Spring 2022 Courses

Spring 2022

COM 427 / JDS 427 / NES 429
Modern Hebrew Literature: A Historical Introduction
This course follows the development of modern Hebrew prose in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. How was Hebrew refashioned from a liturgical to a modern literary language capable of narrating novels and conveying contemporary dialogue? Who were the revolutionary writers who accomplished this feat and what ideological struggles accompanied it? We will begin with the haskala (Jewish enlightenment), continue with the tehiya (revival) and early writing in the yishuv (Jewish community in pre-State Palestine), and conclude with dor ha-medina (the "independence generation") and maturation of modern Hebrew. Reading knowledge of Hebrew required.
Instructors: Lital Levy
Office of the Registrar

ECS 391 / JDS 391 / COM 399
Holocaust Testimony
This course focuses on major issues raised by but also extending beyond Holocaust survivor testimony, including genres of witnessing, the communication of trauma, the ethical implications of artistic representation, conflicts between history and memory, the fate of individuality in collective upheaval, the condition of survival itself, and the crucial role played by reception in enabling and transmitting survivors' speech.
Instructors: Thomas Alan Trezise
Office of the Registrar

HIS 359 / JDS 359
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 and communities in Europe, the Middle East, 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.​​​​​​​
Instructors: Yaacob Dweck
Office of the Registrar

JDS 202 / REL 202
Great Books of the Jewish Tradition
This course is intended to introduce students to the classical Jewish tradition through a close reading of portions of some of its great books, including the Hebrew Bible, the Midrash, the Talmud, the Passover Haggadah, Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed, the Zohar, and Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise. We will pay particular attention to the roles of reading and interpretation in forming the Jewish tradition.​​​​​​​
Instructors: Ra'anan Shaul Boustan​​​​​​​
Office of the Registrar

JDS 313 / REL 306
Pagans, Jews, and Christians in the Ancient World
This course considers the social and cultural encounters between religious/ethnic groups in the ancient Mediterranean world. It aims to challenge the idea that these groups (for example, Greeks, Jews, Romans, Christians) had stable boundaries or that they spoke with a unified and authoritative voice. The dynamic and even fluid relationships among these groups had a deep impact on the nature of religious life during the formative period of Late Antiquity and beyond. The course will thus explore religious contact and conflict, proximity and separation, dialogue and prejudice-both ancient and modern.
Instructors: Ra'anan Shaul Boustan​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Office of the Registrar

NES 532 / REL 541 / JDS 532
Medieval Judaism
This seminar surveys recent trends in historiography about medieval Jews and Judaism. We read and compare major works of scholarship written mainly during the last two decades that focus on medieval Jewish history in both Europe and the Middle East, from the 9th century to the 14th century. Special emphasis is placed on works of social and cultural history that illuminate Jewish communal life and religious identity in varying historical contexts. All required readings are in English, but supplementary readings are suggested for students with reading knowledge of Hebrew.​​​​​​​
Instructors: Eve Krakowski​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Office of the Registrar

REL 347 / JDS 347
Religion and Law
A critical examination of the relation between concepts of "religion" and "law," as they figure in modern Christian and Jewish thought, modern legal theory and contemporary debates about religious freedom. If religion gives law its spirit, and law gives religion its structure, then what is their practical relation in both religious and secular life? This course explores the relation between Jewish and Christian conceptions of law, both in their ancient and modern contexts, and the relation between traditional religious and modern secular views of law in debates about the modern nation state.​​​​​​​
Instructors: Leora Faye Batnitzky​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Office of the Registrar