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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2009

E 322 • Sacred and Secular in Jewish Literature from France, Israel and the US

Unique Days Time Location Instructor


Course Description

This course will examine contemporary Jewish literature from the U.S., France, and Israel, in terms of their relationship (or lack thereof) with Judaism and Jewishness. In this context, we will read well-known works by several major authors from each country. How does their work interpret Jewishness, if at all? Does it redefine the sacred? Conversely, what is the role of the secular in these texts? We will consider these and other questions, taking into account not only nationality, but also gender, ethnicity, and generational differences.

Grading Policy

Regular reading assignments, consistent participation in discussion, oral presentation, regular attendance. Active participation, 30%; Paper 1, 3-4 pgs, 10%; Paper 2 (Rewrite), 6-7 pgs, 20%; Paper 3, 7-8 pgs, 30%; Oral presentation, 10%.


Rebecca Goldstein, Mind-Body Problem; Cynthia Ozick, Shawl; Allegra Goodman, Kaaterskill Falls; P. Roth, Counterlife; A. Memmi, Pillar of Salt; Albert Cohen, Book of My Mother; Elisabeth Gille, Shadows of a Childhood; Shulamit Hareven, City of Many Days; A. B. Yehoshua, Lover; Orly Castel-Bloom, Dolly City


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