HEB 1010: Beginning Hebrew I

For beginning students and those with rudimentary training in Hebrew. The course stresses reading, writing, and speaking by involving students in situations that concretely express the concepts of the language.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
HEB 1020: Beginning Hebrew II

A continuation of HEB 1010. Students increase their fluency and confidence in comprehension through discussions of simple stories and increased grammar drill. Situations are presented and discussed in Hebrew.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: HEB1010

Department: Jewish Studies
HEB 2110: Intermediate Hebrew I

Readings of adapted short stories and essays stimulate class discussion in Hebrew and provide the context for increased vocabulary and written drills. Attention is given to grammar and style.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: HEB1020

Department: Jewish Studies
HEB 3150: Conversational Hebrew: Ulpan Style

A conversational Hebrew course that allows students to acquire fluency in spoken Hebrew. Reading, writing, grammar, syntax, and conversation in modern Hebrew are emphasized.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
HIS 2035: The Ancient Middle East

Explores the ancient civilizations of the Middle East, including those of Egypt, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran. Students examine cultural, social, and political movements using texts as well as archaeology as sources.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
HIS 2040: Jewish Culture and Civilization

Examines how early Jewish interactions with various cultures affected the development of Judaism. Interactions with Mesopotamian, Greek, Roman, Christian, and Muslim cultures are explored. Topics include conflicts with external powers, exile, and diaspora.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
HIS 2815: Issues in the Study of the Holocaust

How was the Holocaust possible in the 20th century? This course responds to the question by examining specific issues: German anti-Semitism; Hitler’s rise to power; the genocide process; responses to Nazism and the news of the Holocaust in Jewish and international communities; resistance and collaboration; and theological and moral questions.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
HIS 2870: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Considers the profound influence Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have exerted on the social, cultural, and political history of the East and the West. This course examines the historical developments, tenets, and scriptures of the three religions.

Credits: 3

Department: Jewish Studies
HIS 3209: Jews in American Society and Culture

Explores the history of American Jewry from its beginnings to the present, touching on such topics as integration into American society, formation of Jewish identity, anti-Semitism, evolving religious traditions, cultural clashes, cultural issues involving various waves of immigration, the evolving role of women, Jews and entertainment, and economic and political issues.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
HIS 3235: Women in the Biblical/Ancient World

An exploration of gender issues in the ancient world. Beginning with the ancient Near East and the biblical world in particular, students discuss portrayals of women, as well as their actual roles in society. Using textual and archaeological evidence, the course branches out to the related cultures of Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
HIS 3245: The Land of Israel: Ancient to Modern

An exploration of the peoples, religions, cultures, places, and monuments of the land of Israel. Home to three major world religions, the land has been embraced, fought over, and conquered repeatedly throughout history. Why? Students explore the reasons for Israel’s prominence and discover how its position and importance in the worldview is constantly being reinvented.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
HIS 3255: Biblical History 1200–200 B.C.

The historicity of the Hebrew Bible is explored, from the protohistory of the Israelites as related through the Pentateuch and early prophetic works, through the period of the Monarchies, to the 6th-century B.C. exile, the birth of early Judaism, and the books of prophets and writings. Issues relating to historiography and biblical criticism are essential elements in this course.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
HIS 3325: Encounter and Conflict: History of Jewish-Christian Relations

The historical relationship of Judaism and Christianity and the encounter of the Jewish and Christian communities from ancient to contemporary times are examined. Topics include the split between the two religions in late antiquity, medieval disputations, and the challenges of the modern period. Students also examine the varying ways in which texts can be interpreted.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
HIS 3337: Politics and Archaeology

Explores the relationship between politics and archaeology. Topics include who owns antiquities; fakes, forgeries, and the manipulating of history; presentations of archaeology to the public; buying, selling, and auctioning of antiquities; and archaeology in wartime. The geographic range of topics includes Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Syria, and other countries in region, as well as Greece and Rome.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
HIS 3780: The Arab-Israeli Conflict

Examines the background of the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the historical demographics of the “Holy Land”; the emergence of Zionist and Palestinian nationalist movements; the rise and fall of British Mandates in the Middle East; the war of 1948; Palestinian and Jewish refugee problems; and the subsequent wars and uprisings of 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, 1987, and 2000. Various peace initiatives and negotiations are also discussed.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
JST 3130: Philosophy and Mysticism in Jewish Thought

In the premodern period, philosophy was not separate from mystical experience. This course examines the seams at which philosophy and mysticism meet, specifically those that cross boundaries of religious cultures in Judaism and Islam. It also examines mystic-philosophers, including Maimonides, Abraham, David, and Obadiah Maimon, among others. These philosophies demand new ways of defining mysticism, religion, spirituality, prophecy, revelation, prayer, and meditation.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
JST 3405: Music and Cultural Expression in the Middle East

Examines the interrelations of musical practice and sociocultural processes in the Middle East. Through the study of Middle Eastern pop, indigenous, religious, and classical art music, students explore music and religion, contemporary politics, and gender formations as well as composition and improvisation techniques.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
JST 3709: Theatrical Representations of the Holocaust

Critics agree that the world of the concentration camps and ghettoes is impossible to duplicate on stage. Despite serious aesthetic and practical constraints, playwrights in Europe, Israel, and America have, for the last five decades, created a diverse group of plays dealing with this unprecedented 20th-century event. Works examined in class include documentary dramas, realistic reenactments, absurdist plays, a comedy, and a standup routine.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
LIT 2872: The Golden Land: American Jewish Literature and Film

Beginning as a response to the immigrant experience, writing by American Jews emerged as a central literary presence and the inspiration for important films. This course traces the evolution from early writers such as Abraham Cahan and Anzia Yezierska, through major figures such as Saul Bellow, Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth, and I.B. Singer, to their contemporaries and heirs, including Stanley Elkin, Joseph Heller, Cynthia Ozick, and Grace Paley.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
LIT 3047: Literature and Film of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Explores a variety of literary and cinematic works that depict the conflicting points of view and the varied interests of contemporary Israeli and Arab writers and filmmakers. Students learn the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and then explore a variety of issues relating to it by reading the work of Amos Oz, David Grossman, Mahmood Darwish, and others. Films include Paradise Now (Hany Abu-Assad, 2005) and Lemon Tree (Eran Riklis, 2008).

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
LIT 3266: Kafka to Roth

Post-war American Jewish writers introduced new subjects and styles—such as Kafkaesque paradoxes, immigrant humor, and Yiddish-inflected sentences—to the American literary tradition. The course begins with Kafka’s short stories and includes Bernard Malamud, Saul Bellow, Cynthia Ozick, Grace Paley, Stanley Elkin, Philip Roth, and Edith Pearlman.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
LIT 3572: Imagining America’s Yiddish World: Writings and Performance

Focuses on a variety of writings (memoirs, letters, fiction, poetry), theatre, and films depicting the Yiddish world of the Lower East Side, home to more than two million Eastern European Jewish immigrants between 1880 and 1920. Readings include selections from the work of a variety of authors, from Yiddish newspapers, films, and other cultural materials.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
LIT 3721: Contemporary Jewish American Fiction

Features major American novelists writing about the Jewish experience in the 21st century. Themes include Zionist and post-Zionist concerns, the appeal of a growing religious community, religious immigration to Israel, and young religious Jews fleeing the fold. Authors may include Gary Shtayngart, Jonathan Safran Foer, Tova Mirvis, Lara Vapnyar, Roya Hakakian, Deborah Feldman, Dara Horn, and Risa Miller.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
LIT 3725: Literature of the Holocaust

Despite the imperative to accept shocked silence as the most appropriate response to the Nazi genocide, the Holocaust experience has inspired a powerful and eloquent body of literary expression, especially in fiction and poetry. This course considers some of the significant authors and texts that constitute the literature (e.g., Appelfeld, Schwarz-Bart, Wiesel, Singer, Borowski, and Wallant).

Credits: 4

PREREQ: LWR1110 Or WRI1110

Department: Jewish Studies
PHI 3340: Messianism in the Frankfurt School: Adorno and Benjamin

The Frankfurt School was pivotal in its creation of “critical theory”—a profound intellectual intervention of the 20th century, primarily lead by German Jewish thinkers. By turning inwards toward theory and turning outwards toward the world, Theodor W. Adorno and Walter Benjamin struggled to envision a utopian way of thinking about a society where the messiah had already arrived.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
PHI 3345: Philosophy, Mysticism, and Medieval Monotheisms

Throughout the Middle Ages, the disciplines of philosophy, mysticism, and theology were dynamic and intertwined within Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. What then are the philosophical forms of the mystical experience in medieval monotheisms? This course explores mysticism in relation to the broader questions of the relationship of supra-rational mystical experience to the philosophy of religion.

Credits: 4

Department: Jewish Studies
PHI 3360: Responsibility and Judgment: Postwar European Philosophy

Examines philosophers’ efforts to rethink fundamental ethical, legal, and political issues in the wake of total war and totalitarian domination in Europe between 1914 and 1945. Focusing on Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, questions about resistance, complicity, guilt, and punishment become central. Additional texts are selected from Jaspers, Beauvoir, Sartre, Foucault, Derrida, Levinas, Adorno, and Butler.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: PHI1515 Or PHI2110 Or PHI3212

Department: Jewish Studies