Current Courses

Sort by: TitleNumber
Filter by:

View all Summer 2019 courses.

JWST 1101 : Elementary Modern Hebrew I
Crosslisted as: HEBRW 1101, HEBRW 1101 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Shalom Shoer
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.
View course details
Description
JWST 1102 : Elementary Modern Hebrew II
Crosslisted as: HEBRW 1102, HEBRW 1102 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Shalom Shoer
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.
View course details
Description
JWST 1103 : Elementary Modern Hebrew III
Crosslisted as: HEBRW 1103 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Shalom Shoer
Sequel to HEBRW 1101-HEBRW 1102. Continued development of reading, writing, grammar, oral comprehension, and speaking skills.
View course details
Description
JWST 1776 : Elementary Yiddish
Crosslisted as: NES 1776 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor: Description
JWST 1987 : FWS: Jews on Film: Visible and Invisible
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Elliot Shapiro
Why were Jews virtually invisible in films produced 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 the silent era through the present. We will view approximately six films in their entirety and study excerpts from others. Films to be studied in whole or part may include: The Immigrant, The Jazz Singer, The Great Dictator, Casablanca, The Apartment, Funny Girl, Annie Hall, 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.
View course details
Description
JWST 2100 : Intermediate Modern Hebrew
Crosslisted as: HEBRW 2100 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Shalom Shoer
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.
View course details
Description
JWST 2156 : Anti-Semitism and the Making of European Jewry
Crosslisted as: HIST 2156, RELST 2156 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Olga Litvak
Does hatred have a history? Historians insist that Europe invented a tradition of hating Jews and Judaism; some go so far as to argue that the destruction of European Jewry during the Holocaust was the culmination of a thousand-year-old prejudice against Jewish difference, cultivated not only by cranks and lunatics at the margins of European discourse, but by great luminaries with a reputation for progressive, even radical, opinions. In fact, the cultural problem of Jewish difference was implicated in both the destruction and the creation of European Jewry. In this seminar, we will examine exemplary works of Europe's famous anti-Jewish canon — such as Paul's letter to the Romans, Luther's "On the Jews and their Lies," and Marx's "On the Jewish Question" — in order to contextualize a mythology of Jewish "otherness" that enflamed the anti-Jewish imagination even when there were few Jewish "others" around to hate. We will also look at critical moments in Jewish history marked by the appropriation of anti-Jewish arguments in the name of Jewish social discipline and moral authority. Through the prism of provocative Jewish texts such as the Crusade chronicles, Mendelssohn's Jerusalem and Pinsker's "Auto-emancipation" we will explore some of the ways in which the "enabling violation" of anti-semitism both constrained Jewish existence and liberated Jewish self-consciousness, turning Europe into a home for Judaism as well as a Jewish "hell on earth."
View course details
Description
JWST 2271 : Yiddish Linguistics
Crosslisted as: LING 2241 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Molly Diesing
Yiddish language and linguistics, including aspects of its morphology, syntax, and phonology. Also the history of the Yiddish language, and sociolinguistic topics.
View course details
Description
JWST 2501 : Kosher and Halal Food Regulations
Crosslisted as: FDSC 2500 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Joe Regenstein
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.            
View course details
Description
JWST 2523 : Islamophobia and Judeophobia
Crosslisted as: COML 2523, GOVT 2523, NES 2523, RELST 2523 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Ross Brann
Islamophobia and Judeophobia are ideas and like all ideas they have a history of their own. Although today many might think of Islamophobia or Judeophobia as unchangeable---fear of and hatred for Islam and Muslims or Judaism and Jews---these ideas and the social and political practices informed by them have varied greatly over time and place. They even intersected during the Middle Age and in Ottoman times when "the Jew" was frequently represented as allied with "The Muslim". The first part of this course traces the history, trajectory, and political agency of Judeophobia and Islamophobia in texts and other forms of culture from late antiquity through the present. The second part of the course is devoted to modernity and the present especially in Europe and the United States focusing on representational practices---how Muslims/Islam and Jews/Judaism are portrayed in various discourses including the media, film and on the internet. We will investigate how these figures (the Muslim, the Jew) serve as a prism through which we can understand various social, political and cultural processes and the interests of those who produce and consume them.
View course details
Description
JWST 2575 : Myth and Religion in Mesopotamia
Crosslisted as: NES 2575, NES 6575, RELST 2575 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Jonathan Tenney
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.
View course details
Description
JWST 2577 : American Jewish Women and the Body of Tradition
Crosslisted as: AMST 2577, ANTHR 2577, FGSS 2577, NES 2577, RELST 2577 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Cara Rock-Singer
Description
JWST 2580 : Imagining the Holocaust
Crosslisted as: COML 2580, ENGL 2580 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Daniel Schwarz
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.
View course details
Description
JWST 2666 : Jerusalem the Holy in Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 2666, NES 2666, RELST 2666 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Jeff Zorn
Jerusalem is a holy city to the adherents of the three great monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. For most of its existence it has also been a national capital or major provincial center for the many states and empires which vied for control of the vital land bridge connecting Africa, Europe and Asia. Thus many of the pivotal events which shaped western civilization were played out in the streets and structures of Jerusalem. This class will explore the history, archaeology, natural topography and role of Jerusalem throughout its long life, from its earliest remains in the Chalcolithic period (ca. 4000 B.C.E.) to the 19th century, including Jebusite Jerusalem, Jerusalem as the capital of the Davidic dynasty, the Roman era city of Herod and Jesus, the Crusaders and medieval Jerusalem, and Ottoman Jerusalem as the city entered the modern era. Students will examine the original historical sources (e.g. the Bible, Josephus, the Madeba map, etc.) which pertain to Jerusalem. PowerPoint lectures will be used to illustrate the natural features, man-made monuments, and artifacts which flesh out the textual material, providing a fuller image of the world's most prominent spiritual and secular capital.
View course details
Description
JWST 2793 : Middle Eastern Cinema
Crosslisted as: COML 2293, NES 2793, PMA 2493, VISST 2193 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Deborah Starr
Film industries in the Middle East, as in much of the rest of the world, emerged out of efforts at the national level. In the Arab world and Israel, the film industries reflect upon struggles of self-determination. The Iranian film industry underwent significant changes following the Islamic Revolution of 1979. By viewing a range of films from the Arab world, including North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as from Turkey, Israel, and Iran, we will consider the significance of these national rubrics and how they have shaped the work of filmmakers throughout the Middle East.   Films also reach beyond the boundaries of the nation, and so, we will consider how these films transcend national borders. On the one hand we will consider limit factors, like censorship, and the role of language and dialect on film viewership and distribution. And, on the other hand, we will consider the influence of external forces, such as the influence of foreign film markets in Europe and North America on filmmakers in the Middle East, as well as the effects of foreign financing—both from Europe and the Gulf States.  All films will be screened with English subtitles.
View course details
Description
JWST 2851 : Sex and Power in Jewish History
Crosslisted as: HIST 2851, RELST 2851 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Olga Litvak
Jewish men and women in early modern Europe lived their lives within a gendered social order inherited from the Talmudic period. The relationship between sex and power remained fundamental to Jewish communal discipline until the eighteenth century. The explosion of vernacular publishing, increasing economic and geographic mobility and the coming of emancipation challenged existing gender norms and liberated Jewish desire - well, almost. As we will see, modernity has an ambiguous effect on Jewish sexual expression and Jewish sexual politics., It is not clear that the emancipation of Jewish men had the same emancipatory effect on Jewish women. Jewish patriarchy proved unexpectedly resilient. In this course, we will explore why - despite Judaism's reputation for the more open sexual ethic - neither most Jewish men nor many Jewish women embraced the possibilities of personal liberation from a reproductive regime of rigid self-control and near compulsory heterosexual monogamy.
View course details
Description
JWST 3101 : Advanced Modern Hebrew: Hebrew in a Changing World
Crosslisted as: HEBRW 3101 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Nava Scharf
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.
View course details
Description
JWST 3105 : Life in Israel: Aspects of Israeli Society, Language and Literature
Crosslisted as: HEBRW 3105 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Nava Scharf
In this advanced Hebrew course we will be reading selected and relevant articles dealing with life in Israel. Students will focus on language skills and interests while paying attention to vocabulary building, grammar review, and literary analysis of modern texts.  We also will be reading stories, poetry; view and discuss Israeli TV programs and news broadcasts. Authors may include: N. Gutman, D. Shahar, O. Kastel-Bloom, E. Keret, and A. Oz.  Poets may include: Y. Amichai, D. Avidan, D. Pagis, D. Rabikovitz, N. Zack.   In addition, we will be reading a few modern children stories and will have a discussion of present-day influences on Israeli children's literature.
View course details
Description
JWST 3108 : Dynamics and Changes of Israeli Culture Through Language and Literature
Crosslisted as: HEBRW 3108 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Nava Scharf
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.
View course details
Description
JWST 3588 : Biblical Archaeology
Crosslisted as: ARKEO 3588, NES 3588, NES 6588, RELST 3588 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Lauren Monroe
The purpose of the course is to place the Bible within the context of a larger ancient world that can be explored by systematic excavation of physical remains. Students will become familiar with archaeological excavations and finds from ancient Syria-Palestine from 10,000 bce to 586 bce. We will explore this archaeological evidence on its own terms, taking into consideration factors such as archaeological method and the interpretive frameworks in which the excavators themselves work, as well as the implications of this body of evidence for understanding the complexity and diversity of biblical Israel.
View course details
Description
JWST 3625 : Ancient Iraq: Cities, Migrations, and Kings
Crosslisted as: NES 3625, NES 6625 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Jonathan Tenney
Description
JWST 3639 : Cultural History of the Jews of Spain
Crosslisted as: MEDVL 3639, NES 3639, RELST 3639, SPAN 3639 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Ross Brann
Description
JWST 3655 : Minorities of the Middle East
Crosslisted as: COML 3743, NES 3655, NES 6655 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Deborah Starr
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.
View course details
Description
JWST 3711 : Sitcom Jews: Ethnic Representation On Television and On Stage
Crosslisted as: AMST 3717, PMA 3711 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
David Winitsky
"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.
View course details
Description
JWST 3719 : The Jewish Life of DNA
Crosslisted as: AMST 3719, RELST 3719, STS 3719 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Cara Rock-Singer
This course will explore the relationship between DNA and Jewish life. We will conceive of Jews and Judaism broadly, in terms of religious, ethnic, and national discourses as we consider theories of kinship and nationalism, definitions of ethnicity and race, the "molecularization" of human life, the use of DNA as a spiritual metaphor, the ethics of "playing God" through biomedicine, and imaginations of utopian and dystopian futures. The entangled social, political, economic, legal, metaphorical, and theological questions that DNA has raised during the twentieth century will serve as a lens to fundamental issues in Jewish Studies and Science and Technology Studies about the nature of Jewish identity and about the social and political elements of knowledge production, respectively. Our readings will combine scholarly texts with a range of primary sources, while our classroom discussions will include guest lectures by scholars from Molecular Biology and other relevant fields to discuss the religious and social implications of their research. 
View course details
Description
JWST 3805 : Israeli Politics
Crosslisted as: GOVT 3805, NES 3805 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
We are all the living dead – alive but bound to die, and know it. In this course we will learn how existential fears and anxieties shape our politics, partly through moral meaning-making. While the politics of fear is on the rise worldwide, Israel has seen it long ago. Throughout its existence, Israel has grown strong, but its existential fears have not subsided. Israel, moreover, can teach us about the role of freedom and morality in politics. Israel's existential fears, alongside the realization of choice, has prompted Zionists to seek existential legitimation. In recent years, however, a growing frustration at attainting such legitimacy has fostered "bad faith politics," substituting freedom with a sense of "no choice."
View course details
Description
JWST 4102 : Biblical Hebrew Prose: Genesis
Crosslisted as: HEBRW 4102, HEBRW 6102, RELST 4102 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Lauren Monroe
From the Garden of Eden to Noah's Ark, from Abraham's journey from Haran to Joseph's coat of many colors, the book of Genesis contains stories that are at once familiar to Western readers, and foreign in their ancient Near Eastern setting.  Through reading the book of Genesis in the original Hebrew, this course will address issues such as how the Israelites understood their origins, and their relationships with their God, Yahweh, their neighbors, and the land of Canaan itself, as well as how these themes are developed in biblical myth and folklore. Close attention will be paid to matters of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary in order to develop students' skills in reading biblical Hebrew prose and to enhance their understanding of the Hebrew language itself as a window on ancient Israelite thought. Students will be expected to utilize commentaries, biblical Hebrew grammars and lexicons in their preparation of assigned texts.
View course details
Description
JWST 4365 : Ethnonational Communities and Conflicts
Crosslisted as: GOVT 4365, NES 4365 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Throughout human history, and its modern incarnation, communities have clashed just as often as states. This course sheds light on ethnic communities and conflicts, explicating their historical dynamics and social intricacies. What are ethnic identities and how do they emerge? What distinguishes ethnic identity from other social identities, such as religious and ideological identities? When does ethnicity mature into ethnonationalism, and why and how does it propel conflict and political violence? What are the possible ways to prevent, manage, transform and resolve ethnic conflicts? We shall address these and related questions drawing on key insights from various disciplines, focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, probing the resonance and dissonance of key theoretical arguments with the reality of that clash and of comparative conflicts.
View course details
Description
JWST 4410 : The Holocaust in Postwar Culture (1945-1961)
Crosslisted as: COML 4415, COML 6415, FREN 4415, FREN 6415, GERST 4411, GERST 6411, GOVT 4786, GOVT 6786, HIST 4233, HIST 6233, JWST 6415, ROMS 4410, ROMS 6410 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Enzo Traverso
There is an astonishing discrepancy between our perception of the Holocaust as a central event of the twentieth century and its marginal place in postwar culture.  It is during those years, nevertheless, that the destruction of European Jews aroused an intellectual debate whose philosophical, political, and literary contributions constitute landmarks for contemporary culture and criticism.  The course will explore the reasons for such a discrepancy, reconstructing the steps of the integration of the Holocaust into our historical consciousness.  It will analyze some of the most significant attempts to think such a trauma made by German-Jewish exiles (Arendt, Adorno, Anders), the survivors of the Nazi camps (Améry, Levi, Celan, Antelme), as well as the public intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean (Sartre, Bataille, MacDonald, etc).
View course details
Description
JWST 4468 : Jewish Ethnography: Jewish Communities Yesterday and Today
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4468, ANTHR 7468, JWST 7468, NES 4468, NES 7468 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Jonathan Boyarin
The anthropology of Jews, Jewishness and Judaism is a wonderful laboratory for studying vital issues in the study of culture and society: textuality and orality; gender, reproduction and the cycle of generations; tradition, modernity and postmodernity; diaspora and the state; genetics and the politics of identity; forms of difference in the metropole and in colonialism. Until recent decades, there were almost no serious ethnographies of Jewish communities. Today there is a rich new literature in this field.  We will read widely to become familiar with this new literature, exploring the politics of ethnography; memoir as an ethnographic source; reflexive and auto-Jewish ethnographies; traditionalist and modernist communities; and communities spread widely through Europe, North America, North Africa and the Middle East.  
View course details
Description
JWST 4473 : Messiah and Modernity
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4473, ANTHR 7473, GERST 4473, GERST 7473, JWST 7473, NES 4473, NES 7473 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Jonathan Boyarin
This course combines Jewish religious history with studies in the philosophy of modernity, focusing on changing conceptions of time and history.  We will interrogate possible or implicit connections between traditional Jewish notions of Messianic redemption on one hand, and post-Enlightenment conceptions of revolution and progress on the other (always bearing in mind that the dominant Christian ideology in the West also has Messianic content).  Some readings will provide historical background on Jewish Messianism.  We will explore aspects of the intellectual dialogue between Walter Benjamin, a leading European thinker on literature and the philosophy of history in the first decades of the twentieth century, and his lifelong friend Gershom Scholem, founder of the scholarly study of Jewish mysticism.  We will continue by considering how post-World War II thinkers, especially on the Continent, have responded to the critique of modern ideologies of progress inaugurated by Benjamin and his friends in the so-called "Frankfurt School."
View course details
Description
JWST 4533 : The Lower East Side: Jews and the Immigrant City
Crosslisted as: AMST 4533, ANTHR 4733, ILRLR 4533, ILRLR 7533, JWST 7533, NES 4533, NES 7533 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Elissa Sampson
American Jews have frequently been touted as a "model minority." This course will take a more critical look at the historical interactions between Jewish immigration, United States industrialization, and processes of social and geographical mobility—all through the prism of New York's Lower East Side, first home for over 750,000 Jewish immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe, the Ottoman Empire and elsewhere between the mid-19th century and the 1920s.  We will compare the Jewish experience to that of other immigrants/migrants by considering social institutions as well as material and other cultural practices. We will examine interactions with the built environment —most especially the tenement—in Lower East Side culture. Special attention will be paid to immigrant labor movement politics including strikes, splits, and gender in the garment trade. From the perspective of the present, the course will examine how commemoration, heritage tourism and the selling of [immigrant] history intersect with gentrifying real estate in an "iconic" New York City neighborhood. Projects using the ILR's archives on the Triangle Fire and other topics are explicitly encouraged. This course counts as an out of college elective for B. Arch and M. Arch students.
View course details
Description
JWST 4545 : Sound, Silence, and the Sacred
Crosslisted as: CLASS 4644, MUSIC 4345, NES 4545, NES 7545, RELST 4545 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Kim Haines-Eitzen
From the ringing of Tibetan singing bowls to the quiet of desert monasticism, religious imagination and ritual is replete with sound and silence.  Cityscapes resound with church bells and calls from the minarets.   Music, chanting, recitations, incantations, mantras, gongs—the world of religion is intimately tied to ritualistic uses of sound.   But sound goes even beyond ritual to the realm of the imaginary, which frequently contrasts the music of the gods with the noise of the demons.   Sound and silence in such contexts are inherently tied to desire, temptation, and even salvation.  In addition, environmental sounds—the sounds of thunder, water, wind, animals, and so forth—are important for religious history and literature and contemporary practices.    This course will draw upon a wide array of sources—from texts to recordings, videos, and performances—to address the function and meaning of sound (and silence) within diverse religious traditions.   Our goal will be to read selections from the field of sound studies, listen and read closely in texts and music coming from diverse religious traditions, and to make some of our own recordings for a Cornell (and beyond) religious soundscape. 
View course details
Description
JWST 4721 : Peace Building in Conflict Regions: Case Studies Sub-Saharan Africa Israel Palestinian Territories
Crosslisted as: ASRC 4721, DSOC 4721, GOVT 4723, IARD 4721, NES 4721, STS 4721 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Christine Leuenberger
This course focuses on issues of conflict, peace, and reconciliation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories as well as Sub-Saharan Africa. Both regions exemplify how issues ranging from nationalism and ethnocentrism to land, water and resource management, climate change and migration, as well as socio-psychological dynamics, can exacerbate conflicts. At the same time, these regions also exemplify how trans-border collaboration and regional integration, civilian peace building efforts, strategies for achieving historical justice, as well as science education and science diplomacy can become crucial tools for long-term peace-building, reconciliation and development. In this course we will work with and discuss issues of peace and conflict with policy-makers and local stakeholders involved in peace-building efforts.
View course details
Description
JWST 4790 : Spinoza and the New Spinozism
Crosslisted as: COML 4090, GERST 4290, GOVT 4769 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Geoffrey Waite
Spinoza was excommunicated, wrote under death threats, and has remained a scandal to philosophy, psychoanalysis, politics, ethics, literature. "Every philosopher has two philosophies, his own and Spinoza's" (Bergson); and "the savage anomaly" (Negri) exerted profound influence on Marx, Nietzsche, Freud. We will introduce Spinoza and his legacy, from the "atheism controversy" in the eighteenth century to today's "New Spinozists," who have been developing anti-Kantian and anti-Hegelian formulations of burning contemporary questions. With Spinoza, we ask: "What is freedom, and whose power does it serve?" (Leo Strauss)-especially if "The new world system, the ultimate third stage of capitalism is for us the absent totality, Spinoza's God or Nature, the ultimate (indeed perhaps the only) referent, the true ground of Being in our time" (Jameson).
View course details
Description
JWST 4992 : Independent Study - Undergraduate
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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.
View course details
Description
HEBRW 6102 : Biblical Hebrew Prose: Genesis
Crosslisted as: HEBRW 4102, JWST 4102, RELST 4102 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Lauren Monroe
The books of 1 and 2 Samuel tell the riveting story of the rise to power of Israel's kings Saul and David.  In this class we will read these books in the original Hebrew, paying attention to details of character and plot development, as well as issues of compositional history and the relationship of biblical narrative to ancient Israelite history.  Students' weekly preparation will involve translation with close attention to lexical, grammatical and syntactic issues raised by the Hebrew texts, as well as work with commentaries and other secondary literature.  Students grades will be based on class participation and preparation, an in-class presentation and a final research paper. 
View course details
Description
JWST 6112 : Medieval Hebrew Poetry
Crosslisted as: NES 6112 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Ross Brann
Description
JWST 6415 : The Holocaust in Postwar Culture (1945-1961)
Crosslisted as: COML 4415, COML 6415, FREN 4415, FREN 6415, GERST 4411, GERST 6411, GOVT 4786, GOVT 6786, HIST 4233, HIST 6233, JWST 4410, ROMS 4410, ROMS 6410 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Enzo Traverso
There is an astonishing discrepancy between our perception of the Holocaust as a central event of the twentieth century and its marginal place in postwar culture.  It is during those years, nevertheless, that the destruction of European Jews aroused an intellectual debate whose philosophical, political, and literary contributions constitute landmarks for contemporary culture and criticism.  The course will explore the reasons for such a discrepancy, reconstructing the steps of the integration of the Holocaust into our historical consciousness.  It will analyze some of the most significant attempts to think such a trauma made by German-Jewish exiles (Arendt, Adorno, Anders), the survivors of the Nazi camps (Améry, Levi, Celan, Antelme), as well as the public intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean (Sartre, Bataille, MacDonald, etc).
View course details
Description
JWST 7468 : Jewish Ethnography: Jewish Communities Yesterday and Today
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4468, ANTHR 7468, JWST 4468, NES 4468, NES 7468 Semester offered: Fall 2019 Instructor:
Jonathan Boyarin
The anthropology of Jews, Jewishness and Judaism is a wonderful laboratory for studying vital issues in the study of culture and society: textuality and orality; gender, reproduction and the cycle of generations; tradition, modernity and postmodernity; diaspora and the state; genetics and the politics of identity; forms of difference in the metropole and in colonialism. Until recent decades, there were almost no serious ethnographies of Jewish communities. Today there is a rich new literature in this field.  We will read widely to become familiar with this new literature, exploring the politics of ethnography; memoir as an ethnographic source; reflexive and auto-Jewish ethnographies; traditionalist and modernist communities; and communities spread widely through Europe, North America, North Africa and the Middle East.  
View course details
Description
JWST 7473 : Messiah and Modernity
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4473, ANTHR 7473, GERST 4473, GERST 7473, JWST 4473, NES 4473, NES 7473 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Jonathan Boyarin
This course combines Jewish religious history with studies in the philosophy of modernity, focusing on changing conceptions of time and history.  We will interrogate possible or implicit connections between traditional Jewish notions of Messianic redemption on one hand, and post-Enlightenment conceptions of revolution and progress on the other (always bearing in mind that the dominant Christian ideology in the West also has Messianic content).  Some readings will provide historical background on Jewish Messianism.  We will explore aspects of the intellectual dialogue between Walter Benjamin, a leading European thinker on literature and the philosophy of history in the first decades of the twentieth century, and his lifelong friend Gershom Scholem, founder of the scholarly study of Jewish mysticism.  We will continue by considering how post-World War II thinkers, especially on the Continent, have responded to the critique of modern ideologies of progress inaugurated by Benjamin and his friends in the so-called "Frankfurt School." 
View course details
Description
JWST 7533 : The Lower East Side: Jews and the Immigrant City
Crosslisted as: AMST 4533, ANTHR 4733, ILRLR 4533, ILRLR 7533, JWST 4533, NES 4533, NES 7533 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Elissa Sampson
American Jews have frequently been touted as a "model minority." This course will take a more critical look at the historical interactions between Jewish immigration, United States industrialization, and processes of social and geographical mobility—all through the prism of New York's Lower East Side, first home for over 750,000 Jewish immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe, the Ottoman Empire and elsewhere between the mid-19th century and the 1920s.  We will compare the Jewish experience to that of other immigrants/migrants by considering social institutions as well as material and other cultural practices. We will examine interactions with the built environment —most especially the tenement—in Lower East Side culture. Special attention will be paid to immigrant labor movement politics including strikes, splits, and gender in the garment trade. From the perspective of the present, the course will examine how commemoration, heritage tourism and the selling of [immigrant] history intersect with gentrifying real estate in an "iconic" New York City neighborhood. Projects using the ILR's archives on the Triangle Fire and other topics are explicitly encouraged. This course counts as an out of college elective for B. Arch and M. Arch students.
View course details
Description