Spring 2013 Courses

Spring 2013 Courses

History | Jewish Studies | MESAAS  | Religion | Women's Studies | Yiddish/Germanic Languages and Literatures



HIST W3616 Jews and Christians in the Medieval World

Call Number: 96648   Points:  TBD

Day/Time: MW 11:40am-12:55pm  Location: TBD

Instructor: Elisheva Carlebach


Medieval Jews and Christians defined themselves in contrast to one another. This course will examine the conditions and contradictions that emerged from competing visions and neighborly relations. It is arranged to comprehend broad themes rather than strict chronology and to engage both older and very recent scholarship on the perennial themes of tolerance and hate.


AMHS W4462 Jewish Immigrant New York

Call Number: 92647   Points: 4

Day/Time: R 2:10pm-4:00pm   Location:  TBD

Instructor: Rebecca Kobrin


For the past century and a half, New York City has been the first home of millions of immigrants to the United States.  This course will compare immigrants' encounter with New York at the dawn of the twentieth century with contemporary issues, organizations, and debates shaping immigrant life in New York City.  As a service learning course, each student will be required to work 2-4 hours/week in the Riverside Language Center or programs for immigrants run by Community Impact.


HIST W4644 Modern Jewish Intellectual History

Call Number: 64699   Points:  4

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

Instructor: Michael Stanislawski


This course analyzes Jewish intellectual history from Spinoza to 1939. It tracks the radical transformation that modernity yielded in Jewish life, both in the development of new, self-consciously modern, iterations of Judaism and Jewishness and in the more elusive but equally foundational changes in "traditional" Judaisms. Questions to be addressed include:  the development of the modern concept of "religion" and its effect on the Jews; the origin of the notion of "Judaism" parallel to Christianity, Islam, etc.; the rise of Jewish secularism and of secular Jewish ideologies, especially the Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah), modern Jewish nationalism, Zionism, Jewish socialism, and Autonomism; the rise of Reform, Modern Orthodox, and Conservative Judaisms; Jewish neo-Romanticism and neo-Kantianism, and Ultra-Orthodoxy.


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JWST W3945 The Image of Jerusalem in Modern Hebrew Literature

Call Number: 16503   Points:  4

Day/Time: R 9:00am-10:50am   Location: 513 Fayerweather

Instructor: Rafi Tsirkin-Sadan


In this course we will read and discuss Jerusalem as it is portrayed in major Modern Hebrew novels. Jerusalem serves as a dynamic setting whose changes correspond to different stages of Israeli history. Despite its almost mythological status in Zionist ideology, we will discover different and critical perspectives on this city, which is, surprisingly, portrayed as the anti-thesis for the Zionist idea. In Y. H. Brenner's Breakdown and Breavement, early 20th century Jerusalem appears as the symbol of Galut. In his classic Only Yesterday,which reveals a panorama of the Zionist revolution,S.Y. Agnon presents Jerusalem as a counter-myth of secular Zionism. Three decades later, Jerusalem appears as a sanctuary for Holocaust survivors in Haim Be’er's The Pure Element of Time. In his My Michael, Amos Oz captures Jerusalem and its young generation one brief moment before the Six Day War, which fixed its central image in Zionist ideology. Each of these periods finds its counterpart in A. B. Yehoshua's historiosophical novel Mr. Mani. We will conclude the course with David Grossman's Someone to Run with and Yehuda Amihai’s Jerusalem poems, both of which represent a secular myth of 1990s Jerusalem.


Knowledge of Hebrew is not required; all readings will be in English.


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MDES W1511 1st Yr Modern Hebrew: Elem II

Section 001:

Call Number: 73875   Points:  5

Day/Time: MTWR 11:40am-12:45pm   Location:  TBD

Instructor:  Rina Kreitman

Section 002:

Call Number: 72165   Points: 5

Day/Time: MTWR 10:10am-11:15am   Location:  TBD

Instructor:  Illan Gonen


Prerequisite: MDES W1510, or the equivalent, based on performance on the placement test. Continued introduction to Hebrew, with equal emphasis on all languages skills. (See MDES W1510.)


MDES W1513 2nd Yr Modern Hebrew: Inter II

Section 001:

Call Number: 18450   Points:  5

Day/Time: MTWR 1:10pm-2:15pm   Location:  TBD

Instructor:  Rina Kreitman

Section 002:

Call Number: 26743    Points:  5

Day/Time: MTWR 11:40am-12:45pm   Location:  TBD

Instructor:  Illan Gonen

Section 003:

Call Number: 77947   Points: 5

Day/Time: MTWR 10:10am-11:15am    Location:  TBD

Instructor: Rina Kreitman


Prerequisites: MDES W1512 Equal emphasis is given to all language skills. Irregular categories of the Hebrew verb, prepositions and syntax are taught systematically. Vocabulary building. Daily homework includes grammar exercises, short answers, reading, or writing short compositions. Frequent vocabulary and grammar quizzes. (Students completing this course fulfill Columbia College and Barnard language requirement.)


MDES W1518 Hebrew for Heritage Speakers

Call Number: 62206   Points: 4

Day/Time:  TBD   Location:  TBD

Instructor:  Rina Kreitman


MDES W4511 3rd Yr Modern Hebrew

Call Number:  19203   Points:  4

Day/Time: TR 9:00am-10:50am   Location:  TBD

Instructor:  Nehama Bersohn


Prerequisites: MDES W4510 or MDES W1515 or the instructor's permission. Focus on transition from basic language towards authentic Hebrew, through reading of un-adapted literary and journalistic texts without vowels. Vocabulary building. Grammar is reviewed in context. A weekly hour is devoted to practice in conversation. Daily homework includes reading, short answers, short compositions, listening to web-casts, or giving short oral presentations via voice e-mail. Frequent vocabulary quizzes.


MDES W3541 Zionism: A Cultural Perspective

Call Number: 25193   Points:  3

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

Instructor:  Dan Miron


The course, based on Zionist texts of various kinds, will offer a view of Zionism as a cultural revolution aimed at redefining Judaism and the Jewish Identity.


CLME G6530 Dynamics of Israeli Culture

Call Number: 21513   Points:  3

Day/Time: T 9:00am-10:50am   Location:  TBD

Instructor:  Dan Miron


The course will survey the development of Israeli Literature within three time sections and along the evolving process of its three main genres. The time sections are those a) the birth of Israeli literature in the aftermath of the 1948 War (the 1950s); b)the maturation of Israeli literature during the 1960s and 1970s; c) Israeli Literature in the era of the peace process and the Intifadas (1980s and 1990s). The genres are those of lyrical poetry, prose fiction (mainly novels), and drama. The course will also follow the crystallization of three sets of Israeli poetics: the conservative (realistic) one, the modernist, and the post-modernist ones. All texts will be available in English translations. Participation does not depend on former knowledge of Hebrew or Israeli literature.


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RELI V3525 Intro to Rabbinic Literature

Call Number: 05169   Points: 3

Day/Time: TR 10:10am-11:25am   Location: TBD

Instructor: Beth Berkowitz


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 W4807 Divine Human Animal

Call Number: 07862   Points: 4

Day/Time: R 2:10pm-4:00pm    Location: TBD

Instructor: Beth Berkowitz


This course focuses on "thinking with" animals (Levi-Strauss) through the lens of the religious imagination. The concentration will be primarily on "Western" religious cultures, especially Judaism and the question of Jewishness.


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WMST BC3515 Women in Israel: An Introduction

Call Number: 01674   Points: 4

Day/Time: T 4:10pm-6:00pm   Location: TBD

Instructor: Irena Klepfisz


Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 15 students. Sophomore standing. Focuses primarily on the contemporary status and experiences of Jewish and non-Jewish women living in Israel, with sessions on: women and the law; Jewish minorities; Palestinian women; Jewish women and the military; violence against women; Israeli feminism; pre-State Israel and women and the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.


WMST W4301 Early Jewish Women Immigrant Writers

Call Number: 09334   Points: 4

Day/Time: T 9:00am-10:50am   Location: TBD

Instructor: Irena Klepfisz


Prerequisites: Students must attend first day of class and admission will be decided then. Enrollment limited to 15 students. Covers significant pre-Holocaust texts (including Yiddish fiction in translation) by U.S. Ashkenazi women and analyzes the tensions between upholding Jewish identity and the necessity and/or inevitability of integration and assimilation. It also examines women's quests to realize their full potential in Jewish and non-Jewish communities on both sides of the Atlantic.


WMST W3922 The Jazz Age: Fictional Representations of Jewish-American and African-American Women in the City

Call Number: 89039 Points: 4

Day/Time: W 11:00am-12:50pm Location: 754 Schermerhorn Ext.

Instructor: Catherine Rottenberg


This course is meant to introduce students to classic Jewish-American and African-American works from the Jazz Age, the burgeoning field of feminist urban studies, and cultural historical and theoretical work on "New Womanhood."

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YIDD W1102 Elementary Yiddish II

Call Number: 61010   Points: 4

Day/Time: TRF 10:10am-11:25am   Location: TBD

Instructor: Alyssa Quint


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 W1202 Intermediate Yiddish II

Call Number: 20428   Points:  4

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

Instructor: Alyssa Quint


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 W3334 Advanced Yiddish II

Call Number: 91197   Points:  3

Day/Time: TR 2:40pm-3:55pm   Location:  TBD

Instructor:  Alyssa Quint


YIDD G4200 Seminar in Yiddish Studies: The Family Singer

Call Number: 12801   Points:  3

Day/Time: R 4:10pm-6:00pm   Location:  TBD

Instructor: Jeremy Dauber


Though many readers are familiar with the work of Yiddish literature's only Nobel laureate, Isaac Bashevis Singer, fewer know that two of his siblings - a brother and a sister - were also accomplished writers in their own right. Through an extensive look at the work of Isaac Bashevis Singer, Israel Joshua Singer, and Esther Kreitman, this seminar will not only explore the work of some of Yiddish literature's most important writers but investigate a practically unparalleled opportunity in literary history to observe the intersection between biography, family dynamic, and literary form and content.


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*Information will continue to be updated as it becomes available.

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