Spring 2019 Interdisciplinary Course Offerings

Please use the UF Schedule of Courses to find times, places, and other course information.

These courses are interdisciplinary in nature and are often team taught. 

Course Class Number  Title Section Crd Day/Period Instructor Syllabus
IDH3931  14524  Statistics Don't Lie, But People Can 31A9 2 T/2-3 Jacobbe, Timothy  Stats Don't Lie 
IDH3931 14525  Puerto Ricans in the U.S. 31E2 3 T/2  R/2-3 Garcia, Elizabeth Puerto Ricans in the U.S. 
IDH3931 14628  Impact of Chemistry on Society 34B2 3 MWF/4  Fanucci, Gail Impact of Chemistry on Society 
IDH3931 14631  The Poetics of Justice: Law, Literature and Film  34D7 3 M/5-7 Kligerman, Eric Law, Lit & Film 
IDH3931 21865  Neurotheology 36AH 3 W/10-E1 Ritz, Lou/Edelmann, Jonathan Neurotheology 
IDH3931 22314  Exploring the Health Humanities 4D01 3 M/9-10  W10 Stoyan-Rosenzweig, Nina  

Puerto Ricans in the U.S.

As a result of Hurricane Maria’s devastation in Puerto Rico and the U.S. government’s response, Puerto Ricans and their condition as second-class American citizens became more visible and discussed in recent mainstream media.  This course will provide an in-depth historical explanation of the United States’ involvement in Puerto Rico and the consequent Puerto Rican migrant communities that have existed in this country since the late 1800s.  We will explore their experiences of migration and settlement throughout the United States; the challenges they have endured; and the many contributions they have made economically, politically, and culturally to the U.S.


Impact of Chemistry on Society

Students will gain a rudimentary understanding of concepts in chemistry, spanning general chemistry to medicinal chemistry, and the role chemistry has played in shaping the history of the chemical industry, as well as the political and social structure of contemporary societies. The class will combine demonstrations, visits to UF facilities, interviews with chemists across the U.S., and visits by guest experts from the humanities and social sciences to discuss the intersection of chemistry innovation and social change. Assignments will challenge you to think about how chemistry is impacting current social and political agendas within the United States and globally as well as to think about how to use the power of chemistry to address the social and environmental problems facing our world.

The Poetics of Justice: Law, Literature and Film

In his brief yet complex parable “Before the Law” Kafka describes how a man from the country searches for the law but is stopped outside the gates by a menacing guard, never to gain entrance to the law. What is the significance of this failure to grasp the law? How does Kafka’s perplexing tale shed light on questions pertaining to the interplay between justice, law and violence, and how do we as individuals encounter these conflicts within the social and political spaces in which we live?

This interdisciplinary course sets out to explore these very questions and collisions by juxtaposing shifting modes of representations. By turning to the works of history (Thucydides), Religion (Book of Job), philosophy (Plato, Nietzsche and Arendt), literature (Sophocles, Dostoyevsky and Kafka) and film (Tarantino), our objective is to trace the narrative of justice through ancient Greece, the Enlightenment, the modern and postmodern periods. In particular, we will examine the realm of trials (both real and imaginary) to probe the relation between justice and ethics along with the various questions pertaining to law, guilt, responsibility, violence and punishment. How do writers critique the institutions of law and justice through works of literature and art? Our goal is to rethink these dynamic relationships by turning to the spaces of history, philosophy, political thought, literature and film.


Stats Don't Lie, But People Can

This course will highlight examples of misuses of statistics as well as help students make sense of statistical studies in their own fields. Activities will be done to highlight the importance of understanding key concepts of statistics that are often presented by and to people who may not understand what they are saying. An example of this is the concept of p-values and how those are used to make arguments for or against something.

Students are expected to actively engage in the course. Groups of students will find examples in their fields of misuses of statistics or examples where conclusions are made beyond the scope of the data that is reported. This project presentation will be the primary assignment in the course aside from active engagement in all activities and readings.


The Honors Neurotheology course is intended for all students, particularly those engaged in pre-medical, pre-counseling or health-related majors, who are interested in exploring the interface between spirituality and the brain. Are religious and spiritual experiences brain-based? If they are, what are the implications for understanding brain circuitry? If they are not, what are the implications for our understanding of who we are? The Neurotheology course will introduce the structure and function of the brain at a very basic level. The neural correlates of religious and spiritual experiences, and the role of neuroplasticity, will be evaluated. The possibility of non-materialistic, trans-brain mechanisms for spiritual experiences will be explored. Through our readings and student-centered discussions, we hope to develop a more complete understanding about our identity and our relationship to that which is sacred.


Exploring the Health Humanities

The health humanities provide a window in how humans understand, discuss,  and find meaning in health and illness, develop understandings of the causes of suffering and create treatments proceeding from those understandings.   The field is broad, including the arts- music, dance, poetry, visual arts; humanities- history, comparative literature, philosophy, classics, and social sciences- anthropology, psychology, and sociology.  This class provides an introduction to the medical humanities, how they play an essential role in understanding and shaping the trajectory of health practice- particularly through narrative- and their role in promoting understanding of environmental, historical, cultural, and socioeconomic issues impacting health.  It also explores how the humanities function in healthcare to promote wellness and enhance development of clinical skills. Certain issues are central to the health humanities and their role illuminating the human side of health practice.   These issues are woven throughout the material of the syllabus, rather than being relegated to specific sessions. They are themes concerning issues of gender, differing abilities, race, stigma, disparities, environmental health, and social justice- the introduction and early readings show  how these themes are incorporated into the choice of readings and in-class activities.  Because such a significant portion of medical humanities, especially, narrative, resides in popular culture, the class uses a wide range of material to highlight the role of medical humanities, from cancer blogs to childrens books, to self-published literature to documentaries and mainstream movies.

It is a 3 credit class course that focuses on developing strong critical thinking skills and emphasizing textual (in all senses of the word) analysis, close reading, reflective writing, and a multidisciplinary analysis of health and health related issues.