Academic Courses

Faculty at Brandeis teach a range of courses on Israel studies across several Brandeis departments. See details below or click here for information from the Registrar's page. In 2016-2017, the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies is sponsoring the following new courses.

* All Israel Studies courses are offered via Brandeis departments and programs; the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies is not a degree-granting program.


ANTH 135a Contemporary Israeli Society: Identities and Dilemmas
Liron Shani, Schusterman post-doctoral fellow

ANTH 129a Global, Transnational and Diasporic Communities
André Levy, Schusterman visiting professor

POL 138b Israeli Politics in a Comparative Perspective
Liora Norwich, Lecturer

NEJS 180b Introduction to Israeli Literature, Film and Culture
Aviv Ben-Or, Schusterman doctoral candidate and Lecturer

ANTH 120b Environmental Anthropology of Israel and the Middle East
Liron Shani

ANTH 122b Ethnicities in Israel
André Levy

SOC 120b Globalization and the Media: Israel as a Case Study
Rafi Grosglik, Lecturer

Spring 2016

Israel Studies

NEJS 156A — Modern Questions, Jewish Answers: Modern Jewish Responsa Literature
Instructor: David Ellenson
The genre of Jewish literature known as Responsa has long been central to Jewish law. This course will focus on a large spectrum of responsa with significant attention being given to ones written by Israeli rabbis on a host of contemporary issues.
[W 6:30-9:20 PM]

NEJS 154B — Israel: Dilemmas of Identity
Instructor: Yehudah Mirsky
Explores the relations between pluralism, religious resurgence, secularism and democracy in our time through readings in history, literature, philosophy, sociology, theology and law. Focuses on one fascinating, contentious and deeply consequential place: The State of Israel.
[M, W 2:00-3:20 PM]

NEJS 141B — Human Rights: Law, Politics, Theology
Instructor: Yehudah Mirsky
How did human rights work arise in recent decades, and why only then? Is it a new sort of religion? What critical thinking will help this vast work of advocacy, international law, democratization and humanitarianism alleviate human suffering? 
[M, W 3:30-4:50 PM]

NEJS 174A — Minorities in Israeli Literature & Culture
Instructor: Ilana Szobel
An exploration of poetics and identity in modern Hebrew literature. By offering a feminist and psychoanalytic reading of various Hebrew texts, this seminar explores questions of personal and national identity, otherness, visibility, and marginality in the Israeli context.
[T, R 3:30-4:50 PM]

NEJS 180B — Israeli Literature & Film in Translation
Instructor: Ilana Szobel
Examines trends and myths in modern Hebrew literature. Looking at both central, established and edgy, new stories, poems and films, the course examines various aspects of the way Israelis talk to each other and the world, and presents a multilayeredoften conflictingpicture of Israeli culture through different voices and mediums.
[T, R 2:00-3:20 PM]

NEJS 145A — History of the State of Israel
Instructor: Ilan Troen
Examines the development of the State of Israel from its foundation to the present time. Israel's politics, society, and culture will be thematically analyzed.
[M,W  3:30-4:50 PM]

NEJS 185A — Conflict and Consensus in Israeli Society
Instructor: Ilan Troen
Focuses on key topics in the shaping of the Israeli experience, including Zionist colonization; absorption of immigrants; shaping Jewish identity, personal and national, in a secular sense; and homeland/Diaspora relations.
[M,W  5:00-6:20 PM]

POL 136B — Social and Political Movements in Israel
Instructor: Liora S. Norwich
Applies the scholarship on collective action and social movements to the case of Israel. It provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the social, religious, and ethnic conflicts that have shaped Israeli society and politics through a focus on the unique movements and campaigns that have driven them.
[M, W, R 12:00-12:50 PM]

Middle East Studies

ANTH 118A — Secularism, Religion and Modernity
Instructor: Hikmet Kocamaner
Explores the role of religion in the public sphere, the changing relations between religion and state, and the various forms secularism takes in countries with different religious traditions, such as the U.S., France, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, and India.
[T, R 5:00-6:20 PM]

IMES 105A — War and Revolution in the Middle East
Instructor: Kanan Mohamed Makiya
Considers the impact of war and revolution in the shaping of the modern Middle East starting with the Arab-Israeli war of 1967. Focuses on the violent turning points that have changed the lives of millions of people. [T, R 5:00-6:20 PM]

POL 133A — Contemporary Politics in the Middle East
Instructor: Eva Bellin
Introduces the politics of the region through the study of regimes in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, and Israel. Themes include the political legacy of colonialism, the challenge of ethnic pluralism, the rise of political Islam, the politics of gender, the role of the military in politics, the dynamics of regime survival, the persistence of authoritarianism and the prospects for democratization, and the implications of the Arab spring for the future of the region.
[M, W 3:30-4:50 PM]

POL 143B — Israel, Iran, the Bomb and Beyond: Nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East
Instructor: Shai Feldman
Addresses one of the most pressing international issues - the nuclearization of Iran. It focuses on Iran's nuclear ambitions, the reactions of Israel, the U.S., Arab states and the international community.
[M 2:00-4:50 PM]

Language-based Studies

Advanced Hebrew language courses at Brandeis include an active Israel Studies component, Click here for a listing. Yiddish and Arabic are also a regular part of the language curriculum in the department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.

Past and Recurring Courses

For a listing of past and recurring courses with an Israel Studies focus, click here.

Language-based StudiesPast and Recurring Courses