Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Topics in Literature and Society

ENGL 293.601
T 5:30-8:10

This seminar will examine how recent works of literary, visual, and performance art problematize traditional notions of the family. We will be studying a selection of multi-media texts that pose representations of the family in crisis. Our focus will be on how these representations address social mores and growing up. Some of the works we will study include: P.T. Anderson's Magnolia, Vince Gallano's Buffalo 66, Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior, John Kennedy Toole's The Neon Bible, Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina, and Toni Morrison's Beloved. We will also attend local performances such as: Perfect Pie, Gaslight, and Exit Wounds. Some of the visual artists whose work we will consider include: Louise Bourgeois, Charles Ray, Janine Antoni, and David Wojnarowitz. In addition to two short written papers (6-8 pages) students in this seminar will also have the opportunity to script and perform their own performance pieces. In class participation constitutes a large segment of the course material.

fulfills requirements