Jewish Studies

Director: Andrew Bush (Hispanic Studies); Steering Committee: John Ahern (Italian), Peter Antelyes (English), Susan H. Brisman (English); Marc Michael Epstein (Religion), Judith L. Goldstein (Anthropology), Luke C. Harris (Political Science), William Hoynes (Sociology), Richard Lowry (Psychology), Deborah Dash Moore (Religion), Tova Weitzman (Religion); Participating Faculty: Betsy Halpern-Amaru (Religion), Peter Antelyes, Pinar Batur-Vander Lippe (Sociology), Nancy Bisaha (History), Susan H. Brisman, Andrew Bush, Miriam Cohen (History), Andrew Davison (Political Science), Marc Michael Epstein, Judith L. Goldstein, Luke C. Harris, Maria Höhn (History), Lynn LiDonnici (Religion), J. Bertrand Lott (Classics), Marque Miringoff (Sociology), Deborah Dash Moore, David Schalk (History), Tova Weitzman.

Jewish Studies is a multidisciplinary approach to the diversity of the history and culture of Jews in Western and non-Western societies. This approach involves the study of the creation and reproduction of cultures in Israel, the Diaspora, and multi-ethnic societies in the ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary world.

Requirements for Concentration: 12 units, including 1) Jewish Studies 101, 201, and 301, 2) 4 units of college-level Hebrew or its equivalent (no more than 4 units of Hebrew may be applied toward the concentration), 3) 2 additional courses on the 300-level, drawn from either Jewish Studies offerings (350, and/or 380, 385) or the list of approved courses, 4) remaining units from courses, drawn from Jewish Studies offerings, approved courses, or Jewish Studies in Comparative Contexts. Students are encouraged to explore complementary courses in a variety of disciplines. After consulting with the director, students should prepare a proposal for the major in Jewish Studies to be approved by the director and the Steering Committee. Students choosing a concentration are encouraged to explore language, literature and texts, religious traditions, history, society, and culture.

No more than 3 units per semester from study away can be counted toward the concentration. Jewish Studies recommends that students interested in the Junior Year Away Program in Israel begin the study of Hebrew in the freshman year.

After declaring a concentration, no required courses may be elected NRO.

Senior-Year Requirements: Senior Seminar (Jewish Studies 301). The Senior Thesis or Project (Jewish Studies 300) is optional, but must be elected by students to be considered for Honors in the Program. The thesis or project should reflect the multidisciplinary orientation of the Program. It will be graded Distinction, Satisfactory, or Unsatisfactory.

Requirements for the Correlate Sequence: 6 units, including Jewish Studies 101, a 300-level seminar in Jewish Studies, and four other courses, only one of which can be Jewish Studies 290 or Jewish Studies in Comparative Contexts (see following list). At least two courses at the 300-level are required. Students are urged to complete one year of college-level study in Hebrew or the equivalent. Up to two units of Hebrew may be counted toward the correlate sequence. After consulting with the director, students should prepare a proposal for the correlate sequence in Jewish Studies to be approved by the director and the Steering Committee. Students choosing a correlate sequence are encouraged to explore language, literature and texts, religious traditions, history, society, and culture. The specific shape of a student's program should reflect student interest in a disciplinary field, such as history, literature, anthropology, religion, and should complement concentration requirements. Jewish Studies recommends that students interested in the Junior Year Away Program in Israel begin the study of Hebrew in the freshman year. No more than 2 units from study abroad can be counted toward the correlate sequence.


Course Offerings

I. Introductory

101. Jewish Identity/Jewish Politics: An Introduction to Jewish Studies (1)

Multidisciplinary introduction to the theoretical and methodological bases for the study of the diversity of Jewish culture. Particular emphasis is placed on the role of geography, gender, religious status, race and class in the construction of Jewish identity in interaction with surrounding communities, through the study of primary sources in historical context, religious culture, social life, as well as art and literature produced by and about Jews. Mr. Epstein.

[110. Jerusalem Above/Jerusalem Below] (1)

Jerusalem has captured the imagination of Jews, Christians and Muslims for the past three millenia. This course explores the city's fascination through classical texts, historical accounts and rereadings of the idea and ideal of Jerusalem through the eyes of guest lecturers utilizing tools, techniques, and resources from fields as diverse as literature, geography, history, architecture, sociology, and ethnography. The course includes an optional study trip to Jerusalem during Spring Break. Mr. Epstein.

Not offered in 2000/01.

180 b. Keywords and Codewords (1)

After the Second World War several words used primarily with reference to Jewish experiences were drawn into wider debates. Holocaust, ghetto, and diaspora became hot-buttons. Gradually they were taken up as terms of choice for referencing issues central for African Americans and post-colonial emigres. We look at the ways in which terms are hitched to our trains of thought; and we examine the freight we ask such keywords to haul. We start with books by Raymond Williams and Garry Wills; move on to the movies Whoopee! and Blazing Saddles; and conclude with essays, religious and political speeches from the 1960s and 1980s. Mr. Moore.

This course fulfills the Freshman Course Requirement.

183. Ancient Mythologies (1)

(Same as Classics 183) Instructor to be announced.


II. Intermediate

201. Jewish Textuality: Sources and Subversions (1)

Jewsmale and female, traditional and radical, East and Westhave preserved, read, reread and subverted their classical texts in a variety of ways through their various cultural and personal lenses throughout history. This course introduces specific and significant themes in Jewish thought and culture (all of which have practical and political implications today), and traces them from antiquity, through postmodernity, through sequential study of each issue in the Hebrew Bible and its commentaries, Talmud, Midrash, liturgical, mystical, poetic, philosophical, theological, and political texts. Mr. Bush.

Prerequisite: Jewish Studies 101 or by permission.

221. Voices from Modern Israel (1)

(Same as Hebrew 221) An examination of modern and postmodern Hebrew literature in English translation. The course will focus on Israeli voices of men, women, Jews, Arabs, Ashkenazim and Sephardim to investigate such topics as memory, identity, alienation, the "other," community, exile. Authors may include Dalia Ravikovitch, Zelda, Nathan Zach, Yehudah Amichai, A. B. Yehoshua, Amos Oz, David Grossman, Anton Shammas, Savion Liebrecht and Ruth Almog. Ms. Weitzman.

290. Field Work (1/2 or 1)

298. Independent Work (1/2 or 1)


III. Advanced

Prerequisite for all 300-level courses unless otherwise specified: 1 unit at the 200-level or permission of instructor.

300. Senior Thesis or Project (1)

Optional for students concentrating in the program. Must be elected for student to be considered for Honors in the program.

Permission required.

[301. Senior Seminar in Jewish Studies] (1)

Addressing developments in Jewish Studies, the seminar affords students the opportunity to present their own scholarly work in the field and to place modern Jewish studies in the context of other twentieth century intellectual developments. Topics may vary from year to year, but will reflect program issues such as history and memory, cultural contact and conflict, practice and representation. Ms. Goldstein.

Open only to seniors.

Permission of instructor required.

Not offered in 2000/01.

350. Confronting Modernity: Jews in the Jazz Age (1)

Jews were among the architects of modern American culture even as they struggled to articulate and perform their own American Jewish identities. The course explores how Jews responded to modernity in such realms as law and popular culture, literature and film. It asks, for example, what connects Jewish gangsters with Jewish justices on the Supreme Court, vaudeville stars with photographers, cartoon and comic strip characters with rabbis and philosophers. Mr. Antelyes, Ms. Moore.

380. Jews, Jewish Identity and the Arts (1)

This course examines the relationship of Jews with the arts from ancient times through the postmodern period. Topics addressed include the definition of Jewish art and the attitude of Jewish tradition toward art, iconism and aniconism, Jews as artists, Jewish patronage, and Jewish scholarship concerning both Jewish and non-Jewish art. We discuss the role of identity politics in the artistic and art historical world, as well as self-definition, self-presentation and self-hatred among artists, patrons and scholars of art history. Mr. Epstein.

385. Unspeakable Confessions (1)

(Same as English 385) Ms. Brisman.


Approved Courses

Classics 219 The Roman Empire: From the Julio-Claudian Era through the Fall (1)

Hebrew 105-106 Elementary Hebrew (1)

Hebrew 205a Continuing Hebrew (1)

Hebrew 206b Continuing Hebrew (1)

Hebrew 298 Independent Work in Hebrew (1)

Hebrew 305a Advanced Hebrew (1)

History/Religion 246 Jewish Politics and Religion (1)

History/Religion 248 Out of the Ghetto (1)

History/Religion 249 The Jewish Experience in the Twentieth Century (1)

Religion 225 The Hebrew Bible (1)

Religion 245 Religion and Antisemitism (1)

Religion 255 Western Mystical Traditions: Kabbalah (1)

Religion 320 Studies in Sacred Texts:

The Matriarchs and Their Sisters (1)

Religion 346 Studies in Jewish Thought and History:

Portraits of Biblical Women (1)

Jewish Studies in Comparative Contexts

American Culture 275 From Melting Pot to Multiculturalism:

Race and Ethnicity (1)

Classics 106 Crosscurrents: History and Culture of the

Ancient Mediterranean (1)

English 326 Studies in Ethnic American Literature (1)

Hispanic Studies 226 Medieval and Early Modern Spain: Jews,

Muslims and Christians in Medieval Spain (1)

History 115 Jews, Christians, and Muslims

in the Middle Ages (1)

History 237 Germany, 1890-1990 (1)

History 257 Justice (1)

History 337 The Rise and Fall of Nazi Germany (1)

History 369 Themes in Twentieth Century Urban History: Social Reform and the Evolution of the Welfare State (1)

Political Science 237 Law of Race and Gender Antidiscrimination in the United States (1)

Political Science 247 The Politics of Difference (1)

Political Science 256 Politics and Conflict in the Middle East (1)

Political Science 375 The Three Religions of the Book and

Political Theory (1)

Religion 150 Western Religious Traditions (1)

Religion 220 Texts and Traditions: Adam and Eve (1)

Religion 266 Religion in America (1)

Sociology 224 Race and Ethnicity from a Global Perspective (1)

Sociology 243 Birth, Death and Public Policy (1)

Sociology 271 Forms of Social Conflict (1)

Sociology 272 Genocide and Social Theory (1)

Sociology 366 Racism and Intellectuals (1)