Current Semester Courses
JWST 27500 ST: ISRAELI CULTURE THROUGH FILM HU LA
INSTRUCTOR: Mirit Hadar; for information about the course, contact Rebecca Lesses, Muller 307, Ext. 4-3556, email@example.com
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences.
STUDENTS: All students who are interested in learning more about Israel, or the way in which films reveal the stresses and fissures of a society.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course introduces students to Israeli culture, history, and art through film and television. It addresses a wide variety of social, cultural, religious, and political issues in Israeli society, including social class, religion, Jewish ethnic diversity (Ashkenazic and Mizrachi Jews, respectively of European and Middle Eastern/North African origin), Israeli Arabs, and the Israeli-Arab/Israeli Palestinian conflict. The films will be discussed both artistically and as witnesses to Israeli culture. The course will also deal with the development and present state of the Israeli film industry. At least six films will be screened throughout the semester, dealing with topics as disparate as Holocaust survivors in Israel, the Yom Kippur War (1973), the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, troubled families in Israeli society, Israeli teenage culture, and Mizrachi culture.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussions, student presentations, films.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Grading: A-F.
JWST 32300 GENDER AND SEXUALITY IN JUDAISM HU LA
INSTRUCTOR: Rebecca Lesses, Muller 307, Ext. 4-3556, firstname.lastname@example.org
PREREQUISITES: Three courses in the humanities or social sciences.
STUDENTS: Those interested in studying the intersection of gender issues, sexuality, and religion. This course will be of especial interest to Women’s Studies students.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Is God male or female? Can women become rabbis? Are there gay and lesbian Jews? What do Jews think about birth control and abortion? Why are husband and wife supposed to avoid sexual relations during the woman’s menstrual period? Why do boys have to be circumcised on the eighth day? This course explores what it means to be a Jewish man or woman, and looks at how Jewish gender roles have changed throughout history, as well as how contemporary Jews deal with changes in women’s roles and demands for gender equality. We will begin with a short introduction to Judaism and then discuss specific issues in greater depth: what is “gender” and how to study it; traditional roles of men and women in Judaism; the gendered Jewish body; family and sexuality; homosexuality; Jewish feminism; the gender of God; and changing women’s religious roles. Please note: This course is cross-listed with RLST-32300. Students may not receive credit for both RLST 32300 and JWST 32300.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussions, lectures, student presentations, and films.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Response papers, a presentation, a research paper/final project, class participation; grading is A-F.
JWST 34300 BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION IN JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY HU LA
INSTRUCTOR: Rebecca Lesses, Muller 307, Ext. 4-3556, email@example.com.
PREREQUISITES: Three courses in the humanities, at least one of which is in English, Jewish studies, or religious studies.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course examines the theological and literary dimensions of reading the Bible in the Jewish and Christian traditions. In both religions, Biblical interpretation, or hermeneutics, is a special discipline that combines theology with techniques of literary exposition, or exegesis. The focus of the course will be the comparative study of Jewish and Christian readings of the Bible. The Hebrew Scriptures, which were formed out of the historical and religious experiences of the Israelites, became the religious and literary inheritance of two communities. Although it is often said that Jews and Christians share a common scripture, it is perhaps more accurate to say that the differing interpretations of a common scripture have defined the differences between the two communities. Thus, our comparative study will explore in the texts the evidence for conflict as well as those occasions when concurrence and even dialogue is possible. This semester the course will focus on literal readings of scripture in the Jewish and Christian traditions and on how the Qur'an and later Muslim interpretation adopt and adapt earlier Jewish biblical traditions. NOTE: This course is cross-listed with ENGL 32300, which is taught by Professor Michael Twomey (the course is team-taught). Students may not receive credit for both ENGL 32300 and JWST 34300.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lectures, discussions, student presentations.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Grading: A-F; response papers, exams, student presentation, and research paper.