find meaningful leisure. 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.

Instructor:  Emily Nodine

MWF:  12:00 - 12:50; Mode: Face to Face
M: 2:00 - 5:00 , lab; Mode: Face to Face

Prereq: RFLA 100; Theme: Environments

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.


Instructor:  Anne Murdaugh

MWF:  9:00 - 9:50; Mode: Face to Face
M:  2:00 - 4:30 Lab

Prereq: RFLA 100; Theme: Innovation

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 imporatant applications. We will "shed light" on many interesting phenomena caused by light to better understand the world around us. 

Instructor:  Pamela Brannock

MWF:  9:00 - 9:50; Mode: Mixed
R:  8:00 - 10:45 Lab

Prereq: RFLA 100 Theme: Identity

This course discusses the general principles underlying basic genetics and how it relates to humans. Explores issues such as genetic testing, genetically modified organisms, cloning, heritable diseases, and evolution.

Instructor:  Samantha Douguet (Fonseca)

T,R: 9:30 - 10:45, Mode: mixed
R: 2:00 - 4:30  Lab

Prereq: RFLA 100; Theme: Innovation, Enduring Questions

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. 

Instructor: Sabrice Guerrier

MWF 9:00 - 9:50; Mode: mixed
T: 8:00 - 10:45 Lab

Prereq: RFLA 100: Theme: Enduring Questions

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

Instructor: Ellane Park

MWF: 9:00 - 9:50
T: 8:00 - 10:45

Prereq: RFLA 100; Themes: Identity, Cultural Collisions

How can your iPod or laptop get any smaller? Why does sunscreen contain titanium oxide nanoparticles? How small is "nano"? Through discussions on science fiction novels and learning of scientific principles, this course will explore how nano-sized objects are studied and used to advance fields of medicine, electronics, and biomaterials. The course offers the opportunity to explore the lab, where we will perform experiments to measure the color changes of solutions that contain nanoparticles.

Instructor: Pedro Bernal

MWF: 9:00 - 9:50
R: 8:00 - 10:45 Lab

Prereq: RFLA 100; Theme: Enduring Questions

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 technological 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: Vidhu Aggarwal

T,R 3:30 - 4:45; Mode: mixed

Prereq: RFLA 100; at least 2 200-level RFLA courses and WCMP; Themes: Innovation, Identity

We will examine “negative” affects (sadness, depression, humiliation) 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? In the art that we make? Are these expressions self-indulgent, cathartic, consoling, liberating and/or all of the above?

Instructor:  Giselda Beaudin

T,R:  9:30 - 10:45; Mode Face to Face

Two 200-level RFLA courses and WCMP.  Instructor permission only.  Students must have international experience.  Themes: Cultural Collision, Identity

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

Instructor:  Gregory Cavenaugh

T,R:  12:30 - 1:45; Mode: Face to Face

Prereq: Two 200-level RFLA courses and WCMP. Themes: Enduring Questions, Innovation; counts as a 200-level elective in COM

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

Instructor:  H. McLaughlin

T,R: 9:30 - 10:45; Mode: mixed

Prereq: Two 200-level RFLA courses and WCMP. Permission only. Registration through International Programs Office. Travel dates 03/13/21 - 03/18/21. Themes: Enduring Questions, Identity; JWS elective; CE course

Students will learn about Jewish life in Europe before World War II, the reasons for the rise of Nazism and the persecution of Jews, the different roles that people played during this time, and the outcomes of the Holocaust for people from many backgrounds. We will analyze the diaries of Jewish children who were hidden or forced into ghettos and camps, and hear survivor testimonies, to know more about what those people experienced. A vital part of the course will be a 6-day Field Study trip to Krakow, Poland, which will include a study tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau. We will end by considering how survivors have made meaning from the Holocaust, relating the past to current social issues, and examining the best ways to teach about the Holocaust.

Instructor:  Lucy Littler

T,R: 12:30 - 1:45; Mode: Face to Face

Prereq: RFLA 100; at least 2 200-level RFLA courses. The third 200-level RFLA course can be taken concurrently; This is a CE course; Themes: identity, Environments; ECMP

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.

Instructor:  Rachel Simmons

R: 8:00 - 10:45; Mode: virtual

Prereq: RFLA 100; at least 2 200-level RFLA courses. The third 200-level RFLA course can be taken concurrently; Themes: Identity, Innovation; $50 course supply fee

What stories can you tell about your experiences as a Rollins student? How do these stories highlight the college mission of being a "global citizen and responsible leader"? This course asks you to research and create a visual narrative that explores the meaning of your liberal arts experience at Rollins College.

Instructor:  Nancy Chick

T,R:  8:00 - 9:15; Mode: mixed

Prereq: Two 200-level RFLA courses and WCMP. Themes: Identity; Enduring Questions

The most valuable skill of all may be knowing how to learn. The ability to think at this "meta" level leads to agility that can mobilize the best approaches to solving the problems and answering the questions in any circumstance. In this course, we'll review the research on thinking, knowing, and doing across and within different disciplines, and students will explore more deeply the ways of thinking within their chosen fields.

 Instructor: Margaret McLaren

TR 9:30 - 10:45; Mode: virtual

Prereq: RFLA 100; at least 2 200-level RFLA courses and WCMP; Theme: cultural collision; counts for ECMP

In this course, you will apply ethical and social justice frameworks to the issues arising from the global COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding and living in the midst of a global pandemic brings up many questions: How should individual liberties and public health be balanced? How should scarce resources, such as ventilators, be allocated? How are existing inequalities in our economic and social systems exacerbated by the pandemic?

Instructors:  Jennifer Cavenaugh/Meredith Hein

TR 9:30 - 10:45; Mode: Face to Face

Prereq: RFLA 100; at least 2 200-level RFLA courses. The third 200-level RFLA course can be taken concurrently; Themes: Identity, Cultural Collision; CE course, weekend immersions required

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

Instructor: Steven Schoen

T,R 8:00 - 9:15; Mode: virtual

Prereq: RFLA 100; at least 2 200-level RFLA courses and WCMP

Documentaries are meant to accurately depict the world we share, yet they do this as stories that are shaped to matter to the world of human meaning and values. Making documentaries then plunges us into a fascinating mix of truth claims, storytelling, persuasion, expression, power, ethics, and social engagement. In this course we will make documentaries and examine the work and insights of documentary filmmakers and scholars, especially as they relate to the concerns of hands-on documentary production.

Instructor:  Lisa Tillmann

T,R: 8:00 - 10:30, Mode: virtual

Prereq: RFLA 100; at least 2 200-level RFLA courses and WCMP

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. I predict you will find the material here sobering, shocking, and infuriating. If such feelings arise and you find your consciousness raised, those will be important first steps. But we will not stop there. We will look deeply and learn to see more clearly in order to understand better what to do. Then we will practice actually doing it.

Instructor: David DiQuattro

T,R: 09:30 - 10:45; face to face

Prereq: RFLA 100; at least 2 200-level RFLA courses and WCMP; Themes: Cultural Collision, Innovation

This course will examine the ways technology shapes and transforms human cultures and relationships. It will examine classic texts analyzing technology and modernity. The second half of the class will examine  recent texts that address specific social and cultural ramifications of technology and a technological society.

Instructor: Barry Allen

MWF: 09:00 - 09:50, Mode: Virtual

Prereq: RFLA 100; at least 2 200-level RFLA courses and WCMP; Cultural Collision

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.