Fall 1997 Courses

JWS 301/WOM 314

Topics in Jewish Studies: Gender, Sexuality, and the Body in Judaism: from Biblical Israel to Contemporary America
An exploration of distinctive Jewish approaches to questions of gender, sexuality, and the body, as formulated in their historical, religious, legal, ethical, and imaginative dimensions. Emphasis on received traditions (Bible, Talmud, Kabbalah) and contemporary transformation in Jewish renewal through current activist movements. Topics include the "body of God", circumcision, laws of purity, rites of passage, the synagogue, feminist theology, and masculine and feminine stereotypes.
Professor: Froma Zeitlin

REL 311/JWS 311

Studies in the Philosophy of Religions: Soren Kierkegaard, Simone Weil, and Emmanuel Levinas
In depth study of the philosophical, theological, and ethical implications of the thoughts of Soren Kierkegaard, Simone Weil, and Emmanuel Levinas. We will explore their constructions of reason and revelation, divine law and love, religion and politics, and Judaism and Christianity.
Professor: Leora Batnitzky

AMS 325/JWS 325

American Jewry Since the 1890's
A survey of the history of Jews in America since the massive migration from Eastern Europe in the late 19th century. Readings and discussions will focus on aspects of economic, political, cultural, and social history, and will emphasize the problems surrounding Jewish integration into more general American life.
Professor: R. Schatz (visiting faculty, Wesleyan)

REL 341/JWS 341

Women and Religion in Antiquity: Early Christianity and Hellenistic Judaism
A careful look at Jewish and Christian women in the formative Greco-Roman period, with special attention to constructions of gender (culturally shaped understandings of male and female). We will draw extensively on diverse ancient sources, in translation, and make judicious use of recent feminist scholarship. Although the primary focus is on antiquity, we will also consider the impact of ancient gender construction on contemporary western society.
Professor: Ross Kraemer (visiting faculty)

NES 214

Masterworks of Hebrew Literature in Translation
An introduction to contemporary Hebrew Literature, based on selected translations of some Hebrew masterpieces in poetry and prose since the beginning of the 20th century but focused primarily on the Hebrew poetry and prose of the last four decades. Among the writers whose works will be read and discussed are: Bialik, Fogel, Alterman, Amichai, Zelda, Dalia Ravikovich, Zach, Wieseltier, Agnon, Brenner, Kenaz, Appelfeld, and Yehoshua.
Taught by the noted Israeli author, Amoz Oz (visiting fellow of the Humanities Council)

NES 220/HIS 220

Jews, Muslims, and Christians in the Middle Ages
An introduction to the history and culture of the Jews in the Middle Ages (under Islam and Christendom) covering, comparatively, such topics as the interrelationship between Judaism and the other two religions, interreligious polemics, political (legal) status, economic role, communal self-government, family life, and cultural developments.
Professor: Mark Cohen

HEB 545

Problems in Near Eastern Jewish History
The course is a study of a number of central problems, historiographical issues, and primary sources relevant to the history of Jewish minority under Islam in the Middle Ages.
Professor: Mark Cohen

WOM 307/GER 307

Debates on the Modern Woman in 20th Century Germany
Focus on debates about the role of women in modem Germany. Readings will include novels, biographies, and autobiographies by women writers, as well as theoretical texts that address the intellectual, social, political, and sexual emancipation of women. Jewish writers include Hannah Arendt and Gertrud Kolmar.
Professor: Barbara Hahn

HEB 101

Elementary Hebrew
Development of the basic skills of reading, speaking, aural comprehension, and writing. Essential vocabulary and grammar are presented in the textbook and workbook. Hebrew is progressively employed as the classroom language. Short articles, easy texts from Israeli newspaper and discussions about Israel. Movies are done in Hebrew, towards the middle of the second semester.
Professor: Edna Bryn-Noiman

HEB 105

Intermediate Hebrew
Reinforcement and expansion of reading, oral, aural, and writing skills through maximum student participation, exclusive use of Hebrew in the classroom, and coverage of remainder of basic grammar. Readings of graded selections from prose, poetry and newspapers, and viewing and discussion of Israeli films and television programs open a window on Israel and its culture.
Professor: Edna Bryn-Noiman

HEB 301

Advanced Hebrew
This course develops an advanced, active command of the written and spoken language through reading of essays, short stories, and poems, through extensive practice in conversation, and through the viewing and discussion of Israeli films. Readings explore issues of Israeli and Jewish identity as reflected, for instance, in Hebrew Holocaust literature.
Professor: Edna Bryn-Noiman

Previous Semester Courses