Courses 2022-2023

Fall 2022 Undergraduate Courses

Jewish Studies 39

Holy Fanfiction: Retelling Stories from the Bible and Quran

Instructor: Madeline Wyse
CN# 25202
Meeting Time: Mondays/Wednesdays 4:00p to 5:00p
Location: Dwinelle 179
Units: 2

Jews and Muslims of the medieval Islamic world produced a vast literature reimagining and embellishing the tales of famous biblical and quranic figures like Abraham, Joseph, Moses and David. This “holy fanfiction” ranges from poems to romances, mystic parables to cutting satire. It grapples with thorny theological issues, as well as other contemporary concerns, from gender relations to coping with life as a religious minority. We will read and analyze a selection of these tales and pay particular attention to the ways they complicate conceptual boundary lines that we might have taken for granted: the line between Jews and Muslims, between popular culture and scholarly culture, between piety and entertainment.

– Meets Arts & Literature, L&S Breadth

– Counts towards the Jewish Studies Minor

Jewish Studies 120.001

Jewish Folktales Around the World: Past and Present, Self and Other

Instructor: Sarah F. Levin
CN# 21653
Meeting Time: Tuesdays/Thursdays 5:00p to 6:30p
Location: Dwinelle 279
Units: 3

Folklore helps us make sense of the world we live in at the same time that it entertains us. Curious about dybbuks, golems, genies (jinns)? Want to know the folktales Shakespeare used? Want to learn new Jewish jokes?

In this course, we’ll read a sampling of folktales and jokes from diverse Jewish communities (German, Kurdish, Moroccan, Russian, Yemeni, etc.) while exploring themes such as creativity and artistic expression. We’ll also address gender, group identity and values, stereotypes, and the interactions of Jews and non-Jews. Films, videos, and guest storytellers will complement discussions. Final projects allow students to pursue their interests. Students from all majors and backgrounds are welcome. Conducted in English with readings in English. Satisfies the Arts & Literature L&S breadth requirement and counts towards the Jewish Studies Minor.

– Meets Arts & Literature, L&S Breadth

– Counts towards the Jewish Studies Minor

Jewish Studies 120.002

Powerlessness and Superpowers: Comic Books & Jewish Identity

Instructor: Louis Schubert
CN# 33403
Meeting Time: Tuesdays/Thursdays 3:30p to 5:00p
Location: Evans 5
Units: 3

Coming from exclusion and powerlessness, Jewish creators invented the modern comic book. Comics are where Jewish stories get told, from the Holocaust to daily life. The superhero genre, mostly invented by Jews, narrates core Jewish ethical concepts such as Responsibility to the Other. We will read lots of comics and focus on the overlapping themes of Jewish history, identity, and faith.

– Meets Arts & Literature, L&S Breadth

– Counts towards the Jewish Studies Minor

Jewish Studies 123

Islam in Israel

Instructor: Muhammad Al-Atawneh
CN# 33174
Meeting Time: Tuesdays/Thursdays 2:00p to 3:30p
Location: Dwinelle 247
Units: 3

Islam is the religion of the majority of the Arab citizens in Israel. Since the late 1970s, Islam has become an important factor in the political and socio-cultural identity of the Arab minority in Israel; thus, the number of Muslims in Israel who define their identity first and foremost in relation to their religious affiliation has steadily grown. Because Islam is a religious code covering all aspects of life, devout Muslims in Israel seek religious guidance from Islamic legal doctrines and other Shari‘a (Islamic law) tenets, not only in spiritual matters but also in matters relating to temporal, social conduct. These Islamic legal norms are, however, at odds with both Israeli secular law and the sociocultural norms of the Jewish majority in Israel.

The intent of this course is to explore the local nature of Islam by the discussion of the evolving religious identity and its impact on the religious and socio-cultural aspects of Muslim life in Israel. Special emphasis will be placed on the dilemmas and tensions stem from the encounter between the Muslim religious norms and the Israeli socio-cultural and legal norms in various areas, e.g., banking, technology, education, gender issues, Jewish/Muslim relations, etc.

– Meets International Studies, L&S Breadth

– Counts towards the Jewish Studies Minor

History 178.001

History of the Holocaust

Instructor: John Efron
CN# 30893
Meeting Time: Tuesdays/Thursdays 9:30a to 11:00a
Location: Valley Life Sciences 2040
Units: 4

This course will survey the historical events and intellectual developments leading up to and surrounding the destruction of European Jewry during World War II. By reading a mixture of primary and secondary sources we will examine the Shoah (the Hebrew word for the Holocaust) against the backdrop of modern Jewish and modern German history. The course is divided into three main parts: (1) the historical background up to 1933; (2) the persecution of the Jews and the beginnings of mass murder, 1933-1941; and (3) the industrialized murder of the Jews, 1942-1945.

– Meets Social & Behavioral Sciences, L&S Breadth

– Meets Historical Studies, L&S Breadth

– Counts towards the Jewish Studies Minor