JDST/ARTH/RLGN 220 – Jewish Art and Architecture

Alanna Cooper-MW- 3:20-4:35

Over the course of their long history, Jews have contended with diaspora, boundary-crossing, minority status and anti-Semitism. Along the way, art and architecture have given shape to Jewish reflections on their complex social positionalities, ethical convictions, and religious longings. This course explores the critical role architects and Jewish artists have played in narrating and giving expression to these experiences. Critically, we will also examine the powerful position that artists of Jewish heritage have had in influencing the course of modern art. Finally, we will study the ways in which Jews have been represented by others, both in anti-Semitic propaganda as well as in more sympathetic portraits, shaping popular ideas and attitudes about Jews and Jewish culture. Offered as ARTH 220, JDST 220, and RLGN 220.

JDST/WLIT 310 – Tel Aviv-Jaffa-Jerusalem and the Israeli Cultural Imaginary

Barbara Mann-MW- 12:45-2:00

This course examines the importance of urban space in Israeli culture, focusing on three paradigmatic sites: Tel Aviv, Jaffa and Jerusalem. After an introductory discussion of urban space and the Israeli condition, we examine the depiction of these cities in a variety of texts. We will read primary literary sources in light of recent critical material on space and consider the following questions: how have competing political and cultural claims shaped the Israeli cultural imaginary? How do ideas of sacred space explicit in Jerusalem’s ancient authority compare to Tel Aviv’s claims as a modern city, and Jaffa’s status as a historical center? How are notions of exile and homeland, always central to space and identity, transformed as they are grounded in actual geographic sites? How does Jerusalem’s status as a politically contested site complicate the meaning of competing national, social and religious claims? Students will learn how to think critically about urban space, its literary depiction and cultural meaning. Offered as JDST 310 and WLIT 310.

JDST 348: Cosmic Ecologies: Medieval Jewish Art

Elina Gertsman-TR- 1:00-2:15

This course will explore late medieval Jewish art from western Europe and beyond. The first part of the seminar will focus on broad historical and historiographic issues in Jewish visual culture; topics will include, inter alia, issues of word and image, problematics of representation, the iconoclastic argument, and anti-Jewish polemic. In the second part of the course we will look at the great variety of later medieval Hebrew books with a special focus on illuminated Bibles and commentaries, liturgical books, and prayer books produced in both Sephardic and Ashkenazi contexts. In the last part of the class we will study several focused themes in medieval Jewish art, including issues of gender, zoocephalic representations, and the Kabbalah. By way of a coda, we will explore late medieval Yiddish books. Several guest speakers — leading authorities on these woefully understudied topics — will Zoom in during the course of the seminar. You will have a chance to examine three remarkable true facsimiles of Hebrew books in the collections of the Ingalls Library, including the Golden Haggadah, the Worms Mahzor, the Barcelona Haggadah, and the Kennicott Bible. Also offered as ARTH 348/448

JDST/HSTY/RLGN 371 – Jews Under Islam and Christianity

Jay Geller-MW- 12:45-2:00

This course examines the social and political status of Jews under Muslim and Christian rule since the Middle Ages. Themes include interfaith relations, Islamic and Christian beliefs regarding the Jews, Muslim and Christian regulation of Jewry, and the Jewish response.  Also offered as HSTY 371 and RLGN 371.


HBRW 101: Elementary Modern Hebrew I

Nadav Linial-MWF- 8:25-9:15

The course objective is to enable students to develop basic communicative skills in standard Modern Hebrew. Students will become acquainted with the Hebrew alphabet and vowels, and with basic grammar and vocabulary.

HBRW 201: Intermediate Modern Hebrew I

Nadav Linial-MWF- 10:35-11:25

The course objective is to advance the students’ Hebrew communicative skills by studying the language in its cultural context. The focus will be on speaking, reading, and writing, with an emphasis on the use of the language as reflected in Israeli culture.

HBRW 301: Advanced Modern Hebrew I

Nadav Linial-MWF- 12:45-2:00

The course objectives are to enhance the students’ language skills and to develop their ability to use an advanced level of Hebrew effectively. Classes will be conducted in Hebrew, and will focus on speaking, reading, and writing with an emphasis on active and creative use of the language.

HBRW 303: Multicultural Spain: Christian, Jewish and Muslim Coexistence

Ramez Islambouli, Barbara Mann, Damaris Punales-Alpizar-W- 2:15-3:05

Why is Medieval Iberia so often depicted as an example of tolerant multiculturalism? What constituted tolerance in the Middle Ages? In what sense can we speak of medieval multiculturalism? Is Americo Castro’s optimistic model of convivencia (coexistence) valid, or is Brian Catlos’ idea of conveniencia (convenience) more accurate? In this course we will study cultural theory, medieval and modern historiography, and literature from medieval Castile to the present to approach an understanding of Medieval Iberian ‘multiculturalism.’
This class will allow students to get in contact with the history of Spain through the study of the presence and influence of the Roman Empire, the Jewish and Muslim cultures and religions in the Peninsula. Through literature, cinema and art students will learn how the Spanish civilization and culture developed through the years.
The class will be offered during a regular semester, with a study abroad component at the end of it. Students will receive a handout about how to prepare for the class abroad. Also offered as SPAN 301, ARAB 303, ETHS 303, and RLGN 303