Freshman Seminars Fall 2007


Desire and Demand: Culture and Consumption in the Global Marketplace
Marilynne Diggs-Thompson, House Dean, Riepe College House
Does consumption shape culture or does culture shape consumption? Does the archaic term “errand running” now fall under the heading of “power shopping”? As even the most mundane purchase becomes socially symbolic and culturally meaningful we can now persuasively argue that the concept of “need” has been transformed. Selling electronics, music, food, clothes and accessories: who are the players behind the crafting of some of these markets to be elaborately seductive shopping spaces? When successful selling must account for differences in age, gender, ethnicity, language and even religion, how is demand created and how are diverse populations “sold”? From New Delhi to New York, we ask the question: has the process of globalization also homogenized consumption? Is shopping really pop culture and exactly how has this pastime become inextricably bound to issues of self-image, social status and identity? By analyzing a variety of physical and virtual shopping venues in different countries this seminar examines the process of shopping in the global marketplace. How have issues of culture, consumption, marketing, and global capitalism become intertwined around the world?
anth 086.301 | Monday | 2:00 - 5:00

Architecture Today
Witold Rybczynski, Martin and Margy Meyerson Professor of Urbanism; Professor of Real Estate
Why do buildings by different architects look so different? The Getty Museum in Los Angeles, for example, is quite different from the Bilbao Guggenheim; Rem Koolhas’s proposed library in Seattle seems worlds apart from Tom Beeby’s Harold T. Washington Library in Chicago. In addition to site function and construction, architecture is affected by style, and today there are many different stylistic approaches. Style is neglected in most discussions of architecture, yet it is central to the design and appreciation of buildings. The seminar will examine the role that style plays in the work of prominent contemporary architects, both in the United States and abroad. Selected readings will form the basis for four written assignments.
arch 102.301 | Monday & Wednesday | 2:00 - 3:30

South Asians in the U.S.
Fariha Khan, Instructor of Asian American Studies
Have you ever wondered why brides wear henna at their weddings? Why is it taboo to offer or accept anything with your left hand in South Asia? Or why are South Asians interested in Hip Hop? These are a few questions that make up the folklore of South Asia, and this course investigates the everyday practices and customs of South Asians in America. Every immigrant group has its own history, customs, beliefs and values, making each unique while simultaneously a part of the “melting pot” or “salad bowl” of American society. Yet, how do people define themselves and their ethnicities living in a diasporic context? By taking into account the burgeoning
South Asian American population as our model, this course will explore the basic themes surrounding the lives that immigrants are living in America and, more specifically, the identity that the second generation, born and/or raised in America, is developing.
asam 017.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 12:00 - 1:30

Dilemmas in International Development
Richard Estes, Professor, School of Social Work
World social development has arrived at a critical turning point. Economically advanced nations have made significant progress toward meeting the basic needs of their populations; however, the majority of developing countries have not. Problems of rapid population growth, failing economies, famine, environmental devastation, majority/minority group conflicts, increasing militarization, among others are pushing many developing nations toward the brink of social chaos.
This seminar exposes students to the complex social, political and economic forces that influence national and international patterns of development. Particular attention will be given to the development dilemmas confronting the developing nations of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Attention also will be given to helping students understand the possible choices that more economically advanced countries can make in helping poorer countries advance their development objectives.
Students will be exposed to the interplay of international forces that inhibit the progress of developing nations and can actually add to their mal-development. They will undertake an original piece of research on an international development topic of special interest to them. They will also be invited to meet with prominent professionals in the international development community.
frsm 106.301 | Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00

Joan Goodman, Professor of Education, School of Education
The concept of integrity as a moral value has been aptly called both fundamental and elusive. It has been described as the master virtue and as no virtue at all. In this course we examine the meaning of integrity and the reasons underlying its centrality and elusiveness. We also consider the ways in which it may come to be decisive in determining decision-making across a variety of intersecting roles: in our personal lives as students, teachers and citizens, and in the ethics of such professions as
business, medicine, education, law and journalism. Our reflections will be guided by readings from literature (for example, Leo Tolstoy, Arthur Miller, Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekov, George Orwell), philosophy (for example, Plato, Alasdair MacIntyre, Sissela Bok, Gabriele Taylor, Charles Fried, Joel Feinberg), and the social sciences (for example, Kenneth Gergen, Arlie Russell Hochschild, Stanley Milgram, Mordecai Nisan).
frsm 128.301 | Tuesday | 1:30 - 4:30

Milton Meyer, Lecturer in Philosophy
Four sorts of questions belong to the study of ethics in the analytic tradition. Practical ethics discusses specific moral problems, often those we find most contested (e.g., abortion). Moral theory tries to develop systematic answers to moral problems, looking for general principles that explain moral judgments and rules (e.g., consequentialism, contractarianism). Meta-ethics investigates questions about the nature of moral theories and their subject matter (e.g., are they subjective or objective, relative or non-relative?). Finally, there are questions about why any of this does, or should, matter to us (e.g., why be moral?). We will investigate all four of these types of questions during the course, but a disproportionate part of the course will be focused on discussing two moral problems: abortion and terrorism. The central aim of the required readings and discussion is to develop each question deeply and sharply enough for us to really feel its troublesome character. We will focus on how to read complex philosophical prose in order to outline and evaluate the arguments embedded within it. This will provide the basis for writing argumentative prose.
phil 002.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 10:30 - 12:00

Politics of Crime and Punishment
Marie Gottschalk, Associate Professor of Political Science
This seminar analyzes the connection between crime, punishment and politics. Among the topics to be covered are: the relationship between crime and the incarceration rate; public opinion; U.S. penal policies compared with other Western countries; the death penalty; the politics of crime in Pennsylvania; the growth of the prison-industrial complex; the “drug war”; race and incarceration; and “law and order” politics. The course will include at least one visit to a local prison.
psci 010.301 | Monday | 2:00 - 5:00

Andrew Norris, Assistant Professor of Political Science
What does it mean to be free? What are its metaphysical and practical preconditions?
Is freedom something that individuals can enjoy in private, or something that requires
a vibrant public life? Has the idea of freedom evolved with our cultural, economic and industrial life? How does the modern media affect the freedom of our choices? Is freedom simply the absence of external constraint, or are there criteria internal to the idea of freedom? This course will address these and other central questions in the political philosophy of freedom. The readings and the discussions in our small group will demand a lot of every participant. But the theme should prove as engaging as it is important to a group of people most of whom have only recently left home for the freedom of the university. What sort of freedom that is will, of course, also be open to question.
psci 010.303 | Thursday | 3:00 - 6:00

Declining Birth Rates: Causes and Consequences
Frank Norman, Professor of Psychology
Decisions to have children are influenced by cultural norms and economic constraints. Cultural and economic conditions have changed drastically, and, as a result, recent years have seen a sharp, nearly worldwide decline in birth rate and exceedingly low birth rates in contemporary Europe and Japan. The history, causes and consequences of this “fertility transition” are the central topics of this seminar. Historical topics include the emergence of the concept of deliberate family size restriction, which fostered birth rate declines in some countries long before the introduction of efficient contraceptives. Causes include the escalating cost of rearing children. Consequences include population aging and resultant difficulty funding pensions for retirees. (The “social security crisis” is much worse in Europe and Japan than in the U.S.) The seminar also considers contemporary women’s career-family conflicts, which illustrate some of the psychological, sociological, and economic factors with which the seminar is concerned.
psyc 006.301 | Thursday | 1:30 - 4:30

Planning to be Offshore?
Srilata Gangulee, Assistant Dean for Advising
In this course we will trace the economic development of India from 1947 to the present. Independent India started out as a centrally planned economy in 1949 but in 1991 decided to reduce its public sector and allow, indeed encourage, foreign investors to come in. The Planning Commission of India still exists but has lost much of its power. Many in the U.S. complain of American jobs draining off to India, call
centers in India taking care of American customer complaints, American patient histories being documented in India, etc. At the same time, the U.S. government encourages highly trained Indians to be in the U.S. We will try to find out how 1991 essentially followed 1949. Students will write four one-page response papers and one final paper. Twenty percent of the final grade will be based on class participation, 20 percent on the four response papers and 60 percent on the final paper.
sast 057.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 3:00 - 4:30

Homelessness and the Urban Crisis
Dennis Culhane, Professor, School of Social Policy and Practice
This seminar in Urban Studies introduces students to many of the major social issues confronting our nation’s cities by focusing specifically on the problem of urban homelessness. The course examines the treatment of homelessness and extreme impoverishment as social problems historically, as well as through contemporary debates. Several areas of intensive study will include the prevalence and dynamics of homelessness, the affordable housing crisis, urban labor market trends, welfare reform, health and mental health policies and urban/suburban development disparities. Particular attention is also paid to the structure of services for people who have housing emergencies. The course concludes by examining current policies and advocacy strategies.
urbs 100.401 or afrc 041.401 or soci 041.401 | Friday | 2:00 - 5:00


Native Peoples and the Environment
Clark Erickson, Associate Professor of Anthropology
The relationship between the activities of native peoples and the environment is a complex and contentious issue. One perspective argues that native peoples had little impact on the environment because of their low population densities, limited technology and conservation ethic and worldview. At the other extreme, biodiversity, and Nature itself, is considered the product of a long history of human activities. This seminar will examine the Myth of the Ecologically Noble Savage, the Myth of the Pristine Environment, the alliance between native peoples and Green Politics and the contribution of native peoples to appropriate technology, sustainable development and conservation of biodiversity.
anth 133.401 or lals 133.401 | Monday & Wednesday | 3:30 - 5:00

Superstition and Erudition: Daily Life in the Middle Ages
Francis Brevart, Associate Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures
Individuals in medieval times lived basically the same way we do today: they ate, drank, needed shelter, worked in a variety of ways to earn a living and planned their lives around religious holidays. They talked about the weather and had sex; they had to deal with cold, hunger, illness, epidemics and natural catastrophes. Those fortunate few who could afford the luxury went to local monastic schools and learned how to read and write. And fewer still managed to obtain some form of higher education in cathedral schools and nascent universities and became teachers themselves. Those eager to learn about other people and foreign customs traveled to distant places and brought back with them much knowledge and new ideas. The similarities, we will all agree, are striking. But what is of interest to us are the differences, the alterity (keyword) of the ways in which they carried out these actions and fulfilled their goals. This course concentrates on two very broad aspects of daily life in the Middle Ages (12th to 16th centuries).
The first part, Erudition, focuses on the world in and around the university. Taking Paris and Bologna as our paradigms, we will discuss the evolution of the medieval university from early cathedral schools, the organization, administration, financing
and maintenance of such an institution, the curriculum and degrees offered at the various faculties and the specific qualifications needed to study or to teach at the university. We will familiarize ourselves with the modes of learning and lecturing, with
the production of the instruments of knowledge, i.e., the making of a manuscript; we
will explore the regimented daily life of the medieval student, his economic and social condition, his limited, but at times outrageous, distractions and the causes of frequent conflicts between town and gown. Finally, we will investigate the role of the medieval university in European history.
The second part, Superstition, revolves around astrology, medicine and pharmacy, and magic. We will focus on the theological, sidereal and terrestrial causes of the Black Death according to scholastic thinkers. We will also examine the German Volkskalender, a practical guide for everyday activities and an indispensable medical companion for professional physicians and the family caretaker alike. From this foundation, we will gain insights into the ubiquitous role of astrology in the daily life of medieval individuals and into the precarious medieval healthcare system and prevalent medical theories of the time. Special topics on medieval wonder drugs, embryology, gynecology, and misogyny will illustrate diverse aspects of medieval daily life. This seminar also fulfills the Cross-Cultural Analysis Requirement.
grmn 008.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 10:30 - 12:00

Coming of Age in America
Susan Miller, Lecturer in History
Are children born into original sin, consigned to Hell if not baptized before they die? Should children be allowed, even encouraged, to work in mills and factories? At what age should children be legally permitted to consent to marriage or sex? What are the root causes of school shootings? Are computer games in particular and popular culture in general producing a generation of sedentary, dull-witted Americans?
What do these questions tell us about the changing nature of childhood and adolescence throughout American history? This course asks what it means to be a child and come of age in a particular historical context. Although we will be primarily concerned with a historical analysis of changing notions of American childhood, we will examine the above questions from a variety of viewpoints. We will dip into scholarship from anthropology and educational theory, while also enjoying literature and memoirs.
hist 104.302 | Tuesday & Thursday | 12:00 - 1:30

History and Memory in American Culture
Phoebe Kropp, Assistant Professor of History
If you’ve ever been to Colonial Williamsburg, gone to the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, toured a Civil War battlefield, visited Ground Zero, watched a period film, surfed by the History Channel, or read historic landmark signs, then you know that professional historians are not the only people who write history, students not the only ones who read it. The past is a big industry, with many consumers—why?
This seminar examines the ways in which Americans have remembered, forgotten, interpreted, and shared history outside of the classroom. We will explore this public memory in American culture from the Revolutionary Era to the present day, considering such topics as war and memorials, museums and historic preservation, race and ethnicity, theme parks and tourism, political uses of the past, trauma and violence, film and television. These themes will sometimes take us into the realm of theory through historians’ debates over how to study and understand memory and conflicts over the relationship between academic, public and popular history. Students will pursue individualized research projects investigating a particular site or source of memory, and together we will visit and study several such places in Philadelphia. This course is a Benjamin Franklin Scholars seminar; seats are also available for non-honors students.
hist 114.301 | Monday | 2:00 - 5:00

National Creation Myths
Mark Doyle, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities, Penn Humanities Forum
Where do nations come from? In the 19th and 20th centuries, as new nations appeared around the globe, this question preoccupied a host of ambitious intellectuals, statesmen and revolutionaries. Nations, like religions, seemed to require a foundational myth, a story that explained who its people were, where they came from and how they differed from the other nations. In a series of case studies—encompassing Europe, the U.S., and colonial Asia and Africa—students will consider who articulates and controls national creation myths and for what purpose. Who is included and who excluded? What are the practical consequences of these myths when they are adopted by policymakers or other social groups? These and other questions will form the core of our discussions, which will begin with a brief glance at the archetypal national creation myths of the ancient world before plunging into a detailed examination of the construction (and implementation) of such myths in the last 200 years.
hist 106.301 | Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00

Snip and Tuck: A History of Surgery
Beth Linker, Assistant Professor of the History and Sociology of Science
Before the discovery of anesthesia in the 19th century, surgery was often a grizzly and horrific affair. Surgeons had a reputation as dirty, bloodthirsty barbarians, and patients rarely sought out their services. But all of this changed during the 20th century. Today surgery is one of the most prestigious medical specialties, and patients, especially those who long to look younger, thinner and trimmer, voluntarily submit
to multiple procedures. This course will investigate the cultural and scientific sources of these dramatic changes, with readings ranging from graphic descriptions of bone-setting and suturing during the Middle Ages to contemporary accounts of childbirth and plastic surgery in antiseptic hospitals and clinics.
hsoc 042.301 | Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00

Mad, Bad and Sad: Defining, Preventing and Treating Mental Disorders in Children
David Mandell, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, School of Medicine
The idea that mental disorders affect children is relatively new. Over the last 100 years,
public and professional groups have taken very different approaches to determining what constitutes psychopathology in children and what to do about it. By current thinking, as many as one in ten children experiences psychopathology impairing enough to require treatment. This class attempts to impart an understanding of the epidemiology, presentation and treatment of common mental disorders affecting
children and the systems in which these children receive care. By the end of this course, students will: (1) Be familiar with the epidemiology, presentation and treatment of autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression and substance abuse; (2) Understand the organization, financing and delivery of mental health services to children in the U.S.; (3) Be able to critically evaluate related research, and; (4) Make practical suggestions for ways to improve care to children with mental disorders.
hsoc 050.401 or stsc 059.401 | Tuesday & Thursday | 3:00 - 4:30

Bilingualism In History
Gillian Sankoff, Professor of Linguistics
This course takes a historical approach to tracing (and reconstructing) the nature of language contacts and bilingualism over the course of human history. Contacts between groups of people speaking different languages, motivated by trade, migration, conquest and intermarriage, are documented from earliest records. At the same time, differences in socio-historical context have created different kinds of linguistic outcomes. Some languages have been completely lost; new languages have been created. In still other cases, the nature and structure of language have been radically altered. The course introduces the basics of linguistic structure through a discussion of which aspects of language have proved to be relatively stable, and which are readily altered, under conditions of bilingualism.
ling 054.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 12:00 - 1:30

Indians Overseas: A Global View
Surendra Gambhir, Senior Lecturer in South Asia Studies
This course, about the history of Indian immigration into different parts of the world, will consist of readings, discussions, observations, data collection and analysis. The topics will include cultural preservation and cultural change through generations of East Indian immigrants, especially in North America, the Caribbean area, the United Kingdom, the African continent and some other countries in the Pacific Ocean. The course will encourage organized thinking, observations and analysis of components of the culture that immigrant communities are able to preserve and cultural components that either change or are reinterpreted. In this context, we will look at entities such as religion, food, language and family. The course will discuss immigrants’ success stories, sad stories, their contributions, their relationship with other groups in the host society and the nature and extent of their links with their homeland. The course will include discussion about victimization of and discrimination against immigrants in their new homelands. Other issues will include social and cultural needs of immigrants giving rise to new community organizations such as temples, ngos and other cultural centers. The course will benefit from the study of other immigrant communities for a comparative view.
sast 052.401 or asam 012.401 | Monday & Wednesday | 3:30 - 5:00

The Origins of Life
Llyd Wells, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities, Penn Humanities Forum
Is life what you think it is? How do we draw the line that separates life from non-life, now and in the past?
Some scientists explain the origin of life as arising from organic syntheses of biological
precursors like amino acids and sugars. Others focus on the origin of the genetic code, metabolism, or the cell. Inevitably, investigators trying to understand the origin of life also address the environment in which life arose. Charles Darwin suggested a warm pond; others have proposed everything from sea ice to hydrothermal vents; some conjecture life’s origin in other worlds.
In this seminar, we will examine how questions about the origin of life have been posed and answered from Darwin to the present, including some bizarre or overlooked experiments, arguments and observations from Darwin to the present. Along the way we will consider a bestiary of monsters, derelicts and oddballs.
stsc o18.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 9:00 - 10:30

Science, Magic and Religion
Henrika Kuklick, Professor of the History and Sociology of Science
Throughout human history, the relationships of science and religion, as well as of science and magic, have been complex and often surprising. This course will cover topics ranging from the links between magic and science in the 17th century to contemporary anti-science movements.
stsc 028.401 or hsoc 025.401 | Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00

Nerds in America: Technological Enthusiasm in American History
Nathan Ensmenger, Assistant Professor of the History and Sociology of Science
Technological enthusiasm has served as a cornerstone of American economic, social and political life since the founding of the Republic. From Thomas Edison to Bill Gates, the inventor hero has achieved an almost mythical stature in contemporary culture. In this course we will explore the history of the “nerd”—and the central role of technology in American life past and present—from a variety of historical and popular culture perspectives.
stsc 060.301 | Tuesday | 1:30 - 4:30

The Origins of Sexual Difference
Camille Robcis, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities, Penn Humanities Forum
Our current understanding of the origins of sexual differences, with all their biological and cultural implications, did not emerge until the 19th century. For example, the ancient Greeks thought that male and female bodies were the same, and medieval people believed that boys could turn into girls, and vice versa. In the course of this seminar, we will trace the origins of contemporary notions of sexual difference by reading historical works and classical texts on the subject.
stsc 081.301 | Thursday | 1:30 - 4:30

Girls Gone Wild: Reading Women’s Journeys, from the Wife of Bath to Thelma and Louise
John Ghazvinian, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Penn Humanities Forum
Women have been going on journeys for at least as long as men have, yet the female version of travel has always been proscribed, negotiated or compromised in some way. As early as the 4th century, women went on religious pilgrimages and wrote about their journeys. When the Grand Tour of the 17th century was off-limits to them, they used restorative trips to Spa as an excuse to go abroad and see the continent. When Victorian ladies traveled through Africa by themselves, they were dismissed as dilettantes and scientific lightweights. Even in our own “liberated” age, a film about two women on a road trip is instantly labeled “feminist” or a “chick flick”. Why have men in almost every period of history found the idea of female travelers so threatening? What strategies have women wanting to see the world adopted over the centuries to help them avoid (or perhaps invite) the accusation that they are dangerous, loose or lustful? As historians, we have to work harder, look closer and think more creatively to find evidence of women’s journeys, yet we are always richly rewarded when we do, and this seminar will be devoted to understanding how to discover and read the female journey amidst centuries of obfuscation and dissimulation.
hist 102.301 | Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00

Philadelphia Through Travelers’ Eyes: Tales in a Capital City, 1790-1800
Neil Safier, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Penn Humanities Forum
The ratification of the constitution and the establishment of Philadelphia as the
new capital of the United States brought a flood of interest and a deluge of immigrants and travelers to the city during the period immediately following the establishment of the American republic. What might it have been like to walk the streets of Philadelphia during those heady times? Other than the owner Martha Smallwood, what characters was one likely to meet at the Man Full of Trouble tavern or the Merchant’s Coffee House, and what might they have been discussing?
What interactions might one have had with individuals of the many social classes, religious persuasions, and ethnic groupings that populated the city? French immigrants, African-American slaves and freedmen, fishmongers, merchants, cobblers, constitutional signers and other participants in the drama of daily life in Philadelphia created a diverse urban panorama which this course will examine through travel accounts penned by foreign observers and magazines and other periodicals published during this period. Using historical maps and visual documents, students will narrate their way through Philadelphia describing the sights, sounds and smells of life in the capital of a new nation. With contemporary Philadelphia as a backdrop, the class will be able to visit the landmarks of the city and speculate on the cultural customs one might have observed there 225 years ago. And by examining the earliest racial, ethnic and social stratifications of a city built through the coerced labor of another immigrant class, African slaves and their descendants, the course will attempt to understand—through eyewitness accounts—the roots and legacies of institutionalized social and economic inequality in early American life.
hist 103.301 | Thursday | 1:30 - 4:30

Disability Matters
Beth Linker, Assistant Professor of History and Sociology of Science
According to the latest statistics, almost one-fifth of Americans are disabled. Whether able-bodied or not, all of us encounter disability policy at work on a daily basis-from handicap parking and automated doors to accessible drinking fountains. The purpose of this seminar will be to explore the history of disability as a lived-experience, as the basis for 19th-century “freak shows,” as a medical diagnosis, as a common outcome of America’s wars, and as a personal identifier that has sparked political controversy and activism throughout the last two hundred years. Some of the topics in this course will include the history of the “normal” body, plastic surgery, prosthetic design and engineering, eugenics, the development of the Veteran’s hospital system, as well as the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
hsoc 041.301 | Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00

Science, Magic and Religion
Henrika Kuklick, Professor of History and Sociology of Science
Throughout human history, the relationships of science and religion, as well as of science and magic, have been complex—and often surprising. This course will cover topics ranging from the links between magic and science in the 17th century to contemporary anti-science movements.
stsc 028.401 or hsoc 025.401 or folk 025.401 or rels 116.401
Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00

Crime and Punishment
Eric Schneider, Adjunct Associate Professor of History
How have definitions of crime and forms of punishment changed over time? What have been the uses and legacy of extra-legal violence? How have the forms of crime and punishment reflected the structure of American society? Using both historical and contemporary texts, this freshman seminar will explore these and other questions and in the process analyze the development of juvenile justice, the organization of corrections, the application of the death penalty and the rise of the drug economy.
urbs 110.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 3:00 - 4:30


Spiegel Freshman Seminar
Contemporary Art in East Asia and the World
Julie Davis, Assistant Professor of Art History
This seminar will investigate the issues that confront artists from East Asia working in today’s contemporary art world. We will begin by considering the terms that constitute the definition of the modern and how it and related concepts may and may not pertain to artists working outside the European and American contexts, and how positions of contemporary art are being expressed within the Chinese and Japanese art worlds. The practices of contemporary art-making and exhibiting will also be considered.This course will include a site visit to the Venice Biennale. Airfare and lodging costs will be covered by the department; students will be asked to meet additional expenses.
Admission to this seminar is by application. Please write a short statement (not more than one page) explaining your interest in the seminar, any background you have had with art history or East Asian studies, and what you think are the most interesting trends in contemporary art. Send your statement to by Friday, July 13. This seminar also fulfills the Cross-Cultural Analysis Requirement.
arth 100.301 | Thursday | 3:00 - 6:00

Classical Architecture
Lothar Haselberger, Professor of Art History
Comparing and contrasting outstanding examples of Greek and Roman architecture
—single buildings as well as larger architectural compositions and cities—forms the focus of this seminar. Special emphasis will be placed on the principles guiding the design of these structures and the diverse, or common, Greek and Roman approaches toward comparable building tasks (such as temples, theaters, baths, market places, fortifications, city plans). Methodological tools for these analyses will be discussed and a broader historical context developed. Field trips to the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Art and Archeology and to the city of Philadelphia. No prerequisites.
arth 100.302 | Monday | 3:30 - 6:30

Athens/Babylon: Images and Metaphors of the American City
Anthony Raynsford, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities, Penn Humanities Forum
Americans have long had a love-hate relationship with their cities. Popular images of New York and Los Angeles oscillate between glittering pictures of wealth and culture to grim scenes of excess and violence, often teetering at the edge of disaster. Already at the dawn of the industrial age in the early 19th century, the grandiose plans for a new capital city on the Potomac were steadily undermined by the anti-urban visions of a Jeffersonian pastoralism. The rise of great industrial metropolises in the latter part of the 19th century was watched with a mixture of fascination and horror. On the one side lay the belief that the city represented the crystallization of social and technological progress. On the other side lay the fear that the city had become a monster. It was common to think of the industrial metropolis as a force of destructive nature, or else as an alien life form that had somehow escaped rational human control. In the 20th century there were renewed attempts to rationalize the industrial city through planning and redevelopment, as though the city could become a benign machine. Almost as quickly, however, the new metaphors slipped into dystopian scenes. In the late 20th century the apocalyptic visions of decayed, burnt-out cities became sources of both horror and aesthetic delight.
This course will investigate the ambivalent images and metaphors that surrounded American cities in the 19th and 20th centuries. It will particularly examine architectural images and attempts to control the physical environment of the city. The sources will combine various types of historical documents, including: literary works (Theodore Dreiser and Henry James); sociological and historical accounts (Lewis Mumford and Louis Wirth); architectural and urbanistic writings (Jane Jacobs and Kevin Lynch); paintings and architectural designs (Thomas Cole and Daniel Burnham); and cinematic representations (Blade Runner and Dark City).
arth 100.303 | Thursday | 3:00-6:00

Rebecca Bushnell, Professor of English, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences
Most 21st-century readers find tragic theater alien or stuffy, even while they eagerly consume tragic stuff through television and film. This course proposes to reinvigorate the reading of tragedy for readers who want to understand it and to feel its power. The course will examine the theatrical and historical conditions that defined tragedy in the past and examine the origins and evolution of the genre’s formal qualities. We will review historical notions of the tragic hero, from Aristotle to the present, and consider how this hero has been understood to stand for his tribe, the common man, or the nation. The class will also think about the role of plot in defining tragedy, and how a tragedy differs from a catastrophe or a merely unhappy event. Finally, we will speculate on the future of tragedy as a genre. Although this course will not pretend to cover all the manifestations of tragic drama from the Greeks to the present, texts will include plays by Sophocles, Euripides, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Racine, Ibsen and Beckett, recent films and relevant criticism and philosophy. Assignments will include a reading journal or commonplace book, a class presentation on a film, a meeting with the instructor, and two 5- to 7-page papers.
engl 016.301 | Monday | 3:30 - 6:30

Twentieth-Century Realisms
Laura Heffernan, Post-Doctoral Lecturer in English
What do we mean when we praise a movie or a novel for its realistic portrayal of life? Have our standards for realism changed in the last 100 years? What makes novels or photographs seem realistic? When you watch “The Real World,” why is a sidelong glance or a closed door meaningful, while someone’s T-shirt slogan or the meal they are cooking fades into the background? This seminar is designed to introduce students to the ways literature and media achieve the effect of realism as well as to the changing cultural significance of this concept of the real. We will begin with a 19th-century realist novel by George Eliot and move on to 20th-century poetry and prose by James Joyce, Rebecca West, George Orwell, Muriel Rukeyser, Lucy Ellmann, and W. G. Sebald. We will also keep an eye on new media and genres that claim to represent the real (war photography, documentary journalism, hard-boiled cinema, reality television) and read theories of realism by Aristotle, Sigmund Freud, Eric Auerbach, Roland Barthes, and Susan Sontag. Course requirements will include a class presentation, two shorter seminar papers, and a longer final paper.
engl 016.302 | Monday, Wednesday & Friday | 11:00 - 12:00

Twentieth Century African-American Women Writers and Filmmakers
Salamishah Tillet, Assistant Professor of English
This course seeks to examine the extraordinary and diverse landscape of 20th-century African women’s fiction and film. Despite the relatively recent commercial success of African-American women writers, only a handful of African-American women filmmakers have directed feature-length narrative films and/or had them produced by a major Hollywood studio. Ironically, many of the challenges that late 19th and early 20th century African-American women writers had to confront—sexism, racism, and lack of financial support—now limit the output of black women filmmakers. In this class, we will consider how 20th-century African-American women writers and filmmakers intersect the themes of race, culture and sexuality in their texts, while we interrogate how their historical contexts and different artistic mediums influence how they understand and depict black womanhood. Some of the writers we will look at are: Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Toni Cade Bambara and Ntozake Shange. Filmmakers include: Leslie Harris, Cheryl Dunye, Julie Dash, Kasi Lemmons, Darnell Martin and Aishah Shahidah Simmons.
engl 016.303 or gsoc 016.301 or afrc 016.301 or cine 016.301
Tuesday & Thursday | 9:00 - 10:30

Origins and Originality
Judith Brown, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities, Penn Humanities Forum
“Make it new!” proclaimed Ezra Pound, an early 20th-century poet and advocate for the emerging modernist movement. The slogan stuck and a new century of literature began with the demand for originality. Newness was at a premium in the first decades of the century–but what did it mean to be an original? In this class we will investigate the notion of originality: What is it? What is its relationship to the old? What is its relationship to creativity and what we call the creative process? Can there even be such a thing as the new, or has it all been said before? We will look at a number of articulations of the new, beginning with some early-century examples of the avant-garde (Pound’s vorticist movement, the Dada movement, etc.). We will think about the relationship between original and copy–is a painting more original than a photograph, for example?–and read from some influential works on the subject. Finally, we will consider some paired texts, including Virginia Woolf’s great modernist work, Mrs. Dalloway, and Michael Cunningham’s recent tribute to it, The Hours. Is the latter a creative tour-de-force, or a rip-off? The class will be small, discussion-based and committed to original thinking about the problems of originality.
engl 016.304 | Monday & Wednesday | 3:30 - 5:00

Introduction to Modern American Poetry
Bob Perelman, Professor of English
This will not be a survey course: we will read a selection of poets in some depth: Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, Mina Loy, Frank O’Hara and Allen Ginsberg, among a few others. The aim of the course will be to provide a sense of the overall history of American poetry
and to get a detailed look at some fascinating poets.
engl 016.305 | Monday & Wednesday | 3:30 - 5:00

Jane Austen and Her Contemporaries
Michael Gamer, Associate Professor of English
This freshman seminar provides students with an introduction to studying English at the university level through the study of a single author: Jane Austen. At once acutely aware of her culture and a product of it, Austen read and wrote in popular forms, from Gothic horror to raucous satire. Her love of popular theater enters into her work constantly. Her gift for writing dialogue has produced successful screen adaptations of every one of her novels.
During the semester, we’ll read four of Austen’s novels, most likely Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Persuasion. We’ll also read her contemporaries
(Fanny Burney, Lord Byron, Maria Edgeworth, Ann Radcliffe and Walter Scott) as well as seeing a number of screen adaptations, from faithful adaptations of her novels to films like Clueless and Bride and Prejudice. As this will be a real introductory research seminar, part of our aim will be learning what it means to do real literary research and to make the kinds of interpretations and interventions that professional critics make. Required work: three responses, two short assignments, two essays and either a final examination or a final project.
Mandatory Screenings each week on Monday evenings 6:30 - 9:30.
engl 016.401 or gsoc 016.401 | Monday & Wednesday | 2:00 - 3:30

Freshman Recitation: Masterpieces of French Cinema
Philippe Met, Associate Professor of Romance Languages
This course introduces students to the full scope and history of French cinema through the analysis of key works of the French film canon. Particular attention will be paid to successive period styles (“poetic realism,” “French quality,” “the New Wave,” “le cinéma du look,” cinema de banlieue”) and a variety of critical lenses will be used (psychoanalysis, socio-historical and cultural context, politics, aesthetics, gender) to better understand the specificities and complexities of French cinematic culture.
fren 230.401 or cine 245.401 (lec) | Tuesday | 3:00 - 4:30 and 4:30 - 7:00
fren 230.402 or cine 245.402 (rec)| Thursday | 3:00 - 4:30

Looking for Lola: The Allure of a Cinematic Name
Simon Richter, Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures
We all know about Eve and Mary, two names that readily designate opposite relations to masculinity and sexuality. But what about Lola? Beginning in the early 20th century, the name of Lola has gripped the imagination of directors and screenwriters and launched a cinematic tradition. The name is certainly based on Lola Montez, a 19th-century British woman of humble origins who used her sexuality and prevaricating charm to rise to worldwide renown as an erotic dancer and the lover of composers (Lizst) and kings (Ludwig of Bavaria), leaving disaster in her wake. Ever since Marlene Dietrich’s seductive role as Lola Lola, the risque nightclub entertainer in Joseph Sternberg’s scandalous Blue Angel (1930), the name Lola has specified the realm of the quintessential vamp. In this course we will explore the cinematic femininity, sexuality and gender associated with the name Lola (and its close cousins Lulu and Lolita). We will encounter Lolas of ambiguous, precocious, calculating, and irresistible sexuality: a Turkish-German transvestite, a sexual nymph, a schemer during Germany’s economic miracle, and a man-killer eventually slain by Jack the Ripper. What is remarkable about the films associated with Lola is that each discovers her anew and contributes to a complex nexus of issues involving sexuality, pleasure, knowledge and power, far more interesting, in the final analysis, than the alternatives of Mary and Eve.
grmn 001.401 or cine 050.401 | Tuesday & Thursday | 1:30 - 3:00

The World of Dante
Victoria Kirkham, Professor of Romance Languages
The Divine Comedy will be read in the context of Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century cultural world. Discussions, focused on selected cantos of the Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, will connect with such topics as: books and readers before the invention of printing (e.g., how manuscripts were made from sheepskins, transcribed, and decorated); life in a society dominated by the Catholic church (sinners vs. saints; Christian pilgrimage routes, the great Franciscan and Dominican religious orders); Dante’s politics as a Florentine exile (power struggles between Pope and Emperor); his classical and Christian literary models (Virgil’s Aeneid, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the Bible); and his genius as a poet in the medieval structures of allegory, symbolism and numerology. Illustrations of the Comedy, from early illuminated manuscripts to Renaissance printed books in the University of Pennsylvania Rare Book Collection and contemporary film, will trace a history of the forms in which the poem has flourished for seven hundred years. Class conducted in English. The Divine Comedy will be available in a text with facing English and Italian versions. This seminar may be counted toward an Italian Studies major or minor.
ital 232.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 12:00 - 1:30

Blood, Sweat and Pasta: Italian-Americans in Literature and Film
Frank Pellicone, Adjunct Professor of Romance Languages, House Dean of Harrison College House
American popular culture frequently serves the public generally unflattering representations of Italian-Americans to an audience hungering for more. In this course we will explore social conditions, aesthetic trends, and political motivations behind the proliferation of ruthless gangsters, lovable buffoons and claustrophobic families comprising the pantheon of Italian-Americans images pervading our shared consciousness. To understand the rise of these popular stereotypes and, perhaps, to dismantle them we will read novels by Italian authors such as Cesare Pavese (The Moon and the Bonfire) and Leonardo Sciascia (The Wine-Dark Sea) and the works of Italian-American authors such as Mario Puzo (The Fortunate Pilgrim), Pietro di Dinato (Christ in Concrete), Marianna De Marco Torgovnick (Crossing Ocean Parkway) Helen Barolini (Umbertina) and playwright Albert Innaurato (Gemini). We will also read critical essays and selections from authors such as Camille Paglia, Gay Talese, Fred Gardaphe and Don DeLillo. In addition to literary analysis, we will discuss representation of Italian-Americans in American cinema and television, and films such as The Godfather, Saturday Night Fever, Rocky, Moonstruck and True Romance, and episodes of television shows such as The Golden Girls, Cheers, The Sopranos and Everybody Loves Raymond.
ital 288.301 | Monday, Wednesday & Friday | 2:00 - 3:00

Musical Authenticity and the Challenge of Kitsch
Emily Dolan, Assistant Professor of Music
This class will explore the notion of musical authenticity and how it has been constructed and challenged from the late-18th century to today. We will concentrate on the idea and history of kitsch, which is fascinating precisely because a number of scholars believe that very few, if any, examples of kitsch can be found in Western Classical music. Unpacking this idea will lead us through a range of topics, including Beethoven’s political music and its relation to his more canonical works, the formation of the Western musical canon, Shostakovich and Soviet propaganda, conceptions of performance as manifest in musical automata and machines, and the potentially redemptive presence of kitsch in indie rock. We will read the cultural criticism of Theodore Adorno and Walter Benjamin, and works of great essayists such as George Orwell and Jorge Luis Borges. All the while, we will assiduously avoid kitsch in our own prose and thinking.
musc 016.301 | Monday, Wednesday & Friday | 11:00 - 12:00

Saints and Devils in Russian Literature and Tradition
Julia Verkholantsev, Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literature
This course is about Russian literature, which is populated with saints and devils, believers and religious rebels, holy men and sinners. In Russia, where a mix of Eastern Orthodox Christianity and earlier pagan beliefs had formed peoples’ frames of mind, the quest for faith, spirituality and the meaning of life has invariably been connected with religious matters. How can one find the right path in life? Is humility the way to salvation? Should one live for God or for the people? Does God even exist? In Saints and Devils, we will examine Russian literature concerning the holy and the demonic as representations of good and evil, and we will learn about the historic trends that have filled Russia’s national character with religious and supernatural spirit. The founder of Russian absurdist and fantastic writing, Nikolai Gogol, will teach us how to triumph over the devil. Following a master storyteller, Nikolai Leskov, we will delve in the spiritual world of the Old Believers, Russia’s persecuted religious non-conformists. In Anton Chekhov’s stories and Alexander Pushkin’s poetry we will contemplate Russia’s ambivalent ideal of womanhood: as a poetic Madonna or as a sinful agent of the devil. Immersed in the world of Dostoevsky’s Idiot, we will ask ourselves whether indeed beauty will save the world. Finally, Leo Tolstoy, who founded his own religion, will teach us his philosophical and moral lessons. In sum, in the course of this semester we will talk about ancient cultural traditions, remarkable works of art and the great artists who created them. All readings and films are in English. Our primary focus will be on works by Gogol, Pushkin, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Leskov, Chekhov, Tolstoy, Bulgakov, as well as films by Protazanov and Kurosawa (yes, a Japanese director).
russ 213.401 or coml 213.401 or rels 218.401 | Monday & Wednesday | 3:30 - 5:00

Theatre in Philadelphia
James F. Schlatter, Senior Lecturer in Theatre Arts
Over the last twenty years Philadelphia has grown to become one of the most exciting and diverse theatre cultures in the region. Philadelphia stages present a wide range of performances, including new American and European plays, political dramas, Shakespeare, and new, experimental work. This course will explore the current state of Philadelphia’s thriving theatre culture. Beginning with a brief history of the regional theatre movement in America, we will examine the history, production work and artistic mission of theatre companies such as the Philadelphia Theatre Company and the Wilma, Arden and Interact Theatres, among others. In addition to analyzing plays being produced by local theatres in the 2007-2008 season, this course will approach the study of plays and performance from the perspective of the playwright, director, actor and designer as they work to present challenging and innovative theatre for their audiences. Course readings and discussion will be supplemented by visits from local theatre artists and by group trips to attend Philadelphia theatres. Students will research and give presentations on local theatre companies. No theatre experience is required to take this course.
thar 076.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 1:30 - 3:00


Origins of Music
Gary Tomlinson, Annenberg Professor of Music
Music-making seems to be as universal an expressive mode among humans as language itself. Historical evidence points to the emergence of music early in human cultures, and, more strikingly, recent findings in paleoanthropology and cognitive studies suggest that musical capacities lie deep in the brain and extend far back in hominid evolution. The seminar will take up the age-old questions of when, how, and why music began. We will scrutinize this problem both from an anthropological vantage—the origins of music are a recurring theme of myths around the world —and from the vantage of recent scientific findings in a variety of fields. We will attempt to relate these findings to the forms and uses of music we experience in the world today. Prior musical experience is not required for this seminar.
musc 018.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 10:30 - 12:30

Myths of Ancient Mesopotamia
Stephen Tinney, Associate Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Iraq’s ancient civilizations, Sumer, Babylon and Assyria, have emerged spectacularly from their ruin mounds over the last century and a half. In this class we will read the core myths of these cultures in translation and situate them in their literary, historical, religious and cultural contexts. The cast of characters includes, among others: Enki, trickster and god of wisdom; Inana, goddess of sex and war; and Marduk, warrior son, slayer of the sea, king of the gods and founder of Babylon. Themes range from creation to flood, from combat to the dangers of humans acting in the worlds of the divine, to the heroic peregrinations of Gilgamesh as he wrestles with monsters, fate and the pain of mortality. This seminar also fulfills the Cross-Cultural Analysis Requirement.
nelc 049.301 | Monday & Wednesday | 2:00 - 3:30

The War In Iraq
Robert Vitalis, Associate Professor of Political Science
Our seminar will take up some important new books by scholars and journalists that seek to understand the position the United States finds itself in today, five years after the start of the Iraq War. The most pressing question for specialists and citizens alike is: what accounts for the failure of so called “nation-building” in Iraq? One method for tackling such a question is thinking about the many other attempts in the past 100 years to invade, occupy and transform polities. Successes are few. Failures are common. And little of that difference between the two can be explained by such factors as the intentions of American leaders, the skills of its administrators, the amount of troops deployed or the funds expended.
psci 010.302 | Tuesday | 1:30 - 4:30

Frankenstein’s Library
John Tresch, Assistant Professor of the History and Sociology of Science
Victor Frankenstein created a monster. But he didn’t make it out of nothing: he found body parts in operation rooms and graves, sewed them together, and invested the new whole with life following scripts laid down by thinkers both ancient and new. Likewise, in creating Frankenstein, one of the greatest novels of all time, Mary Shelley put together elements from Gothic fiction, moral and political philosophy, romantic poetry, and contemporary science. What were the books that Victor Frankenstein read? What ideas animated Shelley’s act of creation? In this seminar we will read from the primary texts that made up Frankenstein and Shelley’s libraries, along with closely related works from this period, ranging from Renaissance magic, modern electrochemistry and physiology, through to Rousseau, Smith, Milton, Poe and Balzac. These readings will bring to life a crucial moment in the history of the West—after the French Revolution and at the start of the industrial age–which will give us perspective on today’s anxieties about technology and science.
stsc 023.301 | Tuesday | 1:30 - 4:30

Introduction to Acting
Rose Malague, Senior Lecturer in Theatre Arts
Acting “looks” easy. Audiences see actors portraying characters, but often remain unaware of the intellectual, emotional, physical and technical skills required to create vivid theatrical behavior. What makes an actor effective? This course is an introduction to acting theory and practice, with primary emphasis on Stanislavsky-based techniques. Combining practical experience (exercises, improvisations, scene work) with intellectual exploration (theoretical readings, script analysis, writing assignments), the class culminates in the performance of a scene from the modern repertoire. Introduction to Acting also serves as an ideal introduction to the practicalaspects of Penn’s Theatre Arts major, with guest artist/teachers and trips to theatrical productions. Students considering a theatre major are especially encouraged to enroll.
thar 120.303 | Tuesday & Thursday | 4:30 - 6:00


Killer Viruses: What Threat Do They Pose in Contemporary Society?
Glen N. Gaulton, Professor of Pathology/Lab Medicine, Vice Dean for Research and Research Training, School of Medicine
We are all well aware of the recent emergence of multiple viruses as potential threats to the public health; examples include HIV, SARS and West Nile, and Ebola viruses. However, still greater threats may arise by expansion of existing viruses, such as smallpox and influenza, which we more commonly think of as being either eradicated or harmless. Through this course we will examine the general properties of viruses, our capacity to ward off common virus infections using the immune response, the general concept of vaccination, the emergence of new virus pathogens, and the capacity of these pathogens to spread within our population based on regional and global culture and finance. The course will utilize oral and written presentations as the main format for interaction and assessment. General biology background preferred but not required.
biol 005.301 | Tuesday | 3:00 - 6:00

The Genome Project and Human History
David L. Gasser, Professor of Genetics, School of Medicine
This course will explore the implications of the completion of the Human Genome Project with reference to what it tells us about human history. A major focus of the course will be an examination of what can be learned from mitochondrial DNA, as described by Bryan Sykes in The Seven Daughters of Eve. The course will begin with a presentation of the most relevant genetic principles, the techniques by which the human genome was sequenced, and a discussion of how these techniques have led to the identification of specific human genes. The transmission of mitochondrial DNA will be emphasized, as well as the behavior of genes in populations. We will also explore what the genetic evidence tells us about the domestication of various plants and animals. Subsequently, the sessions will consist of oral presentations by the students, with each student eventually presenting several reports on topics of interest. In addition to the Sykes book, additional reference books, journal articles and online sources will all be utilized. The overall goal of the course will be to discover what can be learned by integrating the study of genetics with the study of history.
biol 012.301 | Monday | 2:00 - 5:00

Descent with Modification: An Introduction to the Science of Evolution
Jeffrey Klemens, Lecturer in Biology
Evolution provides the unifying framework for the biological sciences and has been confirmed by a huge and diverse body of evidence. Public opinion polls show, however, that evolution continues to be socially and politically controversial in the u.s. In this seminar, we will explore the scientific basis for evolution by reading and discussing historical sources, a current nonspecialist text on evolution, and selected papers and articles from the scientific and popular literature. With our knowledge of evolutionary fact and theory as background, we will also discuss social and political opposition to the teaching of evolution. Grading will be based on participation in class discussions and on performance in several brief writing assignments. There is no course prerequisite, but high school introductory biology would be helpful.
biol 014.301 | Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00

The Psychological Impact of Trauma: Exploring the Nature of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Shawn Cahill, Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, School of Medicine
Although the negative psychological impact of traumatic events has been long recognized, events in this first decade of the 21st century have increasingly brought this issue into public concern, including the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon of 9/11/2001, the Asian tsunami in December of 2004, and mental health problems among veterans returning from the war in Iraq. In this seminar, we will explore scientific research on the nature and psychological effects of exposure to traumatic events, the factors that may serve as risk factors or protective factors for
the development of serious psychological difficulties following exposure to a traumatic event, and the effectiveness of psychological and pharmacological treatments for ameliorating chronic post-trauma reactions. The goal of this seminar is to help students not only understand the nature and impact of traumatic events, but to understand how knowledge about these topics is acquired and to improve critical thinking skills. Course requirements will include in-depth reading, independent library research, class presentations, participation in class discussions, a mid-term or examination, and preparation of a final term paper. Advanced placement psychology or a similar introductory psychology course is recommended as background for this seminar, but not required.
psyc 054.301 | Monday & Wednesday | 5:00 - 6:30


Structural Biology and Genomics Seminar
Ponzy Lu, Professor of Chemistry
Structural biology is the scientific method of describing, predicting, and changing the properties of living organisms, including humans, based on “complete” genome chemical structures (sequence) and three-dimensional structures of cellular components. It is a direct outgrowth of the intellectual and technical revolutions that occurred during the last decade of the 20th century. It has become the approach of choice for understanding biology and solving problems in medicine.
We will discuss how macroscopic biological properties, such as reproduction, locomotion, and viral infection, are determined by chemical properties of proteins and nucleic acids. Changes in biological function, such as those that accompany hereditary diseases like cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia, result from minute changes in individual proteins. Much larger changes in genome and protein structure are often tolerated without apparent consequence. This selectivity and tolerance provides opportunities for the biotechnology industry to alter biological functions in ways thought to guarantee profits.
We will also examine how research results in structural biology are presented in various audiences. The broad range of medical, social, and political problems associated with the advances will be considered. We will attempt to distinguish real progress from fads and fashion.
This is a two-semester seminar that continues in spring 2008 with 0.5 c.u. each semester.
chem 022.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

Introduction to Geology
Gomaa Omar, Lecturer in Earth and Environmental Science
Earth is a unique place. No other planet yet discovered has the same delicate balance between its multiple systems which include the atmosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere. Understanding each system separately and the interaction between systems is crucial to prevent or lessen the relentless abuses of Earth’s environment and the preservation of life on the planet.
To make wise decisions about social, political and economic issues that will affect Earth’s environment, present and future generations will have a tremendous need for scientific literacy in general and an understanding of geology in particular. This conviction is brought alive in this course. Topics covered include, but are not restricted to: building a planet, minerals, rocks, volcanism, earthquakes, oceans, groundwater, glaciers, deserts, earth’s interior, the plate tectonic theory, geologic time scale, rock deformation, and earth systems and human impacts.
geol 100.201 is a recitation section for the lecture geol 100.001. This particular recitation section is for freshmen only, and unlike the other recitation sections, it is taught by the course instructor, Dr. Omar. This seminar may be used to satisfy the Physical World Requirement and the Quantitative Data Analysis Requirement.
Note: This course is a recitation and requires enrollment in the lecture course.
geol 100.001 (lec) | Monday, Wednesday & Friday | 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
geol 100.201 (rec) | Monday | 10:00 - 11:00

Honors Physics I: Mechanics and Wave Motion
Eugene Mele, Professor of Physics and Astronomy
This course parallels and extends the content of phys 150, at a significantly higher mathematical level. Recommended for well-prepared students in engineering and the physical sciences, and particularly for those planning to major in physics. The course will cover classical laws of motion: interaction between particles; conservation laws and symmetry principles; rigid body motion; noninertial reference frames; oscillations. Register for the lecture and one laboratory time.
phys 170.301 (lec) | Monday, Wednesday & Friday | 10:00 - 11:00
| Monday | 2:00 - 3:00 and | Tuesday | 5:00 - 6:00
phys 170.302 (lab) | Wednesday | 1:00 - 3:00
phys 170.303 (lab) | Friday | 100 - 3:00


Crystals: The Science and Power Behind the Realities and Myths
Krimo Bokreta, House Dean, Kings Court English College House and Lecturer in Earth and Environmental Science, and
Jorge Santiago-Aviles, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Faculty Master at Kings Court English College House
From the daily vitamin supplements we take to the cosmetics we wear, crystals are prevalent in our lives. They are present in the water we drink, in the food we eat, in the air we breathe. They are the topics of myths and legends, the rise and downfall of civilizations. They are at the core of our current technological revolution and the centerpiece of frontier science.
This seminar will explore the basics of the scientific principles underlying the architecture and design of crystals, their properties and applications. We will examine the environments where they are formed: in rocks, in the bottom of the oceans, in space, in the human and animal body, in factories. We will also take a look at the relationship, through time, between man and crystals and the impact on health and the environment, as well as the development of legends, folk tales and today’s pop culture.
envs 097.301 | Tuesday | 7:00 - 9:30 p.m.

Field Approaches to Understanding the Earth and Environmental Science: Landscape Analysis
Fred Scatena, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Understanding landscapes and the relationships between the natural world and society is fundamental to the natural sciences, architecture, medicine and public health, real estate and finance, urban studies and a range of other disciplines. The primary goal of this course is to expose students to the science of reading landscapes and disciplines that are founded in observation and hypothesis-testing in the field. In addition, the course will orient incoming students to the physical environment in which they will be living while they are at Penn. The course will be centered around lectures and discussions that are based on ten or more field trips that will take place on weekends and afternoons throughout the semester. The trips will be led by faculty members and will cover topics of plate tectonics, bedrock and surficial geology, geomorphology, hydrology, environmental geology, pollution and field ecology. Students should also consider enrolling in Introduction to Geology (geol 100) or Environmental Science (envs 200) to learn more about the phenomena we will observe in this seminar.
geol 096.301 | Thursday | 1:30 - 4:30

Seminars in Mathematics

Freshman seminars in mathematics give students an early exposure to the creative side of mathematics, with an emphasis on proofs, reasoning, discovery and effective communication. Small classes permit an informal, discussion-type atmosphere, and often the entire class works together on a given problem. Homework is intended to be thought-provoking, rather than skill-sharpening.
A freshman seminar in algebra will be offered in the spring. Students may register for one or both semesters. One or the other of these seminars is required for the Math major, but both are open to all students interested in mathematics. The best time to take these seminars is in the freshman or sophomore year. These courses do not satisfy a Sector Requirement, but virtually all students who take them will also take calculus, which does satisfy the Formal Reasoning and Analysis Requirement.

Proving Things: Analysis
Herman Gluck, Professor of Mathematics
This course focuses on the creative side of mathematics, with an emphasis on discovery, reasoning, proofs and effective communication, while at the same time studying real and complex numbers, sequences, series, continuity, differentiability and integrability. Small class sizes permit an informal, discussion-type atmosphere, and often the entire class works together on a given problem. Homework is intended to be thought-provoking rather than skill-sharpening. Students must enroll in both the lecture and a lab.
math 202.001 (lec) | Tuesday & Thursday | 12:00 - 1:30
math 202.101 (lab) | Monday | 6:30 - 8:30
math 202.102 (lab) | Wednesday | 6:30 - 8:30

Freshman Seminars with an Emphasis on Writing

Reading Homer’s Iliad in Time of War
Peter Struck, Associate Professor of Classical Studies
Homer’s Iliad presents a dark and difficult vision of the world, but one that nonetheless inspires. Casual cruelty, divine caprice and savage violence test heroes and lesser folk and provoke a reckoning with the stark realities of both human vulnerability and capability. It inspires a kind of terror, but still also somehow provides a kind of comfort, albeit one whose character seems almost beyond comprehension. By a close and careful reading of Homer’s text, along with some reflections and readings drawn from more contemporary wars, including the current ones, we will try to examine these issues with one eye on the past and one on the present. Our goal will be to achieve some further understanding of war and human experience.
clst 009.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 10:30 - 12:00

Dalck and Rose Feith Family Freshman Seminar
The Invention of Modern Judaism
Beth S. Wenger, Associate Professor of History
The varieties of Judaism that exist today reflect a 200-year evolution that began in Europe with the dawn of the modern era. Judaism’s distinct movements (Reform, Orthodox, etc.) grew out of the first Jewish encounters with political emancipation, the embrace of Enlightenment ideals, and the desire of Jews to create new religious identities suited to the modern world. This course explores the invention of modern Judaism in its social, political and cultural contexts. Utilizing both primary and secondary sources, we will trace the historical development of Judaism as a reflection of the ways that Jews have interacted with the cultures in which they lived. Throughout the semester, students will be required to complete many different types of writing assignments, to revise their work, and to work cooperatively with others in class to improve communication and writing skills.
hist 009.305 | Tuesday | 1:30 - 4:30

Compassionate Music Consumption
Carol A. Muller, Associate Professor of Music
This seminar explores writing about world music, that is, music that is fundamentally different from conventional popular and classical music typically consumed in the U.S. We begin by listening to, talking and writing about the discomfort that arises from encountering difference in musical sound. The seminar examines ways in which students come to terms with musical (and cultural) difference through academic processes of listening, reading and writing assignments. The course uses a variety of media, and students will be required to attend and write about at least one live musical performance that qualifies as uncomfortable to their ears and expectations. We examine ways in which writing skills improve with enhanced understanding.
musc 009.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 12:00 - 1:30

Moral Issues
Susan Meyer, Associate Professor of Philosophy
Modern life presents the individual with a host of moral issues, both personal and social. This course aims to equip students with the ability to consider these issues in a reasonable way. Towards that end, we will consider various sides of a number of contemporary ethical issues such as abortion, euthanasia, affirmative action, sexual ethics, regulation of harassing speech, animal rights, environmental ethics and obligations to future generations. Readings will include selections from a variety of contemporary authors.
phil 009.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 10:30 - 12:00

Debating Colonialism and Its Aftermath in South Asia
Lisa Mitchell, Assistant Professor of South Asia Studies
Did British colonial rule help India and Pakistan develop technologically and economically or did it cause de-industrialization and impoverishment? Were the widespread 1857 Indian rebellions a Sepoy Mutiny, the first war of Indian independence, or something else? Did colonialism transform (or even create) the caste system, Hinduism, and conflicts between religious groups, or did these all exist prior to colonialism? How was a tiny European island nation able to dominate nearly the entire South Asian subcontinent? Focusing on a small set of specific historical debates over the short and long-term effects of British colonialism in South Asia, students will learn to analyze primary and secondary historical sources, evaluate evidence, and identify how various approaches to history-writing portray the past differently. Coursework will include weekly pre-writing exercises, short primary source analysis essays, and a longer final essay on a question of each student’s choice.
sast 009.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 10:30 - 12:00
stsc 009.303 | Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00

Penn Humanities Forum

National Creation Myths description
Mark Doyle, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities
hist 106.301 | Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00

The Origins of Life description
Lloyd Wells, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities
stsc 018.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 9:00 - 10:00

The Origins of Sexual Difference description
Camille Robcis, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities
stsc 081.301 | Thursday | 1:30 - 4:30

Athens/Babylon: Images and Metaphors of the American City description
Anthony Raynsford, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities
arth 100.303 | Tuesday | 12:00 - 1:30

Origins and Originality description
Judith Brown, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities
engl 016.304 | Monday & Wednesday | 3:30 - 5:00

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