Fall 2011 Courses

Fall 2011 Courses

History   |  MESAAS   |  Religion  | Sociology  | Women's Studies | Germanic Languages and Literatures 



HIST W3657 Medieval Jewish Cultures

Call Number: 46547  Points: 3

Day/Time: MW 10:35am-11:50am  Location: 513 Fayeweather

Instructor: Elisheva Carlebach


This course will survey some of the major historical, cultural, intellectual and social developments among Jews from the fourth century CE through the fifteenth. We will study Jewish cultures from the Christianization of the Roman Empire, the age of the Talmuds, the rise of Islam, the world of the Geniza, medieval Spain, to the early modern period. We will look at a rich variety of primary texts and images, including mosaics, poems, prayers, polemics, and personal letters. Field(s): JEW/MEDGlobal Core.


HIST W8611 From Herod to Bar Kokhba: Jews, Pagans and Christian

Call Number: 22801  Points: 4

Day/Time: M 2:10pm-4:00pm  Location: 301M Fayerweather

Instructor: Seth Schwartz


A detailed examination based on careful analysis (as far as possible in the original languages) of Josephus, “intertestamental literature” and Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament, Rabbinic literature, in addition to archaeological, epigraphical and papyrological remains, of one of the most tumultuous and best attested periods of Jewish history before modernity.


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MDES W1510 1st Year Modern Hebrew: Elem I

  Section 001

Call Number: 11030  Points: 5

Day/Time: MTWR 8:45am-9:50am  Location: 114 Knox

Instructor: Zipora Rubin

  Section 002

Call Number: 11496  Points: 5

Day/Time: MTWR 12:00opm-1:05pm  Location: 325 Pupin Laboratories

Instructor: Rina Kreitman


For complete beginners who wish to acquire basic vocabulary and structures, and to develop their conversation, reading and writing skills. The readings include short authentic dialogues and adapted passages. Vocabulary centers on the students' immediate surroundings and their simple daily activities. Cultural topics are presented in conjunction with the readings.


MDES W1512 2nd Year Modern Hebrew: Inter I

  Section 001 

Call Number: 16497  Points: 5

Day/Time: MTWR 8:45am-9:50am  Location: 411 Hamilton

Instructor: Michal Nachmany
   Section 002 

Call Number: 17446  Points: 5

Day/Time: MTW 10:35am-11:40am  Location: 313 Pupin Laboratories

Day/Time: R 10:35am-11:40am        Location: 602 Northwest Co

Instructor: Rina Kreitman


For students who have completed one year of Elementary Hebrew at Columbia or the equivalent, and who wish to further develop their conversation, reading and writing skills. Readings include authentic dialogues and short adapted stories and articles. Grammar instruction covers the five main categories (binyanim) of the Hebrew verb system. Discussion and short compositions in Hebrew. Cultural topics are presented in conjunction with the readings.


 MDES W4510 3rd Year Modern Hebrew I 

Call Number: 40897  Points: 4

Day/Time: MTWR 10:00am-10:50am  Location: 114 Knox

Instructor: Nehama Bersohn


For students who have completed Intermediate or Upper Intermediate Modern Hebrew at Columbia or the equivalent, and who have a good basis in the Hebrew verb system. Continued vocabulary building and practice in all four language skills, with an emphasis on reading comprehension. Readings include adapted as well as authentic literary and journalistic texts. Discussion and composition in Hebrew. Cultural topics are presented in conjunction with the readings.


MDES W4512 4th Year Modern Hebrew: Readings

Call Number: 48197  Points: 4

Day/Time: MTWR 11:00am-11:50am  Location: 114 Knox

Instructor: Nehama Bersohn


For students who have completed Third Year Modern Hebrew or the Intensive Grammar Review section of Intermediate Hebrew at Columbia, or the equivalent. Continued vocabulary building and practice in all four language skills, with an emphasis on reading comprehension strategies. Readings include authentic selections of literary, journalistic and academic Modern Hebrew texts. Assignments also include two reading projects chosen by each student in his/her area of interest. Discussion and composition in Hebrew. Cultural topics are presented in conjunction with the readings.


MDES W3542 Introduction to Israeli Literature

Call Number: 11856  Points: 3

Day/Time: MW 2:40pm-3:55pm  Location: 414 Pupin Laboratories

Instructor: Dan Miron


The course traces the development of Israeli literature since its inception in the 1940s to the end of the twentieth century. It ponders the why and the how of its separation from the earlier Hebrew literature, focuses the new issues it tackled and the new themes and forms in which these issues were expressed. Both major poets (Alterman, Amicahi, Zach, Ravikovich et al.), and major novelists (Yizhar, Shamir, Oz, Yehoshua, Shabtai, et al.) will be discussed. Texts can be read in the original Hebrew or in English translations.


CLME G6530 Dynamics of Israeli Culture

Call Number: 61280  Points: 4

Day/Time: T 9:00am-11:00am  Location: 513 Fayerweather

Instructor: Dan Miron


Sh. Y. Agnon - the Early Work (1908-1931). This graduate seminar will focus on Agnon's search for his own literary voice against the background of the poetic options Hebrew prose fiction of the beginning of the twentieth-century offered. Agnon's "dialogues" with I.L Peretz, M.J. Berdichevsky, J.H. Brenner, U.N. Gnessin as well as his attitude toward contemporary European Realism, Impressionism, and Symbolism, will be explored. Among the texts which will be analyzed: Agunot, The Good Years, Nights, Miriam's Well, The Crooked Shall Be Made Straight, The Tale of the Scribe, The Banished One, In the Prime of her Life, Ovadia the Cripple, Poland, With Our Young and with Our Old, and The Bridal Canopy.


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RELI V 2505 Introduction to Judaism

Call Number: 46747  Points: 3

Day/Time: MW 2:40pm-3:55pm  Location: 603 Hamilton

Instructor: Jonathan Schorsch


A historical overview of Jewish belief and practice as these have crystallized and changed over the centuries. Special attention to ritual and worship, the forms of religious literature, central concepts, religious leadership and institutions, Israel among the nations.


RELI V3501 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible

Call Number: 07505  Points: 3

Day/Time: MW 1:10pm-2:25pm  Location: 302 Milbank (Barnard)

Instructor: Jenny Labendz


Introduction to the literature of ancient Israel against the background of the ancient Near East.


RELI V3525 Introduction to Rabbinic Literature

Call Number: 08819  Points: 3

Day/Time: MW 4:10pm-5:25pm  Location: 207 Milbank (Barnard)

Instructor: Jenny Labendz


Examines the differences between Halakha (the legal portion of the Talmud) and Aggadah (the more legal portion) with respect to both content and form. Special emphasis on selections from the Talmud and Midrash that reflect the intrinsic nature of these two basic genres of rabbinic literature.


RELI W4503 Readings in Sephardic Diaspora 

Call Number: 42047  Points: 4
Day/Time: T 2:10pm-4:00pm  Location: 201 80 Claremont Ave

Instructor: Jonathan Schorsch


Close readings of some canonical 15th- and 16th-century works (in translation) from the Sephardic diaspora that touch on theology, philosophy, ethics and mysticism.


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SOCI V3285 Israeli Society

Call Number: 81099  Points: 3

Day/Time: TR 4:10pm-5:25pm  Location: 116 Knox

Instructor: Yinon Cohen


The purpose of the course is to acquaint students with Israeli society. The first part of the course will set the historical, social, political and demographic background which is essential for understanding current processes in Israel. The second part of the course will focus on the main social conflicts and cleavages in contemporary Israel.


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WMST W4310 Contemporary American Jewish Women’s Literature 

Call Number: 05459  Points: 4

Day/Time: T 4:10pm-6:00pm  Location: 227 Milbank (Barnard)

Instructor: Irena Klepfisz


Identifies trends in Jewish American women's writing of this period: integration of Jewish and feminist consciousness into Jewish women's mainstream writing; exploration through fictive narratives of women's roles in Jewish orthodox communities; recording of experiences of immigrants from the former Soviet Union and from Arab countries. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing. General Education Requirement: Literature


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YIDD W1101 Elementary Yiddish I

  Section 001

Call Number: 43448  Points: 4

Day/Time: TRF 10:35am-11:50am  Location: 315 Hamilton

Instructor: Miriam Hoffman

  Section 002

Call Number: 46248  Points: 4

Day/Time: TRF 9:10am-10:25am  Location: 404 Hamilton

Instructor: Jessica Kirzane


With the instructor's permission the second term may be taken without the first. Thorough study of elementary Yiddish grammar, with reading, composition, and oral practice. The cultural and linguistic background of the language is discussed.


YIDD W1201 Intermediate Yiddish I 

Call Number: 46997  Points: 4

Day/Time: TRF 1:10pm-2:25pm  Location: 404 Hamilton

Instructor: Miriam Hoffman


Prerequisites: YIDD W1101-W1102 or the instructor's permission. Continuing study of grammar on a higher level. Continuing oral practice; readings from texts of significant literary value dealing with important aspects of Jewish life and culture.


YIDD W3333 Advanced Yiddish I 

Call Number: 47946  Points: 3

Day/Time: TR 9:10am-10:25am  Location: 406 Hamilton

Instructor: Miriam Hoffman


Prerequisite: YIDD W1201-W1202 or the instructor's permission. This course may be repeated for credit. Reading of contemporary authors. Stress on word usage and idiomatic expression, discussion.


YIDD W3800 Readings in Yiddish Literature: Theories of Comedy: The Jewish Case

Call Number: 96150  Points: 3

Day/Time: M 12:10pm-2:00pm  Location: 404 Hamilton

Instructor: Jeremy Dauber


The course has two aims: the first is to provide a survey of theories of comedy from antiquity to the present, focusing mostly on readings of theoretical and practical texts about the meaning and production of comedy; and to juxtapose those with "case studies" taken from the history of Jewish comedy, also from antiquity to the present, in order to investigate the question of whether there is an essential or universal definition of Jewish humor. Open to qualified undergraduates and graduate students; no previous knowledge or coursework necessary.


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