Spring 2015 Course Offerings



In the Department of Germanic Languages

CLYD W3500 Humor in Jewish Literature
Call Number: 79032                                           Points: 3
Day/Time: TR 10:10 – 11:25am                        Location: TBD
Instructor: Jeremy Dauber
Through an analysis of far-flung examples of comic Jewish literature created by Jews over three centuries and three continents, this course will attempt to answer two questions. First, are there continuities in Jewish literary style and rhetorical strategy, and if so, what are they? And second, can Jewish literature help us to understand the tensions between universality and particularity inherent in comic literature more generally? Works and authors read will include the Book of Esther, Yiddish folktales, Jewish jokes, Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Franz Kafka, Philip Roth, Woody Allen, and selections from American television and film. 
 
YIDDISH W1101 Elementary Yiddish I
Call Number: 61549                                           Points: 4
Day/Time: MW 2:10pm – 4:00pm                     Location: TBD
Instructor: TBD
 
YIDDISH W1102 Elementary Yiddish II
Call Number: 26700                                           Points: 4
Day/Time: MW 2:10pm – 4:00pm                     Location: TBD
Instructor: Agnieszka Legutko
This year-long course offers an introduction to the language spoken by the Ashkenazi Jews and an opportunity to discover a wonderful world of Yiddish literature, language and culture. Using games, new media, and music, we will learn how to speak, read, listen and write in a language that is considered one of the richest languages in the world. We will also venture outside the classroom to explore the Yiddish world today: through exciting field trips to Yiddish theater, Yiddish-speaking neighborhoods, Yiddish farm, and so on. Welcome to Yiddishland!
 
YIDDISH W1202 Intermediate Yiddish II
Call Number: 70498                                           Points: 4
Day/Time: MW 9:00am – 10:50am                   Location: TBD
Instructor: Agnieszka Legutko
Prerequisites: YIDD W1101-W1102 or the instructor's permission. This year-long course is a continuation of Elementary Yiddish II. As part of the New Media in Jewish Studies Collaborative, this class will be using new media in order to explore and research the fabulous world of Yiddish literature, language, and culture, and to engage in project-oriented activities that will result in creating lasting multi-media online presentations. In addition to expanding the command of the language that has been spoken by the Ashkenazi Jews for more than a millennium, i.e. focusing on developing speaking, reading, writing and listening skills, and on the acquisition of more advanced grammatical concepts, students will also get some video and film editing training, and tutorials on archival research. The class will continue to read works of Yiddish literature in the original and will venture outside of the classroom to explore the Yiddish world today: through exciting field trips to Yiddish theater, Yiddish-speaking neighborhoods, YIVO, Yiddish Farm, and so on. And we will also have the Yiddish native-speaker guest series. Welcome back to Yiddishland!

YIDDISH G4420 Women, Gender and Yiddish Literature
Call Number: 67549                                               Points: 4
Day/Time: W 4:10 - 6:00pm                               Location: TBD
Instructor: Agnieszka Legutko
Early publications in Yiddish, a.k.a. the mame loshn, ‘mother tongue,’ were addressed to “women and men who are like women,” while famous Yiddish writer, Sholem Aleichem, created a myth of “three founding fathers” of modern Yiddish literature, which eliminated the existence of Yiddish women writers. As these examples indicate, gender has played a significant role in Yiddish literary power dynamics.  We will read diverse works of Yiddish literature created for and by women – from Tsene Urene, Bible stories in Yiddish through the first Yiddish memoir by Glikl of Hameln to modern women writers, such as Fradl Shtok, Malka Lee, Rokhl Korn, Kadya Molodowsky, Celia Dropkin, Irena Klepfisz, and others. We will also explore works by women on Yiddish literature but written in other languages, such as English, Polish and Hebrew. In addition to exploring how women writers revolutionized Yiddish literature, we will also examine the roles of women in Yiddish literary establishment then and in contemporary Yiddish studies today.  We will also venture outside of class to explore the women, gender and Yiddish literature in the archives, and also by attending a concert and a conference on women and Yiddish studies that will be held at Columbia at the end of the semester. An additional objective of this class is acquiring skills in academic research and digital presentation of the findings as part of the Mapping Yiddish New York project that is being created at Columbia in cooperation with Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning. Digital publishing is a skill that will be more and more often required in your future professional lives. The goal of the Mapping Yiddish New York project is to create an online archive of materials on Yiddish culture and history in New York to be used in the classroom and to become an ultimate resource for researchers, scholars, and general public. No knowledge of Yiddish required.

In the Department of History

HIST W3611 Survey of Ancient Jewish History: Jews & Judaism in Antiquity
Call Number: 16749                                           Points: 3
Day/Time: MW 10:10am - 11:25am                 Location: TBD
Instructor: Seth Schwartz
Description TBD
 
HIST G8611 From Herod to Bar Kokhba: Jews, Pagans and Christians
Call Number: 25434                                           Points: 4
Day/Time: M 2:10pm - 4:00pm                         Location: TBD
Instructor: Seth Schwartz
A detailed examination based on careful analysis (as far as possible in the original languages) of Josephus, intertestamental literature and Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament, Rabbinic literature, in addition to archaeological, epigraphical and papyrological remains, of one of the most tumultuous and best attested periods of Jewish history before modernity.

HIST W4715 Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Early Islamic World
Call Number:  10282                                           Points: 4
Day/Time: M 11:00am - 12:50pm                     Location: TBD
Instructor: Eve Krakowski
This seminar examines how religion worked as a social and political category in the early Islamic world. In the seventh century, the Middle East was populated by a diverse mix of Christians, Jews, pagans, and others. By the eleventh century, most of these people's descendants were Muslims; those who had not converted to Islam were mostly Jews and Christians. This transformation changed what it meant to belong to a religious community, for Muslims, Jews, and Christians alike. We will examine this enormous historical change and its outcome focusing on the social and political contexts of conversion in the first Islamic centuries (7th-10th) and on the social, political, cultural, and intellectual dimensions of religious communal life in the period immediately after (11th-12th centuries).

HIST W4645 Jews and Early Modern Europe
Call Number: 26198                                          Points: 4
Day/Time: F 9:00am – 10:50am                      Location: TBD
Instructor: Elisheva Carlebach

Prerequisites: Instructor's permission is required. A seminar on the historical, political, and cultural developments in the Jewish communities of early-modern Western Europe (1492-1789) with particular emphasis on the transition from medieval to modern patterns. We will study the resettlement of Jews in Western Europe, Jews in the Reformation-era German lands, Italian Jews during the late Renaissance, the rise of Kabbalah, and the beginnings of the quest for civil Emancipation. Field(s): JWS/EME

HIST W4604 Jews and the City
Call Number: 71648                                           Points: 4
Day/Time: M 2:10pm – 4:00pm                        Location: TBD
Instruction: Rebecca Kobrin
Prerequisites: Instructor's permission is required; preference will be given to majors and concentrators, seniors and juniors. Over the course of the nineteenth century, millions of Jews uprooted themselves from their places of birth and moved to cities scattered throughout the world.  This mass urbanization not only created new demographic centers of world Jewry, but also fundamentally transformed Jewish political and cultural life.  In this course, we shall analyze primary source material, literary accounts as well as secondary sources as we examine the Jewish encounter with the city, and see how Jewish culture was shaped by and helped to shape urban culture.  We shall compare Jewish life in six cities spanning from Eastern Europe to the United States and consider how Jews’ concerns molded the urban economy, urban politics, and cosmopolitan culture.  We shall also consider the ways in which urbanization changed everyday Jewish life.  What impact did it have on Jewish economic and religious life?  What role did gender and class play in molding the experiences of Jews in different cities scattered throughout the world? Application required (see undergrad seminar section of department’s website).
 
HIST W3415 Immigrant New York
Call Number: 28906                                           Points: 3
Day/Time: TR 2:40pm – 3:55pm                       Location: TBD
Instructor: Rebecca Kobrin
This seminar explores the intersection of immigration, race, and politics in New York City, both from the perspective of history and in relation to contemporary realities. In this course we will discuss the ways in which immigration has reshaped the cultural, economic, and political life of New York City both in the past as well as the present. Readings will focus on the divergent groups who have settled in New York City, paying close attention to issues of gender, class, race, the role of labor markets, the law, and urban development.

Hebrew Language in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS)

 MDES W1511: 1st Yr Mod Hebrew: Elem II
Call Number: 63478                                           Points: 5
Day/Time: MTWR 11:40am – 12:45pm            Location: TBD
Instructor: Lital Canaani
Section 001
Prerequisite: MDES W1510, or the equivalent, based on performance on the placement test. Continued introduction to Hebrew, with equal emphasis on all languages skills. (See MDES W1510.)
 
MDES W1511: 1st Yr Mod Hebrew: Elem II
Call Number: 66822                                           Points: 5
Day/Time: MTWR 1:10pm – 2:15pm                Location: TBD
Instructor: Lital Canaani
Section 002
Prerequisite: MDES W1510, or the equivalent, based on performance on the placement test. Continued introduction to Hebrew, with equal emphasis on all languages skills. (See MDES W1510.)
 
MDES W1513 2nd Yr Mod Hebrew: Inter II
Call Number: 61591                                           Points: 5
Day/Time: MTWR 1:10 – 2:25pm                      Location: TBD
Instructor: Rina Kreitman
Section 001
Prerequisites: MDES W1512 Equal emphasis is given to all language skills. Irregular categories of the Hebrew verb, prepositions and syntax are taught systematically. Vocabulary building. Daily homework includes grammar exercises, short answers, reading, or writing short compositions. Frequent vocabulary and grammar quizzes. (Students completing this course fulfill Columbia College and Barnard language requirement.)
 
MDES W 1513 2nd Yr Mod Hebrew: Inter II
Call Number: 72799                                           Points: 5
Day/Time: MTWR 11:40am – 12:45pm            Location: TBD
Instructor: Rina Kreitman
Section 002
Prerequisites: MDES W1512 Equal emphasis is given to all language skills. Irregular categories of the Hebrew verb, prepositions and syntax are taught systematically. Vocabulary building. Daily homework includes grammar exercises, short answers, reading, or writing short compositions. Frequent vocabulary and grammar quizzes. (Students completing this course fulfill Columbia College and Barnard language requirement.)
 
MDES W4511 3rd Yr Modern Hebrew II
Call Number: 14449                                           Points: 4
Day/Time: TR 9:00am – 10:50am                     Location: TBD
Instructor: Nehama Bersohn
Prerequisites: MDES W4510 or MDES W1515 or the instructor's permission. Focus on transition from basic language towards authentic Hebrew, through reading of un-adapted literary and journalistic texts without vowels. Vocabulary building. Grammar is reviewed in context. A weekly hour is devoted to practice in conversation. Daily homework includes reading, short answers, short compositions, listening to web-casts, or giving short oral presentations via voice e-mail. Frequent vocabulary quizzes. 
 
MDES W1518 Hebrew for Heritage Speakers
Call Number: 68585                                           Points: 4
Day/Time: MTWR 12:00pm – 12:50pm            Location: TBD
Instructor: Nehama Bersohn

In the Department of Political Science

POLS G4845 National Security Strategy of the Middle East
Call Number: 25826                                           Points: 4
Day/Time: M 6:10pm – 8:00pm                        Location: TBD
Instructor: Charles Freilich
At the crossroads of three continents, the Middle East is home to many diverse peoples, with ancient and proud cultures, in varying stages of political and socio-economic development, often times in conflict. Now in a state of historic flux, the Arab Spring has transformed the Middle Eastern landscape, with great consequence for the national security strategies of the countries of the region and their foreign relations. The primary source of the world's energy resources, the Middle East remains the locus of the terror-WMD-fundamentalist nexus, which continues to pose a significant threat to both regional and international security. The course surveys the national security challenges facing the region's primary players (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria and Lebanon, Israel, the Palestinians and Turkey, Jordan) and how the revolutions of the past year will affect them. Unlike many Middle East courses, which focus on US policy in the region, the course concentrates on the regional players' perceptions of the threats and opportunities they face and on the strategies they have adopted to deal with them. It thus provides an essential vantage point for all those interested in gaining a deeper understanding of a region, which stands at the center of many of the foreign policy issues of our era. The course is designed for those with a general interest in the Middle East, especially those interested in national security issues, students of comparative politics and future practitioners, with an interest in "real world" international relations and national security.

In the Department of Religion

RELI V3501 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible
Call Number: 07595                                           Points: 3
Day/Time: TR 10:10am – 11:25am                   Location: TBD
Instructor: Beth Berkowitz
Introduction to the literature of ancient Israel against the background of the ancient Near East.
 
RELI W4538 Re-Reading the Talmud
Call Number: 13324                                           Points: 4
Day/Time: T 6:10 – 8:00pm                               Location: TBD
Instructor: Ari Bergmann
In the past century, advances in theories of how to read the Babylonian Talmud, the Bavli, and in the models of its formation and redaction have opened up new avenues for understanding what the text says and, more importantly, how it works. This course will examine in-depth several demonstrative literary units, sugyot, through the lens of the evolution of the major critical schools of the past century and contrast them with the interpretation approach of selected medieval scholars, the rishonim. All texts will be read in the original but translations will be provided. Basic knowledge or previous study of Talmud is required.

CLYD W3500 Humor in Jewish Literature
Call Number: TBD                                              Points: TBD
Day/Time: TR 10:10 – 11:25am                        Location: TBD
Instructor: Jeremy Dauber
Through an analysis of far-flung examples of comic Jewish literature created by Jews over three centuries and three continents, this course will attempt to answer two questions. First, are there continuities in Jewish literary style and rhetorical strategy, and if so, what are they? And second, can Jewish literature help us to understand the tensions between universality and particularity inherent in comic literature more generally? Works and authors read will include the Book of Esther, Yiddish folktales, Jewish jokes, Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Franz Kafka, Philip Roth, Woody Allen, and selections from American television and film. 

In the Department of Women's Studies

WMST W4302 2nd Wave & Jewish Women’s Art
Call Number: 03612                                           Points: 4
Day/Time? M 4:10pm – 6:00pm                       Location: TBD
Instructor: Irena Klepfisz
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 13 students. A study of  Jewish women’s fiction, memoirs, art and film in response to the feminist/gender issues raised by the Second Wave. The seminar includes analysis of the writings and artwork of Jo Sinclair, Tillie Olsen, Judy Chicago, Helene Aylon, Elana Dykewomon, Rebecca Goldstein, E.M. Broner and others.