Hannah S Pressman
Major trends in Jewish religious thought since the European Enlightenment, focusing on encounters between Judaism and the modern world. Includes Haskalah; varieties of religious reform and accommodation; Zionism; socialism; the philosophy of Rosenzweig, Buber, and Kaplan; and theological responses to the Holocaust. Recommended: HIST/SISJE 250, HSTEU/SISJE 469, RELIG 201, or RELIG 210.
This course surveys various issues involving language and modern Jewish culture, starting with the Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah) and moving to contemporary times. Units of study will include: Jewish Bible translation; Kabbalistic notions of language; the rise of modern Hebrew; Yiddish then and now, including a focus on Yiddish in Israel; the role of gender in Jewish language; and Jewish bilingualism. Readings will consist of philosophical pieces, scholarly articles, and Jewish literary works that thematize issues of language and identity. Students will be exposed to major figures in the field, including: Moses Mendelssohn, Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, Gershom Scholem, Walter Benjamin, Shmuel Niger, Jacques Derrida, S.Y. Abramowitz, H.N. Bialik, M.Y. Berdyczewski, Dan Miron, Naomi Seidman, Jeffrey Shandler, and Yael Chaver.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
The course will require occasional brief written responses, a midterm, and a final paper.