Spring 2018 Interdisciplinary Course Offerings

More to come!

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 Title Crd Sect Instructor Syllabus
IDH3931 Global Environmental Issues 3 11DC Nation, Jame Global Environmental Issues 
IDH3931 The Poetics of Justice: Law, Literature and Film 3 03A7 Kligerman, Eric  
IDH3931 Spirituality and Health 3 11C5 Ritz, Louis  
IDH3931 Buddhism and Film   199D Poceski, Xino Buddhism and Film 

Global Environmental Issues

In Global Environmental Issues we will explore major impacts of environmental science upon our society by looking at local, state, national, and international environmental issues. Students will be expected to present their own ideas about testable hypotheses, ways to organize the data from testing their ideas, and how to evaluate experimental data. Issues discussed will include availability of clean water, clean air, growth/decrease in human populations, biodiversity, conservation, environmental hazards, waste disposal, climate change, and energy issues. These concerns are common to every region of the world. This is a Gordon Rule course, and students will be expected to write 4 essays during the course about (1) a personal statement of concerns and feelings about the environment, (2) an environmental issue with specific concern to Florida, (3) a written report on an environmental book read during the semester, and (4) an issue that has world-wide impact with illustrative examples from different regions of the world. Papers 2 and 4 could be about the same general issue, but they must be entirely different papers without appreciable duplication of text (not more than 2-3 % duplication will be acceptable). Students will be graded on each paper and upon whether they complete the required total of 4000 words in writing. A current textbook (2011 edition or newer if one becomes available) will be used and students will be graded upon completion of assigned readings in the book and hand-outs from the instructor, class attendance, short quizzes, participation in class discussions, and the essays noted above. Frequent use of video presentations will be used, but the course will be structured around class discussion of topical environmental problems.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:
Students are expected to be in class on time and for the duration of each class session. If absence or tardiness is unavoidable, students are expected to e-mail the instructor. Students must bring a textbook, pens/pencils and a notebook to class.

ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
A portion of the grade in the course will be based upon attendance. If the student is not in attendance, he/she certainly cannot contribute to the discussions and questions/answer sessions that will be a part of most classes.

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.

Grading will be based on in-class participation (25%), take-home midterm (25%), take-home final (25%) and an 8-10 page final paper (topic of your choice, 25%).

Spirituality and Health

The Honors Spirituality and Health 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 of spirituality and the health sciences. Interest in the intersection of spirituality and health is rapidly growing in our society, as we seek meaning and purpose in our lives and a more holistic approach to our wellness and our health challenges. Course topics will include: stress reduction through non-judgmental living in the present moment (mindfulness); mind-body relationships; links between religion/spirituality and health; brain-based drug addiction and the spiritually based 12-step program; scientific evaluation of the impact of prayer on our health; spiritual approaches to our lives; lessons on living from those who are dying; and stories that heal. The course is, at its heart, a semester-long, student-centered, dialogue about how various aspects of spirituality impact our health at the level of body, mind, and spirit.

            Dr. Lou Ritz (lritz@ufl.edu) is on the faculty of the Department of Neuroscience in the McKnight Brain Institute, a co-course director for Clinical Neuroscience which is taken by second year medical students, and director of the UF Center for Spirituality and Health (www.spiritualityandhealth.ufl.edu)

Buddhism and Film