Course Archive

 

 

Fall 2017 Course Offerings

 

HJS 101 Elementary Hebrew

Daniel Frese

MTWR 10:00-10:50

Patterson Hall 305

Introduction to the basic structures and vocabulary of Modern Hebrew.  The curriculum includes developing students' skills in listening, speaking, writing, reading, as well as broad exposure to Israeli culture.

 

HJS 201 Intermediate Hebrew

Daniel Frese

TR 2:00-3:15

Fine Arts Building 308B

This course will further develop students’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Modern Hebrew. Emphasized aspects will include new categories of present and past tense verbs, new vocabulary, verbal/reading comprehension, unstructured expression in Hebrew, and exposure to modern Israeli culture.

 

HJS/HIS 324 - Jewish Thought and Culture I: From Ancient Israel through the Middle Ages

Daniel Frese

TR 12:30-3:15

White Hall 211

In this course we will trace the major intellectual and cultural themes in the Israelite/Jewish tradition through ca. 2,500 years of history. We will begin with the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and the earliest historic Ancient Israel, and continue through the Rabbinic Judaism of late antiquity and into the Middle Ages.

 


HON 151:001: JEWS AND CHRISTIANS IN MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE EUROPE
 

JONATHAN GLIXON
MWF 10:00-10:50
Lewis Hall U134
Christianity traces its origins to Judaism, but for most of the two millennia that followed, as Christians came to dominate Europe, and Jews remained a small minority, relationships between the two groups were at best strained, and often violent. This seminar is a discussion-based investigation of the complex and often troubled relationship between Christians and Jews in Europe from the beginnings of Christianity through the Reformation. We will examine original sources (in English translation) by both Jewish and Christian authors, considering political and legal documents, religious texts, literary texts, and visual representations, as well as selected secondary materials.

*         What are the basic principles of Judaism and Christianity, and how do they relate to each other?
*         What was the legal situation of the Jewish minority within Christian Europe?
*         Why and how were European Jews persecuted, how did they react, and why was the situation better in some places than in others?
*         What did Christian theologians have to say about Judaism, and vice versa?
*         What can we learn from the troubled Jewish-Christian relationships of the past that might help us understand interfaith conflicts today?

 

HIS/CLA 390: Greek, Roman & Jew: The Backgrounds to and the Early History of Christianity

Bruce Holle

W 4:00-6:30

Whitehall Classroom Building 219

This course will attempt to help the student understand the complexity and the diversity of Judaism and its importance to understanding the evolution of Christianity to 150 CE.

 

WRD 320: Rhetorical Theory and History

Rhetoric Between Athens and Jerusalem

Janice Fernheimer (jfernheimer@uky.edu)

TR 9:30-10:45

Patterson Office Tower 03

Rhetoric is a powerful, architechtonic art that often gets maligned in colloquial English by its association with “bullshit” or empty speech.  Yet the tenets of rhetorical theory have allowed for both the analysis and production of powerful symbolic texts for thousands of years. In this course we will investigate the history of rhetoric in Ancient Greece and Israel to explore the productive space between Greco-Roman and Jewish/Hebraic rhetorical traditions. We will also learn about contemporary debates in rhetorical historiography as well as contrastive and comparative approaches to studies in rhetorical history and theory.

Students will write several short reading response essays, a mid-term, and a major research project. Fulfills CORE for Intellectual Inquiry in the Humanities

 

UK 300-005: Elementary Yiddish

Raphael Finkel

raphael@cs.uky.edu

MWF: 10:00-10:50

Jacobs Science Building 139

This course introduces Yiddish as a living language. You will gain some proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. There are no formal prerequisites, but knowledge of Hebrew, Polish, Russian, and German is certainly helpful, because Yiddish is a West Germanic language, written with a modified Hebrew alphabet (although we will start with Romanized writing) and has significant vocabulary borrowed from Slavic languages.

 

 

 

 

 

Spring 2017 Course Offerings

HJS 102 - Elementary Modern Hebrew (cont'd)

Continued introduction to the basic structures and vocabulary of Modern Hebrew. Students will develop skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and will gain broad exposure to modern Israeli culture. (Prerequisite: HJS 101, offered every fall semester).

MTWR     10-10:50     PAHA 229

 

HJS 202 - Intermediate Modern Hebrew (cont'd)

This course will further develop students’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Modern Hebrew. Emphasized aspects will include new categories of present and past tense verbs, new vocabulary, verbal/reading comprehension, unstructured expression in Hebrew, and exposure to modern Israeli culture. (Prerequisite: HJS 201, offered every fall semester)

TR     2-3:15     POT 09

 

HJS 425/UKC 111 - Introduction to the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible

An introduction to the best-selling and most influential book ever written - a text foundational to both Judaism and Christianity. In this course we will survey the contents of the biblical text, paying close attention to its narrative artistry, its historicity, and its relationship to the ancient Near Eastern culture in which it was written.

TR     12:30-1:45     POT 112

 

WRD 420: Rhetorical Traditions

Arguing with God?: Introduction to Jewish Rhetorics   

In this course we will investigate the history of rhetoric in Jewish rhetorical traditions in both historical and contemporary contexts—we will ask such questions as: What constitutes the canons of Jewish rhetoric? How do Jewish rhetorics fit within or complicate Greco-Roman and/or other rhetorical traditions? What does it mean to think about Jewish Rhetorics as part of a larger discourse on cultural rhetoric?  We will also learn about contemporary debates in rhetorical historiography as well as contrastive and comparative approaches to studies in rhetorical history and theory.  No prior knowledge of Jewish rhetoric required J

TR     12:30-1:45     WHCB 340

 

WRD 401-003: Jewish Graphic Novel

TR     9:30-10:45     WHCB 213

 

WRD 401H: Introduction to the Jewish Graphic Novel

This course provides an introduction to graphic novels and Jewish culture by focusing on Jewish-authored graphic novels on “Jewish” subjects. Students will learn about the creation of the graphic novel genre, its specific rhetorical affordances combining visuals and text in sequence, and how it came to be associated with Jews, Jewish culture, and “Jewish writing.”  After tracing the genre’s historical origins, we will read and analyze key works by pioneers Will Eisner and Art Spiegelman as well as texts by Jewish American artists and Jewish cartoonists working in Hebrew and French (note: all reading will be in English). Student work will focus on writing both traditional academic analyses and producing graphic criticism.  Course readings will include a selection of the following: Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, Will Eisner’s The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Joan Sfar’s The Rabbi’s Cat I and II, JT Waldman’s Megillat Esther, Miriam Katin’s We are on Our Own, Ben Katchor’s The Jew of New York, James Sturm’s America: God, Gold, and Golems Art Spiegelman’s Maus I and II, Miriam Libicki’s Jobnik!, Sarah Glidden’s How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less.

Why is it that comics have been dubbed an explicitly “Jewish” form of writing?

What are the defining characteristics of long-form comics or graphic narratives/novels, and how do they differ from film, cartoons, and other texts that mix media?

What makes graphic narrative so powerfully engaging and provocative?

What does this “Jewish” writing have to tell us about “Jewish” and international culture?

How does what we learn about comics and Jewish identity impact how we write our own identities and history?

What does writing comics teach me about writing?

 

 

 

 

 

Fall 2016 Course Offerings

 

HJS 101 Elementary Hebrew

Daniel Frese

MTWR 10:00-10:15

Blazer Hall Rm. 203

Introduction to the basic structures and vocabulary of Modern Hebrew.  The curriculum includes developing students' skills in listening, speaking, writing, reading, as well as broad exposure to Israeli culture.

 

HJS 201 Intermediate Hebrew

Daniel Frese

TR 2:00-3:15

Main Building Rm. 5

This course will further develop students’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Modern Hebrew. Emphasized aspects will include new categories of present and past tense verbs, new vocabulary, verbal/reading comprehension, unstructured expression in Hebrew, and exposure to modern Israeli culture.

 

HJS/HIS 324 - Jewish Thought and Culture I: From Ancient Israel through the Middle Ages

Daniel Frese

TR 11:00-12:15

White Hall 241

In this course we will trace the major intellectual and cultural themes in the Israelite/Jewish tradition through ca. 2,500 years of history. We will begin with the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and the earliest historic Ancient Israel, and continue through the Rabbinic Judaism of late antiquity and into the Middle Ages.

 


HON 151:004: JEWS AND CHRISTIANS IN MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE EUROPE
JONATHAN GLIXON
TR 9:30-10:45
CRH (Central Dorm) 001
Christianity traces its origins to Judaism, but for most of the two millennia that followed, as Christians came to dominate Europe, and Jews remained a small minority, relationships between the two groups were at best strained, and often violent. This seminar is a discussion-based investigation of the complex and often troubled relationship between Christians and Jews in Europe from the beginnings of Christianity through the Reformation. We will examine original sources (in English translation) by both Jewish and Christian authors, considering political and legal documents, religious texts, literary texts, and visual representations, as well as selected secondary materials.

*         What are the basic principles of Judaism and Christianity, and how do they relate to each other?

*         What was the legal situation of the Jewish minority within Christian Europe?

*         Why and how were European Jews persecuted, how did they react, and why was the situation better in some places than in others?

*         What did Christian theologians have to say about Judaism, and vice versa?

*         What can we learn from the troubled Jewish-Christian relationships of the past that might help us understand  interfaith conflicts today?

 

His/Cla 390: Greek, Roman & Jew: The Backgrounds to and the Early History of Christianity

Bruce Bolle

W 4:00-6:30

Location: TBA

This course will attempt to help the student understand the complexity and the diversity of Judaism and its importance to understanding the evolution of Christianity to 150 CE.

 

WRD 320: Rhetorical Theory and History

Rhetoric Between Athens and Jerusalem

Professor Fernheimer (jfernheimer@uky.edu)

Fall 2016 Class Times: Tues/Thurs.  9:30-10:45 am

Rhetoric is a powerful, architechtonic art that often gets maligned in colloquial English by its association with “bullshit” or empty speech.  Yet the tenets of rhetorical theory have allowed for both the analysis and production of powerful symbolic texts for thousands of years. In this course we will investigate the history of rhetoric in Ancient Greece and Israel to explore the productive space between Greco-Roman and Jewish/Hebraic rhetorical traditions. We will also learn about contemporary debates in rhetorical historiography as well as contrastive and comparative approaches to studies in rhetorical history and theory.

 

 

Students will write several short reading response essays, a mid-term, and a major research project. Fulfills CORE for Intellectual Inquiry in the Humanities

 

UK 300: Elementary Yiddish

Raphael Finkel

MWF: 11:00-11:50

Location: FB rm. 311

This course introduces Yiddish as a living language. You will gain some proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. There are no formal prerequisites, but knowledge of Hebrew, Polish, Russian, and German is certainly helpful, because Yiddish is a West Germanic language, written with a modified Hebrew alphabet (although we will start with Romanized writing) and has significant vocabulary borrowed from Slavic languages.

 

 

Spring 2016 Course Offerings

 

 

MCL 190 / HJS 420 - Introduction to the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible

Section 001: Tue/Thur 12:30-1:45 Whitehall 304
Section 002: Tue/Thur 2:00-3:15 Whitehall 304
 
An introduction to the best-selling and most influential book ever written - a text foundational to both Judaism and Christianity. In this course we will survey the contents of the biblical text, paying close attention to its narrative artistry, its historicity, and its relationship to the ancient Near Eastern culture in which it was written. 
 
HJS 102 - Elementary Hebrew
MTWR 10:00-10:50am, Funkhouser B3
 

Continuing introduction to the basic structures and vocabulary of Modern Hebrew. The curriculum includes developing students' skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, as well as broad exposure to Israeli culture (course prerequisite: successful completion of HJS 101 or instructor approval). 

HIS 323: The Holocaust.  

Lectures T/Th 2:00-2:50

Sec. 001: Tues., 3:30-4:20
Sec. 002: Tues, 3:30-4:20
Sec. 003: Thurs., 3:30-4:20
Sec. 004: Thurs., 3:30-4:20
This course will attempt to help students understand the events that resulted in the virtual destruction of Europe's Jews during the Second World War.  Through this case study, we will try to understand some of the features of the phenomenon of genocide.  Readings, discussion, and audio-visual materials will cover topics including the history of anti-semitism, the ways in which Nazi policy against the Jews was implemented, the various Jewish reactions to Nazi policy, including Jewish resistance, and the response of non-Jews and of other governments to the Holocaust.
 

WRD 320: Rhetorical Theory and History

Rhetoric Between Athens and Jerusalem

Professor Fernheimer (jfernheimer@uky.edu)

Spring 2016 Class Times: Tues/Thurs.  9:30-10:45 am

Rhetoric is a powerful, architechtonic art that often gets maligned in colloquial English by its association with “bullshit” or empty speech.  Yet the tenets of rhetorical theory have allowed for both the analysis and production of powerful symbolic texts for thousands of years. In this course we will investigate the history of rhetoric in Ancient Greece and Israel to explore the productive space between Greco-Roman and Jewish/Hebraic rhetorical traditions. We will also learn about contemporary debates in rhetorical historiography as well as contrastive and comparative approaches to studies in rhetorical history and theory.

Students will write several short reading response essays, a mid-term, and a major research project. Fulfills CORE for Intellectual Inquiry in the Humanities.

Fall 2015 Jewish Studies Course Offerings

 

HJS 101 - Elementary Hebrew 
 MTWR  10-10:50
Professor Daniel Frese
Introduction to the basic structures and vocabulary of Modern Hebrew. The curriculum includes developing students' skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, as well as broad exposure to modern Israeli culture.
 
HJS 201 - Intermediate Hebrew 

Professor Daniel Frese
HJS 201 TBD (150 minutes a week total, 3 credits)

This course will further develop students’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Modern Hebrew. Emphasized aspects will include new categories of present and past tense verbs, new vocabulary, verbal/reading comprehension, unstructured expression in Hebrew, and exposure to modern Israeli culture.
 

HON 151: Honors in Humanities: Jews and Christians in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

TR 9:30-10:45

Professor Jonathan Glixon

This course offers a discussion-based investigation of the complex and often troubled relationship between Christians and Jews in Europe from the beginnings of Christianity through the Reformation. We will examine original sources (in English translation) by both Jewish and Christian authors. We will consider political/legal documents, religious texts, literary texts, and visual representations, as well as selected secondary materials.

 

CLA/HIS 229-001: History of the Ancient Near East from the Earliest Cultures to the Death of Alexander the Great

Professor Bruce Holle

There is also a significant emphasis on the history and the culture of Judaism as it evolves over the centuries, including a discussion of the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonians and its effects on Jews in subsequent generations.

HJS/HIS 324 - Jewish Thought and Culture I: From Ancient Israel through the Middle Ages 
Professor Daniel Frese
TR  11-12:15
In this course we will trace the major intellectual and cultural themes in the Israelite/Jewish tradition through ca. 2,500 years of history. We will begin with the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and the earliest historic Ancient Israel, and continue through the Rabbinic Judaism of late antiquity and into the Middle Ages. 
 
WRD 420: Arguing with God?: Introduction to Jewish Rhetorics
T/TH 9:30-10:45  
Professor Janice Fernheimer
In this course we will investigate the history of rhetoric in Jewish rhetorical traditions in both historical and contemporary contexts—we will ask such questions as: What constitutes the canons of Jewish rhetoric? How do Jewish rhetorics fit within or complicate  Greco-Roman and/or other rhetorical traditions? What does it mean to think about Jewish Rhetorics as part of a larger discourse on cultural rhetoric(s)?  We will also learn about contemporary debates in rhetorical historiography as well as contrastive and comparative approaches to studies in rhetorical history and theory.  No prior knowledge of Jewish rhetoric required.

 

CLA/HIS 390-401: The Origins of and the Early History of Christianity to c. 150 CE. 

Professor Bruce Holle

This discussion laden course will spend significant time on the evolution of Jewish history, including the problems caused by trying to synthesize evidence from archaeology with interpretations of Jewish texts, canonical and otherwise.  In addition, students will get to experience the diversity of Judaism both from a cultural as well as a historical perspective.

 

SPA 400: Introduction to Judeo Spanish

Professor Haralambos Symeonidis

When the Jews were expelled from Spain and Portugal they were cut off from the further development of the language, but they continued to speak it in the communities and countries to which they emigrated. Ladino therefore reflects the grammar and vocabulary of 14th and 15th century Spanish. The further away from Spain the emigrants went, the more cut off they were from developments in the language, and the more Ladino began to diverge from mainstream Castilian Spanish.

In Amsterdam, England and Italy, those Jews who continued to speak Judeo Spanish were in constant contact with Spain and therefore they basically continued to speak the Castilian Spanish of the time. However, in the Sephardic communities of the Ottoman Empire, the language not only retained the older forms of Spanish, but borrowed so many words from Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Turkish, and even French, that it became more and more distorted. Judeo Spanish was nowhere near as diverse as the various forms of Yiddish, but there were still two different dialects, which corresponded to the different origins of the speakers.

In this course we are going to deal with the language of the Sephardic Jews and its characteristics from the linguistic point of view. It´s going to be mainly a language class with an important linguistic, cultural and literature component. This will help us understand not only the language structure of Judeo Spanish but also the importance of the Sephardic culture which is an important component in the preservation of the language.

 

Spring 2015 Jewish Studies Course Offerings

HJS 325/HIS 353 Jewish Civ II

TR 9:30-10:45. 

Professor Gretchen Starr-LeBeau

This course invites students to explore Jewish culture and history from New York to Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East through texts, images, architecture, and film. Extra credit out of class opportunities will include a film series and talks associated with the Year of the Middle East. Assignments will include simulations of key historical events, written responses to original documents, online exercises, a midterm, and a final.

 

 

HIS 323 Holocaust

TR 2-3:15pm

Professor Jeremy Popkin

This course will attempt to help students understand the events that resulted in the virtual destruction of Europe's Jews during the Second World War.  Through this case study, we will try to understand some of the features of the phenomenon of genocide.  Readings, discussion, and audio-visual materials will cover topics including the history of anti-semitism, the ways in which Nazi policy against the Jews was implemented, the various Jewish reactions to Nazi policy, including Jewish resistance, and the response of non-Jews and of other governments to the Holocaust.

 

HJS 102 Elementary Hebrew II

MTWR 5:00-5:50

Professor Tikva Meroz-Aharoni

Second part of Elementary Hebrew with coverage of Hebrew grammar designed to prepare students to use Hebrew for their particular needs and programs. Prereq: HJS 101 or RAE 130 or consent of instructor.

 

 

ENG 380:002/HJS 425: 001 Modern Israeli Society in Literature and Film

TR  3:30-4:45 PM

Professor Tikva Meroz-Aharoni

Is a successful book going to be a successful film?  Critics describe literature and cinema as two distinct arts that speak two different languages and therefore create different meanings.  Israeli cinema has now achieved worldwide acclaim with movies such as “Someone to Run With,” “A Woman in Jerusalem” and others.  Israeli movie directors often look towards rich Hebrew literature as a source for their scripts.  This course will examine contemporary Israeli films that deal with major issues in Israeli society such and social justice, religion, the Israeli-Arabic relationship, and others that are based on contemporary Israeli prose or novels.

 

HON 151: Honors in Humanities: Jews and Christians in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

TR 2-3:15

Professor Jon Glixon

This course offers a discussion-based investigation of the complex and often troubled relationship between Christians and Jews in Europe from the beginnings of Christianity through the Reformation. We will examine original sources (in English translation) by both Jewish and Christian authors. We will consider political/legal documents, religious texts, literary texts, and visual representations, as well as selected secondary materials.

 

 

JEWISH STUDIES COURSES - Fall 2014

WRD/ENG 401-001:  SP TOPS IN WRITING:  COMICS & CONFLICT IN ISRAEL/PALESTINE

TR 9:30-10:45 in POT 03 Professor Janice W. Fernheimer

Though Israel/Palestine, peace, conflict, and the Middle East appear frequently in the daily news, people often don’t understand what all the fuss is about, and why the conflict(s) appear so seemingly unsolvable. This course will offer a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the many conflicts within and between Israeli and Palestinian societies by looking at them through the lens of graphic narratives. We’ll read a number of graphic novels/autobiographies/journalistic texts including but not limited to Sarah Glidden’s How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less, Harvey Pekar’s and J.T. Waldman’s Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me, Joe Sacco’s famous serial Palestine and its sequel Footnotes in Gaza, as well as a variety of other texts to see how words and images have shaped and limited the ways the Israeli/Palestinian conflicts and potential solutions to them are represented. We’ll analyze key concepts: homeland, settlements, Zionism, diaspora, occupied territories, refugees, citizenship, and cease-fire, from Israeli, Palestinian, and other perspectives to better understand how they shape narratives about memory, history, and identity, both national and individual. Since the graphic genre is a relatively new literary development, we will pay careful attention to how it offers new affordances and limitations for representing these complex relationships. As this will be a writing intensive course, we will explore these issues as a means of sharpening your critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. Students may have additional opportunities to interact with authors/artists through Skype-facilitated guest lectures.

 

HJS 101-001:  ELEMENTARY HEBREW

MTWR 4-4:50 in POT 07 Professor Tikva Meroz-Aharoni

Coverage of Hebrew grammar designed to prepare students to use Hebrew for their particular needs and programs. Come participate in an ancient language reborn. We will start at the beginning (Aleph) and proceed with the goal of your being able to read, write, and converse in basic Modern Hebrew.  During the course, we will make note of some interesting relationships between Biblical Hebrew, Modern Hebrew and surprisingly, English.   Hebrew is more than a collection of random sounds; it is a key to an understanding of contemporary Israeli culture. And this is your first step.

 

HJS 495-001:  INDEPENDENT STUDY IN JUDAIC STUDIES

Independent study on a topic mutually acceptable to instructor and student in Judaic Studies.  Prereq: Declared minor in Judaic Studies

 

ENG 271-001: THE BIBLE AS LITERATURE

TR 2:00-3:15 Professor Tikva Meroz-Aharoni

This course investigates selections from the Old and New Testaments in English as literary and cultural documents of great significance and literary achievement. Emphasis is on the careful analysis of literary forms and themes within a broadly historical and non-denominational context. This particular section of ENG 271 will look at contemporary Hebrew cultural texts that use the Old and New Testaments as inspiration. Many writers use images, metaphors, characters, expression, and incidents from ancient sources as literary devices. Not only will we analyze the modern, but we will also study the source material itself such as the Akedah and Biblical heroes (e.g. Abel , Saul, and Rachel). We will reference religious cultural productions such as plays, short stories, poems, works of art, and films that may be read in light of a literary understanding of the biblical texts they rely on. We will use works written by scholars such as Robert Alter and Meir Sternberg.  ENG Module Credit will be given for the Fall 2014 section of ENG 271 upon petition. Contact the ENG Director of Undergraduate Studies for details.

 

UK 300-003:  UNIV CRSE:  ELEMENTARY YIDDISH

MWF 11:00-11:50 in CB 301 Professor Raphael A. Finkel

This course introduces Yiddish as a living language. You will gain some proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. There are no formal prerequisites, but knowledge of Hebrew, Polish, Russian, and German is certainly helpful, because Yiddish is a West Germanic language, written with a modified Hebrew alphabet (although we will start with Romanized writing) and has significant vocabulary borrowed from Slavic languages.

 

Spring 2017 Course Offerings

HJS 102 - Elementary Modern Hebrew (cont'd)

Continued introduction to the basic structures and vocabulary of Modern Hebrew. Students will develop skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and will gain broad exposure to modern Israeli culture. (Prerequisite: HJS 101, offered every fall semester)

 

HJS 202 - Intermediate Modern Hebrew (cont'd)

This course will further develop students’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Modern Hebrew. Emphasized aspects will include new categories of present and past tense verbs, new vocabulary, verbal/reading comprehension, unstructured expression in Hebrew, and exposure to modern Israeli culture. (Prerequisite: HJS 201, offered every fall semester)

 

HJS 425/UKC 111 - Introduction to the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible

An introduction to the best-selling and most influential book ever written - a text foundational to both Judaism and Christianity. In this course we will survey the contents of the biblical text, paying close attention to its narrative artistry, its historicity, and its relationship to the ancient Near Eastern culture in which it was written.

 

WRD 420: Rhetorical Traditions

Arguing with God?: Introduction to Jewish Rhetorics

In this course we will investigate the history of rhetoric in Jewish rhetorical traditions in both historical and contemporary contexts—we will ask such questions as: What constitutes the canons of Jewish rhetoric? How do Jewish rhetorics fit within or complicate Greco-Roman and/or other rhetorical traditions? What does it mean to think about Jewish Rhetorics as part of a larger discourse on cultural rhetoric? We will also learn about contemporary debates in rhetorical historiography as well as contrastive and comparative approaches to studies in rhetorical history and theory. No prior knowledge of Jewish rhetoric required 

T/Th 12:30-1:45

 

WRD 401-001: Jewish Graphic Novel 

 

WRD401H: Introduction to the Jewish Graphic Novel

T/Th 9:30-11:45

This course provides an introduction to graphic novels and Jewish culture by focusing on Jewish-authored graphic novels on “Jewish” subjects. Students will learn about the creation of the graphic novel genre, its specific rhetorical affordances combining visuals and text in sequence, and how it came to be associated with Jews, Jewish culture, and “Jewish writing.” After tracing the genre’s historical origins, we will read and analyze key works by pioneers Will Eisner and Art Spiegelman as well as texts by Jewish American artists and Jewish cartoonists working in Hebrew and French (note: all reading will be in English). Student work will focus on writing both traditional academic analyses and producing graphic criticism. Course readings will include a selection of the following: Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, Will Eisner’s The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Joan Sfar’s The Rabbi’s Cat I and II, JT Waldman’sMegillat Esther, Miriam Katin’s We are on Our Own, Ben Katchor’s The Jew of New York, James Sturm’s America: God, Gold, and Golems Art Spiegelman’s Maus I and II, Miriam Libicki’s Jobnik!, Sarah Glidden’sHow to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less.

Why is it that comics have been dubbed an explicitly “Jewish” form of writing?

What are the defining characteristics of long-form comics or graphic narratives/novels, and how do they differ from film, cartoons, and other texts that mix media?

What makes graphic narrative so powerfully engaging and provocative?

What does this “Jewish” writing have to tell us about “Jewish” and international culture?

How does what we learn about comics and Jewish identity impact how we write our own identities and history?

What does writing comics teach me about writing?

 

Courses offered Spring 2014

ENG 271-001: THE BIBLE AS LITERATURE
MWF 11:00-11:50 in CB 303 Professor Tikva Meroz-Aharoni

This course investigates selections from the Old and New Testaments in English as literary and cultural documents of great significance and literary achievement. Emphasis is on the careful analysis of literary forms and themes within a broadly historical and non-denominational context. This particular section of ENG 271 will look at contemporary Hebrew cultural texts that use the Old and New Testaments as inspiration. Many writers use images, metaphors, characters, expression, and incidents from ancient sources as literary devices. Not only will we analyze the modern, but we will also study the source material itself such as the Akedah and Biblical heroes (e.g. Abel , Saul, and Rachel). We will reference religious cultural productions such as plays, short stories, poems, works of art, and films that may be read in light of a literary understanding of the biblical texts they rely on. We will use works written by scholars such as Robert Alter and Meir Sternberg.  ENG Module Credit will be given for the Spring 2014 section of ENG 271 upon petition. Contact the ENG Director of Undergraduate Studies for details.

HIS 353-001(HJS 325): TOPS EURO HIS SINCE 1789: JEWISH CIV II (MODERN JEWISH HISTORY)
TR 11-12:15 in CB 336 Professor Sophie Roberts

This course is broad overview of the major developments in modern Jewish history and thus focuses on issues of nationality, citizenship, and emancipation.  It therefore begins in the late 18th century and concludes with the establishment of the state of Israel.  This course will examine key events, personalities, and transformations over this time period.  Using a combination of general readings, as well as primary sources, we will study the complicated identities of Jews in the modern era who dealt with multiple allegiances and the contrasting pulls of modernity and tradition.  Using citizenship and national allegiance as a central theme for the course, we will survey the way in which Jews dealt with competing identities: that of citizen and Jew.  Such concepts of identity will come into focus again during the turbulent 20th century, during such dramatic experiences as the Holocaust and the establishment of the state of Israel. 

HIS 323-001: THE HOLOCAUST
TR 2-3:15 in OT 09 Professor Jeremy Popkin

This course will attempt to help students understand the events that resulted in the virtual destruction of Europe's Jews during the Second World War.  Through this case study, we will try to understand some of the features of the phenomenon of genocide.  Readings, discussion, and audio-visual materials will cover topics including the history of anti-semitism, the ways in which Nazi policy against the Jews was implemented, the various Jewish reactions to Nazi policy, including Jewish resistance, and the response of non-Jews and of other governments to the Holocaust.

HIS 595-001/650-005:  Christian-Jewish Relations in Late Antiquity
W 3:30-6:00 in OT 1745 Professor David Olster

This course examines the theological, social and (ultimately) political relations between Jews and Christians from St. Paul to the Arab invasions in the seventh century.  It begins with the “separation” theology of Paul that created and legitimated a gentile church and ends with the first, official imperial forced baptisms in the seventh century.  It will consider the themes of identity, race/ethnicity, the theological contest to capture ownership of the Old Testament, and the consequences of the integration of the church into the imperial bureaucracy after Constantine for Jewish-Christian relations.

HJS 102-001:  ELEMENTARY HEBREW
MTWR 9-9:50 in CB 306 Professor Tikva Meroz-Aharoni

Second part of Elementary Hebrew with coverage of Hebrew grammar designed to prepare students to use Hebrew for their particular needs and programs. Prereq: HJS 101 or RAE 130 or consent of instructor.

HJS 425-001:  JEWISH/MUSLIM ENCOUNTERS
TR 9:30-10:45 in 201 Commonwealth House (Gaines Center) Professor Oliver N. Leaman

This course will examine the links between the religions of Islam and Judaism, between Islamic and Jewish thought, and between Jews and Muslims both today and in the past.

Islam developed in a world already formed into Jewish and Christian communities, and the links between Islam and Judaism remained close for the first few centuries in which Islam came to dominate much of the world. As Islam grew it came to take up a variety of attitudes to Judaism, sometimes fairly friendly and sometimes hostile, and the Qur'an itself has definite views on Judaism and its followers. Many of the same prophets seem to occur in both the Torah and in the Qur'an, but since they are described in very different ways it is not obvious that these are really the same people. Nor should it be taken for granted that the same concept of God has a place in both Islam and Judaism. These and other comparative issues will be dealt with in the course.

Jewish thought developed in an Islamic milieu and achieved great stature within that cultural world, culminating in the thought of Moses Maimonides and his many followers, together with the development of Jewish Averroism based on the thought of Ibn Rushd and its role in the European Enlightenment. An account will be provided of the development of Jewish thought within the context of Islamic culture, and it will be argued that the two religions are mutually linked in terms of their leading thinkers.

In modern times the two religions have pulled apart, with Islam often coming to represent the Other for Jews and vice versa. With the development of Zionism and the State of Israel relations between Jews and Muslims have become particularly strained on occasion, and and it has been widely argued that a specific form of anti-Semitism has become popular in the Islamic world. Jews have largely been excluded from much of the Islamic world and where communities survive they are often under a good deal of pressure. Jewish/Muslim encounters have become particularly difficult in such an environment, and a variety of ways of exploring the contemporary relationship will be explored and discussed.

WRD 205: INTERMEDIATE WRITING: Introduction to the Jewish Graphic Novel
TR 12:30-1:45 in EH 306 Professor Janice W. Fernheimer

This course provides an introduction to graphic novels and Jewish culture by focusing on Jewish-authored graphic novels on “Jewish” subjects. Students will learn about the creation of the graphic novel genre, its specific rhetorical affordances combining visuals and text in sequence, and how it came to be associated with Jews, Jewish culture, and “Jewish writing.”  After tracing the genre’s historical origins, we will read and analyze key works by pioneers Will Eisner and Art Spiegelman as well as texts by Jewish American artists and Jewish cartoonists working in Hebrew and French (note: all reading will be in English). Student work will focus on writing both traditional academic analyses and producing graphic criticism/graphic narrative responses.  Course readings will include a selection of the following: Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, Will Eisner’s The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Joan Sfar’s The Rabbi’s Cat I and II, JT Waldman’s Megillat Esther, Miriam Katin’s We are on Our Own, Ben Katchor’s The Jew of New York, James Sturm’s  America: God, Gold, and Golems Art Spiegelman’s Maus I and II, Miriam Libicki’s Jobnik!, Sarah Glidden’s How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less.  WRD/ENG 205 Graduation Writing Requirement Course - Credit is awarded to students meeting the GWR prerequisites.

Courses offered Fall 2013
UK 300-003: Introduction to Yiddish
Professor Raphael Finkel
MWF 11-12
Ralph G Anderson-Rm.203
 
This course introduces Yiddish as a living language. You will gain some proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. There are no formal prerequisites, but knowledge of Hebrew, Polish, Russian, and German is certainly helpful, because Yiddish is a West Germanic language, written with a modified Hebrew alphabet (although we will start with Romanized writing) and has significant vocabulary borrowed from Slavic languages.
HJS 101: Elementary Hebrew I
Professor Tikva Meroz-Aharoni
MWF 9-9:50; R 9:30-10:20
MWF Whitehall Classroom Building Room 242; R meeting room TBD
 
Come participate in an ancient language reborn. We will start at the beginning (Aleph) and proceed with the goal of your being able to read, write, and converse in basic Modern Hebrew.  During the course, we will make note of some interesting relationships between Biblical Hebrew, Modern Hebrew and surprisingly, English.  
 
Hebrew is more than a collection of random sounds; it is a key to an understanding of contemporary Israeli culture. And this is your first step.
ENG 205.003: Writing Lexington’s (Jewish and Arab) Past

TR 12:30-1:45

Did you know that the University of Kentucky was home to a Jewish Fraternity (Zeta Beta Tau) and Jewish sorority (Phi Sigma Sigma) in the early part of the 20th century? Did you know that Lexington once had a Christian Arab female mayor? Did you that at one point, most of Lexington’s downtown was populated by Jewish-owned shops? Did you know that the Burger Shake, the first fast food restaurant in Lexington is owned by Arab-Americans ? Did you know that the Lexington cemetery has a special section dedicated to Jewish burials? Students in this class will learn about these and other aspects of Lexington’s Jewish and Arab heritage. They will explore the multi-ethnic fabric of Lexington’s, past, present, They will explore the multi-ethnic fabric of Lexington’s, past, present, and future by working directly with oral histories in University of Kentucky’s Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History and primary materials in UK’s Special Collections libraries. Students will index and curate materials in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History using OHMS, rhetorically analyze oral histories of ethnic Lexington community members, present their research to their peers, and construct a multi-page “tour” of KY using History and video to share these valuable cultural resources with the public.

HJS 324/HIS 352-001: Jewish Thought & Culture I
TR 11:00-12:15
Whitehall Classroom Building Room 247
 

Like most religions, Judaism mythologizes its past in order to present itself as constant and unchanging.  On the contrary, the Hebrew tribes that invaded Palestine and ultimately founded kingdoms there were barbaric and polytheistic and this course begins with the progress of these tribes as they created a polity and a identity.  It explores the evolution of a legitimating text – generally called the Old Testament – that went through numerous revisions and was not completed until after the kingdoms’ fall.  And, we analyze the political and cultural traumas that shifted Hebraic polytheism into what we today call Jewish monotheism.  Thereafter, we follow how a Jewish identity slowly emerged, but only through contact with and under the influence of dominant cultures like the Persian, Greek and Roman.  Ultimately, the interplay of Judaism and its surrounding cultures led to the emergence of one rather influential Jewish messianic movement, the Jesus movement, and the final part of the class follows the competition between Judaism and emerging Christianity for converts (or adherents) in the Mediterranean world.  Finally, we conclude with Judaism’s failure as a proselytizing religion and its inward turn that created another critical text that defined Jews and Judaism for the next millennium and a half, and for many Jews, even until today, the Talmud.

HJS 425/HIS 353-001: Jews, Citizenship, and Europe’s Others: 
The Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion
TR 12:30-1:45
Room TBD
This course examines the politics of inclusion and exclusion in Western Europe.  It focuses primarily on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries but begins its examination of the development of the concept of citizen in the revolutionary period of the emancipation of Jews.  By comparatively studying the experiences of certain internal outsiders, such as Jews, women, homosexuals, Roma/Gypsies, and colonial subjects, this course probes the meanings of citizenship in Modern Europe.  How were certain groups included into civil society while others remain on the outskirts?  How did excluded groups fight for rights within society when they were considered non-citizens?  How have concepts of citizenship, exclusivity, and diversity changed, developed, deteriorated, or improved over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth century and shaped the landscape of human rights in the modern era?
HJS 425-003: Modern Hebrew Literature and Film
Professor Tikva Meroz-Aharoni
MWF 11-11:50
Patterson Office Tower Room 03
Israeli cinema has now achieved worldwide acclaim with movies such as Beaufort biased on the book “Is there a Garden of Eden” By Ron Lasham. While critics describe literature and cinema as two distinct arts that speak two different languages, Israeli movie directors often look to the rich Hebrew literature as a source for their scripts. We will therefore, study the original text and then see how the director used it to create his own version. Selected will include works by major Israeli writers who depict Israeli society and culture from 1948 to present day.
Courses offered Fall 2012

HJS 324: Jewish Thought and Culture I
TR 11:00 am - 12:15 pm
Olster

HJS 425: TOPS IN JUDAIC STDS:JEWISH ART: PRB/POSS
TR 9:30 am - 10:45 am
Leaman

ENG 401: SP TOPS WRIT: GRAPHIC NOVEL REP ISR-PAL
TR 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm
Fernheimer

Courses offered Spring 2013

HJS 325: Jewish Thought and Culture II
11:00pm-12:15pm
Starr-Lebeau

After a brief introduction to medieval Jewish life in both Christian and Muslim communities, this course will examine the formation of modern Jewish civilization. The expulsion of Jews from Iberia led to a reorganization of Jewish communities and Jewish life across the globe. At the same time, Jewish religion, intellectual life, and culture were changing in other ways as well. These ranged from new forms of religious expression, new ideas about the role of tradition in Jewish ritual life, and new perceptions of the place of Jews in the broader political, economic, and social worlds. We'll address issues like messianic movements, the rise of Hasidism, the Reform movement, the role of Jews in modern Christian and Muslim states, anti-Semitism, Zionism, the Holocaust, and the formation of the state of Israel. There will also be a film series running concurrently with this course.

HJS 425: Topics in Judaic Studies: Rhetoric Between Athens and Jerusalem

9:30-12:45
Fernheimer

Rhetoric is a powerful, architechtonic art that often gets maligned in colloquial English by its association with “bullshit” or empty speech.  Yet the tenets of rhetorical theory have allowed for both the analysis and production of powerful symbolic texts for thousands of years. In this course we will investigate the history of rhetoric in Ancient Greece and Israel to explore the productive space between Greco-Roman and Jewish rhetorical traditions. We will also learn about contemporary debates in rhetorical historiography as well as contrastive and comparative approaches to studies in rhetorical history and theory. 

HIS 323: The Holocaust
2:00pm-3:15pm 
Slepyan

An in-depth historical exploration of one of the most horrendous crimes in history, the murder of six million Jews and millions of others during the Second World War. Students will examine the development of antisemitism in Western culture, the means the Nazis used to undertake the Final Solution, and Jewish experiences during the Holocaust. The course will conclude with an attempt to understand and make sense of the Holocaust in the post-Holocaust world.

 

 

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