Current Course Offerings

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Jewish Studies Lecture Schedule 2019-20 (PDF)
Jewish Studies Lecture Schedule 2018-19 (PDF)
Jewish Studies Lecture Schedule 2017-18 (PDF)
Jewish Studies Lecture Schedule 2016-17 (PDF)
Jewish Studies Lecture Schedule 2015-16 (PDF)

Below are the current course offerings for the 2019-20 academic year.

ARTS & HISTORY

FA ARTH/AP HUMA 4631 3.0A   Nazi Art Crime: Theft, Recovery, and Restitution
This seminar examines why, during the Nazi era, more than 5 million artworks illegally changed hands-a disproportionate number of them being works stolen from Jewish collectors-and why it has been so challenging to restitute these pieces to their rightful owners. This course is divided into two parts: a study of the complex history of Nazi art theft and its recovery from 1945 to the present, followed by classes that focus on six of history's most important cases of Third Reich looting and restitution. Nazi-era art theft and restitution is an emerging field of study. Scholarly literature on the subject is found across various fields, including law, anthropology, criminology, international relations, and art history. It is one of the most important and highly discussed subjects in the art world as a result of media attention on cases including Austria's 2004 return of Gustav Klimt's famous Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I and the 2012 discovery of 1,285 unframed artworks found in the Munich apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt, works suspected to have been looted during the Second World War. Media coverage of Nazi-era art theft and restitution has had a significant role in shaping the public perception of the subject. This course will look at the issue in a broader context: from an art historical, legal, cultural, and ethical viewpoint. Reading news coverage, critiquing films and comparing scholarly and popular representations of Nazi-era art theft and restitution is a productive way of opening up questions and studying the field. No prerequisites but students must have at least 3rd year standing.

COURSE DIRECTOR: TBA

HISTORY

AP/HIST 3110 6.0 Ancient Israel
A survey of the history of ancient Israel within its ancient Near Eastern context from its putative origins in the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1550-1200 BCE) through its flowering in the Iron Age (or First Temple Period, ca. 1200-539 BCE).  As time permits, we will expand our focus and follow the course of Israelite history through the Persian and into the Hellenistic and Roman periods (aka the Second Temple Period, ca. 515 BCE – 70 CE). The course will take into account both textual and archaeological sources for Israel’s history during what is oftentimes termed the biblical period.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Carl S Ehrlich

AP/HIST 3221 6.0 The Final Solution: Perspectives on the Holocaust
The attempt of the Nazis to annihilate world Jewry was in many ways unprecedented in human annals. It was a turning point in history, the way for which was prepared by revolutionary political, social, technological, and philosophical developments. In other ways, however, it was a not unpredictable outgrowth of the past. Although analysis may be difficult and painful, especially for survivors, the Holocaust must be analyzed and understood if those who live on are to learn from it. Such analysis involves the examination of different aspects of life, using the tools of the historian, the theologian, the literary critic, and, to a lesser extent, the social scientist.

The course is divided into several sections, each of which approaches a different aspect of the Holocaust: the historical and philosophical background, the psychological and historical reality, the religious questions that arise in its aftermath.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Michael Brown

HEBREW

AP/HEB 1000 6.0 Elementary Modern Hebrew, Level I
This course is designed only for students with no previous knowledge of Hebrew. It introduces students to the Hebrew alphabet, basic vocabulary, grammar and syntax of Modern Hebrew. The course is structured to build students' ability to comprehend and speak Modern Hebrew. Classes are communicative and activities involve listening, speaking, reading and writing.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Ahouva Shulman

AP HEB 2000 6.0 Intermediate Modern Hebrew
Review and consolidation of grammar topics to achieve a balance in the students' competence in written and oral skills. Further development in speaking, reading, and writing. Course material deals with everyday situations, Jewish history, culture and aspects of life in Israel.
Prerequisite: AP/HEB 1000 6.00 or equivalent; not normally open to students with more than seven years of elementary school level Hebrew or equivalent.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Ahouva Shulman

AP/HEB 3000 6.0 Advanced Modern Hebrew, Level II
A course in modern Hebrew, emphasizing the study of contemporary Israeli language as seen in a wide variety of writings (education, business, military and religious literature, as well as newspapers, periodicals, and some belles lettres). This course includes practice in writing and composition.
Prerequisite: AP/HEB 2000 6.00 or equivalent. Not normally open to students with three or more years of high school level Hebrew or to native speakers.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Ahouva Shulman

AP/HEB 3630 6.0A Israeli Cinema: Culture, Values, Art
Introduces students to Israeli cinema as it evolved from the 1930s to the present. By studying feature films and documentaries, this course looks at film as a vehicle through which to explore questions of history, identity, conflict and reconciliation, war and peace, gender, ethnicity, the holocaust, and the tensions between individual and collective values.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Sara Horowitz

HUMANITIES

AP/HUMA 1870 6.0A The Bible and the Arts
This course looks at selected passages from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and their interpretative reflection in the western artistic tradition, including pictorial/representational art, music, literature, and cinema. 

COURSE DIRECTOR: Janet Melo-Thaiss

AP/HUMA 1880 6.0A The Jewish Experience
An examination of the interaction of Jews and gentiles in selected periods from antiquity through the 20th century. A case study in ethnic adaptation, the course seeks to understand how Jews sometimes adapted their lives to the world around them, and at other times withdrew into themselves, and how at certain times they exerted considerable influence on the people among whom they lived or who lived among them. Course credit exclusion: AP/HUMA 2850 9.00 (prior to Fall 2014). Note: History Majors and Minors cannot take this course to satisfy the six credits required at the 1000-level in History for major or minor credit.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Keith Weiser

AP/HUMA 3519 6.0A Contemporary Women's Ritual
Women have been creating their own significant rituals both inside and outside established religious movements for centuries. This course explores this phenomenon and analyzes a variety of contemporary women's rituals in light of contemporary feminist ritual theory and methodology. Previously offered as AP/WMST 3519 6.00.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Sherry Rowley

AP/HUMA 3688 3.0M Holocaust Literature of Children and Youth
"This was the ghetto: where children grew down instead of up" (Spinelli, Milkweed, 2003, 153). This course analyzes themes and art relevant to children and youth in adolescents’ and children’s Holocaust literature. Participants apply cognitive and affective modes of perception—ways of knowing, perceiving, and sensing— to read through the eyes of the main characters, predominantly children and youth

COURSE DIRECTOR: Laura Wiseman

AP/HUMA 3831 3.0M W Torah and Tradition: Jewish Religious Expressions from Antiquity to the Present (ONLINE)
This course offers an exploration of Jewish beliefs, institutions, and bodies of literature, emphasizing continuities and changes in religious expression within and across different places, circumstances, and times. Themes covered include God, the Jewish people, Torah and its interpretation, the land of Israel; the commandments (mitzvot) and their legal (halakhic) expressions; the Sabbath; daily and calendrical cycles of holiness; rites of passage, and messianic teachings. Particular attention will be paid to the varieties of Jewish religious denominations in modern times.

The course's learning objectives are multifold. Substantively, the course aims to impart to students a sense of the major periods in the life of Jewish religious expression and illustrate how an essential matrix of elements (God, Torah, Israel) has structured, in a recognizably continuous way, the lives of Jews while also generating new and at times highly distinct visions of God, Jewish doctrine, life cycle events, and the like. Methodologically, it emphasizes the study of primary sources in translation (apart from a very few primary sources originally composed in English). In so doing, the course seeks to hone student awareness of the peculiarities of the genre, the frequent indeterminacy of evidence, and difficulties involved in formulating careful historical assessments.

In paying attention to the varieties of Judaism that have come to historical expression, the course raises larger questions about the religious dimension in human affairs and about what religion is and does.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Martin Lockshin

AP/HUMA 3835 3.0A  Antisemitism and Islamophobia in Canada
This course examines contemporary manifestations of antisemitism and islamophobia in Canada. To provide historical context it explores the antecedents of anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim thought in the medieval and early modern periods. The course is interdisciplinary in nature drawing on both Humanities (primary texts, films, literature) as well as social science approaches.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Randal Schnoor

AP/HUMA 3856 3.0A Women and the Holocaust
Although the Nazi genocide targeted both men and women, writing by victims and survivors along with contemporary depictions of the Holocaust, indicates significant gender-specific differences in experience and ways of coping and remembering. Close readings and critical analyses of primary texts are emphasized. Course credit exclusions: None. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusions: AS/HUMA 3140K 3.00 (prior to Fall/Winter 2003-2004), AS/HUMA 3856 3.00.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Sara Horowitz

AP/HUMA 4803 6.0A/AP/HIST 4225 6.0A Church, Mosque and Synagogue : Jews, Muslims and Christians in Medieval Spain
The Muslim conquest of the Iberian peninsula in 711 inaugurated a complex trireligious society that was to endure nearly eight hundred years (and more than eight centuries on the Muslim lunar calendar). This development has given rise to Spain's designation as a "land of three religions" and Spain's reputation as premodern western Europe's foremost "pluralist" society. It has also made Spain, as compared with other European lands, a hard country for non-Spaniards to understand.

This course seeks to explore diverse facets of Jewish-Muslim-Christian convivencia ("dwelling together"; coexistence), a topic that continues to be the object of attention for a range of scholars and many beyond the academy who have found it pertinent to an understanding of our own age. The course focusses on religious, intellectual, and cultural contacts and their sociopsychological dynamics, placing these in various historical and at times (very partial) geographic, linguistic, political, economic, and technological contexts. The course centers on written sources but does not wholly neglect iconography, music, and architecture. It stresses diverse perspectives within and across religious boundaries and at times forces us to ponder difficulties faced by scholars seeking to explain religious or religiously-linked phenomena (e.g., what actual human experience lies behind the metaphor of "religious conversion"?).

Methodologically, our enterprise emphasizes study of primary sources as the only way to arrive at a trustworthy model of convivencia. In the course of such study, attention is paid to peculiarities of genre, the frequent indeterminacy of evidence, and difficulties involved in formulating historical assessments.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Randal Schnoor

AP/HUMA 4819 3.0A   Visions of the End: Early Jewish and Christian Apocalypticism
This course investigates the origins and development of apocalypticism within ancient Judaism and early Christianity, covering apocalyptic literature (e.g. Daniel, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Revelation), ancient millennial movements, and the apocalyptic world-view. Course credit exclusion: AP/HUMA 4819 6.00. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusions: AS/HUMA 4819 3.00, AS/HUMA 4819 6.00.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Philip Harland

MUSIC

FA/MUSI 1099A 3.0/6.0 Ashkenazi and Sephardic Vocal Music
Private voice lessons in Ashkenazi, Klezmer, Yiddish, and Sephardic (especially JudeoSpanish) singing and song repertoires. Emphasis on text clarity, stylistic awareness and repertoire development will be featured. Open to majors and non-majors.

COURSE DIRECTOR: TBA

FA/MUSI 2099A 3.0/6.0 Ashkenazi and Sephardic Vocal Music

Private voice lessons in Ashkenazi, Klezmer, Yiddish, and Sephardic (especially JudeoSpanish) singing and song repertoires. Emphasis on text clarity, stylistic awareness and repertoire development will be featured. Open to majors and non-majors.

PREREQUISITE: Appropriate lower level or permission of the instructor.

COURSE DIRECTOR: TBA

FA/MUSI 3099A 3.0/6.0 Ashkenazi and Sephardic Vocal Music
Private voice lessons in Ashkenazi, Klezmer, Yiddish, and Sephardic (especially JudeoSpanish) singing and song repertoires. Emphasis on text clarity, stylistic awareness and repertoire development will be featured. Open to majors and non-majors.

PREREQUISITE: Appropriate lower level or permission of the instructor.
COURSE DIRECTOR: TBA

FA/MUSI 4099A 3.0/6.0 Ashkenazi and Sephardic Vocal Music

Private voice lessons in Ashkenazi, Klezmer, Yiddish, and Sephardic (especially JudeoSpanish) singing and song repertoires. Emphasis on text clarity, stylistic awareness and repertoire development will be featured. Open to majors and non-majors.

PREREQUISITE: Appropriate lower level or permission of the instructor.
COURSE DIRECTOR: TBA

POLITICAL SCIENCE

AP/POLS 4561 3.0 Topics in Middle East Politics
This course prepares students to work in Middle Eastern Studies with an emphasis on political debates. We examine the history of state building, regional issues, nationalism, ideological trends, political movements and political parties in the modern Middle East.

COURSE DIRECTOR: TBA

SOCIAL SCIENCE

AP/SOSC 3917 6.0 Contemporary Jewish Life in North America
This course develops an understanding of contemporary North American Jewry using findings of social science. Social, cultural, political, and religious issues of concern to Jewish communities are analyzed, such as assimilation, intermarriage, Jewish identity, etc. The course focuses on the Canadian Jewish experience and where relevant compares this to the United States. It also offers comparisons between Canadian Jews and other Canadian ethnic groups. The course begins with a historical overview of the major immigration patterns of Jews to North America. Canadian Census data is used to develop a demographic profile of contemporary Canadian Jewry. The course emphasizes the pluralistic nature and diversity of Canadian Jewish communities. Particular attention is paid to less studied Canadian Jewish groups, such as ultra-Orthodox / Hasidic Jews, Israeli Jews, Jewish women, and gay and lesbian Jews.

COURSE DIRECTOR: Randal Schnoor

 

Important: Course Substitution and Waivers