Fall 2017 Jewish Studies Courses

This is a listing of Jewish Studies courses that will be taught in Fall 2016. The list includes both courses directly offered through Jewish Studies, with the JWST prefix, and those offered through other departments which students minoring in Jewish Studies can take for credit towards the minor.

Hebrew Scriptures (JWST 10300 / RLST 10300)          Rebecca Lesses
MWF 10:00-10:50
ICC course: Identities and Mind, Body, Spirit; Humanities
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The Hebrew Bible (referred to by Christians as the Old Testament) is one of the foundational books of both western and world culture, and serves as the basis for Judaism and Christianity. In this course, we will read the books of the Bible critically as literature, as religious and moral text, and as a source of sociological knowledge. This course surveys the biblical literature, acquaints the students with critical methods for the study of the Bible, situates the Bible within the literature and culture of the ancient Near East, and discusses the religion of ancient Israel. We will deal with questions of history and archaeology, and with questions of meaning – what the biblical text meant to its ancient readers, and what meanings it has today. All texts will be read in English translation. This course is offered both as JWST 10300 and RLST 10300 – register for one or the other course, not both. No prerequisites

Jews in the Modern World (JWST 20200)           Rebecca Lesses
TR 2:35-3:50 PM
ICC Themes: Identities, Power and Justice; Perspective: Humanities
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course deals with the challenges that Jews have faced in the modern world and the creative responses that they have made to them for the past 500 years, since the Expulsion from Spain in 1492. We will discuss the larger political and social forces that have influenced Jewish life in the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas: European colonialism, mass migrations, the philosophical Enlightenment, Jewish political emancipation, religious and political anti-semitism, the Holocaust, nationalism, Zionism, the establishment of the state of Israel. In this course, we also seek a lens into the modern Jewish experience through examination of religious and cultural movements like Jewish mysticism, Hasidism, and modern Jewish philosophy, and analysis of Jewish material culture, Jewish literature, and artistic representations of Jewish life. 

Expressions of Jewish Art & Architecture in Muslim Lands  (JWST/RLST 22500)       Cynthia Hogan
TR 4:00-5:15 PM  
ICC Themes: Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation; Perspective: Creative Arts
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Survey of a wide-range of art and architecture made by and for Jews from the ancient world to the present-day Middle East, offering an historical introduction to the vibrant cultural worlds of Jewish communities in Muslim-majority lands. Explores the exchanges and influences of Jewish and Muslim traditions on visual art and architecture made to serve religious and ritual purposes, and places these artistic expressions in their historical and cultural contexts. 

Holocaust (POLT 23000)        Don Beachler
Tuesday / Thursday 4:00-5:15
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is an introductory survey of major issues related to the Holocaust. We will examine the role of anti-Semitism in Western Culture and the rise of the racial anti-Semitism that animated Nazi hatred of the Jews. Among the topics to be covered are: The rise of Hitler to power; the initial policies of persecution and dispossession of the Jews and Jewish responses to these policies; the evolution of Nazi policy from expulsion of the Jews to extermination; the role of Jewish community leadership in attempting to cope with a murderous onslaught by establishing Jews in vital industries; the cooperation of many German bureaucrats in the final solution; the relationship of the Holocaust to the Nazis’ overall racial views and their war of racial supremacy in eastern Europe; the ongoing controversy over whether more Jews could have been rescued by the nations opposing Hitler and his regime. 3 credits.

HEBR 10100  Elementary Hebrew I  Mirit Hadar
MWF 10:00-10:50
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Beginning course. Practice in understanding, speaking, reading, and writing simple idiomatic Hebrew. Emphasis is placed on culture, participation, and self-expression. Open to students with no previous Hebrew, or by placement examination. 3 credits

HEBR 20100  Intermediate Hebrew I   Mirit Hadar
MWF 11:00-11:50
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Develops intermediate-level proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing Hebrew. Special emphasis is given to Hebrew culture. Prerequisites: HEBR 10200 with a grade of C- or better. 3 credits.

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