Courses

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All students register for a total of two course units (c.u.)*. Course offerings are subject to change. Course registration is completed by the Penn Summer Abroad office for students who confirm their intent to enroll and submit the required pre-departure documents.

The London Theatre Experience

ENGL 068 / THAR 068 (1 c.u.)

  • Taught by Michael Gamer
  • Fulfills requirement: Sector 6 of English Major

London is one of the most exciting theater centers in the world, and the focus of this course will be on live performance. We will attend theatrical productions 2-3 times a week, seeing a wide range of plays produced by companies such as the Royal National, the Royal Court, and the Royal Shakespeare and staged in spaces such as those as well as in the West End (London's equivalent of Broadway) and in Fringe Theaters (what would be off-Broadway in New York City). Every Thursday we will be joined by Times theatre critic Samantha Marlowe, who will lead those sessions and share her knowledge as a theatre critic and practitioner. Tickets will be arranged in advance. Readings for the class will consist of responses to plays and productions. The class may also participate in field trips to other sites of theatrical interest, such as the Royal National Theatre and the reconstructed Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

Jane Austen

ENGL 101 (1 c.u.)

  • Taught by Michael Gamer
  • Fulfills requirement:
  • Sector 3 of the College’s General Requirement: Arts and Letters
  • Sectors 2, 4 or 5 of English Major

At once acutely aware of popular culture and a product of it, Jane Austen read and wrote in popular forms, from epistolary fiction to Gothic horror to realism to raucous satire to popular theater. We'll survey her in most if not all of these guises, reading five of Austen's works during our time in London, including Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma. On the way, we'll pay special attention to Austen's achievement as an innovator within the larger history of the novel. To that end, we'll focus on her experiments with form, voice, genre and geography—particularly the relationship between country and city and the role that specific parts of London play in her novels. Among our activities outside the classroom will be (weather permitting) to Chawton House in Hampshire, where Austen wrote most of her fiction.

Literature of Risk

ENGL 210 (1 c.u.)

  • Taught by Ms. Lorene Cary
  • Fulfills requirement: Sectors 2 and 5 of English Major

The Zong was not the first or last British slave ship to throw living Africans overboard, but it was the one that sparked a trial against insurers who denied the owners' claim to be paid for their lost profits. This course examines the intersection of the insurance industry, slavery, and the Western imagination. We'll read the best recent study of the voyage and trial as well as a novel imagining the case by London-born British-Guyanese author Fred D'Aguiar, the painting "The Slave Ship" by J.M.W. Turner, and passages in contemporary novels that reveal the growing anxiety in English middle-class society about how industrialism was being fueled. We will visit Lloyd's of London and the excellent International Slavery Museum in Liverpool. We will imagine ourselves into the lives of insurers, sailors and Africans in our own writing. We will re-see the legacy of the British genius for figuring out how to ensure living capital. What and who is at risk for us still?

Writing for Children: Tales of Childhood

ENGL 121 (1 c.u.)

  • Taught by Ms. Lorene Cary
  • Fulfills requirement: Sector 6 of English Major

We will read Roald Dahl, and his autobiography, Boy: Tales of Childhood. The point will be to rediscover nasty and naughty, as well as how, as writers, we mine our own childhoods—not for confession, but for story and meaning, especially children's strong sense of justice, often at odds with adult behavior. Then, we'll travel together to the Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden 20 miles outside London. With Dahl as our muse, albeit, an occasionally grumpy one, we will determine what kinds of stories each of us needs to tell and how to structure them. Then, we'll write them, for pre-K, elementary, middle and teen readers, aiming at a clear voice appropriate to the story, and as much order or misrule as each writer’s kid-muse demands. Yes, fun is required. Workshopping happens with student-writer colleagues in pairs and small groups, and then with the real kids. Returning with revisions will be a promise fulfilled, and an important marker in the literary life of everyone involved. A celebration! Tea and cakes are involved.

Penn Summer

3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

(215) 898-7326
summer@sas.upenn.edu

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