Spring 2002 Courses


JWS 201/REL 223
Class C01
1:30-2:50 TTh


Introduction to Judaism: Religion, History, Ethics
We will study the foundations of Judaism, as well as the varieties of Jewish experience. Discussion will center on Jewish texts, such as Torah and Talmud; Jewish beliefs about God, humanity, and nature; attitudes to gender and sexuality; the life cycle; observance and ritual; Jewish communities; and the challenge of modernity. All students are welcome. Professor: Esther Schor.


HIS 457/JWS 457
Seminar S01
1:30-4:20 M


The Metropolis and the Jews, 1650s-1930s
This course examines the variety of ways by which the Jews of Europe experienced modernity by looking at the places they called home. Drawing on novels, memoirs, and primary sources, from newspaper editorials to sermons, it explores the social, economic, religious, and cultural processes by which the ghettoized became citizens and champions of the metropolis.
Professor: Jenna Weissman Joselit


HIS 446/JWS 446
Seminar S01
1:30-4:20 W


The Holocaust: Perpetrators, Victims, and Bystanders
This seminar will examine the Holocaust through the eyes of perpetrators, bystanders, and victims. What was the relationship between traditional anti-semitism and wider Nazi racial policies? While Hitler was the starting point, to what degree must we consider pressures from other sectors of the German bureaucracy? On the other hand, how do we evaluate Jewish responses during the Holocaust: the policies of Jewish Councils in the ghettos of Eastern Europe and the occupied Soviet Union? We will trace armed resistance and the development of other defense mechanisms to preserve psychological and social integrity in the face of catastrophe.
Professor: Samuel Kassow


ENG 384/JWS 384
Seminar S01
1:30-4:20 T


English Literature and Jewish Culture: Englishness/Jewishness
The prominent representation of Jews in English literature reflects the cultural ambivalence of a nation that prides itself on the ethical tradition anchored in the Bible and yet is highly uneasy about accommodating all forms of otherness. We will look at degraded or idealized Jewish stereotypes in a great variety of texts in order to raise questions about the moral imperatives that lead a dominant culture to single out any group marked for hatred or admiration.
Professors: Claudia L. Johnson, Ulrich Knoepflmacher


NES 214/JWS 214
Class C01
1:30-2:50 TTh


Masterworks of Hebrew Literature in Translation
This course explores the major themes of twentieth century fiction and poetry including ethnicity and identity, landscape and urban spaces, Israeli-Arab co-existence, and the shoah. Works are assigned in English translation, but students who are able to read them in Hebrew are welcome to do so.
Professor: Barbara Mann


NES 338/JWS 338
Lecture L01
1:30-2:20 TTh

Precept P01


The Arab Israeli Conflict
This course surveys the history of the conflict, acquainting students with the major developments in it, and with the main lines of the academic debate about it. Diplomacy and international relations will receive primary emphasis, but the social and cultural roots of the conflict will also receive attention.
Professor: Michael Doran


NES 509
Seminar S01
Time TBA


Readings in Modern Hebrew Literature
Readings from modern Hebrew prose and poetry, focusing on the relation between literature and identity.
Professor: Barbara Mann


NES 587/REL 587
Seminar S01
1:30-4:20 M


Poverty and Charity in the Middle Ages
This seminar explores, comparatively, the problem of poverty and charity in the Middle Ages through a case-study of the Jewish community of medieval Egypt, as reflected in the rich repository of letters, alms-lists, and records of donors discovered in the Cairo Geniza. Drawing significantly upon insights gained from the study of poverty and charity in medieval and early modern Europe, we will address, among other things, theoretical issues in the problematic of the subject; Jewish ideas of poverty and charity (compared with Christianity and Islam); normative law versus actual practice; and the "voice of the poor." The Cairo Geniza documents are written in Judeo-Arabic and in Hebrew. Knowledge of the languages is not a pre-requisite for admission to the seminar. English translations will accompany the original texts.
Professor: Mark Cohen


REL 340/JWS 340
Class C01
11:00-12:20 TTh


Judaism in the Greco-Roman World
This course seeks to understand the evolution of Judaism during the crucial period from the conquest of Alexander the Great to the destruction of the Second Temple, through a careful reading of primary texts and consideration of such issues as the process of hellenization, the development of biblical canon, the emergence of sects, and the growth of eschatological expectation. Topics include Palestine in the third century BCE; the hellenistic reform and the Maccabean revolt; Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes; the Dead Sea Scrolls; Philo and Egyptian Judaism; and apocalyptic literature.
Professor: Martha Himmelfarb


REL 385/JWS 385
Seminar S01
1:30-4:20 W


The Binding of Isaac in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Exegesis
Focuses on the ethical implications of recent Jewish and Christian discussions of the relation between reason and religious tradition. Among the topics examined are: criticisms of universalist notions of reason, attempts to defend a view of Jewish, Christian, or philosophical particularity, and philosophical appropriations of “Judaism” by post-liberal Christian thinkers and “postmodern” philosophers. The course explores this coincidence post-liberal Christian and “postmodern” philosophical thinking, from the perspectives of both Jewish thought itself and the complex historical relationship between Judaism and Christianity.
Professor: David Stern


HEB 102
Class C01
11:00-11:50 MWF

Drill D01
11:00-11:50 TTH


Elementary Hebrew
Continuation of Hebrew 101 will focus on the structure, grammar, and vocabulary of the Hebrew language. There will be reading of easy texts from Israeli newspapers and from the textbooks. Also, there will be more compositions and presentations about various topics in Hebrew.
Professor: Esther Robbins


HEB 107
Class C01
10:00-10:50 MWF

Drill D01
10:00-10:50 TTH

  Intermediate Hebrew
Completion of two-year textbook Ha-Yesod, and reading and discussion of selected additional texts (newspapers, stories, poems, etc.). Extensive practice in conversation, writing, and reading Hebrew literature.
Professor: Esther Robbins