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Robert Abzug, Director CLA 2.402, 305 E 23rd St B3600, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-475-6178

Amelia Weinreb

Lecturer Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

J S 311 • Intro To Jewish Latin America

40325 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CLA 0.118
(also listed as ANT 310L, HIS 306N, LAS 315, R S 313 )
show description

What can we learn about Latin American social worlds when we look at the place of Jews within it? Conversely, what we learn about Jewish social worlds when they unfold in Latin America?  This course examines both of these questions. Specifically, we consider the role of Latin America as both a refuge from and a source of antisemitism, a hub of immigration, a site of Zionism, and of Jewish success and philanthropy.  We also address themes of displacement, longing, belonging, marginalization, prejudice, immigration, community, cultural continuity, and memory, while considering Sephardi and Ashkenazi difference, and inter-generational conflict among Jewish Latin Americans. Overall, through reading, writing exercises, independent research and in-class films, the course is designed to provide students with an understanding of how Jews constructed individual lives and vibrant communities in predominantly Hispanic, Catholic countries of Latin America.

With these themes in mind, the course is divided into four units: 1) Historical literacy is a substantive introductory unit, which provides basic context from 1492 until the post-World War II period; 2) Jewish group identities in Latin American features readings on Jewish life and cultural forms in select national contexts (e.g. Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Dominican Republic and others); 3) Memoir and personal narrative engages students in critical reading of creative non-fiction and ethnography that focuses on individual lives; 4) Contemporary realities explores current events, contemporary trends and popular culture in Jewish Latin America. Finally, over the course of the semester, drawing on course motifs, students will produce their own research papers addressing a specific research question in the Latin American national context of their choice.

Note: This course carries the Global Cultures flag. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present.

J S 365 • Multicultural Israel

40380 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm CLA 0.118
(also listed as ANT 325L, MES 341 )
show description

Israel has the highest proportion of migrants of any country in the world. The notion of absorption—the social and economic integration of Jewish immigrants—has remained an explicit ideal since the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948. Yet absorption is also an ideological tool that often runs counter to the contemporary lived experience of citizenship, participation, nation building, minority rights, and the conflicting interests of today’s multicultural publics. Taking these tensions as a starting point, this course explores the complex social fabric that comprises contemporary Israeli society, and that shapes Israeli identity, practice and politics. We will focus on the lived experience of Israel’s increasingly diverse population. This includes populations associated with the majority: veteran Ashkenazim and Mizrahim; more recent Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, Latin America and France; religious communities such Haredim and modern-Orthodox. It also includes ethnic and religious minorities such as Arab-Israelis/Palestinians, Bedouins, Christians, Muslims, Druze, and Black Hebrews, as well as laborers from all over the globe who migrate to Israel for work. How fluid are boundaries between these groups? How different are their interests, tastes and desires? How committed are various publics to a coherent nation-building project and to contemporary Zionism? To explore the breadth of multicultural Israel without sacrificing cultural specificity and theoretical depth, the course is organized into three integrated units: a) historical background of Israel and its populations; b) Israel’s citizen-state relationships, identity and belonging, and c) ethnographic case studies of Israel-specific multicultural issues, and general contemporary multicultural theory.

Note: This course carries the Global Cultures flag. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present.

J S 311 • Israel: Space/Place/Landscape

40660 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 800am-930am CLA 0.118
(also listed as ANT 310L, GRG 309, MES 310 )
show description

This multidisciplinary, interactive workshop is designed to foster dialog, debate and creative projects between lower-division undergraduate students with interests in Jewish Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Anthropology, and Geography.

The core component of this class is the final project. Following the introductory unit, teams of students will then propose one site, space, place or landscape in Israel/Palestine to explore in depth, and propose a conceptual framework for doing so. Each team will be responsible for exploring social, cultural, political, phenomenological, aesthetic and affective processes related to the site they have selected. This experimental seminar is for students who want to experience a collaborative learning environment, gain a set of multidisciplinary analytic skills, learn about space in Israel, interact with students who may have different disciplinary and political viewpoints, and want to learn and write about space, spatiality and spatialization.

Hot Middle Eastern breakfast beverages served in class!

 

J S 365 • Jewish Cuba

40715 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am GDC 2.402
(also listed as ANT 325L, LAS 324L )
show description

Jewish Cuba  JS, ANT, LAS

9:30am-11:00am TTh  GDC 2.402

Cuba has a small Jewish community (between 1,000-1,500) whose origins are presumed to date back to 1492. By some accounts, the contemporary community is dying, and by others, it is vibrant. No matter the assessment, it is a community that has been written about and analyzed disproportionately for its size. As noted Cuban-American Jewish anthropologist Ruth Behar has proposed, Jewish Cuba presents the challenge of focusing on a small community to understand large philosophical and cultural issues: Diaspora, preserving identity in hybridized social worlds, and the concept of home. In learning about Jewish Cuba, students of are not only exposed to a nationally-specific case study in Jewish Latin America, but have the opportunity to study the relationship between state politics and Jewish life, Judaism under communist regimes, religious and linguistic revitalization movements, migration, and cultural survival. To explore these themes and concepts, this course uses scholarly texts and ethnographic accounts, but also personal memoirs, films, photographs, and documentaries about Jewish Cuba.

Core questions we address in the course are: What is Home? What is Diaspora? What is Revolution?  How do we write about it?

Note: This course carries a Writing Flag and a Global Cultures Flag.

J S 311 • Intro To Jewish Latin America

40590 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 800am-930am CLA 0.118
(also listed as ANT 310L, HIS 306N, LAS 310 )
show description

What can we learn about Latin American social worlds when we look at the place of Jews within it? Conversely, what we learn about Jewish social worlds when they unfold in Latin America?  This course examines both of these questions. Specifically, we consider the role of Latin America as both a refuge from and a source of anti-Semitism, a hub of immigration, a site of Zionism, and of Jewish success and philanthropy.  We also address themes of displacement, longing, belonging, marginalization, prejudice, immigration, community, cultural continuity, and memory, while considering Sephardi and Ashkenazi difference, and inter-generational conflict among Jewish Latin Americans. Overall, through reading, writing exercises, independent research and in-class films, the course is designed to provide students with an understanding of how Jews constructed individual lives and vibrant communities in predominantly Hispanic, Catholic countries of Latin America.

With these themes in mind, the course is divided into four units:

  1. Historical literacy is a substantive introductory unit, which provides basic context from 1492 until the post-World War II period;
  2. Jewish group identities in Latin American features readings on Jewish life and cultural forms in select national contexts (e.g. Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Dominican Republic and others);
  3. Memoir and personal narrative engages students in critical reading of creative non-fiction and quasi-ethnography that focuses on individual lives;
  4. Contemporary realities explores current events, contemporary trends and popular culture in Jewish Latin America.

Finally, over the course of the semester, drawing on course motifs, students will produce their own research papers addressing a specific research question in the Latin American national context of their choice.

*Enjoy Latin American breakfast beverages served in class*

Note: This course carries the Global Cultures flag. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present.

J S 365 • Multicultural Israel

40645 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 930am-1100am GDC 2.502
(also listed as ANT 325L, MES 341 )
show description

Israel has the highest proportion of migrants of any country in the world. The notion of absorption—the social and economic integration of Jewish immigrants—has remained an explicit ideal since the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948. Yet absorption is also an ideological tool that often runs counter to the contemporary lived experience of citizenship, participation, nation building, minority rights, and the conflicting interests of today’s multicultural publics. Taking these tensions as a starting point, this course explores the complex social fabric that comprises contemporary Israeli society, and that shapes Israeli identity, practice and politics. We will focus on the lived experience of Israel’s increasingly diverse population. This includes populations associated with the majority: veteran Ashkenazim and Mizrahim; more recent Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, Latin America and France; religious communities such Haredim and modern-Orthodox. It also includes ethnic and religious minorities such as Arab-Israelis/Palestinians, Bedouins, Christians, Muslims, Druze, and Black Hebrews, as well as laborers from all over the globe who migrate to Israel for work. How fluid are boundaries between these groups? How different are their interests, tastes and desires? How committed are various publics to a coherent nation-building project and to contemporary Zionism? To explore the breadth of multicultural Israel without sacrificing cultural specificity and theoretical depth, the course is organized into three integrated units: a) historical background of Israel and its populations; b) Israel’s citizen-state relationships, identity and belonging, and c) ethnographic case studies of Israel-specific multicultural issues, and general contemporary multicultural theory.                   

Note: This course carries the Global Cultures flag. Global Cultures courses are designed to increase your familiarity with cultural groups outside the United States. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from assignments covering the practices, beliefs, and histories of at least one non-U.S. cultural group, past or present. 

J S 365 • Multicultural Israel

40250 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm SAC 4.118
(also listed as ANT 325L, MES 341 )
show description

Multicultural Israel

Israel has the highest proportion of migrants of any country in the world. The notion of absorption—the social and economic integration of Jewish immigrants—has remained an explicit ideal since the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948. Yet absorption is also an ideological tool that often runs counter to the contemporary lived experience of citizenship, participation, nation building, minority rights, and the conflicting interests of today’s multicultural publics. Taking these tensions as a starting point, this course explores the complex social fabric that comprises contemporary Israeli society, and that shapes Israeli identity, practice and politics. We will focus on the lived experience of Israel’s increasingly diverse population. This includes populations associated with the majority: veteran Ashkenazim and Mizrahim; more recent Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, Latin America and France; religious communities such Charedim and modern-Orthodox. It also includes ethnic and religious minorities such as Arab Israelis, Bedouins, Christians, Muslims, Druze, and Black Hebrews, as well as laborers from all over the globe who migrate to Israel for work. How fluid are boundaries between these groups? How different are their interests, tastes and desires? How committed are various publics to a coherent nation-building project and to contemporary Zionism? To explore the breadth of multicultural Israel without sacrificing cultural specificity and theoretical depth, the course is organized into three integrated units: a) historical background of Israel and its populations; b) Israel’s citizen-state relationships, identity and belonging, and c) ethnographic case studies of Israel-specific multicultural issues, and general contemporary multicultural theory.

J S 365 • Multicultural Israel

40103 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm SAC 4.118
(also listed as ANT 325L, MES 325 )
show description

Israel has the highest proportion of migrants of any country in the world. The notion of absorption—the social and economic integration of Jewish immigrants—has remained an explicit ideal since the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948. Yet absorption is also an ideological tool that often runs counter to the contemporary lived experience of citizenship, participation, nation building, minority rights, and the conflicting interests of today’s multicultural publics. Taking these tensions as a starting point, this course explores the complex social fabric that comprises contemporary Israeli society, and thatshapes Israeli identity, practice and politics. We will focus on the lived experience of Israel’s increasingly diverse population. This includes populations associated with the majority: veteran Ashkenazim and Mizrahim; more recent Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, Latin America and France; religious communities such Charedim and modern-Orthodox. It also includes ethnic and religious minorities such as Arab Israelis, Bedouins, Christians, Muslims, Druze, and Black Hebrews as well as laborers from all over the globe who migrate to Israel for work. How fluid are boundaries between these groups? How different are their interests, tastes and desires? How committed are various publics to a coherent nation-building project and to contemporary Zionism?

J S 365 • Multicultural Israel

40415 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm SAC 4.174
(also listed as ANT 325L, MES 325 )
show description

Israel has the highest proportion of migrants of any country in the world. This course looks at the complex social fabirc that comprises contemporary Israeli society and shapes contemporary Jewish identity, practice and politics.  Using existing ethnographic material and news media and film, we will focus on the lived experience of diverse groups such as immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia, Ashkenazim, Mizrahim, ultra- and modern-Orthodox groups, the numerous religious minorities (e.g. the Black Hebrew Community), among others.  Throughout the course, we will consider theoretical and practical issues of citizenship, participation, fluidity of group boundaries, and ideologies about nation-building as we investigate the common and conflicting interests of multi-cultural publics.

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