AMS 322 • American Jewish Literature & Music
5:00 PM-8:00 PM
After reviewing a basic history of Jews in America, we will explore the construction and reconstruction of Jewish identity in the modern American setting by exploring select novels, stories, and musical pieces produced by American Jewish writers and composers. We will read and listen with special attention to generational concerns, historical events, cultural contexts, and artistic strategies. The course will mix introductory short lectures and class discussion.
Course requirements will include active participation in a seminar setting, oral reports, brief written responses to assignments, and a longer (c. 15-20 pages) final paper on a topic related to the course materials and to be worked out with and approved by me.
Final Grade Based on: Written Work: Final Paper (50%); Shorter Papers (cumulatively 20%): Class Participation and Perfect Attendance (30%) NOTE: J S 311 "American Jewish Literature and Music-Honors" and LAH 350 "American Jewish Literature and Music" may not both be counted for credit. THIS IS NOT A WRITING COMPONENT CLASS AND SIZE WILL BE LIMITED TO 15 STUDENTS
Preliminary (and subject to change) Reading and Listening Choices: Literature Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated Frederick Reuss, Mohr Nathan Englander, For the Relief of Unbearable Urges Philip Roth, The Counterlife Saul Bellow, Mr. Sammler's Planet Anzia Yezierska, Bread Givers Abraham Cahan, The Rise of David Levinsky Isaac Bashevis Singer, select short stories about America Music Leonard Bernstein, various pieces on Jewish themes Steve Reich, Tehillim and Different Trains Morton Feldman, The Rothko Chapel Bob Dylan, various songs