Courses

Wilbur Cross building


UConn'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 or offered 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 and Doctorate of Arts in Judaic studies is also available.

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

Fall 2019 Course Schedule HEJS

Fall 2019 Course Offerings in Judaic Studies

Jewish Culture

HEJS_1103   

Who Are the Jews? Jewish Identity Through the Ages

CA1 and CA4 

Professor Stuart S. Miller

TuTh 11:00-12:15

This unique course takes the student from Biblical Israel to the diverse, contemporary world of Jewish civilization in
just one semester. Three credits.

Isaiah scroll from Aleppo Codex

INTD_3260  

The Bible  

CA1

Professor Stuart S. Miller

TuTh 3:30-4:45

Introduces students to the historical, literary, and archaeological study of Hebrew scripture and the New Testament. Three credits.

Modern Jewish Thought

HEJS_2104  

Modern Jewish Thought

CA1 and CA4-INT

TuTh 12:30-1:45

Examines the Jewish encounter with modernity in its diverse and often conflicting manifestations. Three credits.

Auschwitz

HEJS_2203  

The Holocaust in Print, Theater, and Film

CA1 and CA4-INT

Instructor Grae Sibelman

Tu 3:30-6:30

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.

Introduction to Holocaust Literature

HEJS_3298

Introduction to Holocaust Literature

CA1 and CA4-INT

Professor Margaret Breen

TuTh 12:30-1:45

Introduction to literature of the Holocaust. Three credits.

#Everyday Antisemitism

HEJS_5397/SOCI 2509W  

Sociology of Anti-Semitism    

CA4-INT

Professor Arnold Dashefsky

W 3:30-6:30
Sources and consequences of antisemitism in society. Three credits.

Modern Hebrew texts

Modern Hebrew Language Courses

Instructor Sherry Shamash

HEJS 1151.Elementary Modern Hebrew I

4 credits

TuTh 3:30-4:45; W 10:10-11:00 

HEJS 1153.Intermediate Modern Hebrew I

4 credits

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

HEJS 3251.Advanced Hebrew

3 credits

TuTh 2:00-3:15

Full Course Listings

Hebrew and Judaic Studies

HEJS 1103. Literature and Civilization of the Jewish People

(Formerly offered as HEB and JUDS 1103.) Three credits. Taught in English. May not be used to meet the foreign language requirement. Miller

The major concepts, personalities and literary works of the Hebraic tradition from the Biblical and Talmudic periods to the present. CA 1. CA 4.

HEJS 1149-1150. Elementary Biblical Hebrew I and II

(Formerly offered as HEB 1149-1150.) Four credits each semester. Four class periods. Not open for credit to students who have had three or more years of Hebrew in high school. Students who wish to continue in Hebrew but feel ill prepared should contact the head of the Literatures, Cultures and Languages department.

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

HEJS 1151-1152. Elementary Modern Hebrew I and II

(Formerly offered as HEB 1151-1152.) Four credits each semester. Four class periods and one 1-hour laboratory practice. Not open for credit to students who have had three or more years of Hebrew in high school.

Elementary Hebrew grammar. Drill in pronunciation. Reading of simple texts. Practice in easy conversation.

HEJS 1153-1154. Intermediate Hebrew I and II

(Formerly offered as HEB 1153-1154.) Four credits each semester. Four class periods and one 1-hour laboratory practice. Prerequisite: HEJS 1152 or the equivalent.

Review of elementary Hebrew grammar. Graded composition and translation. Intensive and extensive reading. Oral practice in the language. The basic structure patterns of Hebrew.

HEJS 1193. Foreign Study

(Formerly offered as HEB 1193.) Credits and hours by arrangement. Prerequisite: Consent of Department Head required, normally before the student’s departure. May be repeated for credit.

Special topics taken in a foreign study program.

HEJS 2104. Modern Jewish Thought

(Formerly offered as HEB, HEJS, and JUDS 1104.) Three credits. Recommended preparation: HEJS 1103. Taught in English. May not be used to meet the foreign language requirement.

Nationalism, culture, ethics and philosophy in the writings of the major Jewish thinkers from Spinoza to the present. Emphasis on the work of Moses Mendelssohn, Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, Mordecai Kaplan, Judith Plaskow, and others. CA 1. CA 4-INT.

HEJS 2203. The Holocaust in Print, Theater, and Film

(Also offered as DRAM 2203 and HRTS 2203.) Three credits.

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.

HEJS 2204. Jewish Culture in American Film

(Also offered as AMST 2204 and CLCS 2204.) Three credits. Representations of the diversity of Jewish culture (historical, religious, secular) in American film. Introduction to film analysis and interpretation. CA 1. CA 4.

HEJS 2301. Jewish Humor

Three credits. Not open for credit to students who have passed HEJS 3295 when taught as this topic.

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. CA 1. CA 4.

HEJS 3201. Selected Books of the Hebrew Bible

(Formerly offered as HEB and JUDS 3201.) Three credits. Prerequisite: INTD 3260 or HIST 3301 or HEJS 1103, which may be taken concurrently or instructor consent. A knowledge of Hebrew is not required. May be repeated with change of content and consent of instructor. Taught in English. May not be used to meet the foreign language requirement. Miller

Literary structure and content of biblical book(s) using modern approaches as well as midrashic and medieval exegesis. Historical and archaeological material. CA 1.

HEJS 3202. Sects and Movements in Judaism

(Formerly offered as JUDS 3202.) Three credits. Taught in English. May not be used to meet the foreign language requirement.

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 Reconstructionist movements of the modern era.

HEJS 3203. The Holocaust

(Formerly offered as HEB and JUDS 3203. ( Also offered as HIST 3418.) Three credits. Taught in English. May not be used to meet the foreign language requirement.

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.

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

(Formerly offered as JUDS 3241.) Three credits.

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 3251-3252. Advanced Hebrew

(Formerly offered as HEB 3251-3252.) Three credits each semester. Prerequisite: HEJS 1154 or instructor consent.

Further grammar study. Practice in composition involving the use of everyday vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. Readings and films relevant to Israeli culture and history. With a change in content, either or both of these courses may be repeated for credit.

HEJS 3279. Modern Israeli Literature in Translation

(Formerly offered as HEB 3279.) Three credits.

Major themes and literary achievements of modern Israeli writing in translation. Authors range from the pre-Statehood period to the present.

HEJS 3293. Foreign Study

(Formerly offered as HEB 3293.) 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.

Special topics taken in a foreign study program.

HEJS 3295. Special Topics

(Formerly offered as HEB 3295.) Credits and hours by arrangement. With a change in content, may be repeated for credit. Prerequisites and recommended preparation vary.

HEJS 3298. Variable Topics

(Formerly offered as HEB 3298.) Three credits. With a change in topic, may be repeated for credit. Prerequisites and recommended preparation vary.

HEJS 3299. Independent Study

(Formerly offered as HEB 3299.) 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

(Formerly offered as HEB and JUDS 3301.) Three credits.

Survey of sacred and secular literature in a wide variety of genres produced by Jews in the medieval period from major centers of European settlement. CA 1. CA 4.

HEJS 3330. Palestine Under the Greeks and Romans

(Formerly offered as HEB, HEJS, and JUDS 3218.) (Also offered as CAMS 3330 and HIST 3330.) Three credits. Prerequisite: CAMS 1101 or 1102 or CAMS/HIST 3301; or HIST 3320 or 3325; or INTD 3260; or HEJS 1103 or 3202; or instructor consent. Taught in English. May not be used to meet the foreign language requirement. Miller

The political, historical and religious currents in Greco-Roman Palestine. Includes the Jewish Revolts; sectarian developments, the rise of Christianity and the Talmudic academies.

HEJS 3330W. Palestine Under the Greeks and Romans

(Formerly offered as HEB, HEJS, and JUDS 3218.) (Also offered as CAMS 3330W and HIST 3330W.) Three credits. Prerequisite: CAMS 1101 or 1102 or CAMS/HIST 3301; or HIST 3320 or 3325; or INTD 3260; or HEJS 1103 or 3202; or instructor consent. Taught in English. May not be used to meet the foreign language requirement. Miller

The political, historical and religious currents in Greco-Roman Palestine. Includes the Jewish Revolts; sectarian developments, the rise of Christianity and the Talmudic academies.

HEJS 3362. The Black Death: Medieval and Modern Responses to Catastrophe

(Also offered as HIST 3362.) Three credits. Not open to students who have passed HEJS 3295 when taught as The Black Death: Medieval Responses.

The Black Death (1346-50) from its origins in China through Europe. Institutional, medical, religious, literary, and social responses to the plague; how modern scholars reconstruct medieval experience; and new findings by historians and scientists that shed light on the challenges of past, present and future pandemics. CA 1. CA 4-INT.

HEJS 3401. Jewish American Literature and Culture

(Formerly offered as JUDS 3401.) (Also offered as ENGL 3220.) Three credits. Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011Shoulson

Interdisciplinary study of literary and artistic productions by and about Jews in the United States. CA 1. CA 4.

HEJS 3401W. Jewish American Literature and Culture

(Formerly offered as HEB and JUDS 3401W.) (Also offered as ENGL 3220W.) Three credits. Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011or 2011.

Interdisciplinary study of literary and artistic productions by and about Jews in the United States. CA 1. CA 4.

Arabic

ARAB 1751.  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

Anthropology

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

Art History

ARTH 3140.  Greek Art (also CAMS 3251)

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

 

ARTH 3150.  Roman Art 

History of Roman art and architecture. Three Credits.

Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies

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 3245. The Ancient World in Cinema

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

 

CAMS 3251.  Greek Art (also ARTH 3140)

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

 

CAMS 3301. 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 3320.  Ancient Greece: Troy to Sparta  (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 3321.  Hellenistic World: Alexander to Cleopatra (also HIST 3321)

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

 

CAMS 3325.  Ancient Rome: Aeneas to Augustus (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.

 

CAMS 3335. 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 3330. Caner

 

CAMS 3340. World of the Later Roman Empire (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.

English

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

History

HIST 3301. Ancient Near East (also CAMS 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

 

HIST 3320.  Ancient Greece: Troy to Sparta  (also CAMS 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.

 

HIST 3321.  Hellenistic World: Alexander to Cleopatra (also CAMS 3321)

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

 

HIST 3325.  Ancient Rome: Aeneas to Augustus (also CAMS 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.

 

HIST 3335. The Early Christian Church (also CAMS 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 3330. Caner

 

HIST 3340. World of the Later Roman Empire (also CAMS 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.

 

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.  The 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.

Interdepartmental

INTD 3260. The Bible 

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

Sociology

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

 

SOCI 2509W. Sociology of Anti-Semitism

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

 

Spanish

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.

Undergraduate Course Catalog in Hebrew and Judaic Studies

For full graduate course listings, visit the graduate catalog.

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Course Requirements