Freshman Seminars Spring 2007


Sector I: Society

Popular Culture in Africa
Sandra Barnes, Professor of Anthropology
This course concentrates on popular culture in sub-Saharan Africa. It examines the way people reflect on and represent various aspects and issues in their daily lives, in public media, and through a diverse range of performative and creative outlets. It explores the way cultural traditions are created, promulgated and perpetuated. It looks at the way popular culture deals with pleasure and pain; identity difference and diversity; wealth and power; modernity and history; gender relations; suppression, resistance and violence; and local versus global processes. In short, popular culture will serve as a window through which to observe contemporary life.
anth 018.401 or afrc 018.401 or afst 018.401 | Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00

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 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? Analyzing a variety of physical and virtual shopping venues in different countries, this seminar examines the process of shopping in the global marketplace. We ask how have issues of culture, consumption, marketing, and global capitalism become intertwined around the world?
anth 086.301 | Monday | 2:00- 5:00

Is there an ethicist in the house?
Prof. Moreno
Stem cells. Schiavo. Face transplants. Health insurance. Try getting through the day without hearing about an ethical issue. In this seminar we will get back to basics, exploring the role of the ethicist, the nature of ethical decision-making in the hospital, the ethics of human experiments, brain research, all key issues of the last 25 years.
hsoc 038.301 | Tuesday | 4:30 - 7:30

Issues in American Democracy
Henry Teune, Professor of Political Science
The main issues facing the U.S. in the democratic development of its political system are the content of this seminar. Most of these issues inhere in the constitutional structures of federalism, divided national political authority, and limits on governmental powers. Others derive directly from social and economic changes, now global in scope. These changes also impact other democracies—declining voting participation, increased distrust in government, transformations of the economy, and rising insecurities from global terrorism. They challenge the traditional democratic liberties and practices of the U.S. as well as the prospects of a democratic world order.
The topics include American political development, distrust of authority, political participation, inequality, personal security, the place of the U.S. in the world, cross-generational obligations, American culture and national security. The seminar will be divided into task forces that will take positions on issues for presentations. Assignments include short position papers for discussion in the seminar, a longer research paper, and two final essays.
psci 010.301 | Tuesday | 1:30 - 4:30

Sector II: History and Tradition

The Rise and Fall of Ancient Maya Civilization
Gregory Borgstede, Lecturer in Anthropology
The civilization of the ancient Maya, which flourished between approximately 1000 b.c. and the Spanish Conquest of the 16th century a.d. in what is now southern Mexico and northern Central America, has long been of wide public interest. The soaring temples of Tikal, the beautiful palaces of Palenque, the sophisticated carved monuments and sculpture, and the complex writing, astronomical and mathematical systems of this pre-industrial civilization have been widely photographed and written about. However, revolutionary advances in archaeological research which have provided important new data about the farmers and craftspeople who supported the great Maya rulers, and the decipherment of Maya hieroglyphics writing over the past two decades have led to the overthrow of the traditional model of Lowland Maya civilization and the growth of new understandings of the development of Lowland Maya civilization, the rise of urban states, and the successful adaptation to a difficult and varied tropical environment. Through a series of case studies, this seminar will examine the research that has led to these new insights and will evaluate the exciting new models of Maya civilization and its achievements that have emerged in recent years.
anth 032.401 or lals 032.401 | Tuesday | 1:30 - 4:30

The First Crusade
Edward Peters, Professor of History
This seminar will examine the penitential military expedition to Jerusalem that was launched in November, 1095, conquered the city in July, 1099, and was subsequently called by historians, but not by participants, the First Crusade. We will study the individuals, ideas and events of those years through the close examination of primary historical sources (texts and other materials produced at the time or shortly after) and through the consideration of selected secondary source materials (historical and other scholarship). We will also consider serious disputes among contemporary historians of the crusades. We will consider the three distinctive civilizations, parts or all of which were affected by the expedition: Latin Christian Europe, Greek Christian Byzantium (the Empire of East Rome) and the Middle Eastern (and Mediterranean western) Islamic world, as well as the culture of Jews in all three worlds. We will also consider the later interpretation of the expedition by historians, novelists, poets, politicians and others—that is, the First Crusade in cultural memory.
hist 101.301 | Monday | 2:00 - 5:00

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

Sector III: Arts and Letters

Spiegel Freshman Seminar
Art/Architecture/Public Space: 1964-2000
Monica Amor, Professor, Maryland Institute College of Art
Join curator and critic Monica Amor in an exploration of the new kinds of modern art and architecture that emerged out of a discontent with the ideals of modernist “functionalism” on the one hand, and with technoscientistic artistic practices, such as Kinetic art, on the other. Throughout the Americas and Europe, the postwar situation was marked by a crisis of rationalism and an ethos of reconstruction: in Europe, the horror of recent mass extermination; in the U.S., the dominance of capitalism and mass consumption; and throughout the Americas, the clash between modernity and underdevelopment. The vibrant interdisciplinary arts that grew up in this environment were marked by a critique of monumentality, an investigation of social space, an embrace of pop culture, and an interest in public sites and architecture.
The scope of the course will be international. Readings will deal with public space, art and the city, and theories of site and place-—complementing class discussions of movements such as Minimalism, Post-minimalism, and Site Specific Art, and very recent work that is not yet named and classified. The class will visit museums and sites.
arth 100.301 | Friday | 2:00 - 5:00

Performing Exile
Kinga Araya, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Penn Humanities Forum
How can we define “performance art” and “exile” when those two terms complement each other offering a new understanding of such difficult human experience as exile? This course will present a critical survey of performance art from the 1960’s to the present. We will explore the notion of the live art form and exile as represented by significant performance art works and selected theoretical writings.
We will pay special attention to those performance artworks, in which the actual and metaphorical crossings of countries, cultures, and languages become a creative expression and political statement of the states of exile. Taking into consideration a variety of performative artistic interventions and critical writings, we shall be led to question the monolithic concept of modernity as a rational and progressive force, and to open ourselves to postmodern discourses of hybridity, nomadism and diaspora.
Drawing on the provocative concept of the Palestinian-American cultural historian Edward Said, that an exiled intellectual performs mobile, marginal and estranged work, we shall investigate how the creative “performing exile” can help to define the ethics and aesthetics of a responsible intellectual. We will read and discuss such diverse intellectuals as Walter Benjamin (the figure of the modern walker and social outcast), Edward Said (the exilic figure), Homi Bhabha (the nomadic figure) and Amelia Jones (the performing figure).
arth 100.302 | Monday | 2:00 - 5:00

Monsters of Japan: Weird Creatures in Legend, Literature and Film
Frank L. Chance, Associate Director of East Asian Languages and Civilizations
A look at monstrous beasts and other strange creatures in Japanese history, literature, mythology and film. From the eight-headed Orochi described in the 8th century Kojiki to the cute “pocket monsters” popular in anime of the 1990’s, we will look at many strange creatures, focusing most on the “King of the Monsters,” Godzilla, and his many subjects in the Toho films of the last half-century. The course will be paralleled by a (required) film series on Tuesday nights.
ealc 055.401 or cine 055.401 | Tuesday | 3:00 - 6:00

American Literature and American Painting from the Civil War to World War II
Peter Conn, Professor of English
The course will offer a selective but intensive introduction to American literature and American painting in the decades between the Civil War and World War II.
The authors to be studied will include Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, T.S. Eliot, Henry James, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner, among others. The painters will include Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, the “Ash Can School” of the early 20th century, Georgia O’Keefe, the artists of the Harlem Renaissance and Edward Hopper. We will visit at least two museums, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, both of which contain exceptional American paintings. The course requirements will consist of critical and creative short papers, class discussion of the literary and visual material, quizzes and a final exam.
engl 016.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 10:30 - 12:00

Literary Genealogy
Erin O’Connor, Associate Professor of English
What do you know about your family’s history? What kinds of “family stories” have been handed down to you? Have you ever wondered how accurate or truthful those stories are? Have you ever checked? If you wanted to, how would you? And what would it mean—for your understanding of family, your understanding of story, and your understanding of history—if you found that your foundational family stories were not quite true? These are some of the questions that will occupy us this semester as we study a range of American writers who have approached the complex question of the “family story” through fiction.
To approach these questions, we will read a number of “literary genealogies.” These will include novels by writers who are using the novel form to meditate on the question of where family stories come from and what they mean (Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead and Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex). We will also read novels by writers who are using the novel form to invent stories—and even entire histories—for their own families, building character, plot and symbol from the unpromising but provocative hints contained in the few scattered facts they possess (John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain and Alex Haley’s Roots). We will even read a novel by a writer who used one family’s real history to anchor the invented story of an old man who is researching his fictional family’s history—in Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner reprints the actual letters of 19th-century illustrator and pioneer, Mary Hallock Foote, but presents them as the correspondence of his main character’s imaginary grandmother.
Our aim in this course will be to sort through the complex, confusing, and deeply intriguing questions that are contained within the seemingly simple concept of the “family history” and the “family story.” We will ask what history is (or what histories are); we will examine how stories and histories separate and merge and we will work from these considerations to a broader reflection on the idea of family itself. Along the way, we’ll familiarize ourselves with the vast and growing body of electronic resources for those who do family history.
Requirements include regular attendance, weekly weblog postings, two formal papers and an in-class presentation.
engl 016.302 | Monday & Wednesday | 2:00 - 3:30

Beast Culture: Animals, Identity and Western Literature
Chi-ming Yang, Assistant Professor of English
The 18th century was a period of increasing contact between England and other parts of the globe, and hence, the infusion of foreign characters, fashions, and perspectives into the world of English literature. So-called discoveries of new worlds, cultures, and species lent themselves to literary innovations in narration—imagine
the world as seen through the eyes of a pet monkey, parrot or well-traveled poodle. (And imagine the secrets they could tell, given their access to the private.) Such animal-centric narratives mark a heightened consciousness about human-animal relations amidst the rise of domestic pet-keeping, explorations of distant jungles, and heated social and scientific debates over the blurring of boundaries between species and peoples, public and private, self and other.
In this course, we will explore the English fascination with animals and animal perspectives in 18th-century print culture. One of the main questions will be how understandings of animal difference intersect with understandings of cultural and racial difference in this period. Readings will cover a range of genres: philosophical accounts of human uniqueness, beginning with Descartes; the phenomenon of talking animals in Aesop’s fables and satiric novels like Gulliver’s Travels; and Oriental tales of narrators reincarnated into animal bodies. We will study scientific and theological texts on species and race classification; radical vegetarian manifestos and publicized cultural hoaxes such as that of Mary Toft, a woman who claimed to give birth to rabbits. Assignments will include several short essays and one final research paper on an animal of your choosing.
engl 016.303 | Tuesday & Thursday | 3:00 - 4:30

Shakespeare/Not Shakespeare
Zachary Lesser, Assistant Professor of English
In this course we will undertake an intensive study of Shakespeare by reading some of his plays side-by-side with plays by other contemporary dramatists on the same subject. This approach will help us not only to put Shakespeare back into his historical context and into his collaborative, rivalrous conversations with fellow dramatists, but also to “isolate” Shakespeare’s distinctive contribution to Renaissance discussions of such issues as travel and exploration; racial and religious difference; English history and the politics of kingship, war and rebellion, love and marriage. Our readings will likely include Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice and Christopher Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta; Shakespeare’s The Tempest and John Fletcher’s The Island Princess; Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and Fletcher’s The Tamer Tamed; Shakespeare’s Henry V and the anonymous Famous Victories of Henry V; Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Ben Johnson’s Sejanus His Fall.
No prior experience with Shakespeare or Renaissance drama is necessary, as the course will introduce students to the exciting range of plays produced in the period, to the sorts of critical questions scholars ask of these plays, and to the research methods they use to study them. Assignments will include explorations in the rare book library and Early English Books Online, a brief class presentation and a couple papers.
engl 016.304 | Monday & Wednesday | 3:30 - 5:00

The Politics of Love and Religion in Renaissance England
Melissa Sanchez, Assistant Professor of English
When Henry VIII broke with Rome and declared himself Supreme Head of the English Church in 1534, he asserted the identity of religious duty and political loyalty. As the next hundred and fifty years of English history show us, however, the link between spiritual and secular obligation that Tudor and Stuart monarchs employed to consolidate royal authority could just as easily foment rebellion against it. This course will consider the ways in which the period’s poetry participates in interrelated debates over theology, church doctrine, sovereignty, law, gender and private conscience, most prominently through its focus on love as both basis of and metaphor for the individual’s relation with divine and secular authority. Reading will focus on two long poems, Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (Books I and V) and John Milton’s Paradise Lost, along with some shorter work by Thomas Wyatt, Anne Askew, Philip Sidney, Mary Sidney Herbert, John Donne, Aemilia Lanyer, Mary Wroth, George Herbert and Andrew Marvell.
A series of short writing and research assignments will culminate in a final research paper of ten pages or more.
engl 016.305 | Tuesday & Thursday | 1:30 - 3:00

Survey of Italian Theater: Italian Drama and the Performance of a Nation
Frank Pellicone, Adjunct Professor of Romance Languages
How did some of the most influential Italian political theorists, philosophers, artists, authors, and actors construct an Italian national identity? In this course we will trace the trajectory of Italian drama and film, discussing the stages of development of an Italian national identity. We will pay particular attention to the contributions of individuals such as Machiavelli, Aretino, Bruno, Goldoni, Pirandello, Fellini, and Fo to discuss how their artistic achievements provided the backdrop for the performance of various social constructs such as gender roles, class, and ethnicity in the production of what we might now recognize as an Italian identity. When possible we will attend local theatrical performances and view screenings of relevant productions. All works will be read in English (with attention when possible to the original Italian). No prior knowledge of Italian is expected.
ital 217.301 | Monday, Wednesday & Friday | 2:00 - 3:00

Sector IV: Humanities and Social Sciences

American Narrative Cultures: Captivity and Release
Susan C. Lepselter, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Penn Humanities Forum
In this class, students will conduct an in-depth exploration of memory and narrative in America. We will approach our topic through the lens of a fundamental American genre: the captivity narrative. The most popular story form of Colonial times, captivity narratives, still remain vital in America. In the genre’s most typical
case, a captive from a majority goup is kidnapped and taken on a journey by members of a minority group, reporting on the ordeal until she or he is rescued, killed or adopted into the captors’ world. The most widely-read form of the genre, however—in which a white person is kidnapped by Native Americans—often obscures other stories, in which Native Americans were kidnapped by Europeans. In this class, captivity narratives will help us, first, to think about how one kind of story becomes a tradition. Next, we will look at American captivity narratives from many eras ad they appear in non-fiction, fiction, film and the news—from ufo abduction narratives, to stories of incarceration, to media items such as kidnappings in Iraq. We will explore the metaphors and material practices of “freedom” and “being caught” in America, and analyze the ways in which people make meaning of the travel and contact between worlds.
We will also ask questions that transcend the genre itself to think about problems raised by seemingly self-evident personal narratives. What is the role of fantasy and the uncanny in stories of American life? How do stories create fields of social meaning? Why are the themes of “captivity” and “release” central in so many different kinds of American imagination? Making use of anthropology, literature, psychoanalysis and film studies, the course will approach and explore various ideas of social containment and freedom, and the narrative expressions of power, desire and trauma in America.
anth 062.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 9:00 - 10:30

Introduction to Philosophy
Susan Mills, Lecturer in 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? Are there objective moral standards? Readings will be taken from both contemporary and historical sources.
phil 001.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 10:30 - 12:00

Introduction to Acting
James F. Schlatter, Director of the Theatre Arts Program
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 artist/teachers and trips to theatrical productions. Students considering a theatre major are especially encouraged to enroll.
thar 120.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 10:30 - 12:00

Sector VI: The Physical World

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 3-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 from fall 2006 with 0.5 credit unit each semester.
chem 022.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 8:00am - 9:00am

Honors Physics II
Eugene Mele, Professor of Physics and Astronomy
This course parallels and extends the content of phys 151, at a somewhat higher mathematical level. Recommended for well-prepared students in engineering and the physical sciences, and particularly for those planning to major in physics. Electric and magnetic fields; Coulomb’s, Ampere’s, and Faraday’s laws; special relativity; Maxwell’s equations, electromagnetic radiation.
phys 171.301 (lec) | Monday, Wednesday & Friday | 10:00 - 11:00
| Monday 2:00 - 3:00
| Thursday 5:00 - 6:00
phys 171.302 (lab) | Wednesday | 1:00 - 3:00
phys 171.303 (lab) | Friday | 1:00 - 3:00

Sector VII: Natural Sciences and Mathematics

The Unconscious Mind
Sharon Thompson-Schill, Associate Professor of Psychology
At the turn of the fifth century, Saint Augustine wrote “I cannot grasp all that I am.” This was the first discussion of a topic that has since fascinated not only philosophers and scientists but poets, novelists, and artists: The unconscious mind. In this seminar, we will consider philosophical, psychological, and neuroscientific explorations of the unconscious mind, as we discuss readings ranging from historical texts to breaking scientific news, and we will gather data that reveal the operations of our own psychological unconscious. We will examine unconscious influences on perception, memory, decision making, social behavior, and thought as we explore experimental approaches to studying mental processes to which we do not have conscious access.
psyc 049.301 | Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00

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 analysis is offered in the fall. 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.

ProvingThings: Algebra
Florian Pop, 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 arithmetic, algebra, linear algebra, groups, rings and fields. 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.
math 203.001 (lec) | Monday, Wednesday & Friday | 11:00 - 12:00
math 203.101 (lab) | Tuesday | 6:30 – 8:30
math 203.102 (lab) | Thursday | 6:30 – 8:30

Freshman Seminars with an Emphasis on Writing

The Development Debate in India
Gautam Ghosh, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
This course examines various meanings of and approaches to “development” in the contemporary world. It will be guided by three questions: 1) what is “development”? 2) what are the “pros” and “cons” of development? 3) what are the mechanisms for development (i.e. who is empowered to “enact” it?)? A central concern will be the complex interrelationships between “development,” on the one hand, and “civilization,” “(post)colonialism,” “modernization” and “globalization” on the other. Other issues will include: different perspectives on development within the world system; appraising the changing measures of development and underdevelopment; the role of the main public and private development agencies; the cultural construction of “well being,” including perceptions of underdevelopment; development as consumerism; local resistance or acquiescence to development; future/alternative development scenarios. Although the course will consider general issues, the focus will be on South Asia.
anth 009.305 | Tuesday | 1:30 - 4:30

Love in India
Christian Lee Novetzke, Assistant Professor of South Asia Studies
Perhaps no subject has received as much literary and creative interest across cultures as has the matter of love. In India, poets, saints, philosophers, aestheticians, novelists, and filmmakers, among all religious and linguistic communities, have reflected in multiple media on the nature and expression of love. This course explores some of the most interesting examples of these expressions, from ancient India to the present, and provides students with an opportunity to contribute their own voice into that moment when writing and love meet. We will survey key literary works on love: such as the famous Kamasutra, one of the most-often translated texts from India; the classic plays of Kalidasa about love and memory; song-poems selected from India’s “bhakti” traditions of love between god and devotee; Sufi romances of the 16th century; stories of love in Mughal India; the Anglo-Indian romances of the British; love in contemporary novels; and love in popular Indian cinema.
sast 009.301 | Tuesday | 1:30 - 4:30

Classics of Popular Science
Mark Adams, Associate Professor of History and Sociology of Science
The best scientific writing is able to express complex and original ideas in a clear and engaging way. In this seminar, we will mine those ideas by reading some of the classic essays in the history of science (by Galileo, Darwin, Huxley, Einstein, Haldane, Chargaff, Szilard and others) in which new concepts are set forth for the lay public. Our discussions will emphasize reading works for their intellectual content, and the writing skills involved in making abstract and complex ideas come to life.
stsc 009.303 | Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00

Penn Humanities Forum

Each year the Penn Humanities Forum explores a broad theme through lectures, seminars, and formal courses. This year the theme is Travel, and the following freshman seminars, sponsored by the Forum, provide a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary lenses for considering what we mean when we speak of Travel.

Girls Gone Wild: Reading Women’s Journeys, from the Wife of Bath to Thelma and Louise
FULL DESCRIPTION

John Ghazvinian, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Penn Humanities Forum
hist 102.301 | Wednesday | 2:00 - 5:00

Philadelphia Through Travelers’ Eyes: Tales in a Capital City, 1790-1800
FULL DESCRIPTION

Neil Safier, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Penn Humanities Forum
hist 103.301 | Thursday | 1:30 - 4:30

Performing Exile
FULL DESCRIPTION

Kinga Araya, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Penn Humanities Forum
arth 100.302 | Monday | 2:00 - 5:00

American Narrative Cultures: Captivity and Release
FULL DESCRIPTION

Susan C. Lepselter, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Penn Humanities Forum
anth 062.301 | Tuesday & Thursday | 9:00 - 10:30

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