JWST-113 Introduction to Judaism
Examines Judaism as it has been defined and developed as a way of thought and a way of life. The course focuses on central religious concepts, holidays, life-cycle ceremonies, and various forms of religious expression, including prayer and ritual, in order to help students understand what it means, and has meant, to be a Jew. Sponsored in part by the Jewish Chautauqua Society.
JWST-115 Jewish Philosophy and Ethics
Explores issues and problems related to the spiritual literature and philosophy of the Jewish people, from the Talmudic period through the present. Topics vary, and may include classical Jewish texts, spiritual traditions, mysticism, religious organization, gender and community, and Judaism in America. The course encourages students to recognize in Jewish texts reflections of Judaism that are diverse and, at times, antithetical to one another. Sponsored in part by the Jewish Chautauqua Society.
JWST-201 The Hebrew Bible
An introduction to the texts of the Hebrew Bible, with concern for their socio-historical contexts, literary forms, and theological insights. Attention also to the variety of ways in which this literature has been and continues to be valued.
JWST-207 Women in Biblical Tradition
An extensive inquiry into women?s stories and images in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and related literature from the biblical period. Explores the range of roles played by women within biblical narratives, the variety of metaphorical/symbolic uses of femininity in biblical traditions, and legal and ethical precepts related to the status of women in the biblical period. Methods and approaches from the social sciences, history, literary studies, and theology, as shaped by feminist theory, will serve as the main guides for this study.
JWST-228 Middle East Politics and Society
This course examines the ways in which politics and society in the Middle East are shaped by historical and contemporary structures, processes, and practices. The geographic and temporal focus of the course includes the Arab world, Iran, Turkey, and Israel during the past century and a half, from the reforms of the late Ottoman Empire, through the years of European colonalism, to the emergence of post-colonial states and their contemporary development.
JWST-255 Jewish Literature
A survey, in English translation, of Hebrew, Yiddish, and Sephardic literature, and Jewish literature of Europe and the Americas. Examines the literatures of a civilization that evolved from a territory-based to an exilic culture, and has, in the 20th century, reclaimed its territorial status, registered the cataclysms of genocide, and reflected the challenges of a regenerating diasporic culture.
JWST-302 Philosophy in the Wake of the Holocaust
This course examines the validity of certain traditional philosophical assumptions in the aftermath of the Nazi genocide. In this effort the class will read texts by scholars in a variety of fields who throw doubt on the moral value of rational thought, the telelogical worldview, the western conception of 'human nature' and the legacy of the Enlightenment through an analysis of the Holocaust and other genocides in the 20th and 21st centuries.
JWST-312 History & Culture of Jewish Cuisines
Using anthropological approaches to the study of food, this course examines the meanings and uses of various Jewish cuisines as they developed in diverse regions and historical periods. We will consider the laws of kashrut and their modern interpretations, the social history of traditional Jewish foods, the literary development of Jewish cookbooks, and literary and cinematic representations of Jewish cuisines and dining. Underlying our study will be questions concerning how class, gender, faith, ethnicity, aesthetics, and politics inform Jewish foodways. Because cooking and eating are frequently done in the company of others, much of our work will be collaborative.
JWST-338 The Holocaust
Examines the origins, implementation and consequences of the Nazi program of mass murder. Topics include history of modern anti-semitism, Nazi ideology and politics, the meaning of survival, forms of resistance, and ethical issues.
JWST-390 Topics in Jewish Studies
Discussion, debate, and evaluation of significant trends and phenomena in Jewish studies. Topics vary according to instructor preference, and may include regional literatures and histories, Jewish languages, gender and identity issues, folklore, Jewish film, Jewish music, Sephardic studies, Zionism, Christian/Jewish relations, Black/Jewish relations, etc.
JWST-500 Independent Study
Detailed exploration of literature or author(s); of a selected historical period; of a literary, historical or religious topic, problem or issue; or of creative arts related to Jewish studies. This course engages students in library or action research, research design or application, or creative work in the arts under a faculty member's direction, and it culminates the minor in Jewish studies.