Courses - Fall 2015

Jewish Studies courses, Hebrew courses, Yiddish courses, and relevant courses in other units.

For a printable list of courses, click here.

For a table on how the courses will fulfill minor requirements, click here.

 

JEWISH STUDIES


JWSH 107 – Living Religions of the West
TR 4:00-5:15pm, Lollar. SMI 100
A basic introduction to the major religious traditions of the Near East, Europe, and the Americas, with an emphasis on their development through the modern period and their expressions in contemporary life. Not open to students who have taken REL 109. Same as REL 107.

JWSH 124 – Understanding the Bible
MW 11:00-11:50am + Discussion, Mirecki. SMI 100
An introduction to the literature of the Bible, exploring the relationships among the various types of literature present and the function of each type in the history and religious life of the people who produced and used them. Cannot be taken concurrently with REL 311 or JWSH 321. Not open to students who have taken REL 125 or JWSH 125. Same as REL 124.

JWSH 177 – First Year Seminar: Apocalypse
TR  1:00-2:15pm, Zahn. SMI 4
A limited-enrollment, seminar course for first-time freshmen, addressing current issues in Jewish Studies. Course is designed to meet the critical thinking learning outcome of the KU Core. First-Year Seminar topics are coordinated and approved by the Office of First-Year Experience. Prerequisite: First-time freshman status.  Meets with REL 177.

JWSH 300 – Topics in Jewish Studies: Medieval to Early Modern Jewry
T  6:00-8:30pm, Sternberg (EDWARDS)
This course surveys the political, economic, social, and cultural experience of Jews in the medieval and early modern periods, from the sixth  through the seventeenth centuries. It examines Jewish life in the Mediterranean diaspora, the Iberian Peninsula, and Christian Europe and considers the impact of Jewish communities on the non-Jewish host societies in which they settled. Meets with HIST 390.

JWSH 300 – Topics in Jewish Studies: Enemies of Ancient Israel
MW 11:00-12:15pm, Welch. WES 1001
Enemies of Ancient Israel: Bad Guys of the Bible. An exploration of the social world of the Bible through its antagonists and their cultures. We will examine the so-called bad guys of the Bible using the lenses of history, archaeology, geography, and religion to better understand their cultures and how they are portrayed in the biblical text. Meets with REL 404.

JWSH 300 – Topics in Jewish Studies: Jerusalem Through the Ages
M 4:30-7:00pm, Welch (EDWARDS)
As a prominent site in the religious and cultural histories of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Jerusalem is uniquely situated as one of the world’s most sacred cities. For more than 3,000 years, this city has been a focal point of religious and political activity. Through the critical reading of historical and religious texts, and archaeological data, this course will explore the historical development of Jerusalem as a sacred place in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Meets with HIST 390, REL 404, GIST 203 and CLSX 350/HWC 380.

JWSH 300 – Topics in Jewish Studies: Contemporary Israeli Politics
MW 12:30-1:45pm, Youngblood. WES 1001
The political context in Israel is often described as complex and intermingled, where domestic and international issues mix. It is a state where security and religion dominate political rhetoric in spite of increasing inflation and economic woes. Using tools from political science, psychology, and sociology, this course moves beyond understanding the Israeli political system to explaining how specific issues and challenges interact within Israel's political institutions and society to create the contemporary political context. Topics include but are not limited to religion, democracy, citizenship, Palestine and Palestinians, terrorism, and diplomacy.  Meets with JWSH 600, PCS 555, GIST 203, and GIST 501.

JWSH 336 – Jewish American Literature and Culture
TR 9:30-10:45am, Lester. WES 1009
An examination of Jewish American literature and culture from the 17th century to the present. Materials may include a broad range of literary genres as well as folklore, music, film, and visual art. Prerequisite: Prior completion of the KU Core Written Communication requirement. Recommended: Prior completion of one 200-level English course. Same as ENGL 336, meets with AMS 344.

JWSH 341 – Hitler and Nazi Germany
W 3:00-5:30pm, Denning. WES 4067
An examination of the rise of Hitler and Nazism, beginning with the breakdown of 19th century culture in the First World War and continuing through the failure of democracy under the Weimar Republic. The course will also discuss the impact of Nazism on Germany and how Nazism led to the Second World War and the Holocaust. Same as HIST 341.

JWSH 341 – Hitler and Nazi Germany
W 6:00-8:30pm, Sternberg (EDWARDS)
An examination of the rise of Hitler and Nazism, beginning with the breakdown of 19th century culture in the First World War and continuing through the failure of democracy under the Weimar Republic. The course will also discuss the impact of Nazism on Germany and how Nazism led to the Second World War and the Holocaust. Same as HIST 341.

JWSH 361 – Jewish Film
TR 1:00-2:15pm, Schuster. BA 110
An examination of the cultural history of the Jews through films that explore Jewish themes, including but not limited to: issues of tradition and modernity, religion and secularism, immigration, gender, Zionism, anti-Semitism, and the Holocaust. Films studied may be in English and in foreign languages (with English subtitles) like Yiddish, Hebrew, and Russian. Meets with FMS 302.

JWSH 490 – Directed Study in Jewish Studies
Intensive reading or research under faculty supervision

JWSH 491 – Directed Study in Jewish Studies, Honors
Honors version of 490. Intensive reading or research under faculty supervision.

JWSH 525 – Jews and Christians
TR 11:00-12:15pm, Zahn. SMI 108
This course examines the ways Jews and Christians have interacted with and characterized one another at various points in their histories. Special emphasis is placed on the gradual separation of the two religious traditions in the 1st-4th centuries. Prerequisite: A previous course in Religious Studies or Jewish Studies; or consent of instructor. Same as REL 525.

JWSH 560 – Modern Jewish Thought
TR 4:00-5:15pm, Brody. SMI 108
This course examines how a number of prominent Jewish thinkers from the seventeenth century through the present have encountered and engaged the special challenges posed by modernity to religious traditions, including the challenge of science to the validity of miracles, the challenge of the secular state to religious authorities, and the challenge of historical studies to the integrity of scripture. Thinkers covered may include Spinoza, Mendelssohn, Frankel, Hirsch, Geiger, Hermann Cohen, Buber, Rosenzweig, Arendt, Scholem, Leo Strauss, Levinas, and Derrida. Same as REL 560.  (Previously named Classical & Contemporary Jewish Thought)

JWSH 600 – Advanced Topics in Jewish Studies: Contemporary Israeli Politics
MW 12:30-1:45pm, Youngblood. WES 1001
See course description under JWSH 300.  Meets with JWSH 300, PCS 555, GIST 203, and GIST 501.

 

HEBREW & YIDDISH


HEBR 110 – Elementary Israeli Hebrew I
MTWTF 10:00-10:50am, Rissien. SMI 206
A beginning course in modern Israeli Hebrew. Essentials of grammar, syntax and conversational practice; elementary reading and writing. Note: Students with other previous experience in Hebrew must take a placement exam.

HEBR 210 – Intermediate Israeli Hebrew I
MWF 9:00-9:50am, Rissien. SMI 206
Further development of language skills: listening comprehension, oral efficiency, intermediate grammar and syntax, reading and writing. Note: Students with other previous experience in Hebrew must take a placement exam. Prerequisite: HEBR 120.

HEBR 340 – Advanced Israeli Hebrew I
MWF, 11:00-11:50am, Rissien. SMI 206
Advanced study of Modern Hebrew. This course is designed to strengthen linguistic skills, enrich vocabulary, and further the study of grammar and syntax. Not open to native speakers of Hebrew. Prerequisite: HEBR 220 or permission of the instructor.

HEBR 410 – Studies in Modern Hebrew Literature
MW, 2:00-3:15pm, Rissien. WES 4038
An introduction to Hebrew literature from the nineteenth century to the present day. The course emphasizes the development of basic interpretive skills and the understanding of basic literary movements, genres, and concepts. Not open to native speakers of Hebrew. Prerequisite: HEBR 220 or equivalent.

HEBR 490 – Independent Study in Hebrew
Intensive reading or research under faculty supervision. Not open to native speakers of Hebrew. Prerequisite: HEBR 220 or equivalent.

YDSH 490 – Independent Study in Yiddish
Intensive reading or research under faculty supervision.

 

COURSES IN OTHER DEPARTMENTS
 

REL 500 – Readings in Non-English Religious texts
Zahn
This course provides directed readings for students in either primary or secondary texts related to religious studies utilizing material in languages other than English.


Upcoming Program Events
Kudos to our faculty!

Dr. Renee Perelmutter, Associate Professor of Slavic and Jewish Studies, writes fantasy fiction and poetry under the name Rose Lemberg. Her book Marginalia to Stone Bird is the first book of poetry to be shortlisted for a Crawford Award, and is also up for an Elgin Award. Marginalia has been reviewed by Publisher’s Weekly and Strange Horizons. Available at Aqueduct Press and Amazon.

Kudos to our students!

March 16, 2017: JS students Mackenzie Haun, Sarah Herman and Ariel Silverman were elected to join Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most prestigious national academic academy. Phi Beta Kappa “celebrates and advocates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Its campus chapters invite for induction the most outstanding arts and sciences students at America’s leading colleges and universities.”

More Kudos!

Dr. Gal Levy, former Visiting Israeli Professor at KU, has won first prize for best article in Hebrew from the Israeli Political Science Association. The article looks at the post-protest protest in Israel and Dr. Levy gives acknowledgments to the KU Jewish Studies Program. Dr. Levy currently teaches at the Open University in Israel. He will be a guest speaker at KU on August 23, his lecture is titled, "Citizenship in Crisis in Contemporary Israel".

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