PHL 361: Themes in the Films of Woody Allen
This course examines the works of Woody Allen as a paradigm case of the artistic nature of films and as a source for profound philosophical issues. Students are introduced to the general framework of the philosophy of art and look critically at issues concerning the medium of film as an art form as well as the problem of relativism across the many realms of value.
GST 240-IS/ENG 240-IS: Holocaust Journey (Winter-Term Study Abroad)
Prof. Lee, Prof. Vellani
This course will allow participants to learn about the Holocaust through tours of concentration/extermination camps, ghettos and discussions with Holocaust scholars and survivors. The course originates in Amsterdam, continues to Berlin, Warsaw, Krakow and Prague, and concludes in Nuremberg, Germany — all significant locations for Jews during the Holocaust. Students will also have the opportunity to visit Jewish museums and archives, synagogues and Jewish cemeteries, as well as more traditional tourist attractions such as cathedrals, castles and art museums. Preparation for the course will include reading the novel Treblinka (Jean-Francoise Steiner) and Night (Elie Wiesel). Students will also keep a journal and conduct research throughout the journey and will prepare their final project after they return to the States. Class discussions will occur throughout the term. Free time will be available in every city for individual research and exploration.
REL 271: Jews, Greeks and Romans: Being Jewish in the Classical World
What did it mean to 'be Jewish' in the Greco-Roman world? This course will explore the myriad ways that Jewish communities across the Mediterranean engaged with Greco-Roman culture and constructed their own ways of being Jewish. Using texts, artifacts and images--from rabbinic commentaries to Roman catacombs--we will investigate cross-cultural dialogue and interaction with local, non-Jewish neighbors with the goal of understanding how different Jewish communities understood themselves in the context of non-Jewish others.
ARH 376: Contact/Conflict/Culture: The Visual Culture of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
MW 1:40 – 3:20, Prof. Gatti
In this course we will examine the art and architecture of the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In particular we will look at points of contact, continuity, and conflict. For example, the ancient traditions of Judaism inform the development of early Christian iconographies, while later, Christian art reinterprets “Old Testament” iconographies as a critique of contemporary Jewishness. In the generations after Muhammad the arts of Islam borrows artistic motifs from the traditions of Christianity in an effort to both compete and convert. All three faiths come into violent contact during the medieval crusades, a conflict recorded in the visual arts, yet some works from this period reflect a co-existence that seems entirely contrary to the historical record.
GST 359: Media and the Middle East
MWF 10:50 – 12:00, Prof. Skube
This course examines the ways in which the Middle East is covered and portrayed in both Western and non-Western media. It aims to broaden students’ perspectives on a critical part of the world and to deepen their understanding of complex problems they read and hear about daily. By drawing on both contemporaneous and historical accounts, the course will encourage students to examine the diversity of views, each of them rooted in a different history and a different culture. The course will be taught in a seminar fashion and will require substantial reading, not only in contemporary journalism but also history, religion, cultural studies and international relations. This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third or fourth year of study. Eligible for Jewish Studies credit with an appropriately focused research paper.
HEB 171: Elementary Modern Hebrew II
MW 3:35 – 5:15, Prof. Friedman
This course builds on skills learned in HEB 170 and continues the study of basic Modern Hebrew grammar and syntax and provides further development of culture, communication and comprehension skills. Prerequisite: HEB 170 or permission by chair of the department.
HEB 271: Intermediate Modern Hebrew II
MWF 1:40 – 3:20, Prof. Friedman
This final course in basic language experience consolidates all skills learned in previous Modern Hebrew classes or students previous experience. Advanced reading, writing and speaking skills are refined through study of more advanced cultural and literary topics. Prerequisite: HEB 172 or permission by chair of the department.
REL 211: An Introduction to the New Testament and Early Christian Literature
MWF 8:00 – 9:10, Prof. Arneson
In this course students approach the writings of early Christianity as literary and rhetorical responses to ancient social, political, and religious concerns. Students are introduced to the multi-faceted worlds surrounding the emerging Christian communities, as well as some of the realities created by these writings. In so doing, this course equips students with the tools for reading complex and ancient texts from a critical perspective.
REL 212: The Hebrew Bible
MW 3:35 – 5:15, Prof. Claussen
This course introduces students to the critical study of the Hebrew scriptures. We will explore the ideas and practices of ancient Israel in light of the Near Eastern context in which the Bible developed, while also studying the traditions of ancient biblical interpretation that especially shaped Judaism and Christianity. We will carefully and critically read the Bible's narratives, poems, proverbs, and law codes, giving particular attention to its diverse conceptions of justice, love, holiness, gender, nature, power, and God.
REL 382: Jewish Ethics
MWF 9:25-10:35, Prof. Claussen
This course explores traditional and contemporary Jewish approaches to ethics. Central topics will include questions regarding love and justice, violence and peace, sin and repentance, respect for the human body, and the relationship between ethics and law. We will examine how understandings of Jewish ethics have been shaped by modernity, giving special attention to American Judaism; and we will consider how classical Jewish sources might speak to a range of contemporary moral and political issues.