Upcoming Jewish Studies Courses: Fall 2015

COR 359: The Media and the Middle East
MW 1:40P-3:20P
Prof. Michael 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 121: Elementary Modern Hebrew I
MW 3:35P-5:15P
Prof. Lee Bretan
This course is designed for students with no prior experience in the language.  Special emphasis is placed on active communication to develop oral and comprehension skills. 

HEB 122: Elementary Modern Hebrew II
T/TH 5:30P- 7:10P
Prof. Boaz Avraham-Katz
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 121 or permission by chair of the department. 

HST 316: The Modern Middle East
T/TH 10:30A-12:10P
Prof. Brian Digre
This course offers an historical perspective for better understanding the contemporary Middle East.  After surveying earlier events, the class focuses on the twentieth century.  Among the topics we will explore are the two world wars, the effects of the Paris Peace Conference and mandate system, the rise of modern states, the development of Arab nationalism and Islamic revivalism, contemporary social tensions, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and revolution, war and the political economy of oil in the Arabian/Persian Gulf.

HST 339: A History of the Holocaust
MWF 9:25A-10:35A
Prof. Stefan Ionescu
This history of the Holocaust explores the roots of this event, beginning with historical anti-Semitism and the impact of this tradition on Adolph Hitler and the Nazis. Topics also include Hitler's racial policies between 1933-1938, their spread throughout Nazi Europe between 1939-1941, the evolution of the Final Solution from 1941-45 and post-World War II Holocaust developments and questions.

REL 205: Jewish Traditions
MWF  12:15P-1:25P
Prof. Geoff Claussen
This course traces the history of the Jewish community from its origins in ancient Israel to the present day, considering the evolution of its major ideas and practices as well as the diversity of Jewish cultures throughout the world. We will explore a range of classical and contemporary Jewish approaches to theology, ethics, ritual, gender, peoplehood, spirituality, authority, and relations with other communities.  This foundational course is the one course required for a minor in Jewish Studies.

REL 212: An Introduction to the New Testament and Early Christian Literature
T/TH 8:00A-9:40A
Prof. Sarah 
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 384: Modern Jewish Thought
MW 3:35P-5:15P
Prof. Geoff Claussen
This course offers a historical and philosophical investigation of modern Jewish thought, considering the approaches of major Jewish thinkers from a range of movements and approaches.  We will explore perspectives on topics including the meaning of Judaism, the relationship between the Jewish people and other nations, the authority of tradition, the nature of moral goodness, and the nature of God.

REL 472: Christians and Nazis
T/TH 10:30AM - 12:10PM
Prof. Jeffrey Pugh
This course is a look at one of the cultural forms that allowed and even acquiesced to the Nazi regime-Christianity. Specifically, this course is designed to explore the Christian faith in the cultural context of the early twentieth century to find why it was such a colossal failure in face of the Nazis. We will take a close look at Christian theology and trace out the lines of anti-Semitism that became internalized by German Christians to the point where they could not separate out their culture from their religion. We will spend the second part of the class studying the life and thought of the few who resisted the Nazis, and ask the question of what motivated those small number of Christians to resist the seduction of their society.

Winter 2016: Study Abroad (Priority Deadline has now passed)

GST 240-IS/ENG 240-IS: Holocaust Journey
Prof. Kathy Lyday

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.