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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Comparative Literature (CMLIT)

CMLIT 110 (GH;US;IL) (J ST 131) Jewish Literature: An International Perspective (3) Literature of the Jewish tradition in various cultures and contexts, such as Europe, Israel, Islamic countries, and the Americas.

CMLIT 110 Jewish Literature: An International Perspective (3)
(GH;US;IL)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

CMLIT 110 will provide an introduction to the multiple worlds of Jewish experience and the different literatures they continue to inspire. Jewish literary creativity has varied widely with the personal and communal experience of writers in many parts of the world, and in many different time periods. Readings usually range from the first Jewish literary text, the Hebrew Bible, to twentieth-century works, including writings about the Holocaust. The course typically includes units such as Jewish writing and culture in Eastern Europe, in the Americas, in Spain during the Middle Ages, and in Israel and the Middle East today. The material may be organized chronologically, thematically, or by regions or languages. Texts that critique or apparently suppress Jewish identity, as well as texts with representations of Jews by writers of other heritages, may be included for comparative purposes. We will include writings by Jewish authors who have written in languages usually associated with Jewish tradition (such as Hebrew and Yiddish) and in other languages (such as Spanish, Arabic, German, English, etc.). Topics discussed in the literature may focus on questions of Jewish identity and continuity, the situation of Jews as a minority people, the immigrant and diasporic experience, representations of the Holocaust, and the establishment of Israeli culture as a mixture of several traditions. We will question generalizations about the meaning of "Jewish" by showing the wide range of characteristics associated with Jewish literary productions, and the great diversity of depictions of Jews and Jewish lifestyles, in different times and places. In addition to our primary focus on literary texts, we may include examples of other cultural productions (film, music, the visual arts, philosophy, etc.). All offerings of the course include writing assignment and discussion in the evaluation methods. The syllabus often includes 2 or 3 midterm exams (with essay questions); a final exam, paper, or project; oral presentations; participation in online discussions. CMLIT 110 counts towards the Comparative Literature major and the World Literature minor. No prior knowledge of Jewish tradition is required, and General Education students are welcome. This course also fulfills the General Education Humanities requirement, the Bachelor of Arts Humanities requirement, and the United States and International Cultures requirement.


General Education: GH
Diversity: US;IL
Bachelor of Arts: Humanities
Effective: Spring 2011

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.