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Spring 2018 HEJS course scheduleUConn's Hebrew and Judaic Studies program is intended to introduce students to the culture and civilization of the Jewish people. Courses cover various aspects of the history and literature of the Jews from biblical times to the present. Students who would like to learn more about ancient and modern Israel, the experience of Jews among Christians or Muslims, or Jewish life in contemporary America will find many courses of interest among our offerings.

Judaic studies offers students many opportunities for cross-disciplinary study. Most Judaic studies courses are offered in the Hebrew and Judaic Studies (HEJS) section of the Department of Literatures, Cultures & Languages (LCL). Many are cross-listed with other departments, such as History or English, and students may choose to register under those rubrics if they prefer.

Students may minor or major in Judaic studies, with the option of an Honors Scholar plan. The Master of Arts in Judaic studies is also available.

Many HEJS courses meet Content Area requirements.  Some qualify as Honors and/or W courses.   


Spring 2018 HEJS Course Offerings

Auschwitz

HEJS_2203  The Holocaust in Print, Theater, and Film

CA1 and CA4-INT

Instructor Grae Sibelman

Tu 3:00-6:00

Representations of the Holocaust, including first-hand accounts and documentaries; artistic choices in genre, structure, imagery, point of view; and the limits of representation. Three credits.

Baby Moses in the reeds

HEJS_3201   Selected Books of the Hebrew Bible

CA1 

Professor Susan Einbinder

TuTh 12:30-1:45

Focuses on a biblical book (or books) and emphasizes its literary structure and content, using modern approaches as well as midrashic and medieval exegesis. Three credits.

Hebrew incantation

HEJS_3241  Jewish Magic: From Late Antiquity through the Early Modern Period    

Professor Susan Einbinder

TuTh 9:30-10:45

Jewish magical beliefs and practices from the rabbinic period through the early modern period. Texts include spells, kabbalistic lore, magical books, incantations, legends, prayers, medical texts, exempla. Three credits.

Ethiopian Jews in Israel

HEJS_3298  Ethiopian Jews in Ethiopia and Israel    

Instructor Adane Zawdu

MWF 1:25-2:15

Focuses on the modern history of Ethiopian Jews in Ethiopia and Israel and explores the ways in which social boundaries are constructed. Three credits.

Alexander the Great

CAMS_3298  Alexander the Great in Fact and Fiction

Professor Sara Johnson

M  4:00-6:45

Examines Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World. Three credits.

Modern Hebrew texts

Modern Hebrew Language Courses

Instructor Sherry Shamash

HEJS 1152. Elementary Modern Hebrew II

4 credits

TuTh 9:30-10:45; W 10:10-11:00 

HEJS 1154. Intermediate Modern Hebrew II

4 credits

TuTh 11:00-12:15; W 12:20-1:10

HEJS 3252. Advanced Hebrew 

3 credits

TuTh 3:30-4:45

Biblical Hebrew

HEJS_1150 Elementary Biblical Hebrew II  

Professor John Thames

MWF 10:10-11:00; F 11:15-12:05

4 credits  

 


 

Full Course Listings

 

Undergraduate Course Listings:

 

HEJS 1101. The Land of Israel from Biblical Times to the Present

Taught in English. May not be used to meet the foreign language requirement. An in-depth look at the history, culture, and civilizations of the land of Israel. The importance of the land in Judaism and its significance for Christianity and Islam will be discussed. Lectures and discussion will be enhanced by slide presentations. Three credits.  Miller 

HEJS 1103. Literature and Civilization of the Jewish People

Prerequisite for both the major and minor plan of study. This unique course takes the student from Biblical Israel to the diverse, contemporary world of Jewish civilization in just one semester.  The course opens with a review of the major themes of the "Torah" and then proceeds to examine the ways in which these ideas shaped Jewish civilization.  Readings from Hebrew Scripture (in translation), the Talmud, Midrash, medieval, and modern thinkers.  No prior knowledge of Hebrew or Jewish culture is required.  Taught in English.  Fulfills CA 1 (Arts & Humanities) and  CA 4 (Diversity & Multiculturalism) general education requirements.  Three credits. May not be used to meet the foreign language requirement.  Miller

HEJS 1149. Elementary Biblical Hebrew I    

An introduction to the biblical language for the student with no previous background. Grammar and drills, using simple texts, prepares the student for independent reading of Hebrew Scripture in the original. Four credits. Thames

HEJS 1150. Elementary Biblical Hebrew II     

An introduction to the biblical language for the student with no previous background. Grammar and drills, using simple texts, prepares the student for independent reading of Hebrew Scripture in the original. Four credits. Thames

HEJS 1151. Elementary Modern Hebrew I     

This course examines elementary Hebrew grammar, drill in pronunciation, reading of simple texts, practice in easy conversation. Four credits. Shamash

HEJS 1152. Elementary Modern Hebrew II      

This course examines elementary Hebrew grammar, drill in pronunciation, reading of simple texts, practice in easy conversation. Four credits. Shamash

HEJS 1153. Intermediate Hebrew I     

This course includes a review of Hebrew grammar and includes graded composition and translation, intensive and extensive reading, oral practice in the language.  The basic structure patterns of Hebrew. Four credits. Shamash

HEJS 1154. Intermediate Hebrew II

This course includes a review of Hebrew grammar and includes graded composition and translation, intensive and extensive reading, oral practice in the language.  The basic structure patterns of Hebrew. Four credits. Shamash

HEJS 1193. Foreign Study

Credits and hours by arrangement. Prerequisite: Consent of department head required. May be repeated for credit.

HEJS 2104. Modern Jewish Thought  (also CLCS 3888-001 / HEJS 5397-001)

This course examines the Jewish encounter with modernity in its diverse and often conflicting manifestations.  We shall grapple with major ethical, religious, political, and cultural trends as they emerge from these encounters.  Among the major themes to be discussed: the tension between reason and belief exacerbated by the European Enlightenment and the rise of modern secularism; the growing conflict between the values placed on individual liberty and communal responsibility; the nature of relations between Jews and non-Jews, especially as interactions become more frequent, more intense, and more commonplace; the modern (re)emergence of Jewish messianism, Hasidism, and Zionism; the role of diaspora in modern Jewish thought; gender, sexuality, and Jewish identity.  The grad version will include more extensive readings and an independent research project. Fulfills CA1 and CA4-INT. Three credits. Taught in English. 

HEJS 2203. The Holocaust in Print, Theater, and Film (also HRTS 2203) 

Representations of the Holocaust, including first-hand accounts and documentaries; artistic choices in genre, structure, imagery, point of view; and the limits of representation. CA1. CA 4-INT. Three credits. Sibelman

HEJS 2301.  Jewish Humor

The history of Jewish humor in modern times with attention given to its various forms, including oral traditions, fiction and humor writing, stand-up comedy, live performance, television, film, and music. CA1 and CA4. Three credits

HEJS 3201. Selected Books of the Hebrew Bible (also CLCS 3201-02)

Focuses on a biblical book (or books) and emphasizes its literary structure and content using modern approaches as well as midrashic and medieval exegesis. Historical and archaeological material introduced where relevant.  Prerequisite: INTD 3260 or HIST 3301 or HEJS 1103, which may be taken concurrently with consent of instructor. A knowledge of Hebrew is not required. May be repeated with change of content and instructor consent. Fulfills CA1. Taught in English. Three credits. 

HEJS 3202. Sects and Movements in Judaism

Varieties of Jewish expression and belief from Biblical times to the present. Topics include: the Dead Sea Sect, Pharisees, Sadducees, Karaites, Marranos, Hasidism and the Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Re-constructionist movements of the modern era. Three credits. Taught in English.  Miller

HEJS 3203. The Holocaust (also HIST 3418)

Origins, development, and legacy of the Holocaust. Topics include the history of modern European anti-Semitism, the creation of the Nazi state, the catalytic role of the Second World War, the actions and attitudes of the perpetrators, victims, and bystanders, and the diverse ways in which scholars and societies have dealt with the legacy of the Holocaust. Three credits. Taught in English. Lansing

HEJS 3218. Palestine Under the Greeks and Romans (also CAMS 3256/ HIST 3330)

The political, historical and religious currents in Greco-Roman Palestine. Includes the Jewish Revolts, sectarian developments, the rise of Christianity and the Talmudic academies. Three credits. Prerequisite: CAMS 1101 or 1102 or CAMS 3253/HIST 3301 or HIST 3320 or 3325 or INTD 3260 or HEJS 1103 or HEJS 3202 or instructor consent; open to juniors or higher. Taught in English. Miller

HEJS 3218W. Palestine Under the Greeks and Romans (also CAMS 3256 /HIST 3330)

Major requirement for Track B. The political, historical and religious currents in Greco-Roman Palestine. Includes the Jewish Revolts; sectarian developments, the rise of Christianity and the Talmudic academies. Three credits. Prerequisite: CAMS 1101 or 1102 or CAMS 3253/HIST 3301 or HIST 3320 or 3325 or INTD 3260 or HEJS 1103 or HEJS 3202 or instructor consent; open to juniors or higher. Taught in English.  Miller

HEJS 3241. Jewish Magic: from Late Antiquity through the Early Modern Period

Jewish magical beliefs and practices from the rabbinic period through the early modern period. Texts include spells, kabbalistic lore, magical books, incantations, legends, prayers, medical texts, exempla.

HEJS 3251. Advanced Hebrew      

Further grammar study, practice in composition involving the use of everyday vocabulary and idiomatic expressions.  Readings and films relevant to Israeli culture and history.  Three credits.  Shamash

HEJS 3252. Advanced Hebrew II

Further grammar study, practice in composition involving the use of everyday vocabulary and idiomatic expressions.  Readings and films relevant to Israeli culture and history.  Three credits.   Shamash

HEJS 3279. Modern Israeli Literature in Translation  (also CLCS 5301)

A survey of modern Israeli fiction and poetry from the early 20th to the early 21st century.  This course surveys Hebrew poetry and prose written in pre-statehood Palestine and post-1948 Israel, as well as a recent and provocative Israeli film.  The selections illustrate the tension between dream (ideal) and real; between the needs of individuals and those of the state or collective; between insider and outsider - Jew v. non-Jew; European Jew v. Oriental Jew; native-born Israelis v. immigrants; men v. women; religious v. secular.  The readings have been chosen to raise questions about national identity and loyalty and the role of literature in reinforcing or subverting them; the formation of literary canon and its outlier expressions; the emergence of minority voices within Israeli writing; and the meaning of "national literature" in a global world.  Three credits.  Einbinder

HEJS 3293. Foreign Study

Credits and hours by arrangement. Prerequisite: Consent of Department Head required, normally granted prior to the student’s departure. May count toward the major with consent of the advisor. May be repeated for credit.

HEJS 3295. Special Topics

HEJS 3295. The Black Death: Medieval Responses to Catastrophe (also CLCS 3203)

Medieval responses to the Black Death as a medical, municipal, institutional and theological challenge to medieval society, with a special focus on Jewish and Muslim minorities in Europe. Three credits. Einbinder

 

HEJS 3295.  Christian/ Jewish Art in the Holy Land

Explores the creation of Christian Holy Land during the early Byzantine period as religious and spiritual center. Examines the complexity of interconnections between Christians, Jews and Pagans as is revealed from their artistic heritage and discover the importance of material evidence in reconstructing reality. Maayan Fanar

HEJS 3298. Variable Topics

HEJS 3298-001. Ethiopian Jews in Ethiopia and Israel (also SOC 3298-001) 

The course will examine the history of Ethiopian Jews from the great migration to Israel in the 19th century to present day second-generation Ethiopian Jews in contemporary Israel.  Zawdu

HEJS 3299. Independent Study

Credits and hours by arrangement. Prerequisite: Open only with consent of instructor. With a change in content, may be repeated for credit.

HEJS 3301. The Jewish Middle Ages (also CLCS 3203)

Survey of sacred and secular literature in a wide variety of genres produced by Jews in the medieval period from major centers of settlement from the Middle East to Islamic Spain and Christian lands, 600-1500 C.E.  This course surveys the rich and varied literature produced by Jews in the medieval period, a formative period for modern Jewish theology, law, philosophy, as well as poetry and prose.  Primary texts offer exposure to the major genres and centers of Jewish life, ranging from the Middle East to Europe and North Africa.  The readings are arranged roughly chronologically; the primary focus is European (Islamic Spain and Christian Europe.)  Readings are in translation.   Fulfills CA 1 (Arts & Humanities) and  CA 4 (Diversity & Multiculturalism) general education requirements.  Three credits. Einbinder

HEJS 3401. Jewish American Literature and Culture (also ENGL 3220)

This course introduces students to a range of literary and cultural expressions by and about Jews living in the United States from the late 18th century to the present day. It is designed to help students come to understand the diverse  and often conflicting manifestations of Jewishness in art, while at the same time encouraging students to recognize the ways in which competing notions of Jewish identity have participated in the ongoing negotiations of Americanness since the birth of the nation.  Themes to be covered include: Jewishness as religious identity, as ethnicity, ascultural category. The tensions between assimilation and distinctiveness in Jewish writing. The phenomenon of Jewish humor. The Jewish role in the culture industry. Relations between Jews and other ethnic or minority groups in the United States.   Readings will range from selections of lyrical poetry, letters, several plays, short stories, and a few novels. Students will also view films and watch episodes of selected television series. Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011 or 3800. Fulfills CA 1 (Arts & Humanities) and  CA 4 (Diversity & Multiculturalism) general education requirements. Three credits.  

HEJS 3401W. Jewish American Literature and Culture

Required for Track A major. This course introduces students to a range of literary and cultural expressions by and about Jews living in the United States from the late 18th century to the present day. It is designed to help students come to understand the diverse  and often conflicting manifestations of Jewishness inart, while at the same time encouraging students to recognize the ways in which competing notions of Jewish identity have participated in the ongoing negotiations of Americanness since the birth of the nation.  Themes to be coveredinclude: Jewishness asreligious identity, as ethnicity, ascultural category. The tensions between assimilation and distinctiveness in Jewish writing. The phenomenon of Jewish humor. The Jewish role in the culture industry. Relations between Jews and other ethnic or minority groups in the United States.   Readings will range from selections of lyrical poetry, letters, several plays, short stories, and a few novels. Students will also view films and watch episodes of selected television series. Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011 or 3800. Fulfills CA 1 (Arts & Humanities) and  CA 4 (Diversity & Multiculturalism) general education requirements. Three credits.  

HEJS 3511. American Jewry

Historical, demographic, organizational, and socio-psychological perspectives.  Three credits. Prerequisite: Open to juniors or higher. Taught in English. Dashefsky

HEJS 5316. Dying for God: Jewish Martyrdom in the Middle Ages    (also CLCS 5301)

Open to upper-level undergraduates. The rise of Jewish martyrdom from Late Antiquity through the Middle Ages, in text and practice. From rabbinic legends to medieval resistance. Three credits. Taught in English.

HEJS 5326. Translating Scriptures (also CLCS 5313)

Open to upper-level undergraduates.  This course examines the history of Bible translations, from the ancient Aramaic and Greek versions of the Hebrew Scriptures to modern English translations. It provides an excellent opportunity for students to combine the study of language, stylistics, biblical literature, religious difference, translation theory, and the history of the Book. Three credits. Taught in English. 

HEJS 5397. Trauma and Literature: A Transcultural Perspective

Open to upper-level undergraduates. A survey of recent writings on trauma that draws on anthropological, literary, psychoanalytic, sociological and therapeutic models of trauma and its meaning. Readings include classics in the field and more recent analyses of the emergence of "trauma studies" in literary and cultural studies. The theory is applied to a variety of case studies, beginning with the professor's research on medieval anti-Jewish violence and turning to the specific fields of interest and specialization of the students enrolled. This graduate course is open to upper-level undergraduates with the instructor's permission. Einbinder

INTD 3260. The Bible (also CLCS 3201-01)

This course introduces students to the historical, literary and archaeological study of Hebrew scripture and the New Testament, and is open to students with little or no background in biblical literature as well as to those who have some familiarity with the Tanakh (“Old Testament”), the New Testament, or both.  Fulfills Content Area 1 (Arts & Humanities) general education requirements.  Three credits.  Miller

SOCI 2509. Sociology of Anti-Semitism

Three credits. Prerequisite: Open to sophomores or higher. Sources and consequences of anti-Semitism in society. CA 4-INT. Three credits. Dashefsky

SOCI2509W. Sociology of Anti-Semitism

Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to sophomores or higher. CA 4-INT. Three credits. Dashefsky

CAMS 3253. Ancient Near East (also HIST 3301)

The history of Near Eastern civilization from the Neolithic period to the Persian Empire. The birth of civilization in Mesopotamia and Egypt. The political, economic, social, and cultural achievements of ancient Near-Eastern peoples.   Taught in English. Three credits. Prerequisite: Open to juniors or higher. Miller

CAMS 3250. The Early Christian Church (also HIST 3335)

The evolution of Christian institutions, leadership and doctrines in the Roman Empire ca. 50-451 C.E. Topics may include Gnosticism, prophecy, martyrdom, asceticism, pilgrimage, heresy, orthodoxy.   Taught in English.  Three credits. Prerequisite: Open to juniors or higher. Recommended preparation: HIST 3325/CAMS 3255 or HIST 3330/CAMS 3256. Caner

CAMS 3243. World of Late Antiquity (also HIST 3340)

The profound social and cultural changes that redefined the cities, the frontiers, and the economies of the classical world and led to the Middle Ages. Developments in the eastern and western Mediterranean lands between the second and seventh centuries, including: Neo-Platonism, the spread of Christianity, Rabbinic Judaism, and Islam. Three credits. Prerequisite: Open to juniors or higher.

CAMS 3244. Ancient Fictions

Examines a range of novels and other fictions from the Greco-Roman world. Works read will include the Greek sentimental novels, the satirical Roman novels of Petronius and Apeleius, and a variety of other pagan, Jewish, and Christian fictions. Taught in English. Three credits. Johnson

CAMS 3246.  Hellenistic World

The Eastern Mediterranean (the Greek east) from Alexander to Cleopatra (336-30 BCE), including historical, cultural, social, and religious developments.  Three credits. Johnson

CAMS 3251.  Greek Art (also ARTH 3140)

Greek art and architecture from the ninth century B.C. to the first-century. Three credits.

CAMS 3254.  Ancient Greece (also HIST 3320)

The history of Greece from Minoan and Mycenaean times into the Hellenistic period with special emphasis on the fifth century and the "Golden Age" of Athens. Taught in English. Three credits.

CAMS 3255.  Ancient Rome (also HIST 3325)

From the beginning of Rome to the reign of Justinian. The growth of the Roman Republic and Empire.  Roman civilization and its influence upon later history. Taught in English. Three Credits.

ANTH 3098. Anthropology of Jewish Cultures 

The primary goals of this course will be to explore the diversity of Jewish cultures and examine how influential anthropological theorists have sought to explain the variation and commonalities of these cultures. Considerable emphasis will be placed on Jewish folk traditions as they’ve emerged cross-culturally and their tension with, or occasional acceptance by, rabbinic institutions. Anthropological efforts to document these traditions will be discussed.  Students will be exposed to the rich ethnographic literature on Jewish cultures to explore various topics, communities, and movements within Jewish culture including: Haredim, Ethiopian Jewry, Yiddish culture in Europe and the U.S., chavurah communities, Sephardic communities in Muslim cultures, the Ba’al Teshuvah movement, women’s status within Jewish cultures, and secularization among Jewish communities. The course will conclude by briefly examining how rabbinic writers, including Mordechai Kaplan, Neil Gillman, and Jonathan Sacks, have drawn upon anthropological data and theories to interpret Jewish teachings and provide visions for the development of Jewish life. Three credits. Sosis

ARTH 3150.  Roman Art (also CAMS 3252 - 5YR)

History of Roman art and architecture. Three Credits.

HIST 3705.   The Modern Middle East from 1700 to Present

Tradition, change, modernization and development in the Middle East from the Ottoman decline and rise of successor states to the Arab-Israeli and oil crises. CA 1. CA 4-INT. Three credits.

HIST 3712.  Middle East Crucible

Twentieth-century issues in the Middle East heartland with analysis focusing on the Ottoman heritage, nationalism, Arab-Israeli and other conflicts, Islam, oil, water, rapid sociopolitical change, trends in development, super-power rivalries, and the search for identity, independence, and peace with justice.

SPAN 1008.  Christians, Muslims and Jews in Medieval Spain

This course will study the contacts and relations between the diverse cultures and traditions of medieval Spain: Christian Hispania, Muslim al Andalus, and Jewish Sefarad. By engaging these questions at a historical and cultural distance, the course also aims to furnish students with critical and informed perspectives that resonate with current interfaith and intercultural issues of concern. The course requires no prior preparation in the subject matter and will seek to involve students in the critical interpretation and evaluation of historical, literary and other cultural texts. Readings for the course will include a variety of sources translated from Spanish, Latin, Arabic and Hebrew.  Three credits. Taught in English.  Fulfills C.A. 1 (Arts & Humanities) and C.A. 4-INT (Diversity & Multiculturalism) general education requirements.  Hershenzon 

SPAN 3200. Spanish Civilization to the Modern Period

An interdisciplinary course analyzing the politics, social structures, and cultural life of Spain from its beginnings to the start of the nineteenth century. Recommended preparation: SPAN 3178 or instructor consent. Three credits.

CAMS 3245. The Ancient World in Cinema

Representations of the ancient Mediterranean world in contemporary cinema. Three credits.

ENGL 3629. Introduction to Holocaust Literature

Introduction to literature of the Holocaust. Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to sophomores or higher. Not open for credit to students who have passed ENGL 3623 or 3619 when taught as Holocaust literature. Three credits. Fulfills C.A. 1 (Arts & Humanities) and C.A. 4-INT (Diversity & Multiculturalism) general education requirements. Breen

ARAB 1121.  Traditional Arab Literatures, Cultures, and Civilizations          

This course examines representative works from the cultures of the Arab world. Pre-Islamic poets to later writers and thinkers. Relation of literary and artistic forms to their historical contexts.  Fulfills C.A. 1 (Arts & Humanities) and C.A. 4-INT (Diversity & Multiculturalism) general education requirements.  Darawsha

Full HEJS Graduate Course Listings

 

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Course Requirements 

Undergraduate HEJS course catalog page

Graduate HEJS course catalog page

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