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JWST 1101 : Elementary Modern Hebrew I
Crosslisted as: HEBRW 1101, HEBRW 1101 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Intended for beginners. Provides a thorough grounding in reading, writing, grammar, oral comprehension, and speaking. Students who complete the course are able to function in basic situations in a Hebrew-speaking environment.
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JWST 1102 : Elementary Modern Hebrew II
Crosslisted as: HEBRW 1102, HEBRW 1102 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Intended for beginners. Provides a thorough grounding in reading, writing, grammar, oral comprehension, and speaking. Students who complete the course are able to function in basic situations in a Hebrew-speaking environment.
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JWST 1103 : Elementary Modern Hebrew III
Crosslisted as: HEBRW 1103 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Sequel to HEBRW 1101-HEBRW 1102. Continued development of reading, writing, grammar, oral comprehension, and speaking skills.
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JWST 1987 : FWS: Jews on Film: Visible and Invisible
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Why were Jews virtually invisible in films made during the Hollywood's "golden age"? Is this a surprise, given the leading role played by American Jews in founding the studio system? Writing about the films studied in this course will help students situate and interpret the presence (and absence) of characters identifiable as Jews in Hollywood films released from 1927 until the present. We will view approximately six films outside of class and study excerpts from others. Films to be studied in whole or part may include: The Jazz Singer, The Great Dictator, Holiday Inn, The Apartment, Funny Girl, Silent Movie, Annie Hall, Yentl, Barton Fink, and A Serious Man. Students will write film analyses, review essays, reflective responses, and explorations of contextual material. Readings from film studies and popular journalism will situate these films within the historical, cultural, and industrial contexts in which they were produced.
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JWST 2100 : Intermediate Modern Hebrew
Crosslisted as: HEBRW 2100 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
The course is aimed at training students in exact and idiomatic Hebrew, expanding vocabulary and usage of grammatical knowledge, and acquiring facility of expression in both conversation and writing. Uses written and oral exercises built around the texts. Reading and discussion of selections from Hebrew literature and Israeli culture through the use of texts and audiovisual materials.
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JWST 2155 : The Invention of Religion
Crosslisted as: HIST 2155 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: Description
JWST 2501 : Kosher and Halal Food Regulations
Crosslisted as: FDSC 2500 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course explores kosher and halal food practices as a way to understand how the global food industry accommodates diverse and competing religious, cultural, and scientific approaches to food. The essential online component of the course introduces Jewish and Islamic religious law and modern religious food supervision. From diverse presenters, you'll learn about how we celebrate and struggle with food through various religious traditions, conflicting scientific claims, secular public policy choices, and cultural and spiritual practices. We'll discuss how food and eating are used for inclusion as well as exclusion by individuals, families, and groups in private and public settings where food is handled and consumed.            
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JWST 2575 : Myth and Religion in Mesopotamia
Crosslisted as: NES 2575, NES 6575, RELST 2575 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course will survey the cultic practices and beliefs of ancient Babylonia and Assyria, the two major civilizations of Mesopotamia. We will examine the major myths of this region, e.g., Ishtar's Descent into the Netherworld, Etana, and Gilgamesh, in light of what they reveal about Mesopotamian religion, politics, and understanding of the afterlife. We will also examine the performance of magical rituals and incantations, methods of predicting the future, and the role of sacred marriage, prostitution, and slavery in the ancient temple.
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JWST 2580 : Imagining the Holocaust
Crosslisted as: COML 2580, ENGL 2580 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
How is the memory of the Holocaust kept alive by means of the literary and visual imagination? Within the historical context of the Holocaust and how and why it occurred, we shall examine major and widely read Holocaust narratives that have shaped the way we understand and respond to the Holocaust. We also study ethical and psychological issues about how and why people behave in dire circumstances. We shall begin with first-person reminiscences—Wiesel's Night, Levi's Survival at Auschwitz, and The Diary of Anne Frank—before turning to realistic fictions such as Kineally's Schindler's List (and Spielberg's film), Kertesz's Fateless, Kosinski's The Painted Bird, and Ozick's "The Shawl." We shall also read the mythopoeic vision of Schwarz-Bart's The Last of the Just, the illuminating distortions of Epstein's King of the Jews, the Kafkaesque parable of Appelfeld's Badenheim 1939, and the fantastic cartoons of Spiegelman's Maus books.
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JWST 2601 : An Introduction to the Ancient Near East
Crosslisted as: NES 2601 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The pyramids and mummies of Egypt, the ziggurats of Babylonia, and the armies of Assyria are all part of the legacy of the ancient Near East. This course serves as a basic introduction to the history, societies, and cultures of the major civilizations of the ancient world from c. 3300-300 B.C., focusing on Egypt and Mesopotamia but including lesser-known groups such as the Hittites in Anatolia and the Elamites in Iran. Students will learn how these states were organized, how each culture related to their gods, and how they chose to be remembered, as well as many other mysteries of the ancient world.
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JWST 2629 : New Testament/Early Christian Literatures
Crosslisted as: CLASS 2613, NES 2629, RELST 2629 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course provides a literary and historical introduction to the earliest Christian writings, especially those that eventually came to be included in the New Testament.  Through the lens of the Gospel narratives and earliest Christian letters, especially those of Paul, we will explore the rich diversity of the early Christian movement from its Jewish roots in first-century Palestine through its development and spread to Asia Minor and beyond.   We will give careful consideration to the political, economic, social, cultural, and religious circumstances that gave rise to the Jesus movement, as well as those that facilitated the emergence of various manifestations of Christian belief and practice.   The course will address themes like identity and ethnicity, conversion and debate, race and slavery, gender and sexuality, and the connections between politics and religion.
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JWST 2644 : Introduction to Judaism
Crosslisted as: NES 2644, RELST 2644 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Jewish communities have been established, flourished and often struggled for millennia, throughout much of the world, and in vital contact with a vast range of other peoples and cultures. This course examines the constant and dynamic tension between that which unites Jews in all these different times and places, and that which makes every Jew a person of his or her own time and place. Our whirlwind tour will take us from ancient Israel, through Babylonia and the world of early Islam, into the medieval origins of Ashkenazi Jewry, down to Ottoman North Africa, and all the way across the Indian Ocean. We will learn how Jewish and other diaspora communities overcome challenges to maintain their distinctive identities, how to engage critically with the ways contemporary scholars the records of these far-flung communities, and how to generate their own critical questions.
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JWST 2676 : Holy War, Crusade, and Jihad from Antiquity to Present
Crosslisted as: MEDVL 2676, NES 2676, RELST 2676 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Articulating and elaborating religious justifications for war is a cultural practice unique to the three monotheistic traditions and their respective textual communities. This notion and its practice have had profound historical consequences in the past that extend to and inform present-day global socio-political conflicts. The first part of this course will examine the origins of the concept of holy war, crusade and jihad and trace their cultural histories. The second part of the course will be devoted to discussing the ways in which contemporary discourses such as a "clash of civilizations," "the Evil Empire," "The Great Satan," and the "Axis of Evil" draw upon these respective cultural histories and explicitly or implicitly positing political conflict as a "battle for God."
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JWST 2724 : Introduction to the Hebrew Bible
Crosslisted as: NES 2724, RELST 2724 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is a repository of ancient Israelite religious, political, social, historical, and literary traditions. For the modern reader these ancient traditions are often obscured by a focus on the text as revelation. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the biblical world by reading the Hebrew Bible in translation, on its own terms, as a body of literature that evolved in an ancient Near Eastern context. The Bible itself will be the primary text for the course, but students will also be exposed to the rich and diverse textual traditions of the ancient Near East, including Mesopotamia, Egypt, Moab, and Ugarit. In addition, this course will explore the impact of early biblical interpretation on shaping the monotheistic traditions inherited in the West. As participants in a secular course on the Bible, students will be challenged to question certain cultural assumptions about the composition and authorship of the Bible, and will be expected to differentiate between a text's content and its presumed meaning.
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JWST 2754 : Wondrous Literatures of the Near East
Crosslisted as: COML 2754, NES 2754 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course examines Near East's rich and diverse literary heritage. We will read a selection of influential and wondrous texts from ancient to modern times, spanning geographically from the Iberian peninsula to Iran. We will trace three major threads: myths of creation and destruction; travel narratives; and poetry of love and devotion. Together we will read and discuss such ancient works as the 'Epic of Gilgamesh' and 'The Song of Songs,' as well as selections from medieval works such as the 'Travels' of Ibn Battuta, the 'Shahnameh' of Ferdowsi, poetry of Yehuda HaLevi, and The Thousand and One Nights. The modern unit will include work by Egyptian Nobel Laureate, Naguib Mahfouz. Students will also have the opportunity to research and analyze primary source materials in the collections of Cornell Rare Books and Manuscript Collection, and the Johnson Art Museum. All material is in English translation.
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JWST 3101 : Advanced Modern Hebrew: Special Topics in Hebrew
Crosslisted as: HEBRW 3101 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Successful completion of NES 3101 fulfills Option 1 language requirement. Advanced study of the Hebrew Language both orally and through the analysis of mostly unedited texts of social, political, and cultural relevance with less emphasis on the study of grammar. Students are introduced to articles published in Israeli newspapers, magazines, works by authors and movies. Students develop composition and advanced writing skills by studying language structure, idioms, and various registers of style.
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JWST 3102 : Advanced Modern Hebrew II: Hebrew in a Changing World
Crosslisted as: HEBRW 3102 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Students will be practicing and enhancing conversational skills. The course aims to improve the four language skills while stressing listening comprehension and various forms of discussions including practical situations. A close reading of selected works of Modern Hebrew fiction, poetry, and drama in their cultural and historical contexts.  In addition we'll be Reading Newspaper articles relating to Middle-Eastern and European aspects of Israeli literature and culture.
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JWST 3104 : Dynamics and Changes of Israeli Culture and Language
Crosslisted as: HEBRW 3104 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The course focuses and explores the development and changes of Modern Hebrew in all aspects of Israeli and Jewish culture.  A close reading of selected works of modern Hebrew fiction, poetry, drama in their cultural and historical contexts.  Reading a few modern children stories and discussion of the present-day influence on Israeli children's literature.  During the semester we'll be paying attention to students language skills, interests, building vocabulary, grammar review, and literary analysis of a sampling of modern texts.
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JWST 3525 : Palestinians in Israel
Crosslisted as: NES 3525, NES 6525 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: Description
JWST 3550 : Origins of Monotheism
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 3550, NES 3550, RELST 3550 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: Description
JWST 3629 : Greek New Testament Readings
Crosslisted as: CLASS 3629, NES 3629, RELST 3629 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
A weekly seminar that may be taken in addition to NES 2629. The seminar will provide an opportunity to read portions of the New Testament and other early Christian writings in Greek. We will work on grammatical and textual issues as well as other problems related to translations.
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JWST 3655 : Minorities of the Middle East
Crosslisted as: COML 3743, NES 3655, NES 6655 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course examines the historic diversity of the modern Middle East, exploring histories of inter-communal contact and conflict. We begin by investigating the legacy of the Ottoman Empire and the impact of its dissolution. We will focus our attention on commercial centers that fostered inter-communal relations, as well as investigating sites of strife and cases of minority repression. We will read histories, memoirs, and fiction, and view films that help us better understand inter-communal relations, tensions, and conflict. We will also interrogate the terms for exploring a range distinctions among majority and minority populations including: religious difference (Muslims, Christians, and Jews); divisions of religious rite (Sunni and Shi'a); entho-linguistic minorities (Armenians and Kurds); national identities (Israelis and Palestinians); cultures of origin (Mizrahi, Sephardi, and Ashkenazi Jews). We will explore how these divisions inform urgent current conflicts: the civil war in Syria and the refugee crisis; the civil war in Iraq and the campaign by ISIS against minorities; as well as tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
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JWST 3711 : Sitcom Jews: Ethnic Representation On Television and On Stage
Crosslisted as: PMA 3711 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
"Sitcom Jews" uses close media analysis, theoretical discussion, and student performances or media projects to examine the representation of Jews on television and on the Broadway stage from 1948-2017. We'll ask whether study of performed Jewish identity can serve as a locus for discussion of cultural representation at large, including African American, Latinx, Asian American and LGBT communities on screen and onstage. Starting with classic sitcoms ("The Goldbergs" (1948), "All in the Family", and "Bridget Loves Bernie"), and continuing through current Jewish TV shows ("The Marvelous Ms. Maisel", "Transparent", "Curb Your Enthusiasm"), as well as major theater landmarks ("Fiddler on the Roof", "Cabaret", "Bad Jews", "Indecent"), we will compare these constructed media images to concurrent political, historical and cultural trends.
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JWST 4180 : The Imaginary Jew: Roots of Antisemitism in Medieval England
Crosslisted as: ENGL 4180, ENGL 6180, JWST 6180, MEDVL 4180, MEDVL 6180 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
When did anti-Semitism begin? The medieval period invented shocking fictions about Jews—that they killed and ate Christian babies; that they desecrated the Host; that they were the murderers of Christ. In manuscripts Jews were visually compared to beasts, devils, and perverts. By law, Jews were forced to live in ghettos, wear distinctive dress, abstain from certain professions, and suffer exile. Beginning with Shakespeare's Shylock, we will work our way back through visual and literary treatments of Jews in the Middle Ages, reading texts by Chaucer, chronicles, miracle stories, crusader romances, and mystery plays. Drawing on recent theories of the other we will also consider how medieval representations of Jews and other minorities were used to construct medieval communal, religious, and political identities.
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JWST 4520 : Jewish Cities
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4620, ANTHR 7620, HIST 4520, HIST 6520, JWST 7520, NES 4520, NES 7520 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
From Jerusalem to Rome, from Shanghai to Marrakesh, Jews and cities have been shaping each other for thousands of years. This course ranges through time and space to examine how Jewish and other "minority" experiences offer a window onto questions of modernity and post-colonialism in intersections of the built environment with migration, urban space, and memory. Readings and film/video encompass historical, ethnographic, visual, architectural and literary materials to offer a broad look at materials on ghettos, empires, cosmopolitanism, tolerance, immigrant enclaves, race and ethnicity.
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JWST 4558 : Shaping Jewish Memory: Monuments, Memorials and Museums
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 4558, ARKEO 6558, ARTH 4558, ARTH 6558, JWST 6558 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course examines how memory has been expressed in Jewish tradition in physical and spatial form, especially though the creation of commemorative objects, records, markers, monuments and museums. The second half of the class will focus on creation, design, use, and reception of Holocaust memorials and museums, and broader "landscapes of memory" including engagement in several ongoing memorial projects.  We will consider question such as: Who makes memory objects and why? Who visits memory sites and how does their meaning change over time or with different audiences? Where and how do individual and collective commemoration events intersect?  Beginning with Holocaust monuments and museums in Europe, Israel and America, we will look back on older traditions of commemoration in Jewish tradition and compare and link these – as in the case of ancient tombs, 20th century war memorials and Holocaust museums - to broader commemorative trends and artistic tastes.
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JWST 4626 : Reinventing Biblical Narrative
Crosslisted as: CLASS 4626, CLASS 7626, MEDVL 4626, MEDVL 6626, NES 4626, NES 6626, RELST 4626, RELST 6626 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor: Description
JWST 4644 : Late Bronze Age World of Ugarit
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 4644, ARKEO 6644, CLASS 4744, CLASS 7744, JWST 6644, NES 4644, NES 6644 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
In this seminar we will look at archaeological and textual evidence from one of the longest-running excavations in the Near East: the ancient city of Ugarit at Tell Ras Shamra in northwestern Syria. Students will review the archaeological history of this coastal kingdom that has its roots deep in Levantine prehistory. Then we will study the textual material emerging from the thousands of clay tablets inscribed in alphabetic Ugaritic and cuneiform Babylonian that vividly illuminate matters of cult, economy, law, and daily life in a Late Bronze Age city during the 14th -12th centuries BCE. Students will read a sample of these texts, in translation or the original (for credit in 6644), to gain insights into the life of a cosmopolitan center that managed to thrive while surrounded by territorial empires during history's first truly international age.
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JWST 4913 : Walter Benjamin
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4413, ANTHR 7413, COML 4429, GERST 4413, GERST 6413, JWST 7913, NES 4913, NES 7913 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This extraordinary figure died in 1941, and his death  is emblematic of the intellectual depradations of Nazism. Yet since World War II, his influence, his reputation, and his fascination for scholars in a wide range of cultural and political disciplines has steadily grown. He is seen as a bridging figure between German and Jewish studies, between materialist critique of culture and the submerged yet powerful voice of theology, between literary history and philosophy. We will review Benjamin's life and some of the key disputes over his heritage; read some of the best-known of his essays; and devote significant time to his enigmatic and enormously rich masterwork, the Arcades Project, concluding with consideration of the relevance of Benjamin's insights for cultural and political dilemmas today.
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JWST 4992 : Independent Study - Undergraduate
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
For undergraduates who wish to obtain research experience or do extensive reading on a special topic.  Students select a topic in consultation with the faculty member who has agreed to supervise the course.
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JWST 6180 : The Imaginary Jew: Roots of Antisemitism in Medieval England
Crosslisted as: ENGL 4180, ENGL 6180, JWST 4180, MEDVL 4180, MEDVL 6180 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
When did anti-Semitism begin? The medieval period invented shocking fictions about Jews—that they killed and ate Christian babies; that they desecrated the Host; that they were the murderers of Christ. In manuscripts Jews were visually compared to beasts, devils, and perverts. By law, Jews were forced to live in ghettos, wear distinctive dress, abstain from certain professions, and suffer exile. Beginning with Shakespeare's Shylock, we will work our way back through visual and literary treatments of Jews in the Middle Ages, reading texts by Chaucer, chronicles, miracle stories, crusader romances, and mystery plays. Drawing on recent theories of the other we will also consider how medieval representations of Jews and other minorities were used to construct medieval communal, religious, and political identities.
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Description
JWST 6558 : Shaping Jewish Memory: Monuments, Memorials and Museums
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 4558, ARKEO 6558, ARTH 4558, ARTH 6558, JWST 4558 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course examines how memory has been expressed in Jewish tradition in physical and spatial form, especially though the creation of commemorative objects, records, markers, monuments and museums. The second half of the class will focus on creation, design, use, and reception of Holocaust memorials and museums, and broader "landscapes of memory" including engagement in several ongoing memorial projects.  We will consider question such as: Who makes memory objects and why? Who visits memory sites and how does their meaning change over time or with different audiences? Where and how do individual and collective commemoration events intersect?  Beginning with Holocaust monuments and museums in Europe, Israel and America, we will look back on older traditions of commemoration in Jewish tradition and compare and link these – as in the case of ancient tombs, 20th century war memorials and Holocaust museums - to broader commemorative trends and artistic tastes.
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JWST 6644 : Late Bronze Age World of Ugarit
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 4644, ARKEO 6644, CLASS 4744, CLASS 7744, JWST 4644, NES 4644, NES 6644 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
In this seminar we will look at archaeological and textual evidence from one of the longest-running excavations in the Near East: the ancient city of Ugarit at Tell Ras Shamra in northwestern Syria. Students will review the archaeological history of this coastal kingdom that has its roots deep in Levantine prehistory. Then we will study the textual material emerging from the thousands of clay tablets inscribed in alphabetic Ugaritic and cuneiform Babylonian that vividly illuminate matters of cult, economy, law, and daily life in a Late Bronze Age city during the 14th -12th centuries BCE. Students will read a sample of these texts, in translation or the original (for credit in 6644), to gain insights into the life of a cosmopolitan center that managed to thrive while surrounded by territorial empires during history's first truly international age.
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Description
JWST 7520 : Jewish Cities
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4620, ANTHR 7620, HIST 4520, HIST 6520, JWST 4520, NES 4520, NES 7520 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
From Jerusalem to Rome, from Shanghai to Marrakesh, Jews and cities have been shaping each other for thousands of years. This course ranges through time and space to examine how Jewish and other "minority" experiences offer a window onto questions of modernity and post-colonialism in intersections of the built environment with migration, urban space, and memory. Readings and film/video encompass historical, ethnographic, visual, architectural and literary materials to offer a broad look at materials on ghettos, empires, cosmopolitanism, tolerance, immigrant enclaves, race and ethnicity.  
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JWST 7913 : Walter Benjamin
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4413, ANTHR 7413, COML 4429, GERST 4413, GERST 6413, JWST 4913, NES 4913, NES 7913 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This extraordinary figure died in 1941, and his death is emblematic of the intellectual depradations of Nazism. Yet since World War II, his influence, his reputation, and his fascination for scholars in a wide range of cultural and political disciplines has steadily grown. He is seen as a bridging figure between German and Jewish studies, between materialist critique of culture and the submerged yet powerful voice of theology, between literary history and philosophy. We will review Benjamin's life and some of the key disputes over his heritage; read some of the best-known of his essays; and devote significant time to his enigmatic and enormously rich masterwork, the Arcades Project, concluding with consideration of the relevance of Benjamin's insights for cultural and political dilemmas today.
View course details
Description