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Viewing: ENGL 109 A: Literature and Business

Last approved: Tue, 09 Oct 2018 19:46:47 GMT

Last edit: Tue, 09 Oct 2018 19:44:06 GMT

First Name Last Name Userid Title Home School Org Short Name
Jed Esty esty Vartan Gregorian Professor School of Arts and Sciences English Department
ENGLISH
109
Spring 2019
Fall 2018
Literature and Business
An introduction not only to representations of business in literary texts, but also to the business of literature itself. The course explores the representation of modern commerce and entrepreneurial life, financial and legal structures in industrial and advanced capitalism, doctrines of prosperity and economic growth, and the emotional, moral, and social life of women and men working in business. See the English Department's website at www.english.upenn.edu for a description from our current offerings (taught Spring 2017).
Every Other Term

Sector Requirements

 
Your department or program fields a variety of courses to meet distinct educational needs. Please explain how this course fits into your department's plan for participating in the general education curriculum of the College. The sector panel will want to know what is distinctive about this course along with the other courses your department lists in the sector that makes them suitable for the sector requirement.
 
This course complements ENGL106 "Literature and Law" and ENGL107 "Literature and Medicine" -- both sector-fulfilling courses that demonstrate the application of critical and close reading models of analysis onto a broadened range of materials. The design of this course was a joint effort between the instructor and the Undergraduate Executive Committee in English, and the flexible final project in particular is an effort to open this course to the more general capacities for interpretation that distinguish general requirement courses in the College.
One-term course offered either term
 
Arts & Letters Sector
SEM
Jed Esty
Standing Faculty
Standing Faculty
We have developed this course as part of a suite of classes designed to combine the university-level study of literature with a direct attention to the historical representation of the professions, thus Lit and Law, Lit and Medicine, Lit and Business.
These courses not only address social and thematic content related to professional practice and life, but also compare the kinds of intellectual and evidentiary norms that define knowledge in the humanities and in the practical arts and sciences.
This is an introductory course; we anticipate Wharton undergraduate will take it to fulfill their Flexible Gen Ed requirements. College students may take it to fulfill Sector 3 (if our application is successful). Humanities majors may take the class as a stepping stone to majors in English or History.
1) Introduce a mix of College and Wharton undergraduates to the varied and changing representations of modern commerce, corporate and entrepreneurial life, financial and legal structures in industrial and advanced capitalism, doctrines of prosperity and economic growth, and the emotional, moral, and social life of women and men working in business from 1850 to the present.
2) Foster an intellectual and analytical understanding of the cultural divide at Penn between applied/professional/pragmatic education and the liberal arts curriculum.
3) Teach close, logical, and systematic analysis of texts looking for sociohistorical meaning and symbolic/allegorical complexity.
4) Improve written and oral skills of evidence-based argumentation and composition.

Methods of Assessment

5 x 400 words
1 x 1500 words
1 x 2000 words
5500 words of writing total = approx 20 pages
none
group participation and reading journals

Sector I - Society

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sector II - History and Tradition

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sector III - Arts & Letters

 
The course trains students to do close analysis of literary and cinematic objects through guided small group discussion and debate; through organized expository essays; and through research-intensive reports.
 
As noted above, the course asks students to write frequent short analytical papers that are informal as well as two significant formal essays, one on close analysis and one with a research component.
 
The course also asks students to complete a final project that includes an optional multimedia component; quoting from the syllabus, students are asked to do a "longer research project that culminates in a paper, poster, slideshow, webpage, presentation, or video"
 
The course covers "the representation of modern commerce, corporate and entrepreneurial life, financial and legal structures in industrial and advanced capitalism, doctrines of prosperity and economic growth, and the emotional, moral, and social life of women and men working in business from the early-mid-1800s to the present. " This historical sweep, moving across film, poetry, and fiction (though largely focused on fiction) allows for a broad understanding of the works. Additional research provides an opportunity to situate works in both social and historical context.

Sector IV - Humanities and Social Science

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sector V - Living World

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sector VI - Physical World

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sector VII - Natural Sciences and Mathematics

 
 
 
 

Administrative Field

 
 
College Curriculum Committee
Committee Reader
jbehrman
akano
 
Molly Mcglone (mmcglone) (Tue, 09 Oct 2018 19:44:06 GMT): The HSS panel had questions about the suite of courses "Literature and "Law", "Lit and Business" and "Lit and Medicine"- especially the role of "and" as well as the various sector designations. The department answered with: he “and” does indeed function differently across the three different courses in the suite we envision, and this difference is also connected to the larger question about the difference between the courses pegged for Sector III and Sector IV. “Literature and Law” belongs to a defined and now longstanding interdisciplinary field (with, for example, its own journal Law and Literature) that applies legal theory and history within literary sources and also uses literary modes of interpretation for reconsidering legal texts. There is considerable discourse within the field about the conjunction and potential prepositions that could take its place — as in, “law in literature,” “law as literature,” and so forth. Our “Literature and Law” offerings are taught by faculty that belong to this subfield. By contrast, “Literature and Medicine” and “Literature and Business” do not belong to established subfields. In both cases strong arguments could be made for interdisciplinarity, but as these courses presently stand we see them as introducing and interrogating modes of literary critical analysis via representations of these professions (though I should emphasize that “Literature and Medicine” is quite an innovative course that prominently features extraliterary texts). I’m glad to hear that the committee liked the content and rigor of “Literature and Business”; we hoped that the literary sweep of the primary texts as well as the canonical secondary sources in economics and social science would invite undergraduates from SAS and Wharton to think more broadly and perhaps even more critically about the figuration of businessmen and women. " Engl 109 is approved for Arts & Letters.
Key: 540