Courses by Field

Spring 2018 Courses

Fall 2017 Courses

Past and Recurring Courses

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. 

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

Spring 2018

*Courses from Brandeis University Registrar's website as of Dec. 6, 2017*

Language based courses are not listed here. Use the following link to the Registrar’s website search results for spring 2018 for:



Israel Studies Courses

ANTH 62A — Archaeology in Politics, Film and Public Culture

Examines the use of archaeology in national politics, popular culture, and continued international debates revolving around issues of cultural patrimony. After a brief look at the history of the field and its inception within colonialism, this course centers on the contemporary uses of archaeology, including archaeology in totalitarian Nazi Germany and Mussolini's Italy, nationalist projects and the establishment of nation-building narratives (such as in Israel, Egypt, China and Mexico), and portrayals of archaeology in popular films and modern hoaxes. Importantly, this course also focuses on national and international laws concerning cultural objects and sites, and the ethical dilemmas of stewardship, repatriation, and looting. Usually offered every third year. (M,W 2:00 PM–3:20 PM)


ECON 122B — The Economics of the Middle East

Prerequisite: ECON 2a or 10a or the equivalent. Does not count toward the upper-level elective requirement for the major in economics.

Examines the Middle East economies – past experiences, present situation, and future challenges – drawing on theories, policy formulations and empirical studies of economic growth, trade, poverty, income distribution, labor markets, finance and banking, government reforms, globalization, and Arab-Israeli political economy. Usually offered every year. (M,W 3:30 PM–4:50 PM)

Prof. Nader Habibi

FA/NEJS 183A — Breaking Boundaries in Contemporary Israeli Art

Explores how the Creative Arts reflect, challenge, and reconfigure various cleavages and barriers that characterize contemporary Israeli society. This course will focus on literary, visual and cinematic artworks, organized around thematic clusters and major theoretical issues. Usually offered every second year. (M,W 2:00 PM–3:20 PM)

Prof. Gannit Ankori and Prof. Ilana Szobel

NEJS 135A — The Modern Jewish Experience

Themes include Enlightenment, Hasidism, emancipation, Jewish identity in the modern world (acculturation and assimilation), development of dominant nationalism in Judaism, Zionism, European Jewry between the world wars, Holocaust, the creation of the State of Israel, and contemporary Jewish life in America, Israel, and Europe. Usually offered every year. (T,F 11:00 AM–12:20 PM)

Prof. ChaeRan Freeze or Prof. Eugene Sheppard

NEJS 139B — Christians and Israel

Explores how different Christian groups--from American evangelicals to Orthodox Palestinians--have wrestled with both the idea and reality of a Jewish state in the Holy Land. Special one-time offering, spring 2018. (M,W 5:00 PM–6:20 PM)

Dr. Walker Robins

NEJS 146A — World Jewry since 1945

Open to all students.

Examines the post war Jewish world with special attention to Jewish communities beyond Israel and the United States. Topics include demography, the emergence of new centers, anti-Semitism, identity, and assimilation. Usually offered every second year. (T,Th 5:00 PM–6:20 PM)

Univ. Prof. Jonathan Sarna

NEJS 156A — Modern Responsa Literature: The Sephardic Tradition

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. Usually offered every second year. (W 2:00 PM–4:50 PM)

Prof. Zvi Zohar

NEJS 166A — Carnal Israel: Exploring Jewish Sexuality from Talmudic Times to the Present

Explores the construction of Jewish sexuality from Talmudic times to the present. Themes include rabbinic views of sex, niddah, illicit relations, masculinity, medieval erotic poetry, Ashkenazi and Sephardic sexual practices, and sexual symbolism in mystic literature; the discourse on sex, race, and nationalism in Europe; debates about masculinity, sexual orientation, and stereotypes in America and Israel. Usually offered every third year. (T,F 9:30 AM–10:50 AM)

Prof. ChaeRan Freeze

NEJS 166B — Who is a Jew: Converts and Conversion in Jewish Law

Highlights the central role the question of “Who is a Jew" occupies in modern Jewish life and consciousness against the backdrops of social-scientific writings on status and identity, the history of conversion to Judaism, and present day Israel-Diaspora relations. Usually offered every year. (M 2:00 PM–4:50 PM)

Prof. Zvi Zohar

NEJS 174B — Israeli Women Writers on War and Peace

Taught in Hebrew.

An exploration of nationalism and gender in Modern Hebrew literature. By discussing various Hebrew texts and Israeli works of art and film, this course explores women's relationship to Zionism, war, peace, the state, politics, and processes of cultural production. Usually offered every second year. (M,W 3:30 PM–4:50 PM)

Prof. Ilana Szobel

NEJS 183B — Global Jewish Literature

Introduces important works of modern Jewish literature, graphic fiction, and film. Taking a comparative approach, it addresses major themes in contemporary Jewish culture, interrogates the "Jewishness" of the works and considers issues of language, poetics, and culture significant to Jewish identity. Usually offered every second year. (M,W,Th 1:00 PM–1:50 PM)

Prof. Ellen Kellman

NEJS 259A — Renaissance, Revolution, Redemption: Readings in Early Zionist Thought

Explores the writings of a fascinating group of figures - including Bialik, Brenner, Gordon, Kook Rachel - poised on the cusp of traditional Jewish society and the nascent Zionist revolution. They explored the dilemmas of Jewish identity and modern politics and philosophy with great literary power and intellectual intensity. Usually offered every third year. (M 9:00 AM–11:50 AM)

Prof. Yehudah Mirsky


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