Fall 2002 Courses


JWS 301/REL 301
Seminar S01
1:30-4:20 T


Topics in Jewish Studies: The "Other" in Jewish Tradition: From the Bible to the Present
This seminar will examine ancient Israelite (Biblical) and later Jewish views of and interactions with "others"-- non-Israelites and non-Jews. We will consider not only the texts but their social settings as well. That is, to what extent do texts actually reflect existing social realities? We will cover the major periods of Jewish history-- Biblical, post-Biblical (Greco-Roman and Rabbinic), medieval, early modern, and modern.
Professor: John Gager


JWS 314/WOM 314
Class C01
1:30-2:50 TTh


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. Primary and secondary readings, and contemporary films. All students are welcome.
Professor: Susannah Heschel


COM 349/JWS 349
Seminar S01
1:30-4:20 W


Texts and Images of the Holocaust
In an effort to encompass the variety of responses to what is arguably the most traumatic event of modern Western experience, this course explores the Holocaust as transmitted through survivor/perpetrator testimonies, memoirs, poetry and fictions, and in cinematic and visual images. In our study of these works, reflecting different languages and nationalities, we focus especially on issues of bearing witness, the work of collective and individual memory, modes of speaking, visualizing (and thinking) about the unspeakable, strategies of representation and their ethical and aesthetic implications. Weekly film showings in addition to seminar.
Professor: Froma Zeitlin


REL 242/JWS 242
Lecture L01
12:30-1:20 TTh

Precept P01


Jewish Thought and Modern Society
What is Judaism's and the individual Jew's relation to the modern world? Is Judaism a religion, a nationality, an ethnicity, or a combination of these? This course explores various answers to these questions by examining various historical and cultural formations of Jewish identity in Europe, America, and Israel from the eighteenth century to the present, as well as by engaging particular issues, such as Judaism's relation to technology, the environment, bioethics, feminism, and democracy.
Professor: Leora Batnitzky


NES 214/JWS 214
Class C01
11:00-12:20 TTh


Masterworks of Hebrew Literature in Translation
This course explores Nobel laureate S.Y. Agnon as the major artist in modern Hebrew fiction and his influence on succeeding generations of Israeli writers. We will read some key works by Agnon, and then examine how A.B. Yehoshua, Amos Oz, and other, younger contemporaries both took from and rebelled against Agnon. Readings will be in English translation, but students who can read the originals are welcome.
Professor: James Diamond


ART 200/NES 205
Lecture L01
2:30-3:20 MW

Precept P01


The Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East and Egypt
The focus will be on the rise of complex societies and the attendant development of architectural and artistic forms that express the needs and aspirations of these societies from the prehistoric period to the end of the Bronze Age. Occasional readings in original texts in translation will supplement the study of art and architecture.
Professor: William A. Childs

HIS 359/JWS 359
Lecture L01
11:00-12:20 MW


Modern Jewish History: 1750-Present
This course surveys the breadth of Jewish experience from the era of the Enlightenment to the contemporary period. Tracing the development of Jewish communities in Europe and the United States against the background of general history, the lectures focus on themes such as the transformation of Jewish identity, the creation of modern Jewish politics, the impact of anti-semitism, and the founding of the State of Israel.
Professor: Susannah Heschel


HUM 390/ENG 390
Lecture L01
1:30-2:50 T

Class C01
1:30-2:50 Th


The Bible as Literature
The Bible, closely read in its own right and as a fabulous resource for literature and commentary. We'll encounter its forms and genres. Including historical narrative, uncanny tales, prophecy, lyric, lament, commandment, sacred biography and apocalypse; its pageant of weird and extraordinary characters; and its brooding intertextuality. We'll make ourselves familiar with some striking examples of Biblical interpretation, from the Rabbis to Augustine to Kafka and Kierkegaard. "Cinematic commentary" will be included- Bible films, both campy and sublime.
Professor: Esther Schor


HEB 101
Class C01
10:00-10:50 MWF

Drill D01
10:00-10:50 TTh


Elementary Hebrew
To develop the skills of reading, speaking, comprehending and writing. The main emphasis is on acquiring communicative proficiency and therefore, Hebrew is progressively employed as the classroom language. A solid grammatical basis and awareness of the idiomatic usage of the language will be emphasized. Classroom activities include conversation, grammar exercises and reading. Towards the middle of the semester, an Israeli movie is shown, discussed and criticized through a written assignment.
Professor: Esther Robbins


HEB 105
Class C01
9:00-9:50 MWF

Drill D01
9:00-9:50 TTh


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: Esther Robbins


HEB 301
Class C01
11:00-12:20 WF


Advanced Hebrew: Aspects of Israeli Culture
This course develops an advanced, active command of the written and spoken language through reading and discussion of newspapers, short stories and poetry. Focus on aspects of contemporary Israeli and Jewish cultures
Professor: Esther Robbins