The LPSSA would like to encourage you to find out more about “The World of Work,” a Spring 2013 course offering that English professor, Deb Burnham, designed specifically for LPS students.

Course ID: English 105.601
Course Title: The World of Work
Fulfills Requirement(s): For Interdisciplinary Humanities and Social Science Requirement (Sector IV)
Instructor: Deborah Burnham dburnham@english.upenn.edu
Meeting Time: Wednesday, 6-9

From the official course description:

Studying and writing about work is a relatively new enterprise, one that has produced an explosion of data, theory, manifesto, critique, fiction, memoir and dream. Readings will include fiction, poems, films, memoirs, essays, photographs and ethnographies. We’ll also read a few key texts in the sociology of work, including E.P. Thompson’s examination of time and work, and Frederick Taylor’s studies of motion and management. Central texts will be Matthew Crawford’s Shop Class as Soulcraft, and Mike Rose’s The Mind at Work: Valuing the Intelligence of the American Worker.

We’ll look at work as labor and, sometimes, burden, reading accounts of war, factory labor, food service and undertaking. (Yes, the work with bodies.) We’ll also read a volume of short stories, poems by Philip Levine and Miller’s Death of a Salesman.

Next, we’ll look at work as a source of energy and joy. We’ll read some classic essays by women exploring the nature of work in art and science, and some recent work on the creative life, from choreographers and poets to woodworkers, all of whom find deep satisfaction in their very hard work.

Writing assignments will include methods and genres from both the humanities and social sciences. You’ll write short pieces in response to the readings, a reflective piece on your own work history, an oral history of a worker and a questionnaire. There will be a take-home final.