Fall 2021 Undergraduate Courses
Instructor: Madeline Wyse
Meeting Time: Mondays/Wednesdays 4:00p to 5:00p
Location: Dwinelle 258
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.
Instructor: Sarah Levin
Meeting Time: Tuesdays/Thursdays 11:00a to 12:30p
Location: Cory 289
*JS 120 Satisfies the Arts & Literature L&S breadth requirement
*JS 120 counts towards the Jewish Studies Minor.
Folklore helps us make sense of the world we live in at the same time that it entertains us.
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.
Instructor: John Efron
Meeting Time: Tuesdays/Thursdays 9:30a to 11:00a
Location: Wheeler 102
*JS 121A is eligible for the Historical Studies, L&S Breadth requirements through petition
*JS 121A is eligible for the Philosophy and Values, L&S Breadth requirements through petition
*JS 121A is eligible for the Social & Behavioral Sciences, L&S Breadth requirements through petition
*JS 121A counts towards the JS minor requirement
This course will examine the impact of modern intellectual, political, cultural, and social forces on the Jewish people since the eighteenth century. It is our aim to come to an understanding of how the Jews interpreted these forces and how and in what ways they adapted and utilized them to suit the Jewish experience. In other words, we will trace the way Jews became modern. Some of the topics to be covered include Emancipation, the Jewish Enlightenment, new Jewish religious movements, Jewish politics and culture, immigration, antisemitism, the Holocaust, and the state of Israel.
Instructor: Ethan Katz
Meeting Time: Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:30a to 2:00p
Location: Hearst Field Annex B5
*Meets Historical Studies, L&S Breadth
*Meets Philosophy & Values, L&S Breadth
*Counts towards the JS minor requirement
The course takes us far beyond contemporary tensions between Muslims and Jews, and deep into a more complicated history that spans the Mediterranean and beyond. We move through topics that include the earliest encounters between Muslims and Jews during the years of the rise of Islam; the historical impact and legacy of the dhimmi (the system of rights and restrictions that defined Jews’ status for centuries under Islamic rule); the culturally fruitful shared experience of Jews and Muslims in Medieval Spain and the Ottoman Empire; the effects of French, British, and Italian colonialism in the modern Middle East; and the important conflicts over Zionism and Arab nationalism during the past century.
Meeting Time: Wednesdays 12:00p to 2:00p
Location: Dwinelle 89
*Anthro 196 does not count towards the Minor in Jewish Studies
What happens when trauma is increasingly experienced, as well as promoted and embraced, as the defining characteristic of the daily life of a country? When a specific mental disorder – PTSD in this case – becomes a national identity marker that both expresses and exposes core dilemmas and contested values within the country? Relying upon contemporary ethnographic research from “behind the scenes” of Israeli mental health clinics located near the border with Gaza, the course addresses these questions with two main goals: 1). To explore the effects of the diagnostic categories of trauma and PTSD on the discourse of violence and social suffering in conflict and post-conflict areas; 2). To examine through the lens of key theories in anthropology, wide-ranging experiences of vulnerability, national identity, and gender and socio-economic inequality as expressed in interactions between psychiatrists and psychologists and their clients, including Israeli soldiers, members of secular, religious, and Ultra-orthodox Jewish communities, and members of Arab-Bedouin communities living near the border of Israel and Gaza.
Instructor: Uri Mor, Visiting Professor of Hebrew Language
Meeting Time: Wednesdays 2:00p to 5:00p
Location: Social Sciences Building 254
*Hebrew 104A counts towards the Minor in Jewish Studies
*Meets Arts & Literature, L&S Breadth
*Meets International Studies, L&S Breadth
A close reading of selected works of modern Hebrew fiction, poetry, and drama in their cultural and historical contexts. Topics vary from year to year and include literature and politics, eros and gender, memory and nationalism, Middle-Eastern and European aspects of Israeli literature and culture.
Instructor: Ron Hassner
Meeting Time: Wednesdays 12:00 to 2:00p
Location: Haviland 214
*PS 191 counts towards the Minor in Jewish Studies
The seminars will generally be led by ladder-rank faculty members in the subfields of Political Theory, Area Studies, American Politics, International Relations, and Comparative Politics. These intense writing seminars will focus on the research area of the faculty member teaching the course. The seminars will provide an opportunity for students to have direct intellectual interactions with faculty members while also giving the students an understanding of faculty research.
Instructor: Burko, A.
Meeting Time: Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:30p to 2:00p
Location: Dwinelle 189
*Yiddish 103 counts towards the Minor in Jewish Studies
“History of Yiddish Culture”. This course will trace the development of Yiddish culture from the first settlement of Jews in German lands through centuries of life in Eastern Europe, down to the main cultural centers today in Israel and America. The course will examine how changes in Jewish life have found expression in the Yiddish language. It will provide an introduction to Yiddish literature in English translation, supplemented by excursions into Yiddish music, folklore, theater, and film.
Note: Regarding “in-person” instruction please contact Professor Karen Feldman.
Fall 2021 Graduate Courses
Instructor: Ethan Katz and Francesco Spagnolo
Meeting Time: Mondays 2:00 to 5:00p
Location: Room 117 at The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, located at 2121 Allston Way in Berkeley.
Instructor: Keren Friedman-Peleg
Meeting Time: Tuesdays 10:00-11:00am
Location: Social Sciences 192
* Anthro 250X 002- SEM 002 does not count towards Jewish Studies DE.