A survey of the literature and culture of the Jewish people in the formative years of its history. Emphasis on the development of Judaism in the biblical, Graeco-Roman, and rabbinic, and medieval periods. (Gen. Ed. HS, DG)
The life and history of the Jews in the medieval and modern worlds. Topics include Jewish-Christian relations; development of Jewish philosophy and mysticism; Jewish life in Eastern Europe; the Holocaust; State of Israel; Jews and Judaism in North America. (Gen.Ed. HS, DG)
An examination of transformations in the Jewish family and attitudes toward sexuality in Judaism, from antiquity to the present. Topics include love, sexuality, and desire in the Bible and Talmud; marriage and divorce through the ages; position and treatment of children; sexuality and spirituality in the Kabbalah; sexual stereotypes in American Jeish culture and Israeli society. Interdisciplinary readings draw on biblical and rabbinic literature, comparative Christian and Islamic sources, historical and scientific research on family and sexuality, and contemporary fiction. (Gen. Ed. HS)
The struggle to establish the State of Israel, focusing on the forces which have shaped contemporary Israeli society and culture. Emphasis on the ideological foundations of Zionism, its religious and intellectual roots, and its relationship to the rise of modern antisemitism. Topics include: Zionist ideologies; Kibbutz movement; British and U.S. policies in the modern Near East; Arab-Israeli conflict; religion and politics in modern Israel.
This course explores Jewish life in Eastern Europe from the perspective of cultural studies. Particular emphasis is on origins of Soviet-Jewish culture, ethnicity, and identity, interaction with the surrounding society, immigration, Jews under communism, Holocaust, and transformation of Russian Jewish life in the twentieth century. Readings from various historical and literary sources; excerpts from film and media. (Gen.Ed. HS, DG)
This course explores the development of Jewish marriage, sexuality, and theories of sexual difference in the premodern world, focusing on the rabbinic, medieval, and early modern periods. Themes include: gender, masculinity, marital sex, wedding customs, deviant sexuality, menstruation, masturbation, homosexuality, and sexual violence.