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Rollins Foundations in the Liberal Arts

Identity Themed Courses for Spring 2020

The study of identity is fundamentally the study of context.  Examine the communities and networks that shape the ways that we exist in and interact with the world around us. Analyze these intersections between self and community, we will come to understand how people of diverse backgrounds impact, and are impacted by, the larger social, cultural, natural, and physical networks of which we all are a part. Be empowered to take meaningful and responsible action as citizens of the world – a goal that is central to our College’s overarching mission.

Instructor:  Rachel Simmons

Section 01:  T - 8:00 - 10:45, CFAC 107
Section 02: W - 4:00 - 6:30, CFAC 107

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


Instructor:  Lisa Cody-Rapport

T,R - 9:15 - 11:00, Costume Shop

Create your own visual brand for a smart phone cover, learn to draw expressively, develop an innovative design for a household item, and create a persona for a masquerade!

Instructor: Eric Zivot

MWF 9:00 - 9:50, CSS 134

Why would anyone care what Shakespeare had to say 400 years ago? What is it about these plays that allows them to be produced today? The plays allow us to examine some of the most difficult 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 woman or does gender dictate destiny? Why not come and take a good hard look at Shakespeare's A.R.S.E.?

Instructor: Mattea Garcia

T,R: 9:30 - 10:45, CSS 118

Communicating authentically is critical to our success and well-being, but in a world filled with distractions and hashtags, how can we communicate meaningfully, mindfully, and effectively? In this course, we will examine how communication helps us make sense of our professional and personal identities and how crucial conversations, while sometimes difficult, pave a path to more successful and mindful lives. We will explore our diverse identities and the social institutions and norms that shape the construction of identity. We will examine ways to be mindful and authentic communicators. We will think about communication as a key element in creating and sharing our personal and professional identities and an important tool for understanding our changing social world and our place within it.

Instructor: Jenn Manak

T,R: 9:30 - 10:45 - CSS 170

While books can be mirrors for readers to see themselves and windows into the worlds of others, books also provide readers with opportunities to build bridges between our worlds and experiences. In this course, we will explore diverse cultures and identities by reading and discussing multicultural literature. Through authentic literature, we will travel with families to new lands, connect with characters living similar lives as our own, and experience new ways of viewing the world.

Instructor: Chelsea Ebin

Section 03: T,R 8:00 - 9:15, CSS 134

Section 04: T,R 9:30 - 10:45, CSS 134

As American politics has become increasingly polarized, questions about the influence of identity within the electorate have taken center stage. Whether the focus is on white blue-collar voters or undocumented immigrants, women or evangelical Protestants, identity is seen as central to the production of conflicting political ideologies. At the same time, American society and political institutions are valued for being pluralistic and representative of a diverse populace. Pluralism offers both the political promise of resolving difference and the peril of encouraging political divisions. This course asks students to reflect on the relationship of identity to the practice of American politics. Students will survey a range of identity-based and intersectional movements in the American electorate and consider how the principles and practices of pluralism work in contemporary American politics.

Instructor: Joshua Savala

Section 05 - T,R 8:00 - 9:15, Orlando Hall 215

Section 06 - T,R 9:30 - 10:45, Orlando Hall 215

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: Wendy Brandon

Section 07 - T,R 9:30 - 10:45, CSS 226

Section 08 - T,R 8:00 - 9:15, CSS 226

An introduction to the global food system and its failings. Through big picture discussions and case studies from the global north and south, students study food cultures and nutrition, their links to global health in both developing and developed countries, global agri-business and food trade, land ownership, land grabbing and other factors affecting food security and food sovereignty, and broader, but connected issues, such as climate change, conflict and hunger, and forced migration. Students will learn about food activism and food justice movements challenging our unjust and unsustainable global food system.

Instructor:  Ashley French

MWF: 9:00 - 9:50, CSS 135

Religion and sexuality coexist uncomfortably in the United States. While most major religions expect participants to adhere to certain moral codes, sex and sexuality remain among the most controversial and disputed. This course examines the nexus of culture and social values as it relates to issues like pornography, sexuality, virginity, sexual debut, pregnancy, and the role of technology.

Instructor: Kathryn Norsworthy

T,R: 8:00 - 9:15, Bush 208

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: Lisa Tillmann

T,R: 9:30 - 10:45, Reeve's Lodge

Each of us will explore memories of significance and engage in reflection, conversation, and composition aimed at bringing meaning to lived experience, expanding our capacity for empathy (for ourselves and for others), and empowering us to live more meaningful, hopeful, and ethical lives.

Instructor: Steven Schoen

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

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

Instructor: Denise Cummings

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, Bush 212

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: Emily Russell

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, Orlando Hall 113

The minute focus of a medical examiner during 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.

Instructor:  Martha Cheng

MW 2:30 - 3:45, Orlando Hall 213

This course addresses the questions: Why do we talk and write like we do and how is my language use related to who I think I am and who others think I am?

We will investigate the relationship between language use and individual identity, which
entails national and local languages affiliations, as well as daily interactional habits. Students will
explore various disciplinary perspectives, such as linguistics, anthropology, rhetoric, and discourse studies and by analyzing texts such as movies, speeches, articles, and social media.

Instructor:  Lauren Cushman

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, Olin 319

This course will explore the social and self-identities of what is considered ethical, displayed through the lens of theater and film. We will observe the ethical dilemmas that are present in society by dissecting plays and film throughout time. Why is Blackface acceptable in film in the 1920s but not today? Is one example of many questions you will ask yourself and peers.

Instructor: Suni Witmer

MWF 9:00 - 9:50, Keene 103

This course will explore the social and self-identities of what is considered ethical, displayed through the lens of theater and film. We will observe the ethical dilemmas that are present in society by dissecting plays and film throughout time. Why is Blackface acceptable in film in the 1920s but not today? Is one example of many questions you will ask yourself and peers.

Instructor: Caitlin Mohr

T,R 8:00 - 9:15

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: Dana Hargrove

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

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

Instructor: Suni Witmer

T,R 8:00 - 9:15, Keene 103

This course is an integrated study of the expressive cultures of Latin America, with an emphasis on the role the arts play in social life. Topics include pre-Columbian art; modernist arts; Spanish American and Brazilian narrative; Latin American poetry, architecture, music, theatre, cinema, and popular culture; and Latin culture.

Instructor:  Matthew Nichter

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, CSS 135

Inequalities of class, race, and gender shape our lives in profound ways. In this course, we will analyze the causes and effects of inequality from a sociological perspective. Why is the gap between rich and poor growing? Is racism disappearing, or just morphing? How common is rape on college campuses? Most importantly, what can be done to mitigate or eliminate harmful inequalities? This course will teach students to identify patterns of advantage and disadvantage in society. We will examine how institutions and culture shape individual experiences and life chances.

Instructor: Yusheng Yao

T,R 8:00 - 9:15, CSS 221

China’s dramatic rise recently is an unprecedented phenomenon in world history that is changing global as well as regional economics and geopolitics. This course will help students understand what accounts for China’s rapid rise, what are the strengths and weaknesses of China’s model of modernity, what challenges China is facing and what impacts and implications that China’s rise has to the U.S. and the rest of the world.

Instructor:  Jie Yu

M 4:00 - 6:30, Bush 308

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.


Instructor: Anca Voicu

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, CSS 221

This course covers the European countries’ economic development after WWII to the present day. In doing so it presents an economic framework for understanding the historical past and the change following the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. Focus will be placed on the interconnectedness among various European economies situated in the Eastern and Western parts of the European continent, and their interactions within the international economy.

Instructor: Amy Parziale

Section 01: MWF 9:00 - 9:50, Rex 1

Section 02: T,R 9:30 - 10:45, Rex 1

Native American Gemma Benton wrote: “Our ancestors knew that healing comes in cycles. One generation carries the pain so the next can live and heal.” This literature and film course examines the after-effects of cultural collisions like war, genocide, and imperialism by analyzing the representation of intergenerational trauma in literature and film. Texts include: books I was the Child of Holocaust Survivors, Kindred, Dreaming in Cuban, and Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven; and films Waltz with Bashir and Return of Navajo Boy, as well as Kara Walker's video installations. Our guiding questions will be: How is trauma passed between generations, and how it is represented?; and What are the ethical, cultural, and socio-political ramifications of both trauma and representation? Concepts and contexts related to trauma, identity, nation-state, globalization, imperialism, class, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and the humanities will be explored in depth.

Instructor: Mario D'Amato

T,R 9:30 - 10:45, KMC 1

This course will focus on accounts regarding how the self is constructed according to Buddhist philosophy, and Western philosophy of mind and cognitive science. We will examine what the philosopher 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.” 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, through studying the theory of Buddhist meditation.