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Rollins Foundations in the Liberal Arts

Spring 2023 RFLA Seminar Courses

The following seminar courses will be offered in the RFLA curriculum for the fall 2022 / spring 2023 semesters.  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 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.

Spring 2023 RFLA Course Offerings

Course: RFLA  100A 1 & 2
Instructor: Suzanne Jamir 
Days/Times: section 1: TR, 8:00-9:15 & section 2: 9:30-10:45
Course Title:  Writing Ghost Stories

Prereq: Open to 1st year students only, during registration; Themes: Identity, Innovation

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 with the workshop set-up, focusing on creative writing, the fictional writing of ghost stories that are original or linked with existing ones. Students will also compose reflective artist statements.

Course: RFLA  100A 31  
Instructor: Kim Dennis
Days/Times: MWF, 9:00-9:50 
Course Title:  History of Art: Renaissance-Modern

Prereq: Open to 1st year students only, during registration; Themes: Enduring Questions, Identity

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: Missy Barnes
Days/Times: TR, 9:30-10:45 
Course Title:  Imagination, Courage, and Creative Expression

Prereq: Open to 1st-year students only, during registration; Themes: Identity, Innovation

Course Description: As Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Research reflects that those who regularly engage in creative activities and invest time in expanding their imaginations are better able to respond to challenging situations and experiences. They are therefore better able, in the words of the Rollins College Mission Statement, “to pursue meaningful lives and productive careers.” In this course, students will engage in creative explorations that involve imagination and written, physical, and verbal expression in order to develop courage, resilience, and a stronger sense of identity

Course: RFLA  100A 3 
Instructor: Robin Gerchman
Days/Times: TR, 9:30-10:45 
Course Title:  Dance and Activism

Prereq: Open to 1st-year students only, during registration; Themes: Identity, Innovation

Course Description:  This course explores different dimensions of dance as a strategy for social justice. As a system of communication that speaks with the body, this draws attention to the egalitarian nature of dance and its ability to be a tool for activism practice. Through the analyzation of choreographic compositions, both domestic and global, this course captures dance as an empowering agent for action.


Course: RFLA  100A 4 
Instructor: Rachel Simmons
Days/Times: TR, 9:30-10:45 
Course Title:  Visual Journals

Prereq: Open to 1st-year students only, during registration; Themes: Identity, Innovation

Course Description:  This course will examine identity and memory through the visual journal, a mixed-media fusion of creative writing and art. Journaling is a practice of self-reflection that helps create meaning in our lives. Students will engage in memory-based writing activities, peer critiques, and mixed media experiments. Visual Journals: Identity and Memory focus is on identity, its emphasis on defining selfhood, and the mechanism of the journal as a tool for self-reflection. In addition to several others, will be addressing these questions from the neighborhood description: What does it mean to be human? Where do I belong? What can I do to make a positive impact on the world?   Additional fee for the course:  $50.   

Course: RFLA 100A 05 & 06
Instructor: S Witmer
Days/Times: Section 5: T,R 8:00 - 9:15; Section 6: T,R 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Global Popular Music 

Prereq: Open to 1st year students only during registration

Course Description:  This course will explore how the popular music of various societies from around the world is created and transformed by musical influences from other societies and worldviews when they encounter and interact with one another. The homogenizing forces of globalization, specifically the global pop aesthetic, will also be explored. Students will examine the artistic, literary, cultural, and socioeconomic effects of global popular music. Topics of inquiry and exploration include hybridity and diversity in music; the effects of globalization on cultural development; and the social, political, and cultural ramifications resulting from expressive cultural forms expanding around the world.

Course: RFLA 100A 07
Instructor: L Cushman 
Days/Times: TR, 9:30-10:45
Course Title:  Before the Curtain Rises 

Prereq: Open to 1st-year students only during registration

Course Description: Throughout the centuries theatre has provided man with a means of self-expression, transforming the human experience into a lasting symbolic form. Expressive arts classes provide the student with an appreciation for aesthetic experience by teaching the skills necessary for individual aesthetic expression or by focusing on acquiring a critical vocabulary with which to articulate the aesthetic experience.

Course: RFLA 100A 08
Instructor: Joni Roos 
Days/Times: TR, 9:30-10:45
Course Title:  Masters go to the Movies 

Prereq: Open to 1st-year students only during registration; Themes: Cultural Collisions, Identity 

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: RFLA 100C 01 & 02
Instructor: Wendy Brandon
Days/Times: Section 1: TR, 8:00-9:15 & Section 2: TR, 9:30-10:45
Course Title:  Food Democracy

Prereq: Open to 1st year students only, during registration

Course Description:

Food Democracy critically examines the contemporary food system by looking at global food-related problems such as the prevalence of undernutrition in the developed world, food crises in the world’s conflict zones, the emergence of overnutrition in the developing world, and inequalities in food production, distribution, and consumption. In addition, we will learn about food activism and food justice movements/advocacy organizations that are challenging an unjust and unsustainable global food system. These include groups for whom food sovereignty, food security, food justice, and equity are central concerns, and who promote the idea that an alternative food system is possible. We explore different policies, programs, and the social, economic, and cultural forces that are generating food justice activism locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.

Course: RFLA 100C 03
Instructor: Hannah Ewing
Days/Times: TR, 9:30-10:45
Course Title:  Barbarians

Prereq: Open to 1st year students only, during registration; Themes: Cultural Collision, Enduring Questions

Course Description: 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.’

Course: RFLA 100C 04
Instructor: Josh Savala
Days/Times: TR, 9:30-10:45
Course Title:  Histories of the Pacific Ocean

Prereq: Open to 1st year students only, during registration; Themes: Identity, Cultural Collision

Course Description: 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?

Course: RFLA 100C 05
Instructor: Alice Davidson
Days/Times: TR, 9:30-10:45
Course Title:  Lifespan Development

Prereq: Open to 1st year students only, during registration

Course Description: 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 psychology, education, nursing and other health professions.

Course: RFLA 100C 06
Instructor: Anna Szopa
Days/Times: MWF, 9:00-9:50A
Course Title:  Business for Social Impact

Prereq: Open to 1st year students only, during registration; Theme: Innovation; Counts as SE 100

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 07
Instructor: J Eisele
Days/Times: MWF, 9:00-9:50
Course Title:  Sociology of Popular Culture 

Prereq: Open to 1st year students only, during registration

Course Description: Some may view popular culture as unworthy of academic study; indeed, popular cultural texts are often described as trashy, lowbrow, lacking merit, and even harmful. In this course, however, we will be examining the importance and impact of popular culture on our lives. Questions we will consider in this course include: What does "popular" mean? What makes something "popular"? Why should we study popular culture? What is the sociological approach to studying popular culture? What lessons about our social world does a study of popular culture provide? How are power and inequality reproduced through popular culture?

Course: RFLA 100C 08
Instructor: Ja'Nya Jenoch
Days/Times: MW, 2:30-3:45
Course Title:  Sociology of Film

Prereq: Open to 1st year students only, during registration

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 100C 
Instructor: H. James McLaughlin
Days/Times: MW, 2:30-3:45
Course Title: Global Perspectives of Education

Prereq: Open to 1st year students only, during registration; Themes: Cultural Collisions, Identity

Course DescriptionIn this course we analyze the economic, political, and social issues that affect students’ and families’ lives in case study countries across the world. We also examine the educational experiences of students who come from varying backgrounds in these countries, with special emphasis on gender and marginalized communities, and discuss key educational initiatives developed by governmental and non-governmental organizations. The end result is to reconsider our own beliefs and to broaden our global perspectives about education.

Course: RFLA 100H 01
Instructor: Steven Schoen
Days/Times: TR, 9:30-10:45
Course Title:  Online Storytelling

Prereq: Open to 1st year students only, during registration; Themes: Identity, Innovation

Course Description: More and more we tell our stories online. This digital environment with its multimedia mix of words, sounds and images offers nearly unending possibilities for people to express themselves and better understand others across a wide range of differences. In this course you will study the ways these words, sounds and images work to shape meaning and form engaging stories. You will practice telling evocative, creative, and powerful stories that connect personally significant aspects of yourself to important issues in the world. And you will create a series of online projects building on insights from class and your own media skills.

Course: RFLA 100H 02
Instructor: V Brown
Days/Times: TR, 9:30-10:45
Course Title: Your World, Your Words

Prereq: Open to 1st year students only, during registration

Course Description: 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.  

Course: RFLA 100H 03 & 04
Instructor: S Jamir
Days/Times: Section 1: TR, 8:00-9:15; Section 2: 9:30-10:45
Course Title: Writing Ghost Stories

Prereq: Open to 1st year students only, during registration

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 with the workshop set-up, focusing on creative writing, the fictional writing of ghost stories that are original or linked with existing ones. Students will also compose reflective artist statements.

Course: RFLA 100H 05
Instructor: A Zimmerman
Days/Times: TR, 9:30-10:45
Course Title: Telling Your Story: Writing Me

Prereq: Open to 1st year students only, during registration

Course Description: “I wanted to write a lie. You wanted to read that lie. I wrote this to you instead.” Kiese Laymon, Heavy Like so many writers before him, Kiese Laymon understands the very personal nature of memoir, and of how his story resonates with his readers. Like him, all of us want to be heard. Experience, culture, identity—this is what makes the story of a life.

Course: RFLA 100H 
Instructor: Stacey Coffman-Rosen 
Days/Times: TR, 8:00-9:15
Course Title: Narratives of Oppression and Privilege 

Prereq: Open to 1st year students only, during registration; Theme: Identity 

Course DescriptionThis course examines narratives of the self that observe and interpret patterns of oppression and privilege. Through critique of existing work, and the creation of our own, we will learn how our own lives matter when pursuing equality. Coursework will consist of reading, analyzing, and creating autobiographical pieces inspired by the arts, humanities, and social sciences. You will put your life on the page through creative writing, visual art, and a variety of emerging techniques of identity exploration and personal inquiry. Sample topics include: disability, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and #MeToo, classism, gender identity, and LGBTQ+ identity among others.

Course: RFLA  200A 01
Instructor: Dawn Roe
Days/Times: R, 8:00-10:45
Course Title:  Conceptual Documentary Practice_CE

Prereq: RFLA 100; Themes: Identity, Cultural Collision; Fee: $50

Course Description: This CE course offers students the opportunity to engage with ethical considerations inherent to photographic projects concerned with the politics of representation. Working directly with Hannibal Square community members and Plymouth Senior Housing Facility residents, students will produce individual works that contribute to a collaborative series of documentary-style images reflecting upon the impact of gentrification and related issues of affordable housing within Winter Park. By studying historical documentary projects alongside contemporary works that challenge notions of truth and authenticity, students will learn to scrutinize the photographic image and its presumed status as a marker of the “real.” Fee $50.

Course: RFLA 200A 02
Instructor: Rachel Simmons
Days/Times: MW, 2:30-3:45
Course Title:  The Power of Print_CE

Prereq: RFLA 100; Course counts as ART 272; CE course; Fee: $50

Course Description: Explore the history and practice of printmaking as a tool for communicating new ideas across cultures. From early Chinese writing, to Gutenberg's movable type, to 1970’s protest posters, the ability to share printed information has been instrumental in human expression. Create your own revolution through the power of print. 

Course: RFLA 200A 03                   
Instructor:  Audrey Hope             
Days/Times: MW, 2:30 - 3:45
Course Title:  Introduction to Sculpture

Prereq: RFLA 100; 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. 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. Fee $50.

Course: RFLA 200A 04                    
Instructor:  Chuck Archard            
Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title: One Hit Wonders

Prereq: RFLA 100

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 05                    
Instructor:  Dan Flick           
Days/Times: MWF, 10:00 - 10:50
Course Title:  Music Meets Life

Prereq: RFLA 100

Course Description: 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.

Course: RFLA 200A 06                    
Instructor:  John Sinclair           
Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Marriage of Music and Lyrics

Prereq: RFLA 100

Course Description:  Poetry is the “music” of language as music is the “language” of sound, and for every musical term there is a parallel poetic or literary term. So prominent is the musical quality of poetry that Edgar Allen Poe describes it as “music…. combined with pleasurable sounds.”

Course: RFLA 200A 07            
Instructor:  Caitlin Mohr           
Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Songs of the Soul

Prereq: RFLA 100

Course Description: 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.

Course: RFLA 200C 01                    
Instructor:  M Robertson
Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title: Panics, Crashes, & Pandemonia

Prereq: RFLA 100; Themes: Cultural Collision; Course counts as ECO 200 elective

Course Description: What do the Dutch tulip mania of the 17th century, robber barons in the 19th century, the behavior of Mexican pesos in the late 1990s, and the recent housing crisis all have in common? Each has contributed to a slowdown in the economy causing rises of unemployment and slow growth of some consequence. But why do such panics and crashes occur that involve actions by seemingly rational people result in economic pandemonium? This course explores the causes, consequences, and social impact of periods of economic havoc over the past three centuries. We take a broad approach to the historical
examples studied to include asset bubbles and banking crises but also sovereign debt bankruptcies and hyperinflations. We examine competing frameworks to understand these episodes of economic turmoil and the challenges each crisis presents for policymakers to stabilize the economy. In these efforts, basic economic concepts are introduced along with data and facts to think about the economic phenomena.

Course: RFLA  200C 02                
Instructor: T Rahman  
Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title: Science Fiction & Politics

Prereq: RFLA 100

Course Description

Course: RFLA  200C 03                    
Instructor:  B Sahm 
Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title: Sports Fan: Comm ExtremeFandom

Prereq: RFLA 100

Course Description: 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. 

Course: RFLA  200C 04                    
Instructor:  Ji Yu
Days/Times: MW 2:30 - 3:45 
Course Title: Identity, School, & Culture_CE

Prereq: RFLA 100; CE course

Course Description:  How are identities and cultures of those on the margins represented and negotiated? What are the dangers of a single story, or identification? How to deconstruct marginalization in diverse, micro, and macro educational contexts? This course will use the power of personal narratives produced in the tensioned intersections between the dominant and oppressed cultures in education to let students explore the wounds that are made and could (not) be healed in schools and communities.

Course: RFLA  200H 01                    
Instructor:  Margaret McLaren
Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Ethics and Global Justice

Prereq: RFLA 100

Course DescriptionDaily we are confronted with ethical questions about how to act in our personal lives and in the world as responsible and engaged citizens. In this course you will learn the moral theories and frameworks that justify moral judgments, and how to apply them to pressing social and political issues such as abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, immigration, human rights, multiculturalism and women’s rights, global poverty, cultural sovereignty, and world hunger relief.

Course: RFLA  200H 02                    
Instructor:  Ryan Musgrave
Days/Times: MWF, 9:00 - 9:50
Course Title:  Art Gone Bad: Art, Ethics, Pol

Prereq: RFLA 100

Course Description: The course examines fierce cultural debates that arise when art goes "bad"-- ethically bad, politically bad, artistically bad, or commercially bad. By comparing a number of historical and recent flare-ups, we'll analyze both the specific artworks and the competing values at stake on how the works have meaning. Students will gain familiarity with a range of artworks/artists/genres, basic interpretive skills of analyzing art, and knowledge of different 'value theories' about how artistic, ethical, political, and commercial values operate and interact. Concepts covered include value pluralism in the arts, avant-garde art forms and contexts, artistic truth, taste as a subjective or objective matter, art-for-art's-sake, art + activism, aesthetic experience, public art, debates about "art" vs. "craft," and Culture Industry commodities. Students will ultimately gain the ability to recognize competing values lenses used in these debates, and to develop an informed, critical analysis of what is at stake ethically, politically, and artistically in such cases. 

Course: RFLA 200H 03                    
Instructor:  Todd French
Days/Times: MW, 2:30 - 3:45
Course Title:  Christianity: Thought/Practice

Prereq: RFLA 100; Themes: Cultural Collision, Enduring Questions; Course meets with REL 218 (11543)

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  200H 04                    
Instructor:  V Machado
Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Nature Spirituatlity

Prereq: RFLA 100; Themes: Environment, Enduring Questions

Course Description: TBA

Course: RFLA  200S 01                    
Instructor:  Ashley Cannaday
Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45 Lab: M, 2:30-5:00
Course Title:  Lasers and Light

Prereq: RFLA 100; Themes: Innovation, Enduring Questions

Course DescriptionLight 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 and technologies that utilize various properties of optics. We will "shed light" on many interesting phenomena caused by light to better understand the world around us.

Course: RFLA  200S 02                    
Instructor:  Anne Murdaugh
Days/Times: MWF, 9:00 - 9:50 Lab: F, 2:30-5:30
Course Title:  Powering the World

Prereq: RFLA 100

Course DescriptionIn a world run by electronics, how do we get our power? What makes electricity, and how does it find it’s way to your devices? In this course, we will analyze these questions, dive into the difference between renewable and non-renewable energy, and explore the challenges we face to provide power to the world.

Course: RFLA  200S 03                    
Instructor:  Brendaliz Santiago-Narvaez
Days/Times: MWF, 10:00 - 10:50 Lab: tba
Course Title:  Microbes and Society

Prereq: 100 level RFLA course; Themes: Innovation, Environments

Course DescriptionMicroorganisms make up one of the most abundant life forms on earth. As humans, we are mostly bacteria! Their existence over millions of years links them to all existing living forms, making microorganisms (specifically bacteria and viruses) unique partners of mankind. In this course, we will explore the history, biology, and relevance of microorganisms in order to better understand the relationship we have with them.

Course: RFLA  200S 4                     
Instructor:  Samantha Fonseca Douguet                 
Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45 Lab: tba
Course Title:  The Science in the Art of Leonardo da Vinci

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. 

Course: RFLA  300 01                    
Instructor:  Vidhu Aggarwal
Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Pleasure and Pain

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 DescriptionWe 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)

Course: RFLA 300 01          
Instructor: James Patrone 
Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title: Science and Society

Prereq: Two 200-level RFLA courses; Themes: Enduring Questions, Innovation

Course DescriptionChemistry & Society is a 300-level rFLa capstone that takes a multifaceted look at ways in which we as a society engage with science to solve problems and improve the quality of life. The course will go beyond just the science and look at how other disciplines must be applied in order for a successful outcome.

Course: RFLA  300 02                    
Instructor:  Mattea Garcia
Days/Times: MW, 2:30 - 3:45
Course Title:  Communication and Wellbeing

Prereq: 3-200 RFLA courses; Themes: Identity, Enduring Questions

Course DescriptionThis course will explore the ways communication influences our sense of wellbeing and our ability to achieve it. How we talk about things and what we choose to talk about influences our relationships, our sense of self, and how we navigate the world around us. as we pursue productive careers and meaningful lives. From resilience and compassion to social support and empathic listening, we will consider how wellbeing is created and supported through communication interaction. We will discuss the ways discourses around us, including social media, influence our ideas of self-care, wellness, and happiness. Though we will ground our work in a communication approach, we will read work from psychologists, sociologists, and other disciplinary experts.

Course: RFLA  300 03                    
Instructor:  Sarah Parsloe
Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  My Body, Myself

Prereq: RFLA 100; at least 2 RFLA 200; Themes: Identity, Enduring Questions

Course DescriptionThis 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: RFLA  300 04                    
Instructor:  James McLaughlin & Yudit Greenberg
Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title:  Learning and Teaching about the Holocaust

Prereq: Two RFLA 200 and WCMP; The third 200-level RFLA course can be taken concurrently; Themes: Identity, Enduring Questions; Counts as JWS elective; Course with embedded field study; Register in International Programs

Course DescriptionStudents 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.

Course: RFLA  300 05 & 06                   
Instructor:  Sheri Boyd
Days/Times: Section 05 MWF, 9:00 - 9:50: Section 06 MW 2:30 - 3:45
Course Title:  Social Choice Mathematics

Prereq: Two 200-level RFLA courses. Themes: Cultural Collisions, Enduring Questions

Course DescriptionHow 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 07                   
Instructor:   Steven Schoen
Days/Times:  T,R 8:00 - 9:15 a.m.
Course Title:  Making Documentaries

Prereq: Two RFLA 200 and WCMP

Course Description

The documentary is arguably the most widely produced audio-visual media genre in the world
today. From the work of world-class filmmakers to YouTube vloggers, the tools and desire to tell
“real” stories are everywhere, and they can make a difference – just ask SeaWorld about the
impact of the documentary Blackfish.
Scottish filmmaker John Grierson, who is credited with coining the word “documentary,” defined
it as the “creative treatment of actuality.” These two conflicting aspects, creativity and actuality,
continue to shape what we mean by documentaries. 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. Documentaries then are a fascinating mix of truth claims,
storytelling, persuasion, expression, power, ethical concerns, and other issues central to critical
media studies. This course will examine the work of documentary filmmakers and the insights of
documentary scholars, especially as they relate to the concerns of hands-on documentary
production. And we will make films, reflecting on our work as we progress. The course brings
together documentary theory, documentary criticism, and documentary production.

Course: RFLA  300 08                   
Instructor:   Mary Robinson
Days/Times:  T,R 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Course Title:  AsianAmer Identity Thru Representation

Prereq: Two RFLA 200 and WCMP; Themes: Identity, Cultural Collision

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, of Asian Americans face.

Course: RFLA  300 09                   
Instructor:   Rochelle Elva
Days/Times:  T,R 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Course Title:  Computer Literacy: Fairy Tale

Prereq: Two RFLA 200 and WCMP; Themes: Identity, Cultural Collision

Course DescriptionComputer literacy is quickly becoming the 4th fundamental requirement for a complete education of the global citizen. The use of the Fairy Tale is a long-standing practice for teaching important societal truths using oral tradition and analogy. This project-based course presents computer literacy concepts re-told through the lens of well-known fairy tales. Other topics covered will include issues surrounding safe, socially conscious use of technology and socio-economic factors impacting access to computer literacy.

Course: RFLA  300 10                   
Instructor:   Jana Mathews
Days/Times:  T,R 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Course Title:  Vikings:  Denmark and Sweden

Prereq: Two RFLA 200 and WCMP

Course Description:  Between 793 and 1066, the Vikings famously plundered their way through Europe and kept going....venturing into Russia and Asia to the east and North America to the west. Since then, the so-called Northmen have lived largely in society's cultural imagination: as sea-faring barbarians, mercenaries, and cold-blooded murderers. But who exactly were the Vikings? How was Viking ethnicity formed and identity constructed over the centuries? What did history get right about these people and what narratives have gotten repressed or ignored...and why? This course examines the history and worldview of pre-Christian (ie. pagan) Scandinavians as represented in medieval textual sources, poems, sagas, and artifacts. Our study of Viking society includes forays into Norse mythology and religious practices; conquests and colonization efforts; political rifts and codes of honor. As we will see, learning about this culture doesn't just enrich our understanding of the past--it also provides valuable context for contemporary struggles. Aryan and white nationalist groups, for example, imagine themselves as the heirs of Vikings and mobilize the culture's symbols and iconography to articulate their vision of a racialized future. The Vikings' exploration of North America also raises uncomfortable questions about the standard narrative of our nation's "discovery" by Christopher Columbus. How did the Vikings participate in the joint enterprises of Imperialism and colonization? Following a (more or less) chronological order, we will look at the questions and problems raised by the study of this region, and at some of the primary sources from which historians draw their analysis

Course: RFLA 300                
Instructor: Dan Myers 
Days/Times: TR, 9:30 - 10:45
Course Title: Predictive Modeling 

Prereq: Statistics or research methods, familiarity with programming is recommended; 2-200-level RFLA courses; Theme: Innovation

Course Description Predictive modeling uses large data sets, statistics, and computer algorithms to create tools that can make accurate predictions of real-world phenomena. This course is an interdisciplinary survey of the techniques, tools, and social implications of predictive modeling methods. We will investigate the uses and misuses of common machine learning and statistical techniques, as well as applications in business analysis, social media, advertising, and game playing.

Course: RFLA  300 12                   
Instructor:   Molly Breckling
Days/Times:  M,W,F 9:00 - 9:50
Course Title:  Popular Song in American Culture

Prereq: Two RFLA 200 and WCMP; Themes: Identity, Cultural Collision

Course Description:  Since the earliest days of the American popular music industry, our music has been inextricably linked to significant events in the nation’s culture. Artists and their work serve as both a mirror, reflecting changes in American society, and as a catalyst, calling for and sometimes inspiring those social shifts. This course will examine styles as varied and wide-ranging as bluegrass and gangsta rap, and students will research topics in popular music that correspond to the issues in American society and culture that correspond to their interests, goals, and experiences and create projects to share this knowledge with their peers.