Jewish Studies Program at Miami University
- AMS/ENG 230 - Jewish American Fiction Since 1945
- This course will examine the contributions of Jewish-American writers to American fiction in the years since the Second World War. In addition to such issues as identity and (ambivalent) assimilation into the American mainstream, the course will explore the writers' responses to the Holocaust and to the many changes in American culture.
- CLS 310.J - Jews Among the Greeks and Romans
- The consequences of the Jewish diaspora have long held important historical resonance. Notions of a Jewish diaspora, for example, featured prominently in debates surrounding the foundation of the Jewish state of Israel in 1948. In this course, we will examine the Jewish diaspora from "its beginnings" in antiquity, raising questions about the meaning of diaspora itself as well as it consequences for Jewish life among the Greeks and Romans. More specifically, we will explore what Jewish identity meant in antiquity (including how it was conceived and performed by the Jews themselves living outside of Palestine), how Jews were in turn perceived by the Greeks and Romans, and how the study of Jewish difference in antiquity can lead to a broader understanding of ancient Greek and Roman attitudes towards, and management of, identity and difference in both their writings and state policies.
- ENG/FRE/GER 180 - Kafka's World (Honors)
- In this course, we will read all the major primary works by one of the 20th century's most brilliant and enigmatic writers. We will also explore selections from Kafka's extensive diaries and correspondence with friends, girlfriends, and family. We will situate Kafka's oeuvre in Prague, the multi-national, -cultural, -ethnic, and -religious city in which he lived and wrote. Along the way, we will also survey some of the seminal criticism and interpretation that Kafka's work has inspired from the 1920s to the present; and we will end with a few forays into how Kafka has been taken up in popular culture. All material will be read in English.
- ENG/GER 180.K - The Jewish Immigrant Experience in America (Honors)
- Miserable economic conditions and waves of pogroms in the tsarist Russian Empire sent millions of Eastern European Jews to America between 1881 and 1924, when Congress drastically restricted the immigration of "undesirable" Eastern and Southern Europeans. America provided new opportunities but also presented complex new challenges. This course explores these opportunities and challenges as they manifest themselves in the vibrant Jewish immigrant culture of the early 20th century through which Jews re-defined and contested their cultural, religious, and political identities in the new and quickly-changing environment.
- ENG/FRE/GER 356 - Contemporary Jewish Writing in Europe
- In this course, we will investigate prose works written by Jewish Europeans from the 1970s to the present. For obvious reasons, the Holocaust radically threw into question the national identities of the tragically few European Jews who survived it. One of our major concerns in this course will be to examine this legacy of ambivalence toward various European national identities as it is passed down, not without inter-generational rebellions and dramatic changes of perspective, through three post-Holocaust generations of European Jewish writers. These writers can be said both to be, and not to be, "at home" in European countries including Germany, Austria, Holland, France, Great Britain, Italy, Yugoslavia, Poland, and the Soviet Union. While the Holocaust looms large in all Jewish European literature written in its aftermath, the authors we will examine do not only look back at the traumatic recent past of the Jewish experience in Europe. With sensitivity as well as with keen — and at times outrageously irreverent — wit, contemporary Jewish European writers examine the complexities and ironies of the unresolved relations between Jewish and non-Jewish citizens of Europe today, and envision possible futures.
- ENG/FRE/GER 380A - Jewish Modernism (Honors)
- James Joyce's Ulysses (1922), arguably the most influential work of literary modernism, follows a day in the life of a Dublin Jew, Leopold Bloom. Joyce's construction of the Wandering Jew as modernist anti-hero fuses modernism's preoccupation with such issues as cultural displacement and trans-lingualism with realities — and stereotypes — of modern Jewish experience. In this course, we examine poetry and prose by Jewish modernist authors who wrote in Yiddish, British and American English, Polish, Russian, and German. How did modernist aesthetics and epistemologies offer Jewish writers new tools for grappling with the devastating impact that WWI and its aftermath had on Jewish life in Eastern Europe; with cultural upheaval and disorientation; the pull of powerful ideologies; and with intra-European and trans-continental displacement, among other issues? And how, too, do Jewish modernist works offer new perspectives on such canonical modernist authors as Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot, who at times defined their aesthetic projects in opposition to their own antisemitic constructions of a "Jewish" cultural threat? All readings in English.
- FRE F.106 - Dybbuks, Golems, and the Fantastic in Modern Jewish Literature (First Year Seminar)
- The advent of modernity and its rationalist worldview did not erase the powerful non-rational element of human experience. 20th-century writers and filmmakers have had an abiding interest in the Jewish legends about the golem, Frankenstein's Jewish precursor, and dybbuks and other spirits that possess and haunt the living. This course will examine the representation of supernatural beings and uncanny occurrences in Jewish drama, fiction, poetry, film, and comix. As they navigate the complexities of cultural, religious, and gender identities in the modern world, the authors we will study variously imagine the Jewish fantastic as a source of cultural heritage, or as a topic of humor and irony, or as a signifier of displacement and alienation.
- FRE/GER/RUS 212; HST 211 - Secular Jewish Culture From the Enlightenment to Zionism
- Constructed around a dynamic five-part lecture series featuring internationally renowned Jewish studies scholars, this course surveys topics, questions, and debates that academics working in the field of modern Jewish culture and history engage with today. We will explore aspects of Jewish culture, identity and politics in an array of historical contexts including Revolutionary France, 18th- & 19th-century Germany, Freud's Vienna, the early 20th-century Soviet Union, pre-sate Palestine/Israel, and the United Sates. We will explore modern Jewish literature written in Yiddish, Hebrew, French, German and English, varieties of Jewish nationalism, Judaism and psychoanalysis, Jewish acculturation into a multi-ethnic United States, and relations between Jews and Arabs, among other issues. Students will leave this course with a sense of the richness and variety of modern Jewish culture(s), and with a first-hand knowledge of how some of the most exciting practitioners of modern Jewish studies are changing and widening the field. In an effort to engender dialogue in the Miami and greater Oxford communities, the lecture series that is built into this course will be open to the public.
- FRE/FST/GER 255 - The Holocaust and Visual Culture
- Studying the Holocaust is a profound responsibility yet also presents a tangle of critical and ethical questions. The role of visual representations in the process of Holocaust memorialization has been particularly contested. In this course, we will approach the question of the visualization of the Holocaust through various media: photography, cinema, TV, graphic novel, painting, and architecture. Visual technologies afford an unparalleled means of sustaining memory but are also susceptible to voyeurism and commodification. We will explore the potentialities and limitations of these media and grapple with ethical, epistemological and esthetic questions they raise.
- FRE/FST/GER 265 - European Jewish Cinema
- This course explores films that deal with aspects of the Jewish experience in Europe, as well as the cultural and political contexts out of which these films emerged and in which they intervened. We will also study certain landmark American films that deal with the immigrant Jewish experience (such as The Jazz Singer) or that look back to Jewish life in Europe from this side of the Atlantic (such as Fiddler on the Roof or A Serious Man by the Coen brothers). We will begin by exploring the precarious place of Jewish cinema within the Soviet project in films from the 1920's and then move on to some classics of Yiddish cinema from 1930's Poland and the United States. We will devote the middle weeks of the semester to problems of Holocaust cinema in various European cultural and political contexts and will conclude the course with an exploration of films from the 1990's to the present that deal with Jewish life in contemporary France, Germany, and post-Soviet Russia.
- FRE/HST 339 - Jews, "Jews," and Modern French Culture
- The experience of Jews in modern France, and the figuration of "Jews" in the French cultural imaginary, have been complex and equivocal. In 1791, revolutionary France became the first European country to extend the right of citizenship to Jews. Yet France has also known deep currents of antisemitism. This ambivalence survives into the contemporary moment. In post-war French discourse, Jews have frequently been championed as the bearers of a deterritorialized, decentered, identity-less identity par excellence and, more recently, have been the targets of violence and vilified in ways that both break with and recall traditional antisemitism. In this course, we will explore the experience and the representation of Jews in French society and culture from before the French Revolution of 1789 to the present day in historical documents, novels, political cartoons, philosophical essays, historical scholarship, and films.
- FST/RUS 272 - Cultures and Identities of Eastern Europe: An Introduction through Literature and Film
- Eastern Europe has generated considerable attention in recent years, both for political (the fall of the Berlin wall, the expansion of NATO and the European Union) and for cultural reasons (most recently, the award of the Nobel Prize for Literature to Imre Kertesz and the success of Roman Polanski's film The Pianist at Cannes and at the Academy Awards). This course is designed as an introduction to the literature and culture of this region, open to all students but intended primarily for those concentrating in literature, film, history, cultural studies, and international relations. It welcomes both those students who have some ethnic/cultural background in this region and those for whom this will be the first encounter with cultural products from this part of the world. A special emphasis will be placed on the history of Eastern Europe's Jewish community and in particular the tragedy of the Holocaust. The course will be taught in English; however, those students who have some familiarity with East European languages will be encouraged to try to tackle the readings in the original.
- GER 252 - The German-Jewish Experience (Miami Plan)
- For centuries Jews were at home in German-speaking countries. From philosophy to political theory to psychoanalysis to literature, German-speaking Jews have made fundamental contributions to German and world culture. What place did and (retrospectively) do these intellectuals occupy in the culture(s) they so profoundly shaped? How did they negotiate their intricate identities — national, cultural, religious, and ethnic? We will use a wide array of primary texts, including short stories, diaries, poems, theoretical texts, films, novels and autobiography, as well as secondary literature, to explore issues of Jewish identity in changing contexts from the German Enlightenment to the present. All readings in English.
- GER 332/HST 330.C - German-Jewish Relations:
Historical and Contemporary Perspectives
(1-credit Sprint Course)
- This 1-credit course explores select themes in the history of German-Jewish encounters in the 19th and 20th centuries. Over the course of the 5 weeks, we will address the following questions, among others: Where did communities, institutions, and businesses offer points of contact between Jewish and non-Jewish citizens of Germany? In what ways did cultural events support stable relations between the different communities in Germany, and where were opportunities missed for tolerance and understanding? How did forums such as salons contribute to the arts and to dialogue between various groups? What can we learn from historical perspectives for intercultural encounters in today's world? The central focus of this course will be the 2-day conference "German-Jewish Relations: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives," which will take place on March 1-2 on the Oxford campus of Miami University. We will also read and discuss works by Christian Dohm, Sebastian Haffner, Victor Klemperer, and Ruth Andreas-Friedrich.
- GER 357 - Visualizing the Holocaust
- Studying the Holocaust is a profound responsibility yet also presents a tangle of critical and philosophical questions. The role of visual representations in the process of Holocaust memorialization has been particularly contested. Visual technologies afford an unparalleled means of sustaining memory but are also susceptible to voyeurism and commodification, and are wont to elicit problematic identifications. In this course, we will approach the question of the visualization of the Holocaust through various media: photography, cinema, TV, graphic novel, painting, and architecture. We will explore the potentialities and limitations of these media and grapple with critical ethical, epistemological and esthetic questions they raise.
- GER 410H - "German-Jewish Love Stories and the Legacy of the Holocaust in Contemporary German Literature and Film"
- Although more than half a century has passed since the last concentration camp was liberated, the Holocaust continues to be a prominent historical event that affects international politics, literature, and debates about genocides across the globe. This course explores the overarching question of how traumatic historical events reverberate in a culture and in what ways individuals can — and cannot — escape a horrific national past, even when the desire to connect is there. These texts and films explore and (re)imagine German-Jewish relationships during and after the Holocaust and in analyzing them we will consider a number of questions. In what ways does the Holocaust negatively affect relations between Germans and Jews? What role do their families (and their personal pasts) play in hindering or helping German-Jewish love relationships? Does the Holocaust always open up a chasm between the two lovers that their love cannot bridge? How do 'good' German exceptions make the German-Jewish relationship possible? How are these exceptions gendered, as well as related to normalization? We will explore the ways in which the Holocaust legacy is shifting in Germany, and consider whether the only way for Germans and Jews to relate positively after the Holocaust is to find such exceptions to Nazism. Our discussions will be embedded in the cultural and political contexts of the last two decades in Germany, such as the phenomenon of Jews "sitting on packed suitcases" in the 70s and 80s to recent debates about the "normalization" of the German past and national identity.
- HBW 101 - Beginning Modern Hebrew
- Basic grammar and development of reading, speaking, writing, and listening skills. No prior study of Hebrew needed.
- HBW 102 - Beginning Modern Hebrew
- Continuation of basic grammar and development of reading, speaking, writing, and listening skills. Prerequisite: HBW 101 or equivalent.
- HBW 201 - Intermediate Modern Hebrew
- Conversation, vocabulary building, readings, composition, grammar. Prerequisite: HBW 102 or equivalent.
- HBW 202 - Intermediate Modern Hebrew
- Continued development of conversation skills, vocabulary acquisition, reading and writing strategies, as well as grammar skills. Prerequisite: HBW 201 or equivalent.
- HST 211; FRE/GER/RUS 212 - Secular Jewish Culture From the Enlightenment to Zionism (Miami Plan)
- The Jewish encounter with modernity saw traditional Jewish society as a total socio-religious way of life bifurcate into a more narrowly circumscribed religion, on the one hand, and an ethnic culture, on the other. Coeval with this process, from the moment of their (partial) inclusion in the European nation state, Jews must negotiate their Jewish heritage and religious-cultural identity in relation to modern national identity. In this course we will survey some of the key moments and major developments in secular Jewish culture, thought and politics in Western and Eastern Europe, and to a lesser degree also in the United States and the British Mandate of Palestine, between the late 18th century and the founding of Israel in 1948. We will study attempts to inscribe Jewish identity within various European nationalisms; the relationship between Jewish identity and various forms of (international) socialism; and competing Zionist projects that emerged against the backdrop of fin-de-siècle European antisemitism. All readings in English.
- HST 346 - Medieval Jewish History
- An introduction to the history of the Jews of medieval Europe (the Ashkenaz). Topics will include Jewish life and culture, life as a sole minority, the beginnings of Christian persecution, interaction with the Sephardic Jewish communities and comparison to life under Islam. An understanding of Jewish history and culture in the Christian Middle Ages gives insight into a people with a unique history and contribution to the world as well as into minority-majority relations and how this shapes our historical narrative. This course encourages you to think critically about medieval Jewish history and culture, and to understand the contexts in which it existed, and — as the period in which many of the anti-Jewish stereotypes and libels were created — its significance for later history.
- HST 442 - Ancient Jewish History (Tradition and Identity: Jews and Judaism in the Persian and Greco-Roman Periods, 539 BCE – 200 CE)
- What does it mean to be Jewish in the ancient world? Where, and under what social conditions, did Judaism come into being? This course deals with the ancient history of the Jewish people from the Persian through the Greco-Roman periods (539 bce-200 ce), during which Judaism — the "way of life" of the Jewish people — first emerged within the broader sociopolitical and cultural context of the ancient Near East. This is a story of how the Jewish people began to define their identity, as Jews, and find their place in a world as politically and culturally complex as our own. In this course we will study how Jews preserved their communal traditions and Israelite legacy through a variety of approaches to foreign cultures and rulers, such as the Persians, Greeks and Romans. Jews survived and flourished in a majority non-Jewish world through a process of "creative communal reinvention" revealed in the architecture, coins, inscriptions and literature of the period, which we will study throughout this course. In sum, this course provides a basic knowledge of ancient Jewish history, essential for understanding both the origins of Judaism and the great significance of the ancient Jewish cultural legacy for later Judaism, Christianity, Islam and western society as a whole.
- HST 472 - From Revolution to Rubble: Germany, 1918 to 1945
- This course explores German society, politics, and culture from the end of the First World War to the end of the Second, arguably the most turbulent period in European history. We address the central question of how and why Germany moved from a remarkably liberal and progressive democracy to one of history's most brutal and repressive dictatorships in the span of two decades. We will also look at the legacy of National Socialism and the long shadow that it continues to cast over Germany, and Europe, to this day.
- PSY 348 - Generations of the Holocaust
- A noted researcher of the Children of the Holocaust states: "For them, a life is not simply a 'given' but an almost unexpected gift, may seem to be not a life to be lived, but a mission" (Rakoff, 1967). In spite of the agreement in the literature about the powerful, prolonged, and detrimental impact of the Holocaust on later generations of survivors, this topic is still not receiving enough research attention. One might speculate that the need for denial goes on from one generation to the other. In this course we will explore the existing documentation, mostly in the format of case studies and few large-scale studies, that provides evidence for the lingering harmful psychological effects of the Holocaust on thousands of survivors and their children. We will study the meaning of such psychological terms as "survivor guilt," depression and suicidal tendencies, "the inability to mourn," "the undoing of the destruction through the children," the need to deny conflicts, and separation anxiety as descriptors of some of the core issues in the psychological development of later generations of the Holocaust. The course is designed with the principles of the Liberal Education in mind. It will emphasize thinking and reflecting, expressing oneself in writing, interchange of ideas amongst peers, active learning, and understanding the diversity of psychological theories and human psychological conditions.
- PSY 410.8 - Contemporary Israeli Society: Historical, Psychological, and Political Challenges
- This course examines the complexity of issues facing Israeli society today (diversity of national origins, political and religious tensions, history of the Holocaust, threats to survival, etc.) and the attempts made toward integration and healing.
- REL 175 - Critical Study of Biblical Literature
- This is an introductory survey class, requiring no prior knowledge of the Bible. In this class students will examine selected texts from the Bible employing tools of critical biblical scholarship, such as (but not limited to) literary analysis, textual criticism, feminist theory, socio-historical criticism, and biblical archaeology. Students will approach the texts by situating them within their ancient Near Eastern or ancient Mediterranean cultural contexts. Consequently, in addition to the Bible students will necessarily become familiar with non-canonical texts written by Jews and early Christians, as well as with relevant analogies from non-Jewish and non-Christian textual sources. The Bible as Sacred Scripture: Obviously, most communities of Jews and Christians understand the Bible to be in some sense foundational. In this role, believers often employ these "sacred" texts theologically to shape both the internal life of their community and their community's relations to the broader society. While the instructors will often discuss the Bible's influence on Judaism and Christianity, students must never loose sight of the fact that this course is not a "Bible study." The instructors will not commend the Bible to students as sacred, nor will they or the course materials advocate religion in general or in particular. This means that the instructors will not approach these texts as they are understood or interpreted by religious tradition or dogma, nor will they offer conclusions about the Bible's relevance for today. Students will be required to look at the Bible in an academic, scholarly manner, assuming that the biblical texts are, as any other "sacred" text from the ancient world, susceptible to critical analysis. In other words, students will study the texts as ancient literature created within a specific historical, religious, political, and sociological contexts that reflect the ideologies and concerns of the human authors and editors. Students will learn to apply the critical priorities and methods that have come to characterize modern biblical scholarship. Biblical scholars raise questions provoked by the very nature and contents of the texts in order to arrive at new insights, and develop further questions. Because the biblical texts make not only metaphysical statements but also claims that firmly ground them in history, the critical work of scholarship inevitably reveals tensions between what we can understand on the basis of historical evidence and what the believer accepts by faith. In the end, this course and those for which this course serves as a prerequisite, require students to understand and accurately articulate the critical, scholarly perspective whether or not they come finally to embrace it. Although this course is not designed to advocate any general or particular religious perspective, by the very nature of its subject matter, it will provoke questions about the role of religious tradition in contemporary society. Such questions are inevitable given the importance of the Bible to so many religious communities. With due respect to such questions, the instructors will work to provide a forum (e. g., Blackboard Discussion Boards) for the examination of the implications and consequences of the historical study of the Bible that is independent from the evaluation structure of the course. Students intent on taking this course are advised to consider seriously their ability (and desire) to engage a different and likely challenging interpretation of texts that for them may serve as the foundation for deeply held personal convictions or religious truths.
- REL 180.M - Violence and Warfare in the Bible and the Middle East
- Throughout the millennia, one thing remained constant in the societies of the ancient Near East: the centrality of warfare and violence. This class will examine how violence is presented in the narratives, law codes, and inscriptions of this area and will address such questions as why people make war and why violence is used not only to destroy, but also to shape cultures and societies. Students will learn to utilize a diverse array of sources to uncover details about the social and political history of ancient civilizations. Texts examined will include various books of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), including Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, and Ezekiel, the Epic of Gilgamesh, Hammurapi's Code, and various apocalyptic texts, e.g., the books of Daniel, Enoch, and Revelation.
- REL 211 - Introduction to the Religion of Ancient Israel
- How did the Jewish people persist through the vicissitudes of enslavement, conquest, dispersion, and return, over the course of three thousand years of history? In this course, we will read the core biblical texts that constituted the anchor for the Israelite nation, exploring central motifs such as "the chosen people", covenant, sacred time and space, "the promised land", exile and return. Students will engage with the tools of critical biblical scholarship, such as literary analysis, form criticism, and biblical archaeology. They will also be exposed to Mesopotamian and Egyptian literature and inscriptions, including cosmologies, myths, legal and economic texts as well as archaeological data which form the background to the composition of the Bible. We will also explore varied interpretations of biblical texts from within the Jewish traditions. In addition to the Bible, students will also become familiar with non-canonical texts written by Jews, found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha. This Miami Plan courses fulfills partial requirement for thematic sequence REL 2 and REL 5. The course also fulfills one of the core requirements for the Jewish Studies Thematic Sequence, by introducing students to a critical reading of the Hebrew Bible, the primary source for shaping the destiny of the Jewish people. This is an introductory survey class, requiring no prior knowledge of the Hebrew Bible.
- REL 311 - Introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Israel
- This course will survey the archaeology of the eastern Mediterranean region from Bronze Age (2000 BCE) through the Early Roman period (ca. 135 CE), with special attention to the Iron Age. We will explore the history, geography, and chronology of the area, as well as the ideology of archaeology, the development of its techniques, and its key contributions to understanding the Bible. Settlement patterns, the material culture, fortifications, monumental architecture, domestic contexts, cultic and other objects will be discussed along with the question of the ethnic and religious identities of the various groups who settled this land during the different periods. As Syro-Palestinian archaeologists dig up the past, their discoveries not only impact the interpretations of biblical texts but also the present political situation in the Middle East. Many of the tenets of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam center on events that are detailed in the Bible and purportedly grounded in history. Yet recent archaeological data raises questions about the historicity behind these sacred texts. For example, if David and Solomon's United Kingdom was so vast, why have archaeologists failed to uncover corroborating evidence? Was there an exodus from Egypt according to the archeological records? Have we found archaeological evidence of goddess worship in Ancient Israel? We will examine these and other controversies that occur when the archaeological and biblical "texts" are juxtaposed.
Prerequisite: REL 175 or 211
Please note that this is an upper division course, therefore readings will be numerous and often technical. Knowledge of critical biblical studies including familiarity with exegetical methodology and ancient Near Eastern history will be assumed.
- REL 334 - Women's Religious Experience in the Ancient Mediterranean
- The goal of the course is not to teach you theology, although in order to understand our ancient witnesses we will need to describe their religious beliefs. Neither this course, nor its instructors, advocate or promote any religion, or particular religious system of belief or practice. This is an historical survey, the nature of which will be explained as we go along. While a certain number of historical details (concepts, names, places, dates) must be learned before you can begin to understand the phenomena we will be examining, your primary emphases will be on: 1) Learning the basic steps in interpreting essentially foreign texts (texts originating in another culture, in another language, and in another time and place); 2) Exercising critical thinking skills that are applicable to all other areas of university study; 3) Understanding the nature of historical investigation, its uncertainties and its limitations, and particularly the crucial issues and problems which characterize the historical study of religion. 4) Recognizing that gender roles are social constructs. Our focus will be the evidence for the experience of women in cult, both as characters within myth and as actors who believe certain propositions and participate in religious rituals that embody those propositions. Professors Bidmead and Hanges will be teaching the material from an historical-developmental (dia-chronological), as well as from a synchronic, or comparative, perspective.
- REL/WST 335 - Women in the Bible
- In this course, we will study the images of women in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and related literature from the Second Temple Period — Eve and Lillith, the matriarchs of Genesis, Tamar and the daughters of Lot, Queen Jezebel, Mother Mary and others. We will explore the roles that women play within biblical narratives (as wives and mothers; as heroes and villains; as warriors, queens, and prophets), drawing upon different interpretations of these ancient texts over the centuries and across cultures. In our secondary reading, we will also explore how modern feminist readings cast a new light on our understanding of the biblical text. We will ask what these ancient, literary representations of women and femininity might tell us about the experiences of "real" women and men within their historical context, but also see how these biblical stories have been reinterpreted according to the values of different times and cultures, and discuss the ways in which the biblical depictions of women have impacted the understanding of gender in Western culture, past and present.
No prerequisite required.
- REL 360 - Genesis and Gender
- This is an advanced level seminar course. Prior coursework in ancient near eastern studies, or biblical studies required. This semester we will examine the first book of the Bible, Genesis, with a particular focus on gender roles, issues of women's power and authority (or lack thereof); sexuality, narrative and cultural representations of the women of Genesis. In addition to reading Genesis, we will also place the text in its socio-historical context by reading ancient Mesopotamian and Canaanite myths. Jewish, Christian and Muslim interpretations of the texts have been used throughout history to define gender roles and society hierarchies. We will examine many of these variant interpretations to understand the complexity of the Genesis texts. There are variant methodologies scholars employ to understand biblical texts — feminist and womanist theory, ideological criticism, cross-cultural comparison, literary analysis, intertextuality, autobiographical criticism, midrash, socio-historical criticism, cultural criticism (film theory, art history) and biblical archaeology.
Prerequisite: REL 175 or REL 211 or permission of instructor
- REL 440/540 - The Torah and Ancient Near Eastern Literature (this is a "topic" class so the focus will change each time it is taught)
- Selected texts and/or themes in ancient Near Eastern religions studied critically in their socio-historical and cultural context. Texts may include inscriptions, myths, legal documents, biblical/non-canonical works, Dead Sea Scrolls, or rabbinic writings. This is an advanced level seminar course. Prior coursework in ancient near eastern studies, biblical studies or graduate standing required. This semester we will examine the Torah through the multifaceted lenses of critical biblical scholarship, employing exegetical methodologies such as (but not limited to) ideological criticism, cross-cultural comparison, literary analysis, intertextuality, feminist and womanist theory, autobiographical criticism, midrash, socio-historical criticism, and biblical archaeology. We will also examine selected Mesopotamian literature including cosmologies, myths, legal and economic texts. Other biblical texts as well as non-canonical writings, the Dead Sea Scrolls, selections from the 1st century Jewish historian Josephus, rabbinic writings and early Christian commentaries will also be considered as we attempt to understand the various interpretations of the text.
- Secular Jewish Culture From the Enlightenment to Zionism
- Prof. Rose
FRE/GER/RUS 212; HST 211 (3 credits)
TR 2:15-3:30 pm
- The Holocaust and Visual Culture
- Prof. Rose
FRE/FST/GER 255 (3 credits)
TR 12:45-2:00 pm
R 5:30-7:30 pm (screenings)
- Beginning Modern Hebrew
- Prof. Rachovitsky
HBW 102 (4 credits)
MWF 9:30-10:45 am
- Intermediate Modern Hebrew
- Prof. Rachovitsky
HBW 202 (3 credits)
MWF 11:15 am - 12:05 pm
- Global Jewish Civilization
- Prof. Gray
REL 186 (3 credits)
TR 2:15-3:30 pm
- Religion and Law
- Prof. Gray
W 5:30-8:00 pm
- Kafka in Context
- Prof. Rose
FRE/GER 180E (3 credits)
TR 11:30 am - 12:50 pm
- European Jewish Cinema
- Prof. Rose
FRE/FST/GER 265 (3 credits)
TR 1:00-2:20 pm
R 5:30-7:30 pm
- Beginning Modern Hebrew
- Prof. Rachovitsky
HBW 101 (4 credits)
TR 4:00-5:50 pm
- Intermediate Modern Hebrew
- Prof. Rachovitsky
HBW 201 (3 credits)
TR 2:30-3:50 pm
- Ancient Jewish History
- Prof. Osterloh
HST 442 (3 credits)
TR 4:00-5:20 pm
- Religions of the Hebrew Bible
- Prof. Gray
REL 211 (3 credits)
W 5:30-8:00 pm
- Religious Roots of Anti-Semitism
- Prof. Gray
REL 385 (3 credits)
TR 10:00-11:20 am