Courses - Spring 2016

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

 

JEWISH STUDIES


JWSH 107 – Living Religions of the West
TR 11:00-12:15pm, 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 125 – Understanding the Bible, Honors
TR 1:00-2:15pm, Zahn. SMI 208
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 history and religious life of the people who produced and used them. Open only to students in the University Honors Program or by permission of instructor. Not open to students who have taken REL 124 or JWSH 124. (Same as REL 125.)

JWSH 300 – Topics in Jewish Studies: Archaeology of Ancient Israel
MW 11:00-12:15pm, Welch. WES 1001
An exploration of the archaeology, art, sites, and monuments of ancient Israel from the Neolithic period to the Roman Empire. Special topics will include the cultures of the region, nomadism and urbanization, and political and religious history. Attention will be given to how textual sources such as the Hebrew Bible, Egyptian texts, and the Neo-Assyrian Annals can be used in conjunction with archaeology to reconstruct the region’s history. Meets with CLSX 375.

JWSH 300 – Topics in Jewish Studies: Enemies of Ancient Israel
MW 12:30-1:45pm, Welch. FR 214
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: Law & Ethics in Biblical Times
MWF 9:00-9:50am, Welch. WES 1001
The laws and ethics associated with the Hebrew Bible did not develop in a vacuum, but instead formed in the context of the ancient Near East and ancient Mediterranean worlds. This course will examine the world's earliest known collections of written law: the laws of ancient Sumer, Babylon, Israel, and Greece. We will devote our time to a cross-cultural study of select law collections, legal systems, and legal institutions of the ancient Mediterranean world and the founding figures (if any) associated with them. One of the particular issues to be discussed in this course is the nature and use of law collections in ancient Mesopotamia, the Hittite kingdom (in ancient Turkey), Israel, and Greece. What are the historical relationships (if any) among the law collections emanating from these ancient societies? Moreover, what are the relationships (if any) of the law collections from these ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean societies to the actual practice of law in these societies? Ultimately, the foundations of “biblical law” will be identified and examined as a product of these ancient societies with further attention to how “biblical law” functions in modern conceptions of law/ethics. Meets with REL 404 and CLSX 375. Can satisfy the requirement of JWSH 601: Senior Seminar in Jewish Studies, Spring 2016 semester ONLY.

JWSH 300 – Topics in Jewish Studies: Judaism and Political Theology
TR 1:00-2:15pm, Brody. SMI 206
Does political order need to base itself on correct religious ideas?  Or should it be conceived as separate from religion, as “secular”? Can secularism ever really separate itself from its religious origins? After laying out these questions, which are asked around the world in traditions from Christianity to Islam, and which lie at the basis of modern liberal democracies, this course will analyze their relationship to Judaism in particular. We will ask whether and how the Jewish tradition informs different approaches to these problems, as well as different answers to them. Meets with REL 502, and JWSH 600. Can satisfy the requirement of JWSH 601: Senior Seminar in Jewish Studies, Spring 2016 semester ONLY.

JWSH 300 – Topics in Jewish Studies: Border Crossings in German Culture
MW 3:00-4:15pm, Linden. WES 1015
Taught in English. Exploration of writers, filmmakers, and artists who have emigrated from, or migrated to German-speaking Europe. Emphasis on both their transnational impact and their representations of border crossings. Topics may include exile communities before, during, and after World War II and multiculturalism in contemporary Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Does not count toward German major or minor. Meets with GERM 320.

JWSH 325 – Introduction to Judaism
TR 9:30-10:45am, Brody. SMI 107
Analyzes a selection of the core texts, teachings, and practices of Jewish religious traditions in terms of classical and contemporary understanding. (Same as REL 325.)

JWSH 326 – The Talmud: Its Origins, Nature and Evolution
TR 1:00-2:15pm, Schuster. BL 211
This course demystifies the Talmud, arguably the most central yet also the most mysterious text of rabbinic Judaism. Students are introduced to the scope, substance, styles, and major figures of the Talmud, and also learn how the text came into being over the course of several centuries. (Same as REL 326.) Prerequisite: REL 104, REL 107, or REL 124 or REL 125, or permission of the instructor.

JWSH 329 Politics and Conflict in Israel and Palestine
MW 11:00-12:15pm, Youngblood. FR 225
This course focuses on various aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict including its history from the Ottoman period to the present day, the social and political effects on Israel and Palestinian life and citizenship, official and unofficial narratives, and international responses. Meets with GIST 203, GIST 503, POLS 650 and JWSH 600.

JWSH 335 – History of Jewish Women
W 6:00-8:30pm, Sternberg (EDWARDS)
This course explores the history of Jewish women from antiquity to the twentieth century. It examines the historical constructions of women's gender roles and identities in Jewish law and custom as well as the social and cultural impact of those constructions in the context of the realities of women's lives in both Jewish and non-Jewish society. (Same as HIST 335, WGSS 335.)  Can satisfy the requirement of JWSH 601: Senior Seminar in Jewish Studies, Spring 2016 semester ONLY.

JWSH 343 – The Holocaust in History
T 2:30-5:00pm, Sternberg. FR 119
The systematic murder of the Jews of Europe by the Nazis during World War II is one of the most important events of modern history. This course studies the Holocaust by asking about its place in history. It compares other attempted genocides with the Holocaust and examines why most historians argue that it is unique. Other topics covered include the reasons the Holocaust occurred in Europe when it did, the changing role of anti-Semitism, and the effects of the Holocaust on civilization. The course also discusses why some people have sought to deny the Holocaust. The course concludes by discussing the questions people have raised about the Holocaust and such issues as support for democracy, the belief in progress, the role of science, and the search for human values which are common to all societies. (Same as HIST 343.)

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 523 – Dead Sea Scrolls
TR 1:00-12:15pm, Zahn. SMI 107
A study of the archeological evidence and texts from the Dead Sea area that provide primary evidence for Jewish religious belief and practice in the Greek and Roman periods (ca. 250 B.C.E. - 135 C.E.). (Same as REL 523.) Prerequisite: REL 124 or JWSH 124 or consent of instructor. Can satisfy the requirement of JWSH 601: Senior Seminar in Jewish Studies, Spring 2016 semester ONLY.

JWSH 600 – Advanced Topics in Jewish Studies: Becoming White - Journey of Ethnic Immigrants to the US
M 3:00-5:39pm, Davidman. FR 108
This seminar examines the complex process whereby certain immigrants, who had been racialized in the 1800’s, became assimilated into the mainstream white population by the early 1900s in response to the northern migration of African-Americans from the south. Meets with SOC 600.

JWSH 600 – Advanced Topics in Jewish Studies: Judaism and Political Theology
MW 12:30-1:45pm, Brody. SMI 206
See course description under JWSH 300.  Meets with JWSH 300, and REL 502. Can satisfy the requirement of JWSH 601: Senior Seminar in Jewish Studies, Spring 2016 semester ONLY.

JWSH 600 Advanced Topics in Jewish Studies: Politics and Conflict in Israel and Palestine
MW 11:00-12:15pm, Youngblood. FR 225
See course description under JWSH 329. Meets with GIST 203, GIST 503, POLS 650 and JWSH 329.

 

HEBREW & YIDDISH


HEBR 120 – Elementary Israeli Hebrew II
MTWTF 10:00-10:50am, Rissien. SMI 206
A continuation of HEBR 110. Note Students with other previous experience in Hebrew must take a placement exam. Prerequisite: HEBR 110.

HEBR 220 – Intermediate Israeli Hebrew II
MWF 9:00-9:50am, Rissien. SMI 206
A continuation of HEBR 210. Note: Students with other previous experience in Hebrew must take a placement exam. Prerequisite: HEBR 210.

HEBR 350 – Advanced Israeli Hebrew II
MWF, 11:00-11:50am, Rissien. SMI 206
Continued advanced study of modern Hebrew. Not open to native speakers of Hebrew. Prerequisite: HEBR 340 or permission of the instructor.

HEBR 420 – Studies in Modern Hebrew
TR, 11:00-12:15pm, Rissien. SMI 206
This course is designed to help students achieve fluency in speaking, listening, and writing Modern Hebrew. Not open to native speakers of Hebrew. Prerequisite: HEBR 220 or equivalent.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
 

ANTH 465 – Genocide and Ethnocide
TR 9:30-10:45, Dean. FR 124
Study of the killing of peoples and cultures. Case studies, focusing primarily on tribal South America. Examination of the implications of these studies as regards our definition of culture and our evaluation of aid programs, missionary efforts, and international business expansion.


Upcoming Program Events
Dr. Perelmutter to be first Director of Undergraduate Studies!

Dr. Renee Perelmutter will be the first Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Jewish Studies Program! Dr. Perelmutter is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and Slavic. She will begin her position as Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Fall 2017 semester.

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".

KU Jewish Studies Facebook Page
KU Today
Home to 50+ departments, centers, and programs, the School of the Arts, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration
KU offers courses in 40 languages
No. 1 ranking in city management and urban policy —U.S. News and World Report
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
Nondiscrimination Policy

In the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at The University of Kansas, we understand that an equitable and safe multiracial, multiethnic, and multicultural environment produces innovative thinking, research, and learning. Click here for the University's nondiscrimination policy.