Jewish Studies (JWST)

JWST 3300. Literatures and Cultures of Modern Israel. (4 Credits)

The course will explore major themes in modern Israeli literature, film, art, and popular culture. Among topics discussed will be the social and cultural dynamics of Israeli history and contemporary life, constructions of identity, questions of ethnicity, nationality, gender, war, and conflict, and more. Texts and assignments will be in English. Four-credit courses that meet for 150 minutes per week require three additional hours of class preparation per week on the part of the student in lieu of an additional hour of formal instruction.

Attributes: ALC, MEST, MLL.

JWST 3474. The Arab Israeli Conflict: Cultural Perspectives. (4 Credits)

The Arab-Israeli conflict is one of the longest and most controversial conflicts in the world. Through careful analysis of Israeli literature and film, this course provides a nuanced cultural and political history of Arab-Israeli relations. Our texts emphasize the dialectic relationship between art and politics, representation and history, as well as aesthetic and ethics. The course thus explores the effect of art on politics, and the effect of politics on art. Specifically, we examine how art is instrumental in producing 1) "imagined communities" with stable national identities and 2) political resistance that disrupts these hegemonic metanarratives. We also consider the internal dynamics of Israeli society as represented in literature and film, especially tensions between the Jewish-Arab, Ashkenazi-Mizrahi, and religious-secular communities. By analyzing canonical and more contemporary stories, poems, and films (including those by S. Yizhar, Amos Oz, Said Kashua, Mahmoud Darwish, among others) we explore the dialectic between art and politics in Israeli society since 1948.

Attributes: ALC, COLI, HUST, MEST, MLL, REST.

JWST 4800. Internship in Jewish Studies. (3 Credits)

This internship program will include work at one of Jewish cultural institutions in New York City—such as the Center for Jewish History, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, or the Derfner Judaica Collection—during the summer or academic year. The internship will require substantive academic work in the archives or art collections and with public educational programs. For example, the training might include: Research and drafting of text to contextualize archival or museum objects; ;Inventorying and documenting the collections; Verifying information in the collections database; Recording information into the collections database; Researching specific objects and artists/makers; Preparation of archival/museum materials for public/educational workshops; Researching specific objects in preparation for exhibitions and educational programs. The student will produce a final paper and report on the internship, and they will regularly connect with the director of the Jewish Studies program on the progress of the internship.

Attribute: SL.