Course Description

Course Catalog for JEWISH STUDIES
JWST 206
The Arab/Israeli Conflict
An examination of the dynamics of the Arab/Israeli conflict, especially since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. The course will focus on the changing interests and positions of the parties involved: Israel, the Palestinians, the Arab states, and the important international players. It will also highlight contradictions within the major camps.
1.00 units, Lecture
JWST 219
Israeli Film and Visual Media
Israeli film from the heroic nationalist sentiments of the 1950s to the conflicted alienation of the 21st century, offers a unique window into the history and society of the modern state. This course uses visual media to promote a wide variety of perspectives on Israeli culture and society, and assumes no previous knowledge about Israel. In addition to commercial movies and TV, assigned readings will address Israeli cinema as well as related historical and social issues.
1.00 units, Lecture
JWST 220
Modern Israeli Literature and Jewish Heritage
Artists, and especially writers and poets, are the seismographs and mirrors of society, anticipating and reflecting its many forces and movements. During the past two hundred years Jewish life has been profoundly affected by such forces and movements as emancipation, the Enlightenment, assimilation, Zionism, and the Holocaust. A primary focus of modern Israeli writers is the birth of the State of Israel and its ongoing struggles, internally as well as with its Arab neighbors. One of the main ways Hebrew literature captures these significant changes is through the use of biblical themes, images and archetypes which resonate through the generations. This course will examine the ways in which modern Hebrew literature enriches and brings deeper understanding of collective Jewish experiences and detects and shapes the reality of modern Israel.
1.00 units, Lecture
JWST 223
American Jewish Literature Since 1865
This course begins with a question: How would one characterize or define the tradition of American Jewish literature since 1865 – the period following the Civil War that also necessarily accounts for the first and second world wars, the polio and AIDS crises in America, U.S. responses to the Holocaust, and ongoing questions about how to balance assimilation with maintaining one’s ethnic identity in U.S. cities large and small. Through close reading of the works of eight canonical American Jewish writers (two poets, two short story writers, two dramatist, and two novelists), we will consider such questions as: What makes these works Jewish? What makes these works American? What makes these works literary?
1.00 units, Lecture
JWST 240
Jews and Muslims in France
Students will be invited to challenge many commonly held stereotypes, and explore the implications of the often forgotten reality that the Jews and Arab Muslims share a common culture, a history as victims of French colonialism, and many personal and social trials as seen in minority and immigrant narratives in the postcolonial era.
1.00 units, Lecture
JWST 245
Holocaust and Film History
This is an introductory course to the history of the Holocaust and its representation in film. We will explore the events of 1933-1945 and beyond from a variety of perspectives and geographical locations. As we grapple with this difficult history, we will also consider how it has been represented on screen. Aided by the work of contemporary scholars, we will examine film as document, testimony, propaganda, artistic representation, and consumer product. The Holocaust was a complex phenomenon. And Holocaust films are not an exact reproduction of those events. This course will challenge preconceived notions about the Holocaust and expand students' knowledge through the lens of historian, filmmaker, and consumer.
1.00 units, Seminar
JWST 261
Abraham's Children: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Middle Ages
Jews, Christians and Muslims all claimed Abraham as the founder of their particular form of monotheism. In the Middle Ages, men and women from all three groups had to negotiate relationships in war and peace. Jews lived among Christians and Muslims. Christians and Muslims fought in the Crusades, and all three groups traded with each other in the cosmopolitan cities of the Mediterranean. What kinds of worlds did these people live in? Were they worlds of prejudice and hatred or a pragmatic tolerance? How were the identities of Jews, Christians and Muslims shaped by their interactions during the Middle Ages? Are we still living with the results of those interactions?
1.00 units, Seminar
JWST 399
Independent Study
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and director are required for enrollment.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
JWST 466
Teaching Assistant
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and director are required for enrollment.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
JWST 497
Senior Thesis
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and director are required for enrollment in this single-semester thesis.
1.00 units, Independent Study
JWST 498
Senior Thesis Part 1
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and director are required for enrollment in this single-semester thesis.
2.00 units, Independent Study