Judaic Studies Courses

An introduction to literature, history, culture, and religion of the Jewish people, from ancient to modern times, intended for students of all religious faiths. No prior knowledge of Judaism required. 3 credits.

Introduction to critical thinking skills through expository prose and fictional narratives about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 3 credits.

A multinational, multicultural, and trans-historical introduction to the Jewish story from the Hebrew bible to the contemporary period. Prerequisite(s); ENG 112 and LEP Tier 1 Critical Thinking. 3 credits.

An introduction to the field of Holocaust and genocide studies through true stories of resistance, rescue, and survival. Students investigate dimensions common to all genocides, including the deliberate social construction of the idenity of the targeted group, an objectifi cation designed to engender fear and hatred through the propagation of dehumanizing stereotypes and hate speech. As a result of interdisciplinary analyses of the causes of genocide, through historical  accounts, witness literature, and film, students reflect on possible strategies for genocide prevention through modes of intervention and education. 3 credits.

The origin, nature, forms, and social manifestations of religious experience; relation to other cultural institutions and expressions: analysis of diverse types of religious experiences. 3 credits.

An introduction to multicultural Jewish American literature from the mid-19th century to the contemporary period, with emphasis on the immigrant experience, the Holocaust, and Jewish humor. Prerequisite(s): ENG 112 and LEP Tier 1 Critical Thinking. 3 credits.

Survey of important Jewish American writers, including Ozick, Malamud, Henry and Philip Roth, Rich, Singer, Spiegelman, Bellow, and others in various literary genres. 3 credits.

Study of contemporary American Jewish life and society from a sociological perspective. Pluralism, sociohistorical development, religious ritual, and gender issues as shapers of the American Jewish community. 3 credits.

The social factors, pre-statehood through the present, that have influenced the emergence of Israeli society as a new social and cultural entity in the Middle East. 3 credits.

Examines the origins, development, and consequences of the Nazi attack on European Jews. Important questions about the motives, options, and experiences of the victims, perpetrators, and bystanders of the Holocaust. Reading, discussing, and writing about surviving primary sources. Historical debates around questions of guilt, responsibility, anti-Semitism, racism, faith, resistance, and memory. 3 credits.

The Weimar Republic and its failure; Nazi Germany, its internal and foreign policies; the Allied occupation and division of Germany; the German Federal and the German Democratic Republics and their position in the world today. 3 credits.

History of the Muslim Middle East from ca. 500 C.E. to 1500 C.E. Topics include the rise of Islam, its expansion and cultural achievements, and the impact of migration from the East, culminating in the Mongol invasion. 3 credits.

History of the Middle East from ca. 1500 C.E. through World War II. Topics include the rise and fall of the Ottoman and Safavid Empires, the impact of colonialism and world trade, and the emergence of nationalism and fundamentalism. 3 credits.

Study of the literature of the Hebrew Bible in light of genre (similar to tragedy, the novel, essay and romance). Critical methods such as source criticism and form criticism are used as aids to literary interpretation. Prerequisite: university literature requirement. 3 credits. 

Judaism from the Biblical period to the present: the Rabbinic tradition and Talmud; philosophical and mystical movements; modern American forms; Zionism; contemporary Jewish religious and ethical responses to modernity; ecumenical dialogue. Prerequisite: LIT 300 or PHI 207. 3 credits.

Study of the literature of the New Testament in light of genre (gospel, epistle, apocalypse) and literary development. Critical methods such as source criticism and form criticism are used as aids to interpretation. Prerequisite: university literature requirement. 3 credits.

A survey of Jewish music from the Biblical Period to the present day. Topics include discussion of Ashkenazic and Sephardic liturgical and secular music, traditions, music from the Holocaust, and the contemporary American Jewish music scene. 3 credits.

An advanced reading and discussion course concentrating on differing interpretations of Nazi Germany. 3 credits.

A systematic, historical, cultural, political, and economic overview of the region, followed by an in-depth analysis of the individual countries. 3 credits.

While Jewish people constitute only 2.3 percent of the American population, 80 percent of the professional comedians have traditionally been Jewish. Explores the theories of Jewish humor and compares and contrasts the humor and humorists of Jewish descent with those of other cultures. 3 credits.

Intensive study of a major writer or a selected topic, with choices changing each term. Prerequisite: university literature requirement. 3 credits.

Course involves field study in either the southern Connecticut region or an area outside the United States. Areas are visited and mapped and techniques of field research are studied dealing with the physical and human aspects of the environment. 3 credits.