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JWST 1101 : Elementary Modern Hebrew I
Crosslisted as: HEBRW 1101, HEBRW 1101 Semester offered: Fall 2017 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, HEBRW 1103 Semester offered: Fall 2017 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: Fall 2017 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 1998 : The Middle East in the News: Politics, Society, Religion and Culture
Crosslisted as: NES 1998, RELST 1998 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
The peoples, cultures, religions, and politics of the Middle East are never far removed from the front pages of the most influential journals and newspapers. This course will engage students in discussing current religious, political, and socio-cultural concerns and issues in the Middle East, including the intersection of American interests and policies in the region.
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JWST 2501 : Kosher and Halal Food Regulations
Crosslisted as: FDSC 2500 Semester offered: Fall 2017 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 2522 : Drinking in the Ages: Intoxicating Beverages in Near Eastern and World History
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 2522, CLASS 2630, NES 2522 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This course examines the production and exchange of wine, beer, coffee and tea, and the social and ideological dynamics involved in their consumption. We start in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, and end with tea and coffee in the Arab and Ottoman worlds. Archaeological and textual evidence will be used throughout to show the centrality of drinking in daily, ritual and political life.
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JWST 2577 : American Jewish Women and the Body of Tradition
Crosslisted as: AMST 2577, FGSS 2577, NES 2577, RELST 2577 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Since the 1970s, Jewish women have remade American Judaism by putting their bodies front and center. In the face of a largely male rabbinic elite, they have created new models of ritual, communal leadership, and textual interpretation both within and outside existing Jewish institutions and denominations. How have women mobilized embodied practice and knowledge in efforts to reinterpret, reclaim, and reinvent Judaism? How have these changes reverberated in communities that explicitly reject feminism? And what can these women teach us about religion, gender, and sexuality in America more broadly? This course will engage the fields of religion; gender, sexuality, and the body; textual and material culture; and feminism within the context of American Jewish life. The course will focus the contemporary United States, but will also explore layers of Jewish tradition from ancient to modern times and will consider women's practices in Israel as well. Key themes will include the relationships between gender and power; bodies, texts and objects; individual Jewish practices and communal identity; biology and theology; secularism and spirituality; and the intersectionality of race, gender, sexuality, and conversion. Exploring how competing visions of Judaism reflect alternative understandings of gender and sexuality, we will probe the meaning of gender equality, how the Jewish experience compares to that of members of other faiths in America, and the challenge that these diverse Jewish projects pose to the American project of secularism.
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JWST 2644 : Introduction to Judaism
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 2644, NES 2644, RELST 2644 Semester offered: Fall 2017 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 2662 : Daily Life in the Biblical World
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 2662, NES 2662, RELST 2662 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This course will survey the common and not-so-common daily activities of the world of ancient Israel, with supplementary material from its neighbors in Mesopotamia, Egypt and Canaan. Many courses cover aspects of ancient political history or ancient literature, but these often focus on the activities of members of social elites (who produced most of the writing), at the expense of the activities of more average citizens. The focus of this class is on ancient technologies, human interactions with the environment and how these play into the creation and maintenance of social systems. It will provide a broad spectrum, spanning all social classes, and many different kinds of resources and activities. Material to be covered will include topics such as food production and processing, pottery production, metallurgy, glass making, cloth production and personal adornment, implements of war, medicine, leisure time (games and music), and others.
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JWST 2754 : Wondrous Literatures of the Near East
Crosslisted as: COML 2754, NES 2754 Semester offered: Fall 2017 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 2920 : Modern European Jewish History, 1789 - 1948
Crosslisted as: HIST 2910, NES 2620 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Jewish life in Europe experienced a profound transformation as a result of the process of Jewish emancipation which began at the end of the eighteenth century.  While emancipation offered Jews unprecedented social, economic and political opportunities, it also posed serious challenges to traditional Jewish life and values by making available new avenues of integration.  This course will examine the ways in which Jewish and non-Jewish society responded to these new developments from the eighteenth century Enlightenment to the post-World War II era.  Topics will include Jewish responses to emancipation, including assimilation and new varieties of religious accommodation; the development of modern antisemitism; the rise of Zionism and the creation of the state of Israel; the modernization of Eastern European Jewry; the impact of mass immigration; and the Nazi era.
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JWST 3101 : Advanced Modern Hebrew I
Crosslisted as: HEBRW 3101 Semester offered: Fall 2017 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 3108 : Israeli Culture Through Literature
Crosslisted as: HEBRW 3108 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This course is intended to examine current Israeli culture and Society through reading and discussion of literary works.  Students will practice and enhance their conversational skills and will be using practical and real daily life situations.  Readings include edited as well as authentic literary texts.  Authors may include:  Amos Oz, Savion Liebrechet, H. Levin, Yaakov Shabtai,  Etgar Keret, Meir Shavit.  In addition, we will explore special themes and issues in the language and it's  literature. We will continue the development and improve all aspects of the language skills.
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JWST 3625 : Ancient Iraq: Cities, Migrations, and Kings
Crosslisted as: NES 3625 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This course surveys the history and cultures of ancient Mesopotamia (e.g., Sumer, Babylonia, and Assyria) from the beginnings of civilization to the death of Alexander the Great. It will be taught from an interdisciplinary perspective and will rely on approaches and evidence drawn from branches of history, archaeology, world literature, and ethno-historical comparisons. Discussion centers on a number of recurrent themes: urban versus nonurban residence, population dynamics and cultural interaction, the birth of literature, and centralizing versus decentralizing political forces.
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JWST 4350 : Images and History:Siegfried Kracauer
Crosslisted as: GERST 4355, GERST 6355, ROMS 4350, ROMS 6350 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
As an outstanding figure of critical theory in the twentieth century, Siegfried Kracauer left an astonishingly rich body of work spanning literature and the sociology of mass culture, film criticism and the philosophy of history.  The common thread that runs through his prismatic works is the conception of image as a key for interpreting life, society and history.  This seminar will reconstitute and analyze his intellectual trajectory from the Weimar Republic to his exile in New York, reading several fundamental texts, from his early essays on photography and dance to his more known theoretical works (From Caligari to Hitler, Theory of Film, and History: The Last Things Before the Last.)  It also will inscribe Kracauer into a historical context and an intellectual constellation shaped by his correspondence and friendship with other illustrious Jewish-German exiles, from Theodor W. Adorno to Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch to Erwin Panofsky.
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JWST 4708 : Cosmopolitanism, Tolerance and Coexistence
Crosslisted as: COML 4521, COML 6521, NES 4708, NES 6708 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
What does it mean to call individuals, cities, or societies "cosmopolitan?" What are the implications when one invokes tolerance to resolve conflict? Do appeals for "tolerance" and "coexistence" redefine or reinforce existing power relations? To address these questions, we will begin by reading and discussing Kant's writings on hospitality, and then consider writings of contemporary theorists such as Martha Nussbaum, Bruce Robbins, David Harvey, Wendy Brown and others.   To further our understanding of the implications of these terms, in the second half of the course, we will examine representations of modern "cosmopolitan" Alexandria. The Egyptian port city, has a long history of rich cultural interaction, immortalized in literature and film. Readings and discussions will interrogate the relationship between the city's cosmopolitan character and its colonial history. We will read works by: E. M. Forster, Constantin Cavafy, Lawrence Durrell, Edwar al-Kharrat, Yitzhak Gormezano Goren and Randa Jarrar. We will also discuss Youssef Chahine's semi-autobiographical Alexandria film, Alexandria Again and Forever.
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JWST 4745 : Colonial Intersections: Jews and Native Americans
Crosslisted as: AMST 4740, ANTHR 4745, ANTHR 7745, JWST 7745, NES 4745, NES 7745 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
The colonial expansion of Christian Europe continues to leave its mark on the world of the twenty-first century. Two of the peoples caught up in that colonial project, in very different ways, are Jews and Native Americans. Indeed, these two groups were often conflated in the colonial imagination, with Native Americans imagined as the "lost tribes," and missionary rhetorics first aimed at Jews (and Muslims) being adapted for Native Americans. This course looks at the differing structural positions of Jews (the "other within" Christian Europe) and Native Americans (the "other without"). It also considers these peoples' varying responses to colonialism, and their relations with each other, to ask how we can compare forms of difference while retaining the richness of their distinctive formations.  
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JWST 6780 : Persecution and the Art of Writing
Crosslisted as: ARTH 6780, COML 6661, GERST 6780, GOVT 6785 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Our title derives from the political philosopher Leo Strauss, who provides our initial analytic, methodological, and theoretical model. We extend beyond Straussian ideological positions to include art unrestricted to written philosophy and literature, namely: painting, music, cinema, and Reason of State. Persecution (via censorship or heterodoxy) is understood as being both externally imposed and internalized. "The double rhetoric" or "esotericism," hence "writing between the lines," has its millennial history since archaic times. After discussing practices (from before Plato to Machiavelli, Spinoza, Bayle, Toland, Swift) we focus on recent techniques of "concealing messages" across disciplines, periods, places. Examples include Lessing (on Free Masons), Hegel (as read by Left-Hegelians and by Marx), Gramsci (Prison Notebooks); also Nietzsche, Heidegger, Freud, Wittgenstein, Carl Schmitt, Strauss, Dickinson, and their legacies.  
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JWST 7745 : Colonial Intersections: Jews and Native Americans
Crosslisted as: AMST 4740, ANTHR 4745, ANTHR 7745, JWST 4745, NES 4745, NES 7745 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
The colonial expansion of Christian Europe continues to leave its mark on the world of the twenty-first century. Two of the peoples caught up in that colonial project, in very different ways, are Jews and Native Americans. Indeed, these two groups were often conflated in the colonial imagination, with Native Americans imagined as the "lost tribes," and missionary rhetorics first aimed at Jews (and Muslims) being adapted for Native Americans. This course looks at the differing structural positions of Jews (the "other within" Christian Europe) and Native Americans (the "other without"). It also considers these peoples' varying responses to colonialism, and their relations with each other, to ask how we can compare forms of difference while retaining the richness of their distinctive formations.  
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