The Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Jewish Studies Program

http://krieger.jhu.edu/jewishstudies/

The Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Jewish Studies Program was founded in 2002 to coordinate the many academic activities at Johns Hopkins dedicated to the study of Jewish history, literature, language, philosophy, politics, and religion. The program gives students the opportunity to explore over three millennia of Jewish culture, ranging from ancient Israel to the present. The Stulman Program sponsors visiting professors and course offerings in a wide variety of disciplines, awards undergraduate travel funds and graduate fellowships, and provides many opportunities for students, faculty, and the general public to participate in a wide range of lectures, conferences, and other special events.

The program offers a minor to students interested in the many dimensions of Jewish life, religion, and culture, from ancient times to the present. It will also interest students who wish to study cultures and civilizations in which thinking about Jews and Judaism played an important role, that is, students interested in Christianity, Islam, or the culture of global modernity. Because of its interdisciplinary nature, the Jewish studies minor offers students access to a broad array of humanities and social sciences disciplines. It therefore serves as a good complement to many majors, as well as providing indispensable intellectual training to anyone interested in Jewish professional life.

Minor in the Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Jewish Studies Program

The Jewish Studies minor requires a minimum of six courses (amounting to at least 18 credits) selected from those approved by the Advisory Committee of the Jewish Studies Program. The courses must be from at least two departments, and at least three must be upper- level courses (300-level or above). All courses applied towards the minor must be taken for a letter grade and a grade of C- or better must be earned.  In addition, only two courses with any single professor can be counted towards the minor.

The requirements for a minor in Jewish studies are as follows:

Six Jewish Studies Courses
Three courses at any level9
Three 300-level or higher courses9
Total Credits18

Students may take up to two courses in Hebrew or Yiddish language study to apply towards the minor requirements.

For current course information and registration go to https://sis.jhu.edu/classes/

Courses

AS.193.100. Yiddish Bibliography: a seminar for intermediate and advanced Yiddish students. 3.00 Credits.

Yiddish Bibliography: a seminar for intermediate and advanced Yiddish students. The seminar's aim is to introduce the students to a large set of Yiddish resources, along various topics and research areas, while improving their Yiddish reading and expression skills.
Instructor(s): E. Niborski.

AS.193.200. Early Holocaust Literature: Jewish Poetry and Prose 1939-1949. 3.00 Credits.

Introduces the two earliest forms of Holocaust literature: literary writing by Jews under Nazi rule and literary writing by Jewish survivors of the Holocaust produced in its immediate wake (between liberation in 1945 and the decisive moment of the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948). Treats questions of literature as a form of immediate reaction to persecution and annihilation, literature as testimony, the relationship of poetics and early Holocaust memory and consciousness. Reference will be made mainly to professional writers in Yiddish and Polish. All readings in English translation.
Instructor(s): M. Trinh
Area: Social and Behavioral Sciences
Writing Intensive.

AS.193.201. Early Modern Jewry in Europe and the Mediterranean. 3.00 Credits.

The course examines the transition from medievalism to modernity among the Jews of Europe and the Mediterranean between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, paying attention to both material and intellectual life, and to women and children side by side with merchants and rabbis.
Instructor(s): E. Horowitz
Area: Social and Behavioral Sciences
Writing Intensive.

AS.193.202. Everyday Voices of the Holocaust: Popular Jewish Poetic Expression in the Ghettos and Camps. 3.00 Credits.

The course aims to encourage knowledge of a relatively unknown mass phenomenon - poetic creativity by Jews under Nazi Rule, in the Ghettos and Camps. The study of mostly unpublished, multilingual texts, written by non-professional writers, will enable to better understand the complexity of immediate Jewish reaction to Holocaust reality, in its multicultural contexts. Texts from selected ghettos and camps, originally written in Yiddish, Polish, German and Hebrew will be read in English translation and analyzed - also with emphasis on the differences and similarities between East and West European Jewry.
Instructor(s): M. Trinh.

AS.193.203. Jews and the British Empire. 3.00 Credits.

What can we learn about Jewish history, politics, and culture by examining Jews in imperial and colonial settings, particularly the British Empire? How has Britain, its empire, history, culture, and language shaped the modern Jewish experience? Over the course of the semester, we will investigate these questions and explore the diverse history of Jews across the British Empire in the modern period. We will move from Britain, to Mandate Palestine, from India to South Africa, and beyond. We will analyze the role that Britain and the British Empire played in the formation of modern Jewish politics and culture, especially Zionism. The course will focus primarily on the 19th and 20th centuries, concluding with an examination of contemporary British antisemitism, anti-Zionism, and relations with Israel.
Instructor(s): E. Imber
Area: Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.193.300. Readings in Yiddish. 3.00 Credits.

Instructor(s): E. Niborski
Area: Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.193.301. Reading the Bible and Encountering its World. 3.00 Credits.

The course examines the interactions between travel and biblical interpretation between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries, paying particular attention to the ways in which travelers to the Middle East and then scholars saw its residents as relics of an unchanging biblical world, whose practices could be used to interpret scriptural texts from both the Old and New Testaments.
Instructor(s): E. Horowitz
Area: Social and Behavioral Sciences
Writing Intensive.

AS.193.304. Everyday Voices of the Holocaust: Popular Jewish Poetic Expression in the Ghettos and Camps. 3.00 Credits.

The course aims to encourage knowledge of a relatively unknown mass phenomenon - poetic creativity by Jews under Nazi Rule, in the Ghettos and Camps. The study of multi-lingual texts, written by non-professional writers, will enable to better understand the complexity of immediate Jewish reaction to Holocaust reality, in its multi-cultural contexts. Texts from selected ghettos and camps, originally written in Yiddish, Polish, German and Hebrew will be read in English translation and analyzed. Emphasis will be put on the differences and similarities between Eastern and Western European Jewry.
Instructor(s): M. Trinh
Area: Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.193.305. The Emergence of Israel. 3.00 Credits.

Is there a single unified story of the emergence of the State of Israel? In this seminar we will trace the origins of contemporary Israel’s diverse society, discover the plurality and diversity of that society’s stories about itself, and discover some of the roots of its conflicted multiculturalism through a critical reading of texts ranging from works of utopian social and political radicalism to expressions of national-religious messianism. All texts in English translation.
Instructor(s): I. Bartal.

Cross Listed Courses

English

AS.060.332. Jewish American Fiction. 3.00 Credits.

This course will consider the development of Jewish American fiction over the past century through an examination of major authors and topics, with particular attention to novels whose historical trajectories reach geographically back and forth from America to Europe, and temporally back and forth across the Holocaust, the century’s defining event. These novels thus frequently have multiple settings and treat familial, communal, and intellectual life, along with topics such as emigration, anti-Semitism, and religious belief, over a span of several generations. The list includes authors whose works first appeared in Yiddish (Lamed Shapiro and Isaac Bashevis Singer) and authors whose sensibilities are decidedly American, but all write with attention to the tenuous assimilation, dislocation, trauma, and linguistic complexity that often marked twentieth-century Jewish life, no less in the United States at times than in Europe. Works studied will include: Dara Horn, In the Image; Rebecca Goldstein, Mazel; Bernard Malamud, The Fixer; Lamed Shapiro, The Cross and Other Jewish Stories; Isaac Bashevis Singer, Shosha; Cynthia Ozick, The Shawl; Nicole Krauss, A History of Love; Jerzy Kosinski, Steps; Philip Roth, Nemesis; Shalom Auslander, Hope: A Tragedy: A Novel
Instructor(s): E. Sundquist
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.375. Literature of the Holocaust. 3.00 Credits.

The course will focus on reactions to, and representations of, the Holocaust in European, Israeli, and American literature. In moving from the initial response of eyewitness testimony, through the emergence of fiction as one means to test the adequacy of historical accounts and memoirs, and on to more recent reflections on the problem of adequately “remembering” the event, we will consider how the Nazi genocide has entered into world consciousness. What does it mean to have an artistic or aesthetic response to such an event? Why has the Holocaust assumed so a significant role in contemporary life that there are entire genres of literature and film devoted to it? We will also look at some more contemporary writers whose work deals indirectly with the after-effects of the Holocaust. Readings may include: Levi, Survival in Auschwitz; Borowski, This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen; Delbo, Auschwitz and After; Kosinski, The Painted Bird; Grossman, See Under: Love; Ozick, The Shawl; Epstein, King of the Jews; Roth, The Plot against America; Appelfeld, Baddenheim 1939; Coetzee, Elizabeth Costello; Phillips, The Nature of Blood. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies.
Instructor(s): E. Sundquist
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.060.382. Jewish American Literature. 3.00 Credits.

A survey of major works, principally novels.
Instructor(s): E. Sundquist
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

History

AS.100.128. Ancient and Medieval Jewish History. 3.00 Credits.

History of the Jews under empires and monarchies, from the Persian restoration to the Spanish expulsion. Emphasis on Jews in the Middle East and how the rise of Christianity and Islam challenged, transformed and strengthened Judaism. Cross listed with Jewish Studies.
Instructor(s): M. Rustow
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.100.129. Introduction to Modern Jewish History. 3.00 Credits.

Jewish history 1750-present in Europe, the Near East, the US, Israel; the challenges of modernity and new forms of Jewish life and conflict from Enlightenment and emancipation, Hasidism, Reform and Orthodox Judaism to capitalism and socialism; empire, nationalism and Zionism; the Holocaust. Extensive attention to US Jewry and State of Israel.
Instructor(s): K. Moss
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.100.315. Jewish Political Thought and Social Imagination, 1880-1940. 3.00 Credits.

How a range of Jewish thinkers, activists, and creative writers grappled intellectually with the challenge of the nation-state, the rise and collapse of empires, antisemitism as a political phenomenon, the nature of politics and political action, the nature of modern societies, and the question of Jewish self-determination and sovereignty, 1880-1940. Readings by Herzl, Bernard Lazare, Freud, Kafka, Leshtshinsky, Arendt, Adorno, Michael Chabon, among others.
Instructor(s): K. Moss
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.100.343. Diaspora, Nation, Race, and Politics. 3.00 Credits.

For millions of people across the globe, political fate in the 20th century was defined at the intersection of diaspora, race, and nation — and this may be true in the 21st century as well. This course, a collaborative effort involving a historian and a political scientist, explores the parallels and divergences in the deployment of these terms in nationalist and transnational mobilization, literature and aesthetics, and group identity formation in Eastern Europe, Africa and the New World of the Americas. Set against the backdrop of the fall of significant empires in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, we will explore themes of migration, human rights, the nation-state system, and racism through history, political sociology, and political and social theory. We will pay particular attention to the theoretically exemplary Jewish and Black experiences of diaspora, race, and nation, engaging both with how those experiences were specially shaped by the imposition of national and racial logics and with Black and Jewish politics and thought in relation to those categories. Readings include Max Weber, W. E. B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, Theodor Herzl, Hannah Arendt, Benedict Anderson, Rogers Brubaker, Andrew Zimmerman, Michele Mitchell, David Scott.
Instructor(s): K. Moss; M. Hanchard
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Writing Intensive.

AS.100.344. The Holocaust. 3.00 Credits.

This course expands the knowledge of the Holocaust by including experiences of Eastern European Jewry and by discussing recent historiographic debates in the field such as 'ordinary men,' perpetrators, and collaboration. Prior experience in an introductory European history or Jewish studies course strongly recommended.
Instructor(s): L. Braun
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.100.345. Religion, Secularity, and Nationhood in Modern Jewish Identity Politics. 3.00 Credits.

How have ethnonational, religious, and secular forms of self-definition played out in Jewish life over the past hundred years, and what sorts of relationships are taking shape between them now? Particular foci include: religious revival in Israel and the fate of Zionism’s ostensibly secular nationalist project in comparative perspective (Ravitzky, Walzer, Friedland); the surprising flourishing of kabbalistic/mystical thought in contemporary Jewish life (Garb); varieties of secular and religious visions of Jewish collective identity (Ohana, Lustick); new and resurgent forms of Judaism in the US; religion and gender (Fader), among other topics. Time at end of semester for independent reading and research.
Instructor(s): K. Moss
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Writing Intensive.

AS.100.351. God, Self, Nation and Revolution in East European Jewish Life and Thought, 1860-1939. 3.00 Credits.

The divided Jewish community of modern Eastern Europe defined many of the key modern forms of Jewish identity, politics, culture, and religion and forged bewildering array of syntheses, hybrids, and even negations of Jewishness in relation to the unprecedented political, cultural, and social dilemmas of life in Eastern Europe. Focus on key texts of Jewish religious and secular thought created in Imperial Russia and interwar Poland.
Instructor(s): K. Moss
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Writing Intensive.

AS.100.354. History of Israel, 1948-1970. 3.00 Credits.

The political, social, and culture history of the State of Israel and its inhabitants during its pivotal first two decades, as reconstructed in recent historiography.
Instructor(s): K. Moss
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.100.363. The Development of the Sabbatian Movement. 3.00 Credits.

This course examines the development of Sabbatianism, the most important messianic movement in the history of Judaism. We shall discuss the messianic claims of Sabbatai Tsevi, the spread of religious fervor among the Jews of Middle East, Europe, and North Africa, rabbinic opposition to the movement, and shall compare it to similar phenomena in Islam and Christianity. Special attention will be paid to reading of primary Sabbatian sources in English translation.
Instructor(s): Staff
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.100.371. Jewish History in the 20th Century. 3.00 Credits.

Jewish history, politics, and culture across a century of enormous transformations and transformative enormities in Europe, the US, and the Middle East. Topics include: impacts on Jewish life of World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the post-imperial reordering of the Eastern Europe and the Middle East; Zionism and other modes of Jewish contestatory politics; the consolidation of American Jewry; Nazism and the Holocaust in Europe; formation and development of the State of Israel; the global reordering of Jewish life amid cross-currents of the Cold War, conflict in the Middle East, and success in the US. Substantial attention to recent and contemporary history including the dramatic changes in Israeli society and polity over the past forty years and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Each week, professor will provide detailed background lecture during first session and second session will be devoted to in-depth discussion of key primary texts and historical monographs that capture Jewish responses to 20th century processes and events.
Instructor(s): K. Moss
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Writing Intensive.

AS.100.412. Jewish History in British Mandatory Palestine 1917-1947. 3.00 Credits.

Recent historical writing on Jewish politics, culture, and society in British Mandatory Palestine, 1917-1947. Significant attention will also be paid to work on Palestinian Arab society and politics and to Jewish-Arab-British relations.
Instructor(s): K. Moss
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Writing Intensive.

AS.100.415. Papyrus, Parchment, and Paper. 3.00 Credits.

The diffusion of writing technologies before the industrial age, especially around the Mediterranean; the preservation of lightweight, portable texts; modern discoveries (Oxyrhynchus, Dead Sea Scrolls, Nag Hammadi, Cairo Geniza).
Instructor(s): M. Rustow
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Writing Intensive.

AS.100.447. Christian-Jewish Polemics in the Middle Ages and the Construction of the Enemy. 3.00 Credits.

The four great public Christian-Jewish disputations of the high middle ages: Paris, Barcelona, Majorca, Tortosa. Original Hebrew and Latin sources in English translation; questions of the changing motives for anti-Judaism and the formation of a persecuting society.
Instructor(s): P. Capelli
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.100.611. Kabbalah and the Enlightenment: Reading 'The Manuscript' Found in Saragossa.

The course will discuss the European Enlightenment’s attitude to the Jewish esoteric lore. As a lens to discuss this topic, we shall use Jan Potocki’s novel “The Manuscript Found in Saragossa”.
Instructor(s): Staff
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.100.624. How to Be a Disciple of the Sages: Norms of Behavior, Ethics and Etiquette in Early Rabbinic Literature.

Moral instruction in early rabbinic literature (Pirqe Aboth, Aboth de-Rabbi Nathan, Derekh Eretz Rabbah and Zuta, Pereq ha-Shalom) is a very revealing example of the composite character of rabbinic Judaism, its manifold, not only Biblical roots, and its intense osmosis of neighboring traditions: Hellenistic and Roman philosophies, early Christian and Islamic doctrines, rules and handbooks of manners from medieval European monasteries and courts. This seminar will investigate the classical sources of Jewish morals in both Jewish and non-Jewish texts.
Instructor(s): P. Capelli
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.100.643. Jewish Paths Through Modernity.

Intensive introduction to the key trends and trajectories in modern Jewish history and the major themes in Jewish historiography. Intended to serve both graduate students outside the Jewish history field and students beginning the graduate study of modern Jewish history. Open to undergraduate seniors with the permission of the instructor.
Instructor(s): K. Moss
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Writing Intensive.

AS.100.655. Jewish History and Historiography in Ottoman and British Palestine.

Recent historiography on Jewish politics, culture, and society in late Ottoman and British Mandatory Palestine, 1880s-1947, English and Hebrew. With permission of the professor.
Instructor(s): K. Moss
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Writing Intensive.

AS.100.667. Topics in Modern Jewish History.

Intensive readings in historiography of modern Jewry, with particular focus on Jewish life in 19th - 20th century Palestine and the State of Israel. Recommended Course Background: AS.100.668
Instructor(s): K. Moss
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.100.759. The Cairo Geniza (Spring).

Documentary sources from the Cairo Geniza in Judaeo-Arabic, Arabic, and Hebrew. Paleography, genre, diplomatic, corpora and editorial technique; historical context, interpretation, historiography and history of the field. Cross listed with Jewish Studies.
Instructor(s): M. Rustow
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Near Eastern Studies

AS.130.118. Ancient Israel: In Their Own Words. 3.00 Credits.

This course will focus on the inscriptions of ancient Israel and its neighbors from the first millennium BCE. Texts speak to us directly in ways that other nonverbal archaeological remains – such as architecture or pottery – cannot. Also, secondary sources written by later historians and commentators are similarly limited, as they are separated from original events by space, time, and cultural situation. Considering how individuals from an ancient culture articulate thoughts “in their own words” is invaluable to any meaningful reconstruction of history. Participants will learn to glean information from inscriptions, including those that are fragmentary or seemingly mundane. They will experience hands-on history writing, using primary sources in translation, though those with any knowledge of ancient languages, especially Classical Hebrew, will be able and encouraged to engage with the texts in their original vernacular. Basic knowledge of world history will be helpful though not prerequisite.
Prerequisites: AS.130.134
Instructor(s): H. Parker
Area: Humanities.

AS.130.140. Hebrew Bible / Old Testament. 3.00 Credits.

The Bible is arguably the most read and yet most misinterpreted book of all time, one of the most influential and yet most misapplied work of literature. The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is Scripture to Jews and Christians yet also a rich collection of literature w/ numerous literary genres that has been highly influential on secular Western culture. At its core, it is our most important literary source that (when wed with archaeology) helps us to understand the people and culture of Iron Age Israel and Judah. This is an introductory course surveying of the books of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) giving primary attention to the religious ideas they contain and the ancient contexts in which they were composed. Topics include: The Academic Study of Religion, Ancient Creation Accounts, Ancestral Religion, The Exodus and Moses, Covenant, Tribalism and Monarchy, The Ideology of Kingship, Prophecy, Priestly Sources, Psalms, Wisdom Literature, and Apocalyptic Thought.
Instructor(s): T. Lewis
Area: Humanities.

AS.130.202. Ancient Mythology. 3.00 Credits.

This course explores the mythology of the ancient Near East from the invention of writing in Sumer in 3000 B.C. until the conquest of Alexander the Great near the end of the first millennium B.C. Mythological texts from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Anatolia, the Levant, and the Bible will be read from a comparative perspective. Special attention is paid to the origin and development of the epic, culminating in the great Epic of Gilgamesh, but considerable time is also given to the vast mythological and historical literature, and such diverse genres as love poetry, proverbs, humorous dialogues, Omens, and legal and medical texts. All readings are in English translation.
Instructor(s): P. Delnero
Area: Humanities.

AS.130.301. History of Ancient Syria-Palestine. 3.00 Credits.

A survey of the history of Ancient Syria and Cannan, including Ancient Israel.
Instructor(s): P. McCarter
Area: Humanities.

AS.130.302. History: Ancient Syria-Palestine II. 3.00 Credits.

A survey of the history of Ancient Syria and Cannan, including ancient Israel. Taught with AS.134.661. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies.
Instructor(s): P. McCarter
Area: Humanities.

AS.130.330. The Garden of Eden. 3.00 Credits.

References to the story of the Garden of Eden can be found in every significant issue of our time, from sex to politics, from race to the environment. The course will examine the story itself as well as how it's been interpreted, leading up to today. Enthusiastic participation required.
Instructor(s): E. Robbins
Area: Humanities.

AS.130.341. Traditionalism vs. Orthodoxy in the Modern Era: The Case of Judaism. 3.00 Credits.

During the Modern Era in European history, the Traditionalist Jewish civilization of Europe that had evolved over many centuries went into deep crisis. The new political, social, and intellectual realities which characterized Modernity seriously challenged, overwhelmed, and indeed threatened to destroy the Jewish Traditionalist culture and society. In response, different Traditionalist thinkers and communities evolved a number of strategies for surviving in a modern environment, strategies that unexpectedly transformed Traditionalism into something different, which came to be called Orthodox Judaism. This course explores this process of transformation, which has had an important impact on Jewish life in the modern and post-modern eras. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies.
Instructor(s): D. Katz
Area: Humanities.

AS.130.343. Dead Sea Scrolls-English. 3.00 Credits.

A survey of the manuscripts found at Quran and other sites near the Dead Sea.
Instructor(s): P. McCarter
Area: Humanities.

AS.130.346. Introduction to the History of Rabbinic Literature. 3.00 Credits.

Broadly surveying classic rabbinic literature, including the Talmud and its commentaries, the legal codes and the response, this seminar explores the immanent as well as the external factors that shaped the development of this literature, the seminal role of this literature in Jewish self-definition and self-perception, and the role of this literature in pre-modern and modern Jewish culture.
Instructor(s): D. Katz
Area: Humanities.

AS.130.348. Religious Law Wrestles With Change: The Case of Judaism. 3.00 Credits.

Description: How does a religious system which defines its ancient laws as God-given and unchangeable apply them to radically different and changing social, political and intellectual situations? This course explores the literature of Questions and Answers(She'elot u-Teshuvot), the Jewish legal responsa which have struggled to match Jewish religious law to modern life for fifteen centuries. A sweeping survey of Jewish history as revealed by one of its most impenetrable yet fascinating sources. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies.
Instructor(s): D. Katz
Area: Humanities.

AS.130.352. History of Hasidism. 3.00 Credits.

Although it appears to be a relic of pre-modern Judaism, Hasidism is a phenomenon of the modern era of Jewish history. This course surveys the political and social history of the Hasidic movement over the course of the last three centuries. Students will also explore basic features of Hasidic culture and thought in their historical development. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies.
Instructor(s): D. Katz
Area: Humanities.

AS.130.359. Reading the Talmud in the Post-Talmudic Era. 3.00 Credits.

Life and Death, Survival and Martyrdom, in the Literature of Post-Talmudic Rabbinic Judaism. Readings in the Original Sources (Knowledge of Hebrew Required). Cross-listed with Jewish Studies.
Instructor(s): D. Katz
Area: Humanities.

AS.130.366. Reading the Talmud in Pre-modern Jewish Culture. Attempting to Cope With Abusive Husbands: Annullment of Marriage in the Literature of Post Talmudic Rabbinic Juadism. 3.00 Credits.

The evolution of Talmudic thinking resulted in laws which made marriage too easy, divorce too difficult. This generated centuries of attempts to grapple with the consequences of this conundrum in real-life situations. This course analyzes the literature produced by these attempts. Students will read texts in original Hebrew.
Instructor(s): D. Katz
Area: Humanities.

AS.130.367. Jerusalem: The Holy City in History and Archaeology. 3.00 Credits.

Jerusalem has a global significance utterly disproportionate to its size or wealth, and it has been this way since the days when the city was first settled. On the one hand, this is due to Jerusalem’s role as a sacred space for all three of the world’s largest monotheistic religions: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. On the other, Jerusalem has long been the fulcrum of geopolitical struggles in the Middle East and beyond. This lecture course explores Jerusalem’s political, cultural, and religious trajectory over the past three millennia through the lens of the city’s amazingly rich historical and archaeological records. In so doing, we unravel the mythical and historical threads that combine to create the powerful symbolic resonance of Jerusalem today, discovering en route that, when it comes to Jerusalem, identifying what is “myth” and what is “history” is a complex and contested undertaking.
Instructor(s): J. Osborne
Area: Humanities.

AS.130.373. Prophets and Prophecy in the Bible. 3.00 Credits.

From thundering voices of social justice to apocalyptic visionaries, biblical prophets have been revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims for thousands of years. They have inspired civic leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. yet also provided fodder for modern charlatans promising a utopian future. Yet who were these individuals (orators? politicians? diviners? poets?) and what was the full range of their message as set against the Realpolitik world of ancient Israel, Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Jordan?
Instructor(s): T. Lewis
Area: Humanities.

AS.130.376. Ancient Ritual. 3.00 Credits.

This course will introduce students to the vast body of rituals that were practiced and performed in antiquity, with a particular emphasis on rituals from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Hebrew Bible. In addition to examining rituals from a comparative perspective, anthropological and sociological studies of ritual will be read and discussed to shed light on the social, cultural, and political significance of ritual in the ancient world and beyond.
Instructor(s): P. Delnero
Area: Humanities.

AS.130.441. Elementary Biblical Hebrew. 3.00 Credits.

Survey of grammar and reading of simple texts. (Credit given only on completion of AS.130.440 and AS.130.441). May not be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.
Instructor(s): K. Medill
Area: Humanities.

AS.130.442. Readings - Hebrew Prose. 3.00 Credits.

Reading of biblical Hebrew prose, especially from the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies.
Instructor(s): R. Liebermann
Area: Humanities.

AS.130.443. Reading Of Hebrew Prose. 3.00 Credits.

Reading of Biblical Hebrew prose, especially from the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings.
Instructor(s): R. Liebermann
Area: Humanities.

AS.134.604. The Book Of Job.

Reading the Hebrew text of the book of Job with attention to philology, textual criticism, and various aspects of interpretation.
Instructor(s): T. Lewis
Area: Humanities.

AS.134.608. Book Of Ezekiel.

A rapid reading course aimed at increasing proficiency in reading the Hebrew text of the book of Ezekiel. Various aspects of translation and interpretation will be studied (e.g., grammar, textual criticism, Philology) including literary, historical, and theological questions. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies.
Instructor(s): T. Lewis.

AS.134.652. Seminar in Ancient Israelite Religion.

Topics include history of scholarship, methodology, representations of deity, the aniconic tradition, solar Yahwism, sacred space, blood rituals, passover, royal cult, family religion, divination, prophecy, incantations, etc.
Instructor(s): T. Lewis.

AS.134.747. Old Aramaic.

An advanced course in Aramaic devoted to the study of Old Aramaic inscriptions. We will be translating and analyzing a selection of texts from Northern Syria (e.g. Bar-Rakib; Hadad; Kuttamuwa, Nerab, Panamuwa, Sefire, Zakkur), Southern Syria (e.g. Bar-Hadad/Melqart Stela, Hazael, Tel Dan) and Northern Mesopotamia (e.g. Tell Fakhariyah). Students will be expected to vocalize such texts as a study in historical and comparative linguistics and to clarify their understanding of the morphology and syntax.
Instructor(s): T. Lewis
Area: Humanities.

Philosophy

AS.150.428. Spinoza’s Theological Political Treatise. 3.00 Credits.

The course is an in-depth study of Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise. Among the topics to be discussed are: Spinoza’s Bible criticism, the nature of religion, philosophy and faith, the nature of the ancient Hebrew State, Spinoza’s theory of the State, the role of religion in Spinoza’s political theory, the freedom to philosophize, the metaphysics of Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise, and finally, the reception of the TTP.
Instructor(s): Y. Melamed.

AS.150.483. Topics in Jewish Philosophy: Hassidism. 3.00 Credits.

Hassidism is the ecstatic religious movement that emerged in East European Jewry in the mid eighteenth century. In this research seminar we will concentrate on the teachings and activities of the circle of Dov Ber of Mezrich between 1760 and 1772. We will study both internal and external sources (such as Salomon Maimon’s report in his Lebensgeschichte). All materials will be available in English translation, though reading knowledge of Hebrew would be an asset.
Instructor(s): Y. Melamed.

Political Science

AS.190.344. Seminar In Anti-Semitism. 3.00 Credits.

Jews exercise a good deal of power in contemporary America.. They are prominent in a number of key industries, play important roles in the political process, and hold many major national offices. For example, though Jews constitute barely two percent of America’s citizens, about one-third of the nation’s wealthiest 400 individuals are Jewish and more than ten percent of the seats in the U.S. Congress are held by Jews. One recent book declared that, “From the Vatican to the Kremlin, from the White House to Capitol Hill, the world’s movers and shakers view American Jewry as a force to be reckoned with.” Of course, Jews have risen to power in many times and places ranging from the medieval Muslim world and early modern Spain through Germany and the Soviet Union in the 20th century. In nearly every prior instance, though, Jewish power proved to be evanescent. No sooner had the Jews become “a force to be reckoned with” than they found themselves banished to the political ma rgins, forced into exile or worse. Though it may rise to a great height, the power of the Jews seems ultimately to rest on a rather insecure foundation. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies.
Instructor(s): B. Ginsberg
Area: Social and Behavioral Sciences
Writing Intensive.

AS.190.434. Does Israel Have a Future?. 3.00 Credits.

Israel is one of the only countries whose existence is openly challenged. This class will examine the future of Israel focusing on international and domestic threats to its continued existence as a Jewish democracy. Outside threats to be considered include nuclear attack and the growing international movement to delegitimize Israel. domestic challenges include demographic changes, the role of religion in governance, and doubts as to whether one can be a Jewish state and still be a democracy. Lessons from the destruction of the ancient Israelite kingdoms and from contemporary state deaths will be included. The course will conclude by considering efforts that Israel can undertake to meet the threats it faces.
Instructor(s): S. David
Area: Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.191.335. Arab-Israeli Conflict (IR). 3.00 Credits.

The course will focus on the origin and development of the Arab-Israeli conflict from its beginnings when Palestine was controlled by the Ottoman Empire, through World War I, The British Mandate over Palestine, and the first Arab-Israeli war (1947-1949). It will then examine the period of the Arab-Israeli wars of 1956, 1967, 1973, and 1982, the Palestinian Intifadas (1987-1993 and 2000-2005); and the development of the Arab-Israeli peace process from its beginnings with the Egyptian-Israeli treaty of 1979, the Oslo I and Oslo II agreements of 1993 and 1995, Israel's peace treaty with Jordan of 1994, the Road Map of 2003; and the periodic peace talks between Israel and Syria. The conflict will be analyzed against the background of great power intervention in the Middle East, the rise of political Islam and the dynamics of Intra-Arab politics, and will consider the impact of the Arab Spring.
Instructor(s): R. Freedman
Area: Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.191.398. The International Politics of Genocide. 3.00 Credits.

This course examines the creation of the concept of genocide and explores its controversial evolution in international law, humanitarian efforts, and global politics. Dean’s Teaching Fellowship course.
Instructor(s): B. Meiches
Area: Social and Behavioral Sciences
Writing Intensive.

German & Romance Languages & Literatures

AS.210.163. Elementary Yiddish I. 3.00 Credits.

Year-long course. Includes the four language skills, reading,writing, listening, and speaking, and introduces students to Yiddish culture through text, song, and film. Emphasis is placed both on the acquisition of Yiddish as a tool for the study of Yiddish literature and Ashkenazic history and culture, and on the active use of the language in oral and written communication. Both semesters must be taken with a passing grade to receive credit. Students wishing to retain credits for Yiddish Elements I must complete Yiddish Elements II with a passing grade.
Instructor(s): B. Caplan.

AS.210.164. Elementary Yiddish II. 3.00 Credits.

Year-long course that includes the four language skills--reading, writing, listening, and speaking--and introduces students to Yiddish culture through text, song, and film. Emphasis is placed both on the acquisition of Yiddish as a tool for the study of Yiddish literature and Ashkenazic history and culture, and on the active use of the language in oral and written communication. Both semesters must be taken with a passing grade to receive credit. Recommended Course Background: AS.210.163 or instructor permission.
Instructor(s): B. Caplan
Area: Humanities.

AS.210.263. Intermediate Yiddish I. 3.00 Credits.

This course will focus on understanding the Yiddish language as a key to understanding the culture of Yiddish-speaking Jews. Emphasis will be placed on reading literary texts and historical documents. These primary sources will be used as a springboard for work on the other language skills: writing, listening, and speaking. Recommended Course Background: AS.210.164 or equivalent, or two years of German and permission of instructor.
Instructor(s): B. Caplan
Area: Humanities.

AS.210.367. Advanced Yiddish. 3.00 Credits.

This course will provide students who have completed at least two years of Yiddish with the opportunity to hone their skills in all four language areas: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. In addition to advanced grammar study and readings in Yiddish literature, the course will take into account the interests of each individual student, allowing time for students to read Yiddish texts pertinent to their own research and writing.
Instructor(s): B. Caplan
Area: Humanities.

AS.210.368. Advanced Yiddish II. 3.00 Credits.

Continuation of Advanced Yiddish I (AS.210.367). Students will continue to hone their skills in all four language areas: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. In addition to advanced grammar study and readings in Yiddish literature, the course will take into account the interests of each individual student, allowing time for students to read Yiddish texts pertinent to their own research and writing.
Prerequisites: AS.210.367
Instructor(s): B. Caplan
Area: Humanities.

AS.210.369. Yiddish Texts I. 3.00 Credits.

This course will give students who have completed Advanced Yiddish the chance to improve their proficiency. The curriculum will be determined according to the research interests of the students with an emphasis placed on reading primary texts fluently. Since the course is taught in Yiddish, students will also have ample opportunity to practice the other language skills (listening, speaking, writing).
Prerequisites: AS.210.368 or permission of instructor.
Instructor(s): B. Caplan
Area: Humanities.

AS.210.370. Yiddish Texts II. 3.00 Credits.

Continuation of Yiddish Texts I. This course will give students who have completed Advanced Yiddish the chance to improve their proficiency. The curriculum will be determined according to the research interests of the students with an emphasis placed on reading primary texts fluently. Since the course is taught in Yiddish, students will also have ample opportunity to practice the other language skills (listening, speaking, writing). Recommended Course Background: Yiddish Texts I or permission of the instructor.
Instructor(s): B. Caplan
Area: Humanities.

AS.211.174. Media of Propaganda. 3.00 Credits.

Today, promoting a particular political or personal point of view is not viewed as propaganda, but rather as building a community of equally minded people. But where do we draw the line, and when does the use of a medium in service of a certain message become intrusive and misleading? What role do democracy and cultural values play in this use or abuse of media? In this class the term propaganda will be evaluated carefully and applied to such historical media case studies as the informational use of the radio in World War One, Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi propaganda films, the legendary success of advertisement campaigns in the 1950s and 1960s, the AIDS movement and other mobilization strategies from the 1980s to the 1990s, and the new values of friendship and propaganda in our current facebook nation.
Instructor(s): B. Wegenstein
Area: Humanities.

AS.211.202. Freshman Seminar: A Thousand Years of Jewish Culture. 3.00 Credits.

This course will introduce students to the history and culture of Ashkanzi Jews through their vernacular, Yiddish, from the settlement of Jews in German-speaking lands in medieval times to the present day. Particular emphasis will be placed on the responses of Yiddish-speaking Jews to the challenges posed by modernity to a traditional society. In addition to studying a wide range of texts—including fiction, poetry, memoir, song, and film—students will learn how to read the Yiddish alphabet, and will prepare a meal of traditional Ashkenazi dishes. No prior knowledge of Yiddish is necessary for this course.
Instructor(s): B. Caplan
Area: Humanities.

AS.211.253. Freshman Seminar: Why is the Fiddler on the Roof?: The Shtetl in Modern Jewish Culture. 3.00 Credits.

The most familiar portrayal of the shtetl for an American audience is the setting of the Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof, where the shtetl, or market town, is a bastion of traditional Jewish life. But what exactly was a shtetl? How did traditional Jews live there, and how were their lives affected by the sweep of modernity? How was the Yiddish language, spoken by all shtetl Jews, both a repository of tradition and an agent of change? How do representations of the shtetl--from corrupt backwater to pious haven--reflect the concerns of Jews from the nineteenth century up to our own day? Through memoir, literature, film and painting, this course will examine actual lives lived in the shtetl, as well as a selection of the many artistic representations of it. All readings will be in English.
Instructor(s): B. Caplan
Area: Humanities.

AS.211.348. Holocaust Consciousness — An Intercultural and Interdisciplinary Approach Through Media Studies and Psychology. 3.00 Credits.

This course approaches Holocaust consciousness in the U.S. and Europe within a psychological and media-theoretical frame-work. It is also part of a larger research project between the Center for Advanced Media Studies at JHU and the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna. During the semester students will be tele-conferencing during five to six class sessions with students in the same course held at the Sigmund Freud University and taught by Professors Nora Ruck and Markus Brunner. Together we will examine Holocaust consciousness in the U.S. and Europe, and such phenomena as trauma, inter-generational transmission, and projection of the trauma of the victims' and/or the perpetrators' As primary materials we will be using war memoirs and documentary films (from the films of the “Bilderverbot” to today’s family ethnographies). Students will be teamed in small, inter-cultural groups to address both U.S. and a European perspectives on these materials. An excursion to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. will also be part of the course.
Instructor(s): B. Wegenstein
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.212.432. The Dreyfus Affair: Lying for Truth. 3.00 Credits.

In 1894 French military captain Alfred Dreyfus was found guilty of a crime of treason he did not commit. The true reasons for his arrest are still under debate today: was this a sheer act of antisemitism? Why did the army create false proof against a men they knew was innocent? What was the role of the press in propagating the Affair? This course proposes to approach the Dreyfus Affair in all its complex forms, while encouraging students to carry out original and innovative research based on ta wide range of resources (caricatures and articles in the press, pamphlets, paintings, films, music, photographs, court transcripts, government archives, private letters, and hopefully more).
Instructor(s): K. Cook-Gailloud
Area: Humanities.

AS.213.309. Walter Benjamin and His World. 3.00 Credits.

All readings and class discussions in English. This course will provide an introduction to the thought, writing, and world of Walter Benjamin—one of the most interesting and influential German writers of the early 20th century. Although he died in exile having published only a single book in his lifetime, in the past three decades his ideas and preoccupations have changed the way we think about Cultural Studies, Media Studies, Literary Studies, German thought, Jewish mysticism, and the philosophy of history. We will be examining some of his major writings in tandem with precursors such as Charles Baudelaire and Louis Aragon; contemporaries such as Theodor Adorno and Gershom Scholem; and the legacy of his work among contemporary theorists, critics, and artists.
Instructor(s): M. Caplan
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.213.322. Museums and Jews, Jews in Museums. 3.00 Credits.

This course will examine the presence of Jews in museums. We will consider the history of the exhibition and collection of Jewish material culture in museums from the 19th century to the present day. Our main task will be to identify the various museological traditions that engage Jewish identity, including the collection of art and antiquities, ethnographic exhibitions, history museums, and Holocaust museums. Some of the questions we will ask include: how do museums shape identity? what is the relationship between the scholarly premises of many museums and their popular reception? and, centrally, what is the relationship between Jewish museums and museums of the Holocaust?
Instructor(s): S. Spinner
Area: Humanities.

AS.213.324. What is Jewish Culture?. 3.00 Credits.

We talk about Jewish literature, music, and art—but can a book, or a song, or a painting be Jewish? We will examine the premises of this question and the many answers that have been formulated in response to it focusing on modern European (and some American) culture. Jewishness as it relates to human identity has been conceived of as related to religion, ethnicity, race, nation, language, geography, and politics. But these keywords have also been used to engage with the question of the Jewish identity not of a person, but of a cultural product. To understand the implications of calling, say, a book Jewish, we will examine the history of the concept of culture and its emergence in the context of the formation of modern Jewish identity. We will examine theoretical and literary texts originally written in German, Yiddish, Hebrew, and English, as well as painting, photography, film, and architecture from Europe, Israel and the Americas. We will aim to arrive at an understanding of the ways that the idea of culture intersects with the formation of Jewish identity in modernity. All readings will be in English.
Instructor(s): S. Spinner
Area: Humanities.

AS.213.332. Zionism in Modern Literature: Jewish or Israeli?. 3.00 Credits.

This course will be an examination of the themes of nationalism, Zionism, and the problems of the nation-state in modern Jewish literature of the past hundred years. Among the topics we will consider are the unique challenges of a diasporic culture relocating its national aspirations to an unfamiliar and often hostile environment, the controversies surrounding political nationalism within modern Jewish culture, the competition between languages in the formation of Israeli society, the character of Israeli national culture, the relationship of Israel’s Jewish majority with its minority population, and the relationship of Israeli culture to the Jewish culture of the diaspora. To what extent does Israeli literature constitute a continuation of themes and techniques found in previous Jewish writing, and to what extent does it represent a new beginning? To what extent can Israeli literature be compared with other varieties of Jewish writing and to what extent is this writing a unique cultural phenomenon? Although the majority of works discussed will be translated from Hebrew—including such leading figures of Israeli literature as S. Y. Agnon, S. Yizhar, Amos Oz, and Orly Castel-Bloom—we will also be considering works translated from Yiddish (Mendele Moykher-Sforim), German (Theodor Herzl), and Arabic (Emile Habiby), as well as contemporary American writers such as Philip Roth and Michael Chabon. All readings and discussions conducted in English. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies, English, and the Humanities Center
Instructor(s): M. Caplan
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.213.336. Dancing About Architecture: Jewish Humor and the Construction of Cultural Discourse. 3.00 Credits.

Are all Jews funny, or only the ones from New York? This course will be an advanced-undergraduate examination of literary, theatrical, cinematic, and televised representations of Jewish culture focusing on the construction of cultural discourse through comedy. Taking as a point of departure Sigmund Freud’s Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious, we will consider the joke as a mode of narration and cultural coding with specific resonances for the Jewish encounter with modernity. Among the topics to be addressed in this course will be the origins of modern Jewish humor in traditional modes of storytelling and study; the problems of anxiety and otherness articulated and neutralized through humor; the significance of Jews in creating popular culture through the mass media (particularly though not exclusively in the United States) as well as the role of these mediums in transmitting and translating Jewish references to the general culture; the status of the Yiddish language as a vehicle for satire and a vehicle of resistance between tradition and modernity; the uses and abuses of Jewish stereotypes and the relationship of Jewish humor to anti-Semitism; the connections between Jewish humor and other modes of minority discourse; and the question of translation of Jewish humor both from Yiddish into other languages and from the Jewish “in-group” to a “post-ethnic” audience. Authors and performers to be examined will include Avrom Goldfaden, Sholem Aleichem, Franz Kafka, Dzigan and Szumacher, Lenny Bruce, the Marx Brothers, Mel Brooks, Phillip Roth, Woody Allen, Larry David, Sarah Silverman, and the Coen Brothers. All readings and discussions conducted in English.
Instructor(s): M. Caplan
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.213.348. Picturing Jews: Representing Jewish Identity in Modern Art, Film & Literature. 3.00 Credits.

This course will consider the different ways Jewish identity has been represented in the 19th and 20th centuries, focusing primarily on Central and Eastern Europe. Race, nationalism, religion, language, geography, politics—all helped shape different ways of understanding just what it meant to be a Jew, and all found expression in art and literature by both Jews and non-Jews. Looking at texts originally written in German, Yiddish, and Hebrew, including prose, poetry, journalism and drama, as well as painting, photography, graphic design, architecture, and film we will gain an understanding of the range of ways that Jewish identity could be understood and expressed as well as of the ideological stakes and historical contexts of such representations. Writers and artists examined will include Chagall, Kafka, Sholem Aleichem, and Bialik. All readings will be in translation.
Instructor(s): S. Spinner
Area: Humanities.

AS.213.361. The Holocaust in Film and Literature. 3.00 Credits.

How has the Holocaust been represented in literature and film? Are there special challenges posed by genocide to the traditions of visual and literary representation? Where does the Holocaust fit in to the array of concerns that the visual arts and literature express? And where do art and literature fit in to the commemoration of communal tragedy and the working through of individual trauma entailed by thinking about and representing the Holocaust? These questions will guide our consideration of a range of texts — nonfiction, novels, poetry — in Yiddish, German, English, French and other languages (including works by Elie Wiesel, Primo Levi, and Isaac Bashevis Singer), as well as films from French documentaries to Hollywood blockbusters (including films by Alain Resnais, Claude Lanzmann, and Quentin Tarantino). All readings in English.
Instructor(s): S. Spinner
Area: Humanities.

AS.213.383. Jewish Travel Literature. 3.00 Credits.

Exile; Diaspora; Wandering; Refugee; Immigrant—these are all keywords that have been closely associated with Jews and the Jewish experience. What binds them all is movement, whether individual or communal, voluntary or involuntary. This course will examine the connection between movement and Jewish culture and history through the various forms of Jewish travel writing. In looking at depictions of travel both fictional and historical from the Middle Ages to the 20th century we will revisit and interrogate many of these keywords to understand the ways they have been deployed to understand Jewish identity in literature and beyond. A central point of consideration will be the role of travel in shaping conceptions of Jewish identity as well as Jewish literature in the modern period. We will examine novels, short stories, reportage, and travelogues describing real and imagined journeys from and to Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and America. All readings will be in English translation, primarily from sources in Yiddish, Hebrew, and German.
Instructor(s): S. Spinner
Area: Humanities.

AS.213.387. Major City, Minor Literature? Berlin in German-Jewish and Yiddish Literature. 3.00 Credits.

Between the two World Wars, a period of intense artistic and intellectual vitality, Berlin was an international center for theater, visual arts, and literature. Many important Yiddish-language writers were drawn to Berlin and, together with their German- language counterparts, produced a body of literature that explores issues of modernity and identity. By comparing works in Yiddish and German, we will learn about inter-War Berlin’s cultural diversity and richness, while also gaining insight into the particular issues of writing about Jewish identity in the 1920s, and the implications of writing in a minor language (Yiddish). We will read works by authors including Joseph Roth and Alfred Döblin in German, and Moyshe Kulbak and Dovid Bergelson in Yiddish. All texts will be in translation. Some questions we will explore include: • What is a minority/minor language or literature? • How did German and Yiddish interact in cultural and social spheres? • Can texts in different languages comprise a single body of literature? • What did it mean to be German and what did it mean to be Jewish? • Are assimilation and hybridity useful concepts? • Is there such a thing as Jewish modernism? • How did literature of the period respond to the rise of the Nazi party and the intensification of antisemitism?
Instructor(s): S. Spinner
Area: Humanities.

AS.213.407. Museums and Identity. 3.00 Credits.

This course will explore the phenomenon of the “identity” museum through case studies involving Jewish and Holocaust museums around the world. The museum boom of the last half-century has centered in large part around museums dedicated to the culture and history of particular minority groups; recent notable (and relatively local) examples include the brand new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington and the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. Our understanding of the contemporary theory and practice of such museums will be based on an examination of the history of the various museological traditions that engage Jewish identity from the 19th century to the present, including the collection and display of art and antiquities, ethnographic exhibitions, history museums, and Holocaust museums. We will deal with two primary museological phenomena: first, the introduction of the “primitive other” into European modernity via ethnographic museums; second, the museological commemoration and representation of trauma, specifically of the Holocaust. We will explore these topics through historical documents, theoretical readings, and case studies including visits to nearby museums. All readings in English.
Instructor(s): S. Spinner
Area: Humanities.

AS.213.635. Anthropology and Modernism.

This course will examine the reciprocal relationship between modernism and anthropology in Western and Central Europe, including examples from French, German, and Yiddish contexts. We will focus on the presence of anthropological and ethnographic discourses within various registers of modernist thought, literature, and visual culture, with special attention to visual and literary primitivism. We will also consider attempts by ethnographers to shape their practice in a modernist mold. Our central concerns will include the attempt to create a modernist poetics grounded in ethnography and the relationship between anthropological theory and ethnographic praxis in the modernist understanding of “culture.”
Instructor(s): S. Spinner
Area: Humanities.

AS.213.681. In Blood and Fire: Warfare, Trauma, and Modernist Aesthetics.

Though every conventional description of modernist aesthetics dates its origins to the era preceding World War I—in some versions several decades before 1914—there has always been an understanding of the War’s “catalytic” influence on the aesthetic of chaos, madness, violence, and despair that comes to characterize at least one major strain of modernistic art. Taking the after-effects of the First World War as well as the Russian Revolution(s) as its point of origin, this graduate-level seminar will consider such writers as Sigmund Freud, Walter Benjamin, Sh. Y. Agnon, Sh. Ansky, Guillaume Apollinaire, Isaac Babel, Georges Perec, Erich Maria Remarque, Joseph Roth, Virginia Woolf, and Stefan Zweig. All readings and discussions available in English.
Instructor(s): M. Caplan
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.213.706. Literature, Museums, Mimesis.

Can museums be literary? Can literature be museal? Throughout the twentieth century and into the present, the museum has repeatedly challenged models of representation, none more so than mimesis, both as aesthetic theory and representational practice. This has been a role played by museums, both in their traditional guises as repositories of objects and — as André Malraux presciently had it — as “imaginary museums.” This course will examine the larger disruption of mimesis, and more specifically literary realism, through the particular catalyzing effects of museums. We will deal with two primary museological phenomena: first, the introduction of the “primitive other” into European modernity via ethnographic museums; second, the museological commemoration and representation of trauma, specifically of the Holocaust. Special attention will be paid to discursive, formal, and rhetorical locations of overlap between the museal and the literary, including ekphrasis, linearity, volume, and collection. Readings will include fiction, poetry, and theoretical texts, as well as secondary sources examining particular museums and exhibitions. All texts in English.
Instructor(s): S. Spinner
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.213.725. Proto-, Modern, and Post-: Locating the –ism in Modernism.

All discussions in English. This graduate seminar will seek to disentangle the interrelationship among “proto-modernism,” “modernism,” and “post-modernism” from the straightjacket of periodization and taxonomy by focusing instead on questions of temporality and phenomenology. When is the time of modernity? What precedes modernism? How is post-modernism a continuation of modernism and a break with modernity? What follows the “post” or precedes the “proto”? How does literature establish a dialogue not just across linguistic borders but temporal ones as well? And when do these processes repeat themselves due to historical and political factors? By way of complicating all of these questions we will be considering writers from “across” the 20th century, including Walter Abish, Thomas Bernhard, André Breton, Orly Castel-Bloom, Henry Dumas, Moyshe Kulbak, Machado de Assis, Mendele Moykher-Sforim, Joseph Roth, Anton Shammas, Gertrude Stein, and Robert Walser.
Instructor(s): M. Caplan.

AS.216.300. Contemporary Israeli Poetry. 3.00 Credits.

This course examines the works of major Israeli poets such as Yehuda Amichai, Nathan Zach, Dalia Rabikovitch, Erez Biton, Roni Somek, Dan Pagis, Yona Wollach, Yair Horwitz, Maya Bejerano, and Yitzhak Laor. Against the background of the poetry of these famous poets we will study recent developments and trends in Israeli poetry, including less known figures such as Mois Benarroch, Shva Salhoov and Almog Behar. Through close reading of the poems, the course will trace the unique style and aesthetic of each poet, and will aim at presenting a wide picture of contemporary Hebrew poetry.
Prerequisites: Students may receive credit for AS.216.300 or AS.300.413, but not both.
Instructor(s): N. Stahl; Z. Cohen
Area: Humanities.

AS.216.307. Reflective Mirrors: Israeli and Palestinian Cinema. 3.00 Credits.

Palestinian and Israeli cinemas have emerged side by side, each depicting its Other as a deceiving mirror of its own self. This course will analyze the different images of these Others in both cinemas.
Instructor(s): N. Stahl; Z. Cohen
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.216.342. The Holocaust in Israeli Society and Culture. 3.00 Credits.

This course examines the role of the Holocaust in Israeli society and culture. We will study the emergence of the discourse of the Holocaust in Israel and its development throughout the years. Through focusing on literary, artistic and cinematic responses to the Holocaust, we will analyze the impact of its memory on the nation, its politics and its self-perception.
Instructor(s): N. Stahl
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.216.370. Israel Through Prose. 3.00 Credits.

This course examines representations of various aspects of Israeli society and culture in contemporary Israeli prose. The course will follow both a thematic and chronological path in order to study the ways in which Israeli prose reflects political, ideological, social and cultural aspects of contemporary Israel. In this context, we will read works by several major authors such as: Agnon, Shabtai, Kahanah-Carmon, Oz, Kenaz, Yehoshua, Grossman, Castel-Bloom, Matalon, Laor, Kashua and Hoffmann. Students who sign up for section 2 will work an additional hour in Hebrew with Professor Cohen at a time mutually agreed upon by the professor and the students enrolled.-Carmon, Oz, Kenaz, Yehoshua, Grossman, Castel-Bloom, Matalon, Laor, Kashua and Hoffmann.
Instructor(s): N. Stahl; Z. Cohen
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.216.373. War in Israeli Arts and Culture. 3.00 Credits.

In this course we will study the various representations of what functions as one of Israel’s most unifying and yet dividing forces: war. By analyzing literary and cinematic works as well as visual art and popular culture we will attempt to understand the role of war in shaping Israeli society, culture and politics. Topics such as commemoration and mourning, dissent and protest, trauma and memory and the changing image of the soldier will stand at the center of the course. Students with a knowledge of Hebrew wishing to do extra work in Hebrew should enroll in section 2 and the fourth hour will be scheduled at a time convenient to the enrollees and instructor.
Instructor(s): N. Stahl; Z. Cohen
Area: Humanities.

AS.216.398. Zionism: Literature, Film, Thought. 3.00 Credits.

This course studies the relation between Israeli culture and Zionism. Based on a close reading of both literary and non-literary Zionist texts, we will explore the thematic, social and political aspects of the Zionist movement. The course focuses on primary sources and its main goal is to familiarize students with the history of Zionism and its influence on Israeli culture. In the last part of the semester we will investigate the different meanings of Post-Zionism through contemporary literary and non-literary texts as well as recent Israeli films.Students wishing to do additional work in Hebrew should enroll in section 2 where students will meet for an additional hour at a time TBD and will earn 4 credits for the course.
Prerequisites: Students may receive credit for AS.216.398 or AS.300.398, but not both.
Instructor(s): N. Stahl; Z. Cohen
Area: Humanities.

AS.216.412. The Divine in Literature and Cinema. 3.00 Credits.

This course studies various issues concerning literary and cinematic representations of the divine. We will investigate theoretical, theological, generic and aesthetic aspects of the topic and will familiarize ourselves with the general problem of the relation between religion, literature and cinema. Among the topics to be discussed are, negative theology in literature and film, theodicy and anti-theodicy, the question of religion and literary modernism, providence and narratology in the modern novel and in contemporary cinema.
Instructor(s): N. Stahl.

AS.216.444. Apocalypse Now: Apocalypse in Literature and Cinema. 3.00 Credits.

This course studies literary and cinematic representations of the apocalypse. We will investigate theoretical, theological, generic and aesthetic aspects of the topic and seek to trace the narrative dynamics as well as literary and cinematic means of apocalyptic representations. We will discuss works from various periods, languages, cultures and religions. Among the issues to be discussed: what is the apocalypse, war and the apocalypse, the Holocaust as apocalypse, Biblical apocalypse, post-apocalyptic works, the apocalypse in popular culture, realism, anti-realism and the apocalypse.
Instructor(s): N. Stahl
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

AS.216.500. Independent Study. 0.00 - 3.00 Credit.

Instructor(s): N. Stahl.

AS.216.612. The Divine in Literature and Cinema.

This course studies various issues concerning literary and cinematic representations of the divine. We will investigate theoretical, theological, generic and aesthetic aspects of the topic and will familiarize ourselves with the general problem of the relation between religion, literature and cinema. Among the topics to be discussed are, negative theology in literature and film, theodicy and anti-theodicy, the question of religion and literary modernism, providence and narratology in the modern novel and in contemporary cinema.
Instructor(s): N. Stahl.

AS.216.800. Independent Study.

Instructor(s): N. Stahl.

Humanities Center

AS.300.330. Trauma in Theory, Film, and Fiction. 3.00 Credits.

An examination of the representation of trauma in literary theory, psychiatry, survivor literature, films, novels, and comics. Works by Sebald (The Emigrants), Lanzmann (Shoah), Spiegelman (In the Shadow of No Towers), McCarthy (Remainder), and others.
Instructor(s): M. Fried
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

AS.300.379. Israeli Film and Literature. 3.00 Credits.

This course examines representations of various aspects of Israeli society and culture in contemporary Israeli cinema and literature. The course will follow both a thematic and chronological path in order to study the ways in which Israeli cinema and literature reflect political, ideological, social, and cultural aspects of contemporary Israel. In this context, we will read well-known works by several major authors and will watch major Israeli films from the 1940s to these days. We will also use a comparative approach to study the different artistic means of both mediums and to evaluate their successes in representing the various tensions of Israeli society and culture.
Instructor(s): N. Stahl; Z. Cohen
Area: Humanities
Writing Intensive.

Music

AS.376.317. Jewish Music. 3.00 Credits.

What is “Jewish music,” and what roles has it played in global and Jewish cultures? This course will address these questions, considering genres and contexts of Jewish music from cantillation to klezmer and from art music to Yiddish cinema. Cross listed with Jewish Studies
Instructor(s): J. Walden
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Writing Intensive.

Center for Language Education

AS.384.115. First Year Hebrew. 4.00 Credits.

Designed to provide reading and writing mastery, to provide a foundation in Hebrew grammar and to provide basic conversational skills. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies. Final day/time will be determined during the first week of classes based on students’ schedules.
Instructor(s): Z. Cohen.

AS.384.116. First Year Modern Hebrew II. 3.00 Credits.

Designed to provide reading and writing mastery, to provide a foundation in Hebrew grammar and to provide basic conversational skills. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies.
Prerequisites: AS.384.115
Instructor(s): Z. Cohen.

AS.384.215. Second Year Hebrew. 3.50 Credits.

Designed to enrich vocabulary and provide intensive grammatical review, and enhance fluency in reading, writing and comprehension. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies. Final day/time will be determined during the first week of classes based on students’ schedules.
Prerequisites: AS.384.116 or equivalent.
Instructor(s): Z. Cohen
Area: Humanities.

AS.384.216. Second Year Modern Hebrew II. 3.00 Credits.

Designed to enrich vocabulary and provide intensive grammatical review, and enhance fluency in reading, writing and comprehension. Recommended Course Background: AS.384.215 or permission required.
Prerequisites: AS.384.215
Instructor(s): Z. Cohen
Area: Humanities.

AS.384.315. Third Year Hebrew. 4.00 Credits.

Designed to maximize comprehension and the spoken language through literary and newspaper excerpts providing the student with the language of an educated Israeli. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies. Final day/time will be determined during the first week of classes based on students’ schedules.
Prerequisites: AS.384.216 or equivalent.
Instructor(s): Z. Cohen
Area: Humanities.

AS.384.316. Third Year Modern Hebrew II. 3.00 Credits.

Designed to: maximize comprehension and the spoken language through literary and newspaper excerpts providing the student with the language of an educated Israeli. Recommended Course Background: AS.384.315 or permission required. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies.
Prerequisites: AS.384.315
Instructor(s): Z. Cohen
Area: Humanities.

Program in Museums and Society

AS.389.350. Staging Suburbia with the Jewish Museum of Maryland-Community Based Learning. 3.00 Credits.

Work as a public historian alongside Jewish Museum of Maryland curators and staff, researching primary documents and artifacts to develop an exhibition about Baltimore’s Jewish suburbs. The show will travel throughout Baltimore. M&S practicum course. Cross-listed with History and Jewish Studies.
Instructor(s): D. Weiner
Area: Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

For current faculty and contact information go to http://krieger.jhu.edu/jewishstudies/faculty_directory/index.html

Faculty

Professors

Steven R. David
(Political Science): Vice Dean for Centers and Programs: international relations, security studies, comparative politics.

Hent DeVries
Professor Russ Family Chair in the Humanities, (Humanities): modern European thought, history and critique of metaphysics, philosophies of religion, political theologies, concepts of violence, literature and temporality.

Benjamin Ginsberg
David Bernstein Professor (Political Science): Director, Washington Center for the Study of American Government: American government and politics, political development.

Herbert L. Kessler, Emeritus
(History of Art): Early Christian and medieval art.

Theodore J. Lewis
Blum-Iwry Professor (Near Eastern Studies): Hebrew Bible, Northwest Semitic philology and religion.

Ruth Leys, Emeritus
(Humanities): history and theory of psychoanalysis, history of psychiatry and psychology, 19th- and 20th-century intellectual history, feminist theory.

Kyle P. McCarter
William Foxwell Albright Chair in Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies (Near Eastern Studies).

Yitzhak Melamed
(Philosophy): Jewish Philosophy, (esp. Maimonides and Crescas), Rabbinics, Kabbalah and Hasidism.

Glenn M. Schwartz
Whiting Professor of Archaeology (Near Eastern Studies): Near Eastern archaeology.

Rochelle Tobias
(German): modern literature.

Eric Sundquist
Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities: American Literature and Culture, including African American and Jewish American, Literature of the Holocaust.

Associate Professors

Pawel Maciejko
Stulman Chair in Rabbinics and Traditional Judiasm; (History) Jewish mysitcal tradition

Kenneth B. Moss
Felix Posen Associate Professor (History) and Director, Jewish Studies Program: modern Jewish history, Russia and Eastern Europe, Yishuv/Palestine and Israel, Jewish political thought, nationalism, theory and practice of cultural history.

Assistant Professor

Neta Stahl
(Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures): Comparative and Modern Hebrew literature, religion and literature.

Lecturers

Beatrice Caplan
(Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures): Zelda and Myer Tandetnik Lecturer in Yiddish.

Ellen Ann Robbins
(Near Eastern Studies).

Language Instruction

Zvi Cohen
Lecture (Center for Language Education).

Post Doc

Samuel Spinner
(History)