Courses

Courses by semester

Courses for Fall 2022

Complete Cornell University course descriptions are in the Courses of Study .

Course ID Title Offered
JWST1101 Elementary Modern Hebrew I 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.

Full details for JWST 1101 - Elementary Modern Hebrew I

Fall.
JWST1103 Elementary Modern Hebrew III Sequel to HEBRW 1101-HEBRW 1102. Continued development of reading, writing, grammar, oral comprehension, and speaking skills.

Full details for JWST 1103 - Elementary Modern Hebrew III

Fall.
JWST1110 Beginning Biblical Hebrew This course is designed to introduce students to the language, grammar, and vocabulary of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. By the end of the semester students will be able to read and understand a number of biblical narrative passages, drawn from texts such as the stories of: creation in the Garden of Eden, Noah's Ark, Joseph and his brothers, the Israelites' exodus from Egypt, David and Goliath, and others stories students are interested in reading in the original language. Emphasis will be placed on learning vocabulary in context so that students begin to understand the language of the Bible as a window on ancient Israelite religion, culture, and experience.

Full details for JWST 1110 - Beginning Biblical Hebrew

Fall.
JWST1987 FWS: Jews on Film: Visible and Invisible 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.

Full details for JWST 1987 - FWS: Jews on Film: Visible and Invisible

Fall.
JWST2001 Russian Jews and Jewish Russians in Literature and Film Explore the ways of 19th to 21stcentury Russian Jewry through survey of literature, film, and art. Learn about life in Russia from the perspective of Jewish and Russian-Jewish writers as well as through portrayal of Russian Jews in works of prominent Russian authors in the context of period. Selected works of Pushkin and Chekhov, Sholom Aleichem and  Chagall, Pasternak and Yevtushenko will help create a multidimensional picture of the political and socio-cultural environment that shaped the identity of the modern-day Russian Jews in their deep, inherent connection to the Russian culture and often in disconnect with their roots, which characteristically distinguishes them from their American contemporaries.

Full details for JWST 2001 - Russian Jews and Jewish Russians in Literature and Film

Fall.
JWST2271 Yiddish Linguistics Yiddish language and linguistics, including aspects of its morphology, syntax, and phonology. Also the history of the Yiddish language and sociolinguistic topics.

Full details for JWST 2271 - Yiddish Linguistics

Fall.
JWST2724 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible 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.

Full details for JWST 2724 - Introduction to the Hebrew Bible

Fall.
JWST2754 Wondrous Literatures of the Near East 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 explore a range of ancient myths of creation and destruction. We will also trace encounters with otherness in travel narratives. Together we will read and discuss such ancient works as the "The Story of Sinuhe" and "The Epic of Gilgamesh," as well as selections from the Hebrew Bible, New Testament and Qur'an. We will explore medieval works such as the "Travels" of Ibn Battuta, the "Shahnameh" of Ferdowsi, and "The Arabian Nights." We will also read Orhan Pamuk's My Name is Red, and Sonia Nimr's Wondrous Journeys in Strange Lands, as well as excerpts from Yochi Brandes's The Orchard. 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.

Full details for JWST 2754 - Wondrous Literatures of the Near East

Fall.
JWST3101 Advanced Modern Hebrew I This constitutes the first course in our third year of the Modern Hebrew language sequence.  Development of speech proficiency will be emphasized. Over the course of the semester, students will develop reading comprehension through reading a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts, listening comprehension through screening of filmic works and episodes drawn from popular television series, writing through communication about what is read and screened, as well as more personal topics, and speech through in class discussion and oral presentations.  Readings will include authentic and partially adapted contemporary short stories, poems and newspaper articles.  

Full details for JWST 3101 - Advanced Modern Hebrew I

Fall.
JWST3458 Specters: Derrida, Marx, and Other Ghosts We will engage the political thinking of Jacques Derrida, attempt to disinter and engage attitudes toward history, ancestry, and progress in the radical nineteenth century, and consider the possible relevance of Marx now. We will read Derrida's Specters of Marx, along with key texts Derrida examines there--from Hamlet to the Communist Manifesto to the American triumphalism of Francis Fukuyama. We will also consider a range of critiques of Derrida in response to his own text. Special attention will be devoted to Marx's and Derrida's own "Jewish specters" vis-à-vis the Christian West's non-Christian Others.

Full details for JWST 3458 - Specters: Derrida, Marx, and Other Ghosts

Fall.
JWST4533 The Lower East Side: Jews and the Immigrant City 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.

Full details for JWST 4533 - The Lower East Side: Jews and the Immigrant City

Fall.
JWST6458 Specters: Derrida, Marx, and Other Ghosts We will engage the political thinking of Jacques Derrida, attempt to disinter and engage attitudes toward history, ancestry, and progress in the radical nineteenth century, and consider the possible relevance of Marx now. We will read Derrida's Specters of Marx, along with key texts Derrida examines there--from Hamlet to the Communist Manifesto to the American triumphalism of Francis Fukuyama. We will also consider a range of critiques of Derrida in response to his own text. Special attention will be devoted to Marx's and Derrida's own "Jewish specters" vis-à-vis the Christian West's non-Christian Others.

Full details for JWST 6458 - Specters: Derrida, Marx, and Other Ghosts

Fall.
JWST7533 The Lower East Side: Jews and the Immigrant City 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.

Full details for JWST 7533 - The Lower East Side: Jews and the Immigrant City

Fall.
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