NEJS Spring 2022 Courses

Dancers on a stage.
NEJS 23a, The Bible and Contemporary Arts, Literature and Film

MW 3:30 - 4:50 PM

Professor Lynn Kaye

The Bible is a foundational text for contemporary art, literature, and political discourse as well as a sacred text in some religious traditions. This course examines Biblical reflections in cultural production, in global perspective, drawing on artists and writers from Eastern and Western Europe, the US, the Middle East and Latin America. It also gives students opportunities to see their own cultural contexts anew, and to explore the Bible's possible relevance to our time. 

Painting of King David with a lyre.
NEJS 110b, Psalms in the Hebrew Bible

TF 9:30 - 10:50 AM

Professor Madadh Richey

Prerequisites: NEJS 10a or 40-level HBRW course or permission of the instructor.
A close reading of selected Psalms in Biblical Hebrew, with study of their poetic, historical, and mythological features and contexts.
NEJS 115b, Gender and Sexuality in the Bible

TF 12:30 - 1:50 PM

Professor Madadh Richey

The Bible’s depiction of gender, relationships, and social values in narrative, poetry, and law. Topics include the legal status of women, masculinity, prostitution, and how particular readings of the biblical text have shaped modern ideas about gender and sexuality.

Becoming Cleopatra: The Shifting Image of an Icon book cover.
CLAS 117b, Unmasking Cleopatra: Gender, Power, and A Legacy

MW 8:30 - 9:50 AM

Professor Darlene Brooks Hedstrom

 

CLAS 119b, Homer and the Hebrew Bible

MW 2-3:30 PM

Professors Jillian Stinchcomb & Joel Christensen

This course introduces students to the critical reception and scholarly history of Homer and the Hebrew Bible. We pair these two traditions both for their authoritative position in modern cultures and for the parallel paths they have taken in the history of scholarship and the contested creation of what some have called the ‘western canon’. This course will consist of guided readings in both texts around a series of themes and questions to help students understand their cultural positions during their development and their evolution from cultural artifact to cultural archetype. We will focus our investigations around broad themes of literary form, content, curation, transmission, and authorization.

Excerpt from the Talmud.
NEJS 126a, Intermediate Talmud

TTh 2 - 3:30 PM

Professor Reuven Kimelman

Topic: Tractate Sanhedrin Chapter Three

Sanhedrin is one of the ten tractates of Seder (Order) Nezikin (Damages) that deals with damages in civil and criminal law. Chapter three of Sanhedrin deals with the issue of voluntary and compulsory arbitration and the binding nature of gambling agreements.

Painting of boats arriving on a shore.
NEJS 140b, Gender, Ghettos, and the Geographies of Early Modern Jews

TTh 2 - 3:30 PM

Professor ChaeRan Freeze

This course explores Jewish migrations through Europe and the Americas to form new communities from the fifteenth to late eighteenth centuries. It will focus on everyday life, family, material culture, religion (mysticism, magic, messianic movements, conversion), and society. The course will focus on gender, space (i.e., the ghetto, urban neighborhoods, slave plantations in Suriname, etc.), and geography.

Black and white photo of a family sitting and posing together.
NEJS 144a, Jews in the World of Islam

TF 11 - 12:20 PM

Professor Jonathan Decter

Examines social and cultural history of Jewish communities in the Islamic world. Special emphasis is placed on the pre-modern Jewish communities.

Painting of Israel road and a tower in the background.
NEJS 145a, History of the State of Israel

MW 8:30 - 9:50 AM

Professor Yehudah Mirsky

The creation of the State of Israel is one of the most surprising things in the modern world.

  • How did it happen?
  • How has it endured?
  • What does its story tell us about politics, history, identity, religion, socialism, nationalism, capitalism, in short, about our world?
People standing in front of a big fire at night.
NEJS 153a, Between Ecstasy and Community: Hasidism in Jewish Thought and History

MW 3:30 - 4:50 PM

Professor Yehudah Mirsky

From the 18th century to today, Hasidism has been one of the most dynamic and consequential movements in Jewish history. Mixing radicalism and reaction, music, storytelling and theology, community and individualism, discipline and wild abandon.

Black and white photo of Abraham Heschel and Martin Luther King Jr. and others.
NEJS 153b, The Philosophies of Abraham J. Heschel & Joseph B. Soloveitchik

TTh 3:30 - 5 PM

Professor Reuven Kimelman

The two most influential American philosophers of twentieth-century Judaism were Joseph Soloveitchik and Abraham Heschel. Their distinctive combinations of modernity and tradition changed the nature of Jewish philosophical reflection in America and abroad. 

American Judaism: A History, by Jonathan Sarna book cover.
NEJS 162a, American Judaism

MW 2 - 3:20 PM

Professor Jonathan Sarna

American Judaism from the earliest settlement to the present, with particular emphasis on the various streams of American Judaism, Judaism's place in American religion, and comparisons to Judaism in other countries.

PHIL 167a, Hegel: Self-Consciousness and Freedom in the Phenomenology of Spirit

TF 11 - 12:20

Professor Eugene Sheppard

Prerequisite: PHIL 1a or equivalent.
Offers a close reading of Hegel and pays special attention to his analyses of the changing patterns of understanding and self-understanding and the way in which he opens up these transformations for the reader to experience. In his modern paradigm, the Subject and the Object of thought necessarily affect one another's potential, essence, and fate. And through a rational comprehension of role of Spirit (Geist) in thought and the world, we can see how they become inextricably bound together. Indeed, for Hegel, the dialectic between subject and object provides the very ground for the self-aware and free subject to participate in modern life.

Family smiling and sitting at a table with a Menorah.
ED/NEJS 170b, Inside Jewish Education: Language, Literacy, and Reading

TF 9:30 - 10:50 AM

Professor Ziva Hassenfeld

Combines autobiography, classroom videotapes, curriculum investigation and fieldwork to explore the purposes, practices and effects of contemporary Jewish education in its many forms and venues with a focus on literacy and what it means to learn to read sacred texts.

Sarit Hadad
NEJS 174a, Minorities and Others in Israeli Literature and Culture (taught in Hebrew)

TTh 3:30 - 5 PM

Professor 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.

A film by Tatia Rosenthal: $9.99 The Meaning of Life on Sale Now!
NEJS 180b, Israeli Film, Literature and Culture

TTh 2 - 3:30 PM

Professor Ilana Szobel

Examines trends and myths in Israeli culture. 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 multilayered--often conflicting--picture of Israeli culture through different voices and mediums.

NEJS 181b, Film and the Holocaust

TTh 3:30 - 5 PM

Professor Sharon Rivo

Examines the medium of film, propaganda, documentary, and narrative fiction relevant to the history of the Holocaust. The use of film to shape, justify, document, interpret, and imagine the Holocaust. Beginning with the films produced by the Third Reich, the course includes films produced immediately after the events, as well as contemporary feature films. The focus will be how the film medium, as a medium, works to (re)present meaning(s).

Milgroym
NEJS 183b, Global Jewish Literature

MWTh 1 - 1:50 PM

Professor Ellie Kellman

What makes a work of fiction, graphic, or cinematic art “Jewish”? How is it shaped by its cultural, historical, and political context? We’ll search for answers to these questions in works of world-class artists from Kafka to Keret.

NEJS 186a, Introduction to the Qur'an

MW 2 - 3:20 PM

Professor Carl El-Tobgui

Traces the history of the Qur'an as text, its exegesis, and its role in inter-religious polemics, law, theology, and politics. Examines the role of the Qur'an in Islamic teachings and its global impact.

A person holding the Israeli flag and another person holding the Palestinian flag.
NEJS 189b, Formative Moments in the Disputed Land of Israel/Palestine

TF 9:30 - 10:50 AM

Professor Yuval Evri

This course examines the history of Israel/Palestine during the 20th century by focusing on several formative moments that took place pre and post 1948. It reexamines key issues that emerged around each of those events and explores the implications they had on the formation of Israeli and Palestinian societies.

In Spite of Partition by Gil Z. Hochberg book cover.
NEJS 196a, Cultural Contact Zones in Israel/Palestine

TF 11 - 12:20 PM

Professor Yuval Evri

Explores the different ways in which boundaries have been constructed and imagined in the cultural scene in Israel/Palestine from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. It traces different cultural arenas that emerged during this period using examples from literature, cinema, music and visual arts – exploring the Hebrew-Arabic contact zones, religious and secular borderlands, the national divide between Jews and Arabs, and the fluid borderland across the gender divide.

Children standing around and reading a Torah.
NEJS 235c, Topics in Jewish Education (2 cr)

W 3:30 - 4:50 PM

Professor Jon Levisohn

Topics vary from year to year and the course may be repeated for credit with permission of the instructor. What should Jewish education be? What are its legitimate goals? What are the competing visions of an educated Jew, and how do these influence educational practice? How is Jewish education similar to and different from other kinds of religious education?

A collage of book covers. Conceiving Agency by Michal S. Raucher, The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master's House by Audre Lorde book covers can be seen in full.
HRNS/NEJS 261a, Strategies and Quandaries in Contemporary Leadership (Hornstein)

M 9 - 11:50 AM

Professor Lynn Kaye

Examine leadership challenges in contemporary organizational life in reflective conversation with Jewish history and culture, and enriched by texts from critical studies, community organizing, and ethnic studies.

NEJS 263b, Colloquium in American Jewish History

Th 9:30 - 11:30 AM

Professor Jonathan Sarna

Zoomed in picture of a person holding a fabric cut out of the Star of David.
NEJS 271c, Teaching and Learning Modern Jewish History, the Holocaust, and Israel (2 cr)

M 3:30 - 4:50 PM

Professor Jonathan Krasner

May be repeated once for credit with permission of the instructor. Examines why we teach history, how students learn history, the uses of public history, and what history means within a Jewish context. Special emphasis is placed on teaching with primary sources, digital resources, and oral history. Includes an oral history project in cooperation with the Jewish Women's Archive and Keshet (a Jewish LGBTQ organization), and an introduction to Holocaust education with Facing History and Ourselves.

GSAS 303d, Prospectus and Dissertation Writing Course

F 9 - 11:50 AM

Professor Laura Jockusch