Freshman Seminars Fall 2005


Writing Multiculturalism
Peggy R. Sanday, Professor of Anthropology
Diversity is a fact of life, characteristic not only of the u.s. national culture but of the global culture as well. This course introduces anthropological theories of culture and multiculturalism and the method of ethnography. Students will read and report on selected classic readings. After learning the basic concepts, students will be introduced to the concept of culture and the method of ethnography. The core of the course will revolve around “doing ethnography” through participant/observation in multicultural settings. Students can use their life experience, home communities or Penn as their field of observation. The goal of the course is to introduce beginning students to public interest anthropology. No background in anthropology is required. (Distribution)
anth 146.401 or afrc 146.401 | Thursday | 1:30 - 4:30

Architecture Today
Witold Rybczynski, Martin and Margy Meyerson Professor of Urbanism, Professor of Real Estate
Have you wondered why Frank Gehry’s Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles is so different from Rafael Viñoly’s Kimmel Performing Arts Center in Philadelphia? Two buildings with the same functions, but with completely different appearances. In addition to its surroundings, function and construction, architecture is the result of architectural ideas. In other words, architects are not only trying to solve practical problems, they are also trying to resolve aesthetic questions. How to think of the past? What to emphasize? How to deal with technology, or structure, or materials. The seminar will introduce you to trends in contemporary design, such as postmodernism, neotraditionalism and deconstructivism, and help you to look at and understand different architects’ intentions. We will discuss the different ways that buildings appeal to us, and why there is such a variety of styles today. There will be a couple of field trips to visit local buildings. Selected readings will form the basis for four essay assignments. (Distribution)
arch 102.301 | Monday & Wednesday | 2:00 - 3:30

Identity, Intimacy, Maturity
Vivian C. Seltzer, Professor of Human Development and Behavior, School of Social Work
Psychological development is ongoing throughout life. Specific age periods are defined as critical periods of development when psychological identity is either resolved or remains unfulfilled as a result of premature closure or identity diffusion. Identity, intimacy and maturity are related concepts, independent but intertwined. A full identity reinforces psychological readiness for intimacy (which may or may not be accompanied by physical intimacy). Possession of identity and the ability it brings to engage in intimate relations profoundly affects attainment of psychosocial maturity. This course examines both the process and content of critical areas of psychosocial functioning. Both the idiosyncratic nature and the interrelated dimensions of each of the three periods are examined, as are definitions, positive and/or negative contributing forces, manifestations, irregularities and so forth. Readings introduce the theoretical framework that underpins these three concepts. Class seminars present their theoretical linkages and raise further issues; class projects and assignments allow for pragmatic analyses. (Distribution)
frsm 104.301 | Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00

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 and 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. (Distribution)
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 (e.g., Leo Tolstoy, Arthur Miller, Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekov and George Orwell), philosophy (e.g., Plato, Alisdair Macintyre, Sissela Bok and Gabriele Taylor) and the social sciences (e.g., Robert Coles, Robert Bellah, Stanley Milgram and Mordecai Nisan). (Distribution)
frsm 128.301 | Tuesday | 1:30 - 4:30

Mad, Bad and Sad: Defining, Preventing and Treating Mental Disorders in Children in the United States
David Mandell, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, School of Medicine
The idea that there are mental disorders that affect children is a relatively new idea. 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. This class is designed to help students think critically about research and debates surrounding these issues. In addition to learning about the presentation and treatment of different disorders, they will be introduced to concepts in epidemiology, psychology, psychiatry and health services research, and learn about the history of the science surrounding psychiatry and how different beliefs at different times have influenced policy, systems, services and treatment. (Distribution)
hsoc 050.401 or hssc 050.401 | Tuesday & Thursday | 3:00 - 4:30

Worlds in Collision: A Culture of Safety Meets “Bad Apple” Torts
Bruce Kinosian, Associate Professor of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, School of Medicine
When people deal with health issues, undesired outcomes can happen. How this is viewed—as mistake, as human error, as system failure, as the “best they could do,” or as malpractice—can be crucial in determining what the problem is, and how to deal with it. The traditional approach to medical errors—proving negligence and compensating those who suffered the negligent acts—runs directly counter to an emerging understanding that health care is a complex system in which errors occur because of poorly designed systems.
This seminar is designed to take a current problem (medical malpractice) at the intersection of two professions (medicine and law), and in Escheresque fashion view it from a variety of perspectives, seeing how the proposed methods to deal with the problem depend upon the view taken. The seminar design will be a reciprocating exploration of a particular view, followed by a vigorous discussion with a representative of that view. (Distribution)
hsoc 103.301 | Thursday | 1:30 - 4:30

Dying in America
Joseph B. Straton, Assistant Professor of Family Practice and Community Medicine, School of Medicine
The very public end-of-life experiences of high profile figures during the past year have brought death and dying to the forefront of public discourse. Many questions continue to be debated publicly, including: How do people want to live as they are dying? What are the needs of people who are seriously ill at the end of life? How, as a society and as individuals, do we address these needs? Starting with reading Sherwin Nuland’s How We Die and Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s On Death and Dying, this course will explore the answers to these questions from the perspectives of medicine, sociology, religion and anthropology. (Distribution)
hsoc 104.301 | Monday | 2:00 - 5:00

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. (General Requirement)
phil 002.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 10:30 - 12:00

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 freshmen, 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.
Attendance and the submission of all assigned material are required. Students should expect to work through a great deal of complicated, abstract material, almost all of which will need to be read at least two or three times. There will be ten unannounced quizzes, one of which will not be counted, allowing students who miss a day due to illness to escape being penalized. There will also be three essays, a midterm and a final. Forty percent of the student’s grade will be based upon the tests and quizzes, 50 percent on the papers and 10 percent on class participation. The written work will be evaluated in terms of the quality of the writing and the accuracy and the subtlety of the reading it describes. I do not change grades. (Distribution)
psci 010.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 10:30 - 12:00

Moral Judgment and Public Policy
Jonathan Baron, Professor of Psychology
This seminar will discuss how moral judgment affects public policy. “Moral” is not just about sex and religion, but also about such matters as the distribution of income, the powers of government and the regulation of risk. We will read literature on the psychology of moral judgment, some social philosophy (with an emphasis on utilitarian approaches), and behavioral law and economics. (Distribution)
psyc 055.301 | Tuesday | 1:30 - 4:30

Planning to be Off-Shore?
Srilata Gangulee, Assistant Dean, The College of Arts and Sciences
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 follows 1949.
Students are expected to 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. (Distribution)
sast 010.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 2:00 - 3:30

Introduction to the Social Sciences
Ivar Berg, Professor of Sociology
In an investigation into “nation building,” in accord with the logics of the 17th and 18th century Enlightenment Project, we will read three short preparatory books and then embark on a very “close reading” of Alexis deTocqueville’s classic, Democracy in America 1835. Our current adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan will afford us weekly opportunities to consider a number of recent historical and comparative dimensions of “nation building” in contrast with deT’s report, early in the 19th century, as we observed during our 2004 federal election, and other chapters in the story of our own development as a democratic (and economic) republic, as did, for example, the January 2005 election in Iraq. Students with an eye on current events, especially, will enjoy an examination of our democratic development viewed through a “rear view mirror” reflecting our own period, 1775 to 2000! Benjamin Franklin Seminar. Non-honors students admitted by permission. (General Requirement)
soci 001.301 | Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00

Mistakes, Errors, Accidents and Disasters
Charles Bosk, Professor of Sociology
The purpose of this course is to provide a basic understanding of some rather ubiquitous social phenomena: mistakes, errors, accidents and disasters. We will look at these misfirings across a number of institutional domains: aviation, nuclear power plants and medicine. Our goal is to understand how organizations “think” about these phenomena, how they develop strategies of prevention, how these strategies of prevention create new vulnerabilities to different sorts of mishaps, how organizations respond when things do go awry and how they plan for disasters.
At the same time we will be concerned with certain tensions in the sociological view of accidents, errors, mistakes and disasters at the organizational level and at the level of the individual. Errors, accidents, mistakes and disasters are embedded in organizational complexities; as such, they are no one’s fault. At the same time, as we seek explanations for these adverse events, we seek out whom to blame and whom to punish. We will explore throughout the semester the tension between a view that sees adverse events as the result of flawed organizational processes versus a view that sees these events as a result of flawed individuals. (Distribution)
soci 041.301 | Tuesday | 1:30 - 4:30

Homelessness and the Urban Crisis
Dennis Culhane, Professor, School of Social Work
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 emergency services for people who have housing emergencies. The course concludes by examining current policies and advocacy strategies. (Distribution)
urbs 100.401 or soci 041.401 or afrc 041.401 | Monday | 2:00 - 5:00


Travel and Tourism in the Ancient Mediterranean
Campbell Grey, Assistant Professor of Classical Studies
The ancient Mediterranean was a world of travelers. Rural laborers and artisans roamed the countryside in search of work; skilled craftsmen traveled between cities fulfilling building contracts; generals campaigned in far-flung places at the head of armies; tax collectors and other government officials circulated the provinces on the state’s business; mystics and holy men wandered the deserts; pilgrims journeyed to holy sites and returned carrying trinkets and mementoes. Tourists, too, visited famous sites and monuments, clutching, perhaps, Pausanias’s Description of Greece. In this course, we have two fundamental aims. First, we examine the motivations behind travel in antiquity, the limitations and dangers of that travel and the infrastructure that made it possible. Second, we explore the texts in which that travel is described—works of poetry, historical digressions, accounts of campaigns and journeys, ethnographic and geographical treatises. We focus upon the author’s motivation for talking about travel and the role that travel narrative might play in his or her literary, political or artistic program. All materials will be read in English. (Distribution)
clst 108.301 | Monday & Wednesday | 2:00 - 3:30

Superstition and Erudition
Francis Brévart, Associate Professor of German
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. Taking the German Volkskalender, the medieval predecessor of the modern Farmer’s Almanac, as our point of departure, we will gain insights into the ubiquitous role of astrology in the daily life of medieval individuals, for example in activities and decisions concerning farming, slaughtering of animals, personal hygiene, marrying, escaping from jail, conception of a male child, appropriate days to let blood, et cetera.
Medicine, frequently referred to as astromedicine because of its inextricable dependence on astrology, encompasses a multitude of characteristics. The course will explore the precarious state of medieval medicine and pharmacology, the specific diseases of men and women and their frequently barbaric treatments, and the use of so-called wonderdrugs, produced by professional physicians and medical charlatans alike, from exotic plants, precious stones, animal parts, blood or human excrements. Special topics are also planned on the astrological causes and magical treatments of the Black Death, embryology and the causes of homosexuality/lesbianism, sex as therapy, etc. (Distribution)
grmn 008.301 | Monday, Wednesday & Friday | 11:00 - 12:00

Historians and Modernity
Julia Rudolph, Assistant Professor of History
How do historians divide up the past? Do accepted historical categories—“the Renaissance,” “the Enlightenment,” “the Progressive Era”—reflect real periods that have beginnings and ends? Should time, as some historians argue, be measured in a linear, progressive direction, or as others have claimed, should time be charted in other directions—in cycles, in peaks and valleys, backwards as well as forward? This seminar will consider these, and other associated questions about the relationship between present and past, causation and change, through the study of the development of historical writing. We will be particularly concerned with the construction of the notion of “modern times” in the work of historians and theorists such as Petrarch, Valla, Vico, Gibbon, Hegel, Marx and Weber. (Distribution)
hist 102.301 | Monday | 2:00 - 5:00

Beyond the Cover Girl: Representations of Gender, Race and Class in American Magazines, 1890-2006
Marlis Schweitzer, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities, Penn Humanities Forum
Every time we stand in line at the grocery store, we are inevitably confronted by an assortment of glossy magazines featuring perfectly coifed “cover girls” surrounded by provocative titles promising to make us sexier, thinner, richer and just generally better human beings. These cover girls and the text that envelops them serve to promote dominant gender, race and class ideologies in American culture, often without our awareness. This course will consider how advertisers, editors, designers and copywriters from the 1890s to today have combined words and images to entice readers to purchase products and ideas that support dominant cultural vales. Over the course of the semester we will address questions such as: What is the relationship between advertising copy, lead articles and photo spreads, and how has this relationship changed over time? How do magazines encourage readers to take a specific journey through their pages? Who is/is not represented in magazines and why? Do magazines like Ebony and O, The Oprah Magazine subvert or uphold dominant ideologies? How can we become better readers/consumers of magazines and other forms of visual culture? (Distribution)
hist 104.302 | Thursday | 1:30 - 4:30

Asian Americans in U.S. Race Relations
Eiichiro Azuma, Assistant Professor of History
This course will delve into the continuing process of westward American expansion into the Pacific after the 1890s. Such questions as immigration, race relations and diplomacy will be discussed in the class. Students who are interested in u.s./Asia relations, Asian immigration, and histories of Hawaii and the Philippines as part of the American Empire are especially encouraged to take this course. (Distribution)
hist 104.401 or asam 013.401 | Tuesday | 1:30 - 4:30

Classics of Science and Medicine
Nathan Sivin, Professor of History and Sociology of Science
The aim of this course is to develop a sense of how science (including medicine) evolved by reading and discussing important books from antiquity to the late 19th century. The sources to be read have been chosen for the quality of ideas expressed in them, their inherent interest, and their accessibility to readers not expert in science. In class we will discuss the readings and your writing about them. You can develop skills in close and critical reading, in intellectual conversation and in using writing to clarify understanding. (Distribution)
hssc 004.401 or hsoc 004.401 | Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00

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 are documented from earliest records, motivated by trade, migration, conquest and intermarriage. 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 other cases, the nature and structure of language has been radically altered.
We will review the reasons for and nature of bilingualism in situations ranging from the nomadic or horticultural societies of the Amazonian region, of southern Africa or of pre-colonial Australia and New Guinea; to the languages of intercommunication along the great trade routes of antiquity; to the genesis of pidgin and creole languages in 16th- to 19th-century plantation societies; to the imposition of new languages by colonial governments; to the assimilation of immigrants in modern industrial societies.
Languages may readily borrow words from each other, but do they maintain their structural integrity? Do bilinguals keep their languages apart? Are “mixed languages” a reality, or simply a way of stigmatizing the way bilinguals sometimes speak? Readings will feed into class discussion, and there will be a series of assignments with the goal of discovering more about how languages are affecting each other in the 21st century. (Distribution)
ling 054.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 12:00 - 1:30

Magical Science: Sages, Scholars and Knowledge in Babylon and Assyria
Steve Tinney, Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
From sympathetic rituals to cure sexual dysfunction to the sages’ esoteric creation of worlds through the manipulation of words, we will learn from the ancient writings of Assyria and Babylonia what knowledge was, what it was good for, and how it was divided. This interdisciplinary course will combine literary, anthropological, historical and cultural approaches to textual, archaeological and iconographic data to bring to life the worlds, words and beliefs of these ancient intellectuals. (Distribution)
nelc 047.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 1:30 - 3:00

Introduction to Philosophy
An introductory survey of some central philosophical issues, including: Is there a God? What is the relationship between the mind and the body? Are free will and determinism incompatible? Readings will be taken from both contemporary and historical sources. (General Requirement)
phil 001.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 3:00 - 4:30
phil 001.302 | Tuesday & Thursday | 1:30 - 3:00

Indians Overseas: A Global View
Surendra Gambhir, Senior Lecturer, South Asian Studies
This course is about the history of Indian immigration into different parts of the world. The course will consist of readings, discussions, observations, data collection and analysis. The topics will include cultural preservation and cultural change through generations, especially in North America, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and the African continent. (Distribution)
sast 010.401 or asam 012.401 | Monday & Wednesday | 3:00 - 4:30


Spiegel Freshman Seminar
The Emily and Jerry Spiegel Fund supports exciting opportunities for students to get close to what is happening right now in the visual arts. In addition to the freshman seminar below, this program includes lectures, visiting artists and critics, special symposia at Penn’s famous ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art), events at the ICA for the College Houses, and a residential program in Harrison College House.
For more details see

Contemporary Art in Context: The Venice Biennale 2005
Stephen Petersen, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities, Penn Humanities Forum
The Venice Biennale, the sprawling international art show held every two years in the thirty national pavilions of the Giardini della Biennale and in the vast 16th-century shipbuilding and warehouse spaces known as the Arsenale, has been a leading international venue for contemporary art for over a century. It has also frequently been the occasion for artistic, political and social debates. With more than 300 artists from 60 countries participating, and over 100,000 square feet of exhibition space, the Biennale as it exists today offers a uniquely exciting and always controversial experience of cutting-edge art from around the world, including everything from paintings to high-tech installations. This year, California Pop artist Ed Ruscha, known for his witty word paintings, will represent the United States at the American Pavilion, while the large Italian Pavilion will feature an interactive environment based on the theme of the “Experience of Art.” In addition to the extensive Biennale venues, numerous off-site exhibitions, sprinkled around the city, reward the adventurous and open-minded visitor.
This seminar will include a five-day trip to Venice, Italy, over the October mid-term break. We will prepare for the trip by studying the history of the Biennale and its place in contemporary art, as well as past debates and controversies. Following the trip, students will report on their experiences and will investigate topics and issues raised by the exhibit. While exploring the past and present of the Biennale, we will be sure to consider as well the rich historic context for this most contemporary of exhibitions: the unique city of Venice itself.
Transportation and lodging will be covered by funds from the Emily and Jerry Spiegel Program on Contemporary Culture and Visual Arts. Students are responsible for their own meals and any incidental expenses. (Distribution)
arth 100.301 | Monday | 2:00 - 5:00

The Art of the Medieval Book
Lynn Ransom, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities, Penn Humanities Forum
Almost everyone has had the experience of opening a favorite book and becoming lost inside its pages. In the Middle Ages, this experience of the book was especially acute. Until the invention of printing in the 15th century, medieval books were written and decorated by hand. Each handmade book (or manuscript) was thus a unique world of its own. Manuscripts could be, and often were, elaborated with decoration and illustration reflecting the individual needs, tastes and/or economic and social status of their intended readers. Even though several manuscripts might share the same text, external circumstances dictated that text would be presented in different ways to the reader. For example, a 9th-century bible made for the great Carolingian emperor Charlemagne shares little in appearance and function with a bible produced in the 13th century for a university student in Paris.
This course will examine the nature of medieval manuscripts, with special emphasis given to the practice of “illumination,” the art of medieval manuscript decoration. We will examine different forms of illumination from the beginning of the Middle Ages to the invention of printing, looking specifically at the role that illumination played in shaping the reader’s experience. Much time will be devoted to visiting manuscript collections in the Philadelphia area, to learn firsthand how these books were made and what it was like to read them. (Distribution)
arth 100.302 | Monday | 2:00 - 5:00

Parties, Poetry and Pots: The Ancient Greek Symposium
Alexandra Pappas, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities, Penn Humanities Forum
Have you ever wondered about the history of parties? People have been gathering to talk, laugh, drink alcohol and flirt with one another for at least 2,500 years. The ancient Greek social institution called the symposium, which literally means “a drinking together,” is one such ancient party. Groups of 15 to 30 elite citizen men would gather at a friend’s house (no wives allowed!) to drink from richly decorated cups and other pots filled with properly mixed wine, and recite poetry, outwit one another, debate politics, and admit the attentions of high-class prostitutes. At this gathering, poetry and painted pots were essential for keeping the party going. Are they at yours?
In this seminar, we will examine the symposium as a microcosm of Greek elite society using a broad range of evidence. We will read poetry from the 6th century bce that was composed with the setting of the symposium in mind, as well as the imagined prose dialogues about the symposium by later authors including Plato, Xenophon and Plutarch. The archaeological remains of the rooms in which a symposium would be held, along with the cups, jugs and mixing-vessels that circulated as an essential part of the party, will also guide our exploration. Just as this ancient party inspired a particular kind of literature, it also inspired artists to paint a specific set of images on its pots. By combining our approach and using both texts and artifacts, we will imitate the fabric of this important ancient Greek social institution, which itself flourished in a combined world of words and images. (Distribution)
clst 114.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 9:00 - 10:30

Authors and Imitators: Cloning Japanese Women Writers Around the World
Linda Chance, Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations
The vernacular prose works of women writers from the 10th and 11th centuries have had an important place in the canon of Japan’s national literature. Perhaps more surprisingly, English translations of these works have inspired artists outside Japan to produce a variety of imitations and variations. We will read the so-called Pillow Book of Sei Shônagon, a witty court lady, and English novels inspired by it (My Year of Meats, My Name is Sei Shônagon, White Oleander), as well as consider the Peter Greenaway film. Other texts will include Murasaki Shikibu’s Tale of Genji and anthropologist Liza Dalby’s Tale of Murasaki, an imitation diary told in the voice of “the world’s first novelist.” Our questions will range from what makes an author to global and national literary exchanges, theories of originals and copies, and the role of gender in writing. (Distribution)
ealc 019.401 or wstd 019.401 or coml 019.401 | Tuesday & Thursday | 3:00 - 4:30

The Romance
Wendy Steiner, Richard L. Fisher Professor of English
We tend to think of romances as love stories, and sometimes they are. But the perfect love object is only one of the inspirations prompting romance heroes to set forth on their harrowing quests. Whether a Holy Grail, a beautiful princess or a lost or endangered homeland, the quester’s goal is uniquely and surpassingly valuable, worth leaving everything else behind in order to discover, possess or rescue.
Romances, then, are about the passionate desire to find, understand, and preserve value. They cover the gamut from fairy tales to Arthurian adventures to Shakespearean plays to The Matrix, including the highest operas and the most action-packed comic books. Because love is such an important experience of value, romances provide a kaleidoscope of cultural attitudes toward masculinity and femininity, attraction and commitment.
This seminar will include some archetypal romances: the fairy tale of Snow White, the medieval romance of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Shakespeare’s late play The Tempest and Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. We will go on from there to revivals and satires of the genre by Lord Tennyson, Edgar Allan Poe, James Joyce, Gwendolyn Brooks and Anne Sexton. Our discussions will also explore nonliterary romances in painting and film. Assignments will include quests to the library, adventurous presentations in class and three surpassingly fine papers. (Distribution)
engl 016.301 | Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00

19th-Century American Literature in 20th-Century Film
Marcy Dinius, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities, Penn Humanities Forum
With nearly a third of screenplays adapted from fiction, 20th-century film has long and intimate ties with fiction. In this course, we will read American writers alongside 20th century French, Italian and American films that variously quote, translate or resemble their literary forerunners. Our primary texts will include selected short stories by Poe and Hawthorne, Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Melville’s novels Pierre and Billy Budd, Victor Sjostrom’s silent film The Scarlet Letter, Jean-Luc Godard’s Her Life to Live (Vivre Sa Vie), Federico’s Fellini’s 8 1/2 and Toby Dammit, Roger Vadim’s Metzengerstein, Louis Malle’s William Wilson, Leos Carax’s Pola X and Claire Denis’ Beau Travail. These readings will be guided by the following thematic questions: What is the relationship between the artist and his work and his audience in these works? What is gained or lost in the translations from word to image? More broadly, how can one art form imitate, challenge and/or illuminate another? How might we read and theorize literary and cinematic narratives comparatively? (Distribution)
engl 016.302 | Tuesday & Thursday | 9:00 - 10:30

Perspectives in French Literature
Caroline Weber, Assistant Professor of French Studies
This introduction to French literature, from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, explores the representation of love and desire in texts of several different genres: poems, plays, novels and novellas. Subjects examined include: the relationship between writing and desire, and between love and death; problems of virtue, duty and forbidden love; the status of the other; love as a dialogic and/or a triangular structure; the textual construction of sexuality and of gender; and the tension between art and life. All readings, class discussion and written assignments will be in French. (General Requirement)
fren 221.302 | Tuesday & Thursday | 12:00 - 1:30

Looking for Lola: The Allure of a Cinematic Name
Simon Richter, Associate Professor of German
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 risqué 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, a man-killer eventually slain by Jack the Ripper and many more. 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. (Distribution)
grmn 001.401 or film 050.401 | Monday & Wednesday | 2:00 - 3:30

The Drama of Italian History
Frank Pellicone, House Dean, Harrison College House and Lecturer in Italian
In this course we will trace the evolution of Italian drama from antiquity to the present. By looking at works of dramatists and filmmakers, such as Machiavelli, Ariosto, Goldoni, Alfieri, Pirandello and Fellini, we will discover ways that art
not only reflected cultural, economic and political values throughout the Italian peninsula but influenced them as well. We will consider how the Italian theatre profoundly influenced the formation of social constructs such as race, gender, class and religion, culminating in the creation of an Italian identity both on the peninsula and throughout the world.
All texts will be read in translation with attention given, when possible, to the original Italian. (Distribution)
ital 217.301 | Monday, Wednesday & Friday | 1:00 - 2:00

Land and Landscape: Making, Reading and Writing the Site
John Dixon Hunt, Professor of the History and Theory of Landscape
There is land all around us, underneath us. Its components are still the same as they were for ancient peoples—earth, air, fire, water. But except in rare moments and exceptional places, what we see is not land but “landscape.” We turn or transform land into landscape in many ways: we write about it, map it, depict it in paintings, sketches or photographs, and we remake it into new shapes and forms (this is called landscape architecture). The seminar will explore this range of transformations and ask how and why different cultures have reformulated land in different ways. We’ll look at how the land at such famous places as Yosemite or Delphi has been represented in words and images, and discuss how and why other sites like Versailles or Parc La Villette in Paris have been landscaped and their sites transformed. We’ll compare a Chinese example with western ones. Two prominent Philadelphia landscape architects will share examples of their projects. We’ll also look at examples of our own places—homes, towns, suburbs—and explore how their landscapes have been made, how we would describe, visualize and explain them. We’ll turn at the end to enquire into ways in which the modern cult of land art has opened new perspectives into the relationship of landscape to land. Each student will select one particular site for research and personal interpretation and present this to the whole group. A set of texts and imagery will be available in a bulkpack, and each week additional material will also be presented in slides. (Distribution)
larp 111.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 3:00 - 4:30

Listening to the Troubadours
Emma Dillon, Assistant Professor of Music
A course that explores the transmission and reception of the music and poetry of the Troubadours from their medieval origins in 12th-century France to the present day. No prior musical experience is necessary. (Distribution)
musc 016.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 3:00 - 4:30

Narrative Journeys: Africa and Asia
Please Note: This course was formerly a freshman seminar and is now a writing seminar. The seminar is full.

Theatre in Philadelphia
James F. Schlatter, Senior Lecturer in Theatre Arts
Over the last 20 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, the Wilma, Arden, and Interact Theatres, among others. In addition to analyzing plays being produced by local theatres in the 2005-2006 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 theatre. Students will research and give presentations on local theatre companies. No theatre experience is required to take this course. Benjamin Franklin Seminar; non-honors students may also enroll. (Distribution)
thar 076.401 or engl 016.401 | Tuesday & Thursday | 10:30 - 12:00

Introduction to Acting
Rose Malague, Senior Lecturer in English and 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 practical aspects of Penn’s Theatre Arts major, with guest artists/teachers and trips to theatrical productions. Students considering a theatre major are especially encouraged to enroll. (Distribution)
thar 120.302 | Tuesday & Thursday | 1:30 - 3:00

Do the Rite Thing: Ritual in American Life
Felicity Paxton, Postdoctoral Lecturer in American Studies and Women’s Studies
Starting with birth and working chronologically through a series of case studies, this course invites students to examine the centrality of ritual in modern American life. We will look closely at rituals that celebrate the human lifecycle as well as overtly competitive sporting and political rituals. We will explore rituals that unfold at the local level as well as those that most Americans experience only via the media. Rituals under examination will include birthday parties, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Halloween, Quinceañeras, Proms, graduations, rodeos, homecomings, weddings, Greek initiations, beauty pageants, reunions and funerals. Students will be encouraged to critically examine their own ritual beliefs and practices and to consider these and other theoretical questions: What is the status of ritual in post-industrial culture? What distinguishes popular from official ritual and secular from religious ritual? How do sociological variables such as race, class, gender, sexuality and religion shape people’s understanding of, and participation in, modern American rituals? What role does ritual play in family life? How do contemporary rituals bond Americans at the local and/or national level? All students will be expected to conduct original research on a ritual of their choosing. (Distribution)
wstd 082.401 or folk 082.401 | Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00


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. 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 the General Requirement, but virtually all students who take them will also take calculus, which does satisfy Sector IV, Formal Reasoning and Analysis Requirement.

Proving Things: Analysis
Herman Gluck, Professor of Mathematics
An introduction to mathematical reasoning. Topics include the basic theorems of calculus and some more advanced topics. The emphasis is on precise mathematical reasoning and on the writing of correct mathematical proofs. This course is intended for those students who think they might like to study more advanced mathematics. It provides an introduction to the basic 300-level courses in analysis.
Corequisites: Concurrent registration in math 104, 114 or 240.
math 202.001 (lec) | Tuesday & Thursday | 10:30 - 12:00
math 202.101 (lab) | Tuesday | 6:30 - 8:30
math 202.102 (lab) | Thursday | 6:30 - 8:30


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. (General Requirement)
biol 005.301 | Wednesday | 3:00 - 6:00

The Body Against Itself: Allergy and Autoimmune Disease
Philip Cohen, Professor of Immunology, School of Medicine
The immune system is a remarkably efficient and adaptable mechanism to protect people from infection. Unfortunately, it also has the potential to cause harm by directing itself against normal body tissues, or by engaging in inappropriate responses against agents in the environment. We will become acquainted with the cells and molecules that form the human immune system and will explore how they normally function. We will consider the problem of allergy—why and how does exposure to certain pollen, drugs, dust and other things provoke wheezing, hives, rashes and other “atopic” phenomena. Some people develop autoimmune diseases, where the immune system seems to be directed against itself. We will review our understanding of how this comes about, and what to do about it. Finally, we will step back and consider how medical researchers go about deducing mechanisms of these diseases. (General Requirement)
biol 007.301 | Thursday | 1:30 - 4:30

The Psychological Impact of Trauma: Exploring the Nature of Posttraumatic 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, several recent events have increasingly brought this issue into public concern, including the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the United States Pentagon of 9/11, mental health problems among veterans returning from war in Iraq, and the Asian tsunami in December of 2004. In this seminar, we will explore scientific research on the nature and psychological impact of trauma to understand the 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 psychiatric treatments for ameliorating chronic posttrauma 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. Advanced placement psychology or a similar introductory psychology course is recommended as background for this seminar. (General Requirement)
psyc 054.301 | Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00


The Big Bang and Beyond
Vijay Balasubramanian, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy
This is an introductory course for freshmen who do not intend to major in a physical science or engineering, covering theories of the Universe ranging from the ancient perspective to the contemporary hot Big Bang model, including some notions of Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity. Topics will include the solar system, stars, black holes, galaxies, and the structure, origin and future of the Universe itself. Elementary algebra is used. Fulfills the Quantitative Data Analysis and Physical World Requirement. (General Requirement)
astr 007.301 | Wednesday | 2:00 - 4:00
| Friday | 3:00 - 4:00

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 to 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 with 0.5 credit units each semester. (General Requirement)
chem 022.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 8:00 - 9:00 am

Freshman Recitation: Introduction to Geology
Gomaa Omar, Instructor of 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 interactions among 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 system and human impacts. This course counts as a physical world course and satisfies the Quantitative Data Analysis Requirement. Students must register for both the lecture and a recitation. (General Requirement)
geol 100.001 (lec) | Monday, Wednesday & Friday | 11:00 - 12:00 geol 100.201 (rec) | Monday | 10:00 - 11:00

Freshman Recitation: Earth and Life Through Time
Hermann Pfefferkorn, Professor of Earth and Environmental Science
Life has interacted with the physical environment for more than three billion years, influencing its surroundings and being limited in its distribution by physical and chemical conditions. This recitation (short lab) explores these interactions by studying actual fossils, their distribution in space and deep time and the movement of continents through computer programs, and the changes of climate through deep time that influence humans and their activities. In addition, students will analyze data sets to interpret paleoclimate, ages of rocks and fossils, movements of continents, and the changes in organisms through time. Students must register for both the lecture and a recitation. (General Requirement)
geol 125.001 (lec) | Tuesday & Thursday | 1:30 - 3:00
geol 125.201 (rec) | Tuesday | 3:00 - 4:00

Honors Physics I
Paul Heiney, Professor of Physics and Astronomy
This course parallels and extends the content of phys 150, at a significantly higher mathematical level. It is the first semester of a small-section two-semester sequence recommended for well-prepared students in engineering and the physical sciences, and particularly for those planning to major in physics. Classical laws of motion: interaction between particles; conversation laws and symmetry principles; rigid body motion; noninertial reference frames; oscillations. Prerequisite: math 104 or permission of the instructor. Corequisite: math 114 or permission of the instructor. Students must register for the lecture and the lab. This is a Benjamin Franklin Seminar. Non-honors students need permission. (General Requirement)
phys 170.301 (lec) | Monday, Wednesday & Friday | 10:00 - 11:00
| Monday | 2:00 - 3:00
| Tuesday | 5:00 - 6:00
phys 170.302 (lab) | Wednesday | 1:00 - 3:00
phys 170.303 (lab) | Wednesday | 1:00 - 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 life. 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. (General Requirement)
envs 097.301 | Tuesday | 7:00 - 10:00

In This Section

College Events
More Events