J ST 132
Introduction to Jewish American Literature (3) A historical and thematic survey of Jewish Literature of the United States.
J ST (ENGL) 132 Introduction to Jewish American Literature (3)
This course will provide an introduction to Jewish American literature through a historical survey of the tradition's key texts, figures, and themes. the course will focus on the defining aspects of the literature and on what the literature "thinks" about Jewish American culture and identity. But rather than assuming a unity to Jewish-American culture, this course will use Jewish literature to seek ways of articulating and representing both the points of cohesion and the points of divergence that characterize Jewish life in America. the United States has absorbed large numbers of Jewish immigrants hailing from many parts of the world, holding many different ideas about Jewish practice, and affiliating themselves with many different political, social, and cultural traditions. Moreover, Jews have settled and made homes in a wide variety of American communities. This course aims to explore Jewish American culture's marked diversity by offering a literary window onto the major fault-lines running through Jewish American culture: lines demarcated by gender, by political affiliation, by geography, by pre-immigration community by religious practice, by attitude toward world Jewry, by national allegiance, and by minhag (or custom), to name just a few. The class therefore provides an opportunity to consider the constitution, origin, and development of Jewish American's identity and social formations by looking at how that identity and those social formations exist and what they "do" in literature written by and about Jews in America. Materials will consist predominantly of primary texts, including prose fiction and nonfiction, poetry, drama, and film. Course methodology will emphasize the close reading of these texts. Through occasional writing exercises, formal papers, in-class projects, and essay examinations, students will respond to, integrate, compare, and analyze these materials. The course complements offerings in Jewish Studies and English, and it will satisfy the GH and US requirements. Most obviously, the course will offer students of Jewish literature, world literature, and American literature an opportunity for contextualization. It enables students in Jewish Studies to study the rich literature of American Jews, and it adds to courses covering Jewish American history, religion, and culture. The course offers students in English a valuable, sustained introduction to an important U.S. and world sub-culture.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.