Fall 2004 Courses


JDS 301/CHV 301
Seminar S01: 1:30-4:20 T

Topics in Judaic Studies: Prejudice on Trial: Antisemitism, the Courts, and the Law
This course explores how the courtroom has been a setting for both diffusing and refuting antisemitism in Europe and the United States from medieval and early modern precedents to notorious trials of the 19th and 20th centuries, such as the Dreyfus Affair (Paris), the Leo Frank case (Atlanta), and the Eichmann trial (Jerusalem). Drawing on legal transcripts, the press, popular and visual culture, literary works, TV, and cinema, we will examine the political, social, cultural, and religious implications of these cases in their historical context.
Professor: Jenna Weissman-Joselit

COM 349/JDS 349
Seminar S01: 1:30-4:20 Th

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the most traumatic event of modern Western experience, this course explores the Holocaust as transmitted through historical documents, survivor/perpetrator testimonies, memoirs, and fictions, as well as in cinematic and visual images. In our study of these works, representing different languages and nationalities, we will focus especially on themes of bearing witness, the work of collective and individual memory, modes of speaking, visualizing, (and thinking) about the unspeakable, and general strategies of representation. Weekly film showings in addition to seminar.
Professor: Froma Zeitlin

HIS 359/JDS 359
Class C01: 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 cultures 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: Olga Litvak

GER 307/REL 307
Seminar S01: 11:00- 11:50 MWF

Topics in Germanic Culture and Society: “Nation and “Diaspora” in German Jewish Literature
This course offers an introduction to the concepts of “nation” and “diaspora” in German-Jewish literature from the Enlightenment to the modern period. We will focus on issues of cultural creativity in situations in which “minority is not simply the name of a crisis” (A. Mufti). We will also examine the intersections between Jewish and postcolonial approaches to the promises and dangers of nation and diaspora. The course encourages exploration of a broad range of texts in English translation. In the classroom we will analyze in depth selected passages as well as related visual material.
Professor: Andrea Schatz

FRE 367/JDS 367
Lecture L01: 8:30-9:50 Tu
Precept P01 (English): 8:30-9:50 Th
Precept P02 (French): 1:30-2:50 Th

The Jewish Presence in Modern French Fiction and Film
France has the largest Jewish community in Europe as well as a strong tradition of cultural assimilation. The aim of this course is to explore literary and film work that represents or refracts the experience of Jews in France in the last sixty years. Problems that arise include the diversity in the cultural backgrounds of the French Jewish community, the conflict between “Jewish literature” and French republican ideology, and the role of Holocaust narratives in literary and cultural production.
Professor: David Bellos

REL 245/JDS 245
Lecture L01: 11:00-11:50 TTh
Precept P01: 10:00-10:50 Th
Precept P02: TBA

Jewish Mysticism: From the Beginnings to Kabbala
The Kabbalah, the summit of Jewish mysticism, is among the most revolutionary innovations in the history of Judaism. It transforms the single, static (and essentially male) God of biblical and rabbinic Judaism into a dynamic and multifaceted God, whose rich inner life can be explored -- and influenced -- by human beings. This course follows the historical development of Jewish mysticism from its early beginnings and examines its major themes, e.g., God, his female aspect, creation, good and evil, redemption, and mystical union.
Professor: Peter Schäfer

REL 230/JDS 230
Lecture L01: 10:00-10:50 MW
Precept P01: TBA

Religion and Literature of the Old Testament: Through the Babylonian Exile
An opportunity to read a wide range of the literature of the anthology known as the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament. Emphasis on the development of biblical religion against its historical background, including the wider context of the ancient Near East. This semester will cover the period up to and including the Babylonian exile: the formation of the traditions of the books of the Torah, league and monarchy, and prophecy up to the return.
Professor: Martha Himmelfarb

REL 242/JDS 242
Lecture L01: 1:30-2:20 MW
Precept P01: 2:30-3:20 M
Precept P02: 2:30-3:20 W
Precept P03: TBA

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

REL 343
Class C01: 11:00-12:20 MW

Jews, Gentiles, and Christians in the Ancient World
This course is about conflict, separation, prejudice and hatred-- both ancient and modern. The peculiar dynamics will lead us in the direction of examining the ironic and dramatic relationship between proximity and protest. The general tone of the story will be somewhat depressing. We will look behind the beliefs, doctrines and documents to the human aspect of relations between Jews and Christians.
Professor: John Gager

REL 504
Seminar S01: 1:30-4:20 T

Studies in Greco-Roman Religions: Genres of Rabbinic Literature
Close reading of a variety of genres of Rabbinic literature (Mishna-Tosefta, Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud, halkhic Midrashim, homiletical Midrashim, rewritten Bible, etc.). In addition to matters of genre, we will compare different versions of a tradition in different literary corpora. All texts will be read in the original language (Hebrew and Aramaic), but English translations will be provided. Open to qualified undergraduates.
Professor: Peter Schäfer

NES 220/HIS 220
Class C01: 1:30-2:50 MW

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 inter-relationship 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

NES 330/JDS 330
Lecture L01: 3:00-4:20 T,
Precept P01: 3:00-4:20 Th

Ancient Near Eastern History: From City-State to Empire
This course will chart the history of the Ancient Near East comprising the civilizations of the Pre-Islamic Middle East, i.e. Mesopotamia, Egypt, Syria-Palestine and Anatolia, from the beginning of writing until the Persian Period. Beginning with the fourth millennium this region saw the formation of complex societies which through the ages were determined by the interaction between cities and territorial states as well as tribal societies, a phenomenon, by which – at least partially – contemporary polities in the Middle East can be conceived. Religion, literature, social and political institutions will be emphasized as integral elements in the historical process. Some attention will be given to the history of ancient Israel and the ancient kingdoms and peoples who made up the world of the Bible.
Professor: Beate Pongratz-Leisten

NES 523
Seminar S01: 1:30-4:20 Th

Readings in Judeo-Arabic
An introduction to the reading of Arabic texts written by medieval Jews in the Hebrew script, especially documents from the Cairo Geniza.
Professor: Mark Cohen

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 : 12:30-1:20 MTWThF

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: 1:30-2:50 TTh

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: Phillip Hollander