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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Fall 2008

AMS 315 • Jews in America: The Yiddish Experience

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30016 MWF
1:00 PM-2:00 PM
PAR 201

Course Description

This class focuses on over a century of Yiddish-based contributions to American culture. Starting from the premise that Yiddish speakers who came to the Promised Land of America brought with them a nuanced ability to deal with hostile environments, this class will look at a variety of readings and movies which manifest the qualities of poignancy, ambition, irony, heart, resiliency, and, of course, humor. Writers include Isaac Bashevis Singer, Woody Allen, and Michael Chabon; musical content comprises folk, popular standards, as well as contemporary klezmer bands; and movies will run the gamut from Tevye, to the Marx Brothers, to Blazing Saddles.

Grading Policy

1/3 on class participation 1/3 on two 4-page writing assignments 1/3 on one 8-page research paper


Possible Texts Call It Sleep by Henry Roth The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon A class course packet


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