COML 003.401 CENSORED! The Book and Censorship since Gutenberg
Distribution II: History and Tradition
TR 1:30-3 Wiggin
Lecture and Readings in English
Cross listed with GRMN 003
its pages may appear innocuous enough, bound innocently between
non-descript covers, the book has frequently become the locus of
intense suspicion, legal legislation, and various cultural struggles.
But what causes a book to blow its cover? In this course we will
consider a range of specific censorship cases in the west since the
invention of the printed book to the present day. We will
consider the role of various censorship authorities (both religious and
secular) and grapple with the timely question about whether censorship
is ever justified in the building of a better society. Case
studies will focus on many well-known figures (such as Martin Luther,
John Milton, Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, Goethe, Karl Marx, and Salman
Rushdie) as well as lesser-known authors, particularly Anonymous (who
may have chosen to conceal her identity to avoid pursuit by the Censor).
COML 080.402 ITALIAN CINEMA: Introduction to Italian Cinema
T 6-9, R 4:30-6 Kirkham
Cross listed with ITAL 080, CINE 240
course will introduce major directors, movements, and genres in
Italian cinema from World War II to the present. Both classic "auteurs"
(Blasetti, Rossellini, De Sica, Fellini, Visconti, Antonioni) and
newer directors (Olmi, Scola, Amelio, Moretti) will illustrate trends
over the last fifty years through screenings of a variety of film
types, from the historical drama to commedia all’italiana.
The distinct national identity of Italian cinema will be emphasized
with reference to the Risorgimento (Unification), Mussolini’s
Fascism, regional diversity, gender roles, and minority communities.
Readings will be on Italian cinema, modern Italian history, and
the vocabulary of film analysis.
090.401 Gender, Sexuality and Lit: Women and Fiction: Contemporary
Distribution III: Arts and Letters
TR 9-10:30 Barnard
Cross listed with ENGL 090, WSTD 090
course will cover a wide range of fiction by contemporary women
writers from the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Africa, the Middle East,
and the Caribbean. The first part of the course will explore several
versions of the "mad woman in the attic" motif and consider
the effects of patriarchal oppression in several different cultural
contexts. The second part of the course will take a more optimistic
turn and focus on various forms of resistance and creative self-affirmation.
We will consider feminist revisions of received traditions and narrative
forms, e.g., the Bible; fairy tales and legends; magic and other
marginalized forms of knowledge; official and unofficial versions
of history; and the politics of textual interpretation. Readings
will include: Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, Doris Lessing, The Grass
is Singing; Jean Rhys, The Wide Sargasso Sea; Tsisti Dangarembga,
Nervous Conditions; Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon; Louise Erdrich,
Tracks; Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior; Jeanette Winterson,
Oranges are not the Only Fruit; Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis; and
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale. We will also view a few films,
including Sugar Cane Alley, The Official Story, and Bend it Like
Beckham. All interested Penn students are welcome in this course,
irrespective of gender, age, and major. All that is required is
a taste for good contemporary fiction, a willingness to work on
your writing, and to get up a little early on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
COML 100.401 Introduction to Literature
Registration required for LEC and REC
Arts and Letters Sector
LEC MW 12-1; REC F 12-1, F 1-2, or F 2-3 Todorov
Cross listed with ENGL 100
This course introduces students to the world literary process as
well as various methods of literary analysis using mainly confessional
and revelatory writings as they tend to be shorter and personally
engaging. The works represent different national literary traditions,
epochs and trends. They involve both fictional and actual confessional
works, fictionalized and authentic autobiographies, first person
singular narratives, personal diaries, soul-searching stories, love
letters, discourses of intimacy, lyric and dramatic monologues,
self-revealing and self-aggrandizing accounts, philosophical soliloquies.
All lectures and course work are in English.
COML 104.401 The Twentieth Century
Arts and Letters Sector
Cross listed with ENGL 104
course will provide an introduction to important writing across
the twentieth century, chosen to offer a broad sampling of prose
and poetry on both sides of the Atlantic. Along with careful readings
of each work, the lectures will situate the literary texts in some
of their relevant contexts. The list of required readings will include,
among others: T. S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,"
and The Waste Land; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Zora Neale Hurston,
Their Eyes Were Watching God; Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot;
Philip Larkin, selected poems; Allen Ginsberg, "Howl"
and selected poems; Ian McEwan, Atonement; and Nilo Cruz, Anna in
the Tropics. I will occasionally introduce major paintings, as appropriate,
and excerpts from a number of significant films will also be introduced,
including Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times, Orson Welles's Citizen
Kane, and Carol Reed's The Third Man and Woody Allen's Zelig. Finally,
a set of supplementary readings will be posted on the course website.
Texts are available at the Penn Book Centre, at Sansom and 34th
110.401 Classical Athens to Elizabethan England
Cross listed with THAR 110, HIST 246, URBS 212
course will cover both Western and non-Western cultures and performance
forms. We will be investigating urban political and social history,
the arts, and all aspects of performance, from theatre architecture
to acting and design methods as functions of representation, and
118.401 Iranian Cinema: Gender, Politics, Religion
III: Arts and Letters
MW 2-3:30, M 6-8 Minuchehr
Cross listed with NELC 118, WSTD 118, CINE 118
Iranian cinema has gained exceptional international reception in
the past two decades. In most major national and international festivals,
Iranian films have taken numerous prizes for their outstanding representation
of life and society, and their courage in defying censorship barriers.
In this course, we will examine the distinct characteristics of
the post-revolutionary Iranian cinema. Discussion will revolve around
themes such as gender politics, family relationships and women's
social, economic and political roles, as well as the levels of representation
and criticism of modern Iran's political and religious structure
within the current boundaries. There will be a total of 12 films
shown and will include works by Kiarostami, Makhmalbaf, Beizai,
Milani, Bani-Etemad and Panahi, among others.
COML 126.401 Fantastic and Uncanny Literature
Arts and Letters Sector
TR 10:30-12 Weissberg
Cross listed with GRMN 242
is the "Fantastic"? And how can we describe the "Uncanny"?
The course will examine these questions, and investigate the historical
background of our understanding of "phantasy," as well
as our concepts of the "fantastic" and "uncanny"
in literature. Our discussions will be based on a reading of Sigmund
Freud's essay on the uncanny, a choice of Friedrich Schlegel's and
Novalis' aphorisms, and Romantic narratives by Ludwig Tieck, E.
T. A. Hoffman, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and others.
All the texts will be available in English, in English translation,
and no knowledge of a foreign language is required.
COML 191.601 Classics of the Western World
W 6:30-9:30 Hoffsten
course will approach selected classic works of Western culture up
to the Middle Ages with two purposes in mind. First, we will try
to see how our notions of authority, agency, will and history have
been shaped by these texts, in particular by epic and tragedy; further,
we will consider how such concepts in turn have been complicated
by the authors recognition of the power of desire and shifting definitions
of gender and identity. Second, we will look at how we identify
a "classic" in our culture, and will try to understand
what sort of work it does for us. Texts to be read may include:
Homer's Iliad and Odyssey; Euripides' Bacches; Sophocles' Oedipus
the King; Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound; Aristophanes' Frogs; Virgil's
Aeneid; The Confessions of Saint Augustine, and Dante's Divine Comedy.
All works will be read in translation.
COML 193.401 Great Story Collection
Arts and Letters Sector
MWF 11-12 Azzolina
Cross listed with FOLK 241
COML 214.401 Italian Cinema and the Sacred
MWF 12:00-1:00, W 5:00-7:00 Benini
Cross listed with ITAL 213
This course will focus
on the way Italian cinema related to the dimension of the sacred. The
word sacer in Latin means both "sacred" and "accursed, defiled": thus,
the experience of the sacred encompasses both sanctity and religion as
well as abjection, excess, defilement and violence. From The Gospel
According to St. Matthew to Salò, we will follow the trajectory
of these double aspects of the sacred in Italian cinema, exploring a
range of directors (from Rossellini to Pasolini, from Visconti to
Fellini), and genres (from religious films to spaghetti western)
through the lens of the different visions of the sacred of thinkers
such as Eliade, Caillois, Bataille, Girard and others.
The course will be conducted in English. Films will be in Italian with
English subtitles. Italian majors may arrange to do readings and final
paper in Italian.
221.401 Women and Writing in Medieval and Renaissance England
Cross listed with ENGL 221
this course we'll consider the relationships of women to writing
from c. 1220 (Ancrene Wisse, a text written for enclosed religious
women) to 1673 (the death of ‘Mad Madge,’ a playwright
much reviled by Virginia Woolf). We'll concern ourselves mostly
with texts written, dictated, inspired or commissioned by women,
plus texts written against or forced upon women: texts, in short,
that helped shape the possibilities of premodern women's lives.
This course questions traditional periodizations by shooting the
medieval/ Renaissance divide and by considering arguments of advance
and decline for women. Does the rise of the university, for example,
bring a diminution of educational opportunities for women? Is the
Middle Ages to be seen, as some feminist historians have seen it,
as a feminine 'golden age'? Does the coming of the 'Renaissance'
reduce female options to that of marriage or marriage? How do both
the observant and oppositional activities of women shift as we move
from Catholic through Lollard to Protestant cultures? We might consider
here the writings of Protestant Elizabeth I and embroideries of
Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots; other authors might include Anne
Askew, Isabella Whitney (fl. 1567-1573), Mary Herbert (1562-1621),
Elizabeth Cary (1585?-1639), and Rachel Speght (c. 1597-16??). Such
developmental narratives can be challenged by others suggesting
strange resemblances over time, featuring women occupying liminal
places: the anchoress; the pregnant woman. We can thus read Trotula
texts (female-authored gynaecological manuals), a manual for female
recluses (Ancrene Wisse), a mystical text by a woman who uses her
body as a spiritual laboratory (Julian of Norwich) and best-selling
texts by Renaissance women who will not survive pregnancy. We can
match texts from women centuries apart: such as Christine of Markyate
(1096-1160), who defied family expectations of marriage to live
as a recluse, eventually leaving us with an extraordinary lifestory
and a psalter of her own; and Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle (Virginia
Woolf’s ‘Mad Madge’) who wrote several plays that
imagined all-female academies long before Virginia penned A Room
of One’s Own. The question of continuing nun-nostalgia in Protestant
cultures might also be raised. So too the question of women and
travel: how did Margery Kempe manage to traverse the face of the
known world, avoid injury, and return to compose her text? As centuries
pass, do women travel less?
Examination in this advanced undergraduate seminar will be by two
essays: one of 5 pages (written after about six weeks) and one researched
in the latter part of the semester and handed in during the final
week of class (12 pages). We'll try to develop a friendly, collaborative
working mode in this seminar; students will have the opportunity
of writing a one-page, brainstorming abstract of their final paper
in week 12.
Attendance: please let me know by e-mail of any intended absences
due to religious holidays, illnesses, or other causes.
228.401 Studies in the Hebrew Bible: Genesis
R 3-6 Eichler
Cross listed with HEBR 250, RELS 220 and JWST 256
aim of this course is to introduce students to the methods and resources
used in the modern study of the Bible. To the extent possible, these
methods will be illustrated as they apply to a single book of the
Hebrew Bible that will serve as the main focus of the course.
238.401 Autobiographical Writing
TR 1:30-3:00, M 4:30-7 Weissberg
Cross listed with GRMN 235
does one write about oneself? Who is the “author” writing?
What does one write about? And is it fiction or truth? Our seminar
on autobiographical writing will pursue these questions, researching
confessions, autobiographies, memoirs, and other forms of life-writing
both in their historical development and theoretical articulations.
Examples will include selections from St. Augustine’s confessiones,
Rousseau’s Confessions, Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography,
as well as many examples form contemporary English, German, French,
and American literature.
256.401 Contemporary Fiction and Film in Japan
Cross listed with CINE 222, EALC 257
course will explore fiction and film in contemporary Japan, from
1945 to the present. Topics will include literary and cinematic
representation of Japan s war experience and post-war reconstruction,
negotiation with Japanese classics, confrontation with the state,
and changing ideas of gender and sexuality. We will explore these
and other questions by analyzing texts of various genres, including
film and film scripts, novels, short stories, manga, and academic
essays. Class sessions will combine lectures, discussion, audio-visual
materials, and creative as well as analytical writing exercises.The
course is taught in English, although Japanese materials will be
made available upon
request. No prior coursework in Japanese literature, culture, or
film is required or expected; additional secondary materials will
be available for students taking the course at the 600 level. Writers
and film directors examined may include: Kawabata Yasunari, Hayashi
Fumiko, Abe Kobo, Mishima Yukio, Oe Kenzaburo, Yoshimoto Banana,
Ozu Yasujiro, Naruse Mikio, Kurosawa Akira, Imamura Shohei, Koreeda
Hirokazu, and Beat Takeshi.
to Modern Hebrew Lit: Israeli Short Story
Cross listed with HEBR 259, HEBR 559, JWST 259
course concentrates on contemporary Israeli short stories, post-modernist
as well as traditional, written by male and female authors. The
diction is simple, often colloquial, but the stories reflect an
exciting inner world and a stormy outer reality. For Hebrew writers,
the short story has been a favorite genre since the Renaissance
of Hebrew literature in the 19^th century until now, when Hebrew
literature is vibrant in a country where Hebrew is spoken. The lion
share of the course focuses on authors who emerged in the last 25
years like Keret, Kastel-Bloom, Taub. Texts read in the original
language but student level and literary taste will influence the
choice of works.
Hebrew 059 or equivalent. Five 1-page response papers, a 5-page
midterm paper in Hebrew and a final exam. Since the content of this
course varies from year to year, students may take it more than
COML 270.401 German Cinema
Arts and Letters Sector
MW 2-3:30 Wolmart
CINE 250, GRMN 258
introduction to the momentous history of German film, from its beginnings
before World War One to developments following the fall of the Berlin
Wall in 1989 and German reunification in 1990. With an eye to film's
place in its historical and political context, the course will explore
the "Golden Age" of German cinema in the Weimar Republic,
when Berlin vied with Hollywood; the complex relationship between
Nazi ideology and entertainment during the Third Reich; the fate
of German film-makers in exile during the Hitler years; post-war
film production in both West and East Germany; the call for an alternative
to "Papa's Kino" and the rise of New German Cinema in
283.401 Jewish Folklore
and Tradition Sector
TR 10:30-12 Ben-Amos
Cross listed with FOLK 280, JWST 260, NELC 258, RELS 221
Jews are among the few nations and ethnic groups whose oral tradition
occurs in literary and religious texts dating back more than two
thousand years. This tradition changed and diversified over the
years in terms of the migration of Jews into different countries
and historical, social, and cultural changes that these countries
underwent. The course attempts to capture their historical and ethnic
diversity of Jewish folklore in a variety of oral literary forms.
A basic book of Hasidic legends from the 18th century will serve
as a key text to explore problems in Jewish folklore relating to
both earlier and later periods.
291.401 Topics in Literary Theory: Theory in Practice
Cross listed with ENGL 294
does theory do for literature? What does literature do for theory?
In this seminar we will examine some major works of literary criticism
produced in the later twentieth and twenty-first centuries, asking
specifically what we can learn from a close attention to literary
critics' use of that body of writing we have come to call "theory."
What can we learn, for example, from closely examining D.A. Miller's
application of Michel Foucault's theory of sexuality to Charles
Dickens's David Copperfield in Miller's own book The Novel and the
Police? How does Eve Sedgwick's engagement with structuralism help
her bring out new insights about George Eliot's novel Adam Bede
in her critical work Between Men? Each week we will read (often
in excerpt) a work of literary criticism, one of the works of literature
it analyzes, and one of its guiding theoretical texts in order to
give ourselves the tools to knowledgably discuss literary critics'
uses of theory. How and why, we will ask, do literary critics engage
with theories drawn from the realms of cultural criticism, poststructuralist
philosophy, and linguistic theory as well as from the world of literary
theory? We will also seek to trouble the distinctions between literature
and theory, and between "primary" and "secondary"
works. How might we think of using a novel, for example, as a framework
for understanding a more "theoretical" work?
While we will engage with a broad range of literary, critical, and
theoretical texts, this seminar is not designed to present students
with a survey of modern literary theory. Rather, it provides "case
studies" showing how several different literary critics adapt
theoretical frameworks from a variety of disciplines to the purposes
of literary criticism. We will read works by critics and theorists
such as Freud, Marx, Foucault, Althusser, Barthes, Benjamin, Derrida,
Deleuze and Guattari, Sedgwick, Miller, Armstrong, and Jameson.
We will also read selections from some examples of the literary
works these theorists and critics focus on. Course requirements
will include a few short papers and a final paper, as well as a
research project and regular participation in discussion.
333.401 Dante’s Divine Comedy
III: Arts and Letters
TR 10:30-12 Brownlee
Cross listed with ITAL 333, ENGL 223
this course we will read the Inferno, the Purgatorio and the Paradiso,
focusing on a series of interrelated problems raised by the poem:
authority, fiction, history, politics and language. Particular attention
will be given to how the Commedia presents itself as Dante's autobiography,
and to how the autobiographical narrative serves as a unifying thread
for this supremely rich literary text. Supplementary readings will
include Virgil's Aeneid and selections from Ovid's Metamorphoses.
All readings and written work will be in English. Italian or Italian
Studies credit will require reading Italian texts in their original
language and doing the written assignments in Italian.
353.401 Arabic Literary Theory
III: Arts and Letters
TR 1:30-3 Allen
Cross listed with COML 505, NELC 434
course takes a number of different areas of Literary Theory and,
on the basis of research completed and in progress in both Arabic
and Western languages, applies some of the ideas to texts from the
Arabic literary tradition. Among these areas are: Evaluation and
Interpretation, Structuralism, Metrics, Genre Theory, Narratology,
COML 363.401 Modern Theories of Semiotics and Rhetoric
TR 1:30-3 Finotti
Cross listed with ITAL 360
is semiotics? Where is semiotics? Ferdinand de Saussure, a founder of
linguistics and also of what is usually referred to as semiotics,
wrote: "It is... possible to conceive of a science which studies the
roles of signs as part of social life... It would investigate the
nature of signs and the laws governing them." As it is the study of
signs, semiotics, therefore, may be everywhere. Baudelaire wrote, "Man
passes... through a forest of symbols." We could say: "Man lives
through forests of signs." The course will offer a survey of major
currents in the modern theory of signs and languages, ranging from
linguistics through the perspectives of semiotics, rhetoric, and
course readings will include modern works on semiotical and rhetorical
theory (Saussure, Jakobson, Hjelmslev, Lotman, Weinrich, Barthes,
Genette, Dubois, Riffaterre, Eco, Segre, De Mauro). Classes will
propose close analysis of primary texts in Italian literature (Dante,
Boccaccio, Petrarca, Machiavelli, Ariosto, Michelangelo, Vittoria
Colonna, Tesauro, Manzoni, Pirandello, Svevo), as well as other forms
of communication including advertising, journalism, film, and
television. All readings will be in translation. Course
requirements: three short papers (7 pages), and one oral report
(accompanied by bibliography) as a final project. The course will
be conducted in English.
WHICH QUALIFY FOR THE NON-WESTERN POST-COLONIAL REQUIREMENT:
QUALIFY FOR THE THEORY REQUIREMENT: