Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Karen Grumberg


Associate ProfessorPh.D.- 2004, University of California- Los Angeles

Karen Grumberg

Contact

  • Phone: 471-5134
  • Office: CAL 404
  • Office Hours: Fall 2015: Tuesdays, 2-4 PM
  • Campus Mail Code: F9400

Interests


Contemporary Hebrew literature and comparative Jewish literatures (Hebrew, French, English)

Biography


Affiliated Research/Academic Unit

  • Ctr for Jewish Studies
  • Program in Comparative Literature 
  • Department of Middle Eastern Studies 
  • Center for Middle Eastern Studies

MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES PROFESSOR WINS AWARD TO STUDY LITERARY GENRE

Courses


MEL 321 • Israel/Palestine: Cultrl Persp

40720 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 301
(also listed as C L 323, J S 363, MES 342)

This upper-division course approaches the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians through a multifaceted cultural lens. The course begins with a consideration of the two major national identities at stake to better understand how they contribute to the collective imagination and to representations of the conflict. To this end, the semester is divided into five sections, each one devoted to a different cultural phenomenon: 1. Visual Culture (Film, photography, art) 2. Literature (Novels, short stories, poetry, theater) 3. Music 4. Spatial Culture (Architecture and Landscape) 5. New Media (Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) The goal is for students to be exposed to the multivalent and complex reverberations of the conflict beyond the political and into the everyday lived experience of being Israeli and Palestinian -- in other words, to humanize the conflict through culture.

Texts

Texts will include (among others): - films: Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir, Eran Riklis’s Zaytoun, and Elia Suleiman’s Divine Intervention; - photography exhibits such as Bashir Makhoul’s Enter Ghost, Exit Ghost and Noel Jabbour’s Palestinian Interiors; - art such as Sivan Hurvitz’s graphic illustrations; - writings by Amos Oz (Nomad and Viper), Etgar Keret (Cocked and Locked), David Grossman (excerpts from The Yellow Wind), Mahmoud Darwish (poetry), and Ghassan Kanafani (from In the Land of the Sad Orange); - music by Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra as well as traditional and popular artists; - essays on the importance of particular landscape features (such as olive and eucalyptus trees, forests, and the sea) as well as features or types of built environment (the kibbutz, the Palestinian village); - blog posts and new media campaigns for awareness and activism (Electronic Intifada, Jewish Voice for Peace, and others).

Grading Policy

Partner or Group Presentations: 15%. Students will present either in small groups on one of the five categories outlined above. The topic will be chosen in consultation with the instructor and will entail research. Presentations will be ongoing throughout the semester. - Analytical Paper: 20%. A critical comparative analysis of two texts (4-5 pages). - Essay Exams: An essay-based midterm exam (20%) and a final exam (25%). - Participation (20%): Vigorous, regular participation in class discussion. - Possible Extra-Credit Assignments: A creative project (a short film, work of art, poem, etc., relevant to the class topic); a response or short reaction paper to a relevant text not on the syllabus; a response or short reaction paper to a relevant lecture.

MES 342 • Israel/Palestine: Cultrl Persp

40924 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 301
(also listed as C L 323, J S 363, MEL 321)

This upper-division course approaches the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians through a multifaceted cultural lens. The course begins with a consideration of the two major national identities at stake to better understand how they contribute to the collective imagination and to representations of the conflict. To this end, the semester is divided into five sections, each one devoted to a different cultural phenomenon: 1. Visual Culture (Film, photography, art) 2. Literature (Novels, short stories, poetry, theater) 3. Music 4. Spatial Culture (Architecture and Landscape) 5. New Media (Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) The goal is for students to be exposed to the multivalent and complex reverberations of the conflict beyond the political and into the everyday lived experience of being Israeli and Palestinian -- in other words, to humanize the conflict through culture.

Texts

Texts will include (among others): - films: Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir, Eran Riklis’s Zaytoun, and Elia Suleiman’s Divine Intervention; - photography exhibits such as Bashir Makhoul’s Enter Ghost, Exit Ghost and Noel Jabbour’s Palestinian Interiors; - art such as Sivan Hurvitz’s graphic illustrations; - writings by Amos Oz (Nomad and Viper), Etgar Keret (Cocked and Locked), David Grossman (excerpts from The Yellow Wind), Mahmoud Darwish (poetry), and Ghassan Kanafani (from In the Land of the Sad Orange); - music by Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra as well as traditional and popular artists; - essays on the importance of particular landscape features (such as olive and eucalyptus trees, forests, and the sea) as well as features or types of built environment (the kibbutz, the Palestinian village); - blog posts and new media campaigns for awareness and activism (Electronic Intifada, Jewish Voice for Peace, and others).

Grading Policy

Partner or Group Presentations: 15%. Students will present either in small groups on one of the five categories outlined above. The topic will be chosen in consultation with the instructor and will entail research. Presentations will be ongoing throughout the semester. - Analytical Paper: 20%. A critical comparative analysis of two texts (4-5 pages). - Essay Exams: An essay-based midterm exam (20%) and a final exam (25%). - Participation (20%): Vigorous, regular participation in class discussion. - Possible Extra-Credit Assignments: A creative project (a short film, work of art, poem, etc., relevant to the class topic); a response or short reaction paper to a relevant text not on the syllabus; a response or short reaction paper to a relevant lecture.

HEB 346 • Exile/Strangeness Cont Heb Lit

40575 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CAL 422

This course provides an introduction to exile, a definitive theme in Hebrew literature from Biblical times to the 21st century. It focuses on major figures writing in Hebrew in different historical periods and parts of the world, and asks how they expressed and dealt with their sense of strangeness or their literal exile. For some writers, exile is a central force that pervades the literary imagination. However, the consciousness of exile often informs even those texts in which it is not the primary concern. This course explores an array of Hebrew literature in terms of this theme, which has been a formative one in Jewish identity, and which continues to be a major concern in Hebrew writing. This course is conducted in Hebrew.

Texts

Course reader containing short stories and poetry in Hebrew.

Grading

Participation 50%: Vigorous and consistent participation in class discussion. This includes contributions of questions, comments, and analysis of the day's reading assignment. Please note that each student is expected to lead two class discussions over the course of the semester as well as to present his/her final paper ideas at the end of the semester; these three components will count toward the overall participation grade on a CR/NC basis. The bulk of the participation grade is based on the student's daily participation in class discussion.

Paper 1 20%: This 4-5 page paper will be a close reading analysis, in Hebrew, of a section of one text on the syllabus and will be graded for both content and language usage.

Paper 2 30%: This 8-10 page paper will be a comparative analysis, in Hebrew, of two texts on the syllabus and will be graded for both content and language usage.

MEL 381 • Space And Place In Literature

42325 • Spring 2014
Meets T 200pm-500pm CAL 422
(also listed as C L 386, MES 386)

This is a graduate seminar on literary and other theories dealing with space and place, and their application in literary and cinematic works.Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

Readings

A. B. Yehoshua, Mr Mani, Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway, Ronit Matalon, The One Facing Us, Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place, Toni Morrison, Beloved, Anzia Yezierska, Bread Givers, Don DeLillo, White Noise, Theodor Herzl, Altneuland, Orly Castel-Bloom, Dolly CityYi-Fu Tuan, Space and Place: the Perspective of Experience, Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of SpaceThomas More, Utopia (Norton), Also: Various articles in course reader.

Grading

Class participation: 50%Research paper: 50%

MES 386 • Space And Place In Literature

42645 • Spring 2014
Meets T 200pm-500pm CAL 422
(also listed as C L 386, MEL 381)

This is a graduate seminar on literary and other theories dealing with space and place, and their application in literary and cinematic works.Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

Readings

A. B. Yehoshua, Mr Mani, Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway, Ronit Matalon, The One Facing Us, Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place, Toni Morrison, Beloved, Anzia Yezierska, Bread Givers, Don DeLillo, White Noise, Theodor Herzl, Altneuland, Orly Castel-Bloom, Dolly CityYi-Fu Tuan, Space and Place: the Perspective of Experience, Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of SpaceThomas More, Utopia (Norton), Also: Various articles in course reader.

Grading

Class participation: 50%Research paper: 50%

HEB 346 • Exile/Strangeness Cont Heb Lit

41528 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 1.104

This course is an introduction to the idea of exile, a central concept in Hebrew literature from the biblical era to today. The course focuses on important authors in the modern era and examines how they express and deal with exile. For certain authors, exile was the motif driving the literary imagination. Sometimes, it is expressed in a feeling of strangeness even at home. Through a selection of literary works, the course considers different approaches to exile, a motif in Jewish identity that continues to preoccupy Hebrew authors to this day. The main goal of this course is to improve students' oral and reading comprehension skills in Hebrew. Therefore, in addition to writing assignments, each student will prepare an oral reading response to present before the class and thereby function as discussion leader. Each student will have the opportunity to present briefly on two texts over the course of the semester. Additionally, students are encouraged to build and maintain a vocabulary notebook.

Texts

The required course reader, available at Jenn's Copies, includes all required readings for the semester.

Grading Policy

Writing assignments: 50%, Oral presentations: 20%, Class participation: 30%

MEL 381 • Writ Between Cul: Arabs/Jews

41820 • Spring 2013
Meets W 300pm-600pm MEZ 2.102
(also listed as C L 382, MES 386)

Homi Bhabha, in locating an international postcolonial culture, offers the concept of Third Space to account for its hybridity. He writes that 'we should remember that it is the 'inter' -- the cutting edge of translation and negotiation, the inbetween space -- that carries the burden of the meaning of culture' (Bhabha 1994). The existence of the Israeli Arab and the Arab Jew, two seemingly impossible categories of identity, suggests a reconsideration of a relationship that is often uncritically cast as antithetical, and seems to confirm the ideal of hybridity. However, the encounter with in-betweenness for both groups, rather than offering a fertile and fluid Third Space of identity formation that may help 'elude the politics of polarity,' foregrounds the uneasy and often paralyzing tension they impose (Bhabha 1994). As the world moves beyond the post-colonial paradigm and new demographic and cultural dynamics take shape, our understanding of identity must necessarily shift as well. In this seminar, we shall examine the theorization of in-betweenness and question its applicability in literature and film by Israeli Arab and Arab Jewish authors and filmmakers. Foremost among our concerns will be the poetics of in-betweenness, as they are articulated through allusion, spatiality, intertextuality, and more. Students interested in in-betweenness in other cultural and linguistic contexts are welcome and encouraged to join the seminar; no knowledge of Arabic or Hebrew is necessary.

Sample Texts

Robert Young, 'Hybridity and Diaspora,' from Colonial Desire: Hybridity in Theory, Culture, and Race, Homi Bhabha, from The Location of CultureDeleuze and Guattari, 'Toward a Minor Literature'Spivak, 'Can the Subaltern Speak?' Selections from Reconstructing Hybridity (essay collection) Anton Shammas, Arabesques: Hanan Hever, 'Hebrew in an Israeli Arab Hand: Anton Shammas's Arabesques' (from Producing the Modern Hebrew Canon) Taha, 'The Palestinians in Israel: Towards a Minority Literature'Shammas, 'Mixed as in Pidgin: The Vanishing Arabic of a 'Bilingual' City' Snir, ' 'Till Spring Comes': Arabic and Hebrew Literary Debates among Iraqi-Jews in Israel (1950-2000)', Sayed Kashua, Dancing Arabs, Hochberg, 'To Be or Not to Be an Israeli Arab: Sayed Kashua and the Prospect of Minority Speech-Acts', Brenner, 'The Search for Identity in Israeli Arab Fiction: Atallah Mansour, Emile Habiby, and Anton Shammas', D. Kayyal, ''Arabs Dancing in a New Light of Arabesques': Minor Hebrew Works of Palestinian Authors in the Eyes of Critics', Emile Habiby, The Secret Life of Saeed the Pessoptimist, Snir, ' 'Hebrew As the Language of Grace': Arab-Palestinian Writers in Hebrew'Ronit Matalon, The One Facing Us, Hochberg, 'Permanent Immigration': Jacqueline Kahanoff, Ronit Matalon, and the Impetus of Levantinism', Sami Michael, A Trumpet in the Wadi, Smadar Lavie, 'Blowups in the Borderzones: Third World Israeli Authors' Gropings for Home', Snir, ' 'We Were Like Those Who Dream': Iraqi-Jewish Writers in Israel in the 1950s'Eli Amir, Scapegoat, Ella Shohat, 'The Invention of the Mizrahim' Albert Memmi, Pillar of Salt, Memmi, 'Who is an Arab Jew?' Albert Cohen, Book of My MotherHelene Cixous, on Passporicity

Grading: 

Participation-50%; Seminar Paper-50%

MES 386 • Writ Between Cul: Arabs/Jews

42010 • Spring 2013
Meets W 300pm-600pm MEZ 2.102
(also listed as C L 382, MEL 381)

Homi Bhabha, in locating an international postcolonial culture, offers the concept of Third Space to account for its hybridity. He writes that 'we should remember that it is the 'inter' -- the cutting edge of translation and negotiation, the inbetween space -- that carries the burden of the meaning of culture' (Bhabha 1994). The existence of the Israeli Arab and the Arab Jew, two seemingly impossible categories of identity, suggests a reconsideration of a relationship that is often uncritically cast as antithetical, and seems to confirm the ideal of hybridity. However, the encounter with in-betweenness for both groups, rather than offering a fertile and fluid Third Space of identity formation that may help 'elude the politics of polarity,' foregrounds the uneasy and often paralyzing tension they impose (Bhabha 1994). As the world moves beyond the post-colonial paradigm and new demographic and cultural dynamics take shape, our understanding of identity must necessarily shift as well. In this seminar, we shall examine the theorization of in-betweenness and question its applicability in literature and film by Israeli Arab and Arab Jewish authors and filmmakers. Foremost among our concerns will be the poetics of in-betweenness, as they are articulated through allusion, spatiality, intertextuality, and more. Students interested in in-betweenness in other cultural and linguistic contexts are welcome and encouraged to join the seminar; no knowledge of Arabic or Hebrew is necessary.

Sample Texts

Robert Young, 'Hybridity and Diaspora,' from Colonial Desire: Hybridity in Theory, Culture, and Race, Homi Bhabha, from The Location of CultureDeleuze and Guattari, 'Toward a Minor Literature'Spivak, 'Can the Subaltern Speak?' Selections from Reconstructing Hybridity (essay collection) Anton Shammas, Arabesques: Hanan Hever, 'Hebrew in an Israeli Arab Hand: Anton Shammas's Arabesques' (from Producing the Modern Hebrew Canon) Taha, 'The Palestinians in Israel: Towards a Minority Literature'Shammas, 'Mixed as in Pidgin: The Vanishing Arabic of a 'Bilingual' City' Snir, ' 'Till Spring Comes': Arabic and Hebrew Literary Debates among Iraqi-Jews in Israel (1950-2000)', Sayed Kashua, Dancing Arabs, Hochberg, 'To Be or Not to Be an Israeli Arab: Sayed Kashua and the Prospect of Minority Speech-Acts', Brenner, 'The Search for Identity in Israeli Arab Fiction: Atallah Mansour, Emile Habiby, and Anton Shammas', D. Kayyal, ''Arabs Dancing in a New Light of Arabesques': Minor Hebrew Works of Palestinian Authors in the Eyes of Critics', Emile Habiby, The Secret Life of Saeed the Pessoptimist, Snir, ' 'Hebrew As the Language of Grace': Arab-Palestinian Writers in Hebrew'Ronit Matalon, The One Facing Us, Hochberg, 'Permanent Immigration': Jacqueline Kahanoff, Ronit Matalon, and the Impetus of Levantinism', Sami Michael, A Trumpet in the Wadi, Smadar Lavie, 'Blowups in the Borderzones: Third World Israeli Authors' Gropings for Home', Snir, ' 'We Were Like Those Who Dream': Iraqi-Jewish Writers in Israel in the 1950s'Eli Amir, Scapegoat, Ella Shohat, 'The Invention of the Mizrahim' Albert Memmi, Pillar of Salt, Memmi, 'Who is an Arab Jew?' Albert Cohen, Book of My MotherHelene Cixous, on Passporicity

Grading: 

Participation-50%; Seminar Paper-50%

HEB 374 • Isrl/Palestn Confl In Lit/Film

41760 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 203
(also listed as C L 323, J S 363, MES 322K)

Course Description

This upper-division undergraduate course will examine literary and cinematic representations ofelements of the Israel/Palestine conflict by the most important Israeli, Palestinian, and “Arab Israeli”writers and filmmakers. In a discussion-intensive course, students will be exposed to diverseperspectives of the conflict. Some of the central questions we will investigate are: What effect canliterature and film have on the conflict? Conversely, what effect has the conflict had on literature andfilm? Do authors and filmmakers on any side of the conflict have a moral obligation to represent it, or torepresent it in a particular way? What is the author or artist’s role in places at war? No knowledge ofHebrew or Arabic is necessary.

Texts

Ghassan Kanafani, from Men In the Sun; Mahmoud Darwish, from Unfortunately, It Was ParadiseAnton Shammas, Arabesques. Additional textbooks will be provided by the instructor.

Grading & Requirements

Quiz 10%Active Participation 20%Essay Exam 1 20%Essay Exam 2 20%Final Essay Exam 30%

HEB 385 • Space And Place In Literature

41795 • Spring 2011
Meets W 300pm-600pm MEZ 1.206
(also listed as C L 386, MES 381)

What does the representation of space and place in literature contribute to our understanding of the social and cultural dynamics of the past century? We hear much about territory and airspace, cartography and border, nation and colony. We hear far less about spaces of human existence and experience: places as ordinary as a house, a terrace, or a garden, or as complex as major cities, the poetics of which dominated earlier theoretical scholarship on place.  Nor do we hear about how sites such as borders and security zones are themselves spaces of social experience and practice. This course will explore the poetics of social and experiential space as expressed in literature from the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. We will examine these fictional texts from a diverse interdisciplinary array of theoretical perspectives on space and place, which consider the meanings of space as a place, as a condition, and as a practice. All readings will be in English translation.

Sherwood Anderson, selected stories (1919)

Anzia Yezierska, Salome of the Tenements (1923)

Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway (1925)

Henry Roth, Call It Sleep (1934)

Amos Oz, selected stories (1963)

Marguerite Duras, The Lover (1984)

Philip Roth, The Counterlife (1986)

Sayed Kashua, Let It Be Morning (2006)

 

Course reader

Selections from the following:


Robert Alter, Imagined Cities

Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

Edward Casey, Getting Back into Place

Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life

David Harvey, Spaces of Hope

Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space

Barabara Mann, A Place in History

Edward Soja, Postmodern Geographies

Yi-Fu Tuan, Space and Place

Thinking Space, eds. Mike Crang and Nigel Thrift

MES 322K • Isrl/Palestn Confl In Lit/Film

42095 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 203
(also listed as C L 323, HEB 374, J S 363)

Course Description

This upper-division undergraduate course will examine literary and cinematic representations ofelements of the Israel/Palestine conflict by the most important Israeli, Palestinian, and “Arab Israeli”writers and filmmakers. In a discussion-intensive course, students will be exposed to diverseperspectives of the conflict. Some of the central questions we will investigate are: What effect canliterature and film have on the conflict? Conversely, what effect has the conflict had on literature andfilm? Do authors and filmmakers on any side of the conflict have a moral obligation to represent it, or torepresent it in a particular way? What is the author or artist’s role in places at war? No knowledge ofHebrew or Arabic is necessary.

Texts

Ghassan Kanafani, from Men In the Sun; Mahmoud Darwish, from Unfortunately, It Was ParadiseAnton Shammas, Arabesques. Additional textbooks will be provided by the instructor.

Grading & Requirements

Quiz 10%Active Participation 20%Essay Exam 1 20%Essay Exam 2 20%Final Essay Exam 30%

MES 381 • Space And Place In Literature

42235 • Spring 2011
Meets W 300pm-600pm MEZ 1.206
(also listed as C L 386, HEB 385)

What does the representation of space and place in literature contribute to our understanding of the social and cultural dynamics of the past century? We hear much about territory and airspace, cartography and border, nation and colony. We hear far less about spaces of human existence and experience: places as ordinary as a house, a terrace, or a garden, or as complex as major cities, the poetics of which dominated earlier theoretical scholarship on place.  Nor do we hear about how sites such as borders and security zones are themselves spaces of social experience and practice. This course will explore the poetics of social and experiential space as expressed in literature from the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. We will examine these fictional texts from a diverse interdisciplinary array of theoretical perspectives on space and place, which consider the meanings of space as a place, as a condition, and as a practice. All readings will be in English translation.

Sherwood Anderson, selected stories (1919)

Anzia Yezierska, Salome of the Tenements (1923)

Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway (1925)

Henry Roth, Call It Sleep (1934)

Amos Oz, selected stories (1963)

Marguerite Duras, The Lover (1984)

Philip Roth, The Counterlife (1986)

Sayed Kashua, Let It Be Morning (2006)

 

Course reader

Selections from the following:


Robert Alter, Imagined Cities

Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

Edward Casey, Getting Back into Place

Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life

David Harvey, Spaces of Hope

Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space

Barabara Mann, A Place in History

Edward Soja, Postmodern Geographies

Yi-Fu Tuan, Space and Place

Thinking Space, eds. Mike Crang and Nigel Thrift

HEB 374 • Intro To Israeli Literature

41360 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 1.210
(also listed as MES 325)

This course will encompass almost six decades of fiction, from the 1948 declaration of Israeli independence to the present time. We will read the works of the first Israeli generation from the late 1940s and early 1950s, and continue with those of the State Generation, or New Wave (including Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua), of the 1950s-1980s. We will continue with contemporary writing by women, Mizrahim, & Israeli Arabs, and finally, arrive at postmodernism. Our explorations of Israeli literature will be marked by points of political turbulence and upheaval, beginning with the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and culminating in the current Al-Aqsa Intifada. Along the way, we will examine some major themes of Israeli literature, including the shift from collective concerns to individual ones, the disillusionment with Zionism, the creation of an Israeli identity, and intergenerational conflicts. We will also consider the interaction between literature and various tensions in Israeli society (Jews and Arabs, Mizrahim and Ashkenazim, the religious and the secular).

 

Texts:

Book Lost; "Facing Forests"; Kashua, Dancing Arabs; Oz, "Nomad & Viper"; Matalon, Bliss; Grossman, "Yani on the Mountain"; Shamir, Walked Through Fields; Megged, Living on Dead; Hareven, City Many Days; Shalev, Blue Mountain; Appelfeld, Badenheim; Castel-Bloom, Human Parts.

 

Grading:

To be provided by the instructor.

 

HEB 374 • Sacr/Sec In Contemp Jewish Lit

41365 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 930am-1100am MEZ 1.120
(also listed as E 322, J S 363, MES 322K, R S 353)

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.

 

Texts:

Mind-Body Problem, Counterlife, Pillar of Salt, Book of My Mother, Shadows of a Childhood, City of Many Days, Lover, Dolly City. Additional information regarding textbooks will be provided by the instructor.

 

Grading:

To be provided by the instructor.

 

SPECIAL NOTE: This course satisfies Area V requirements for English and Area II requirements for Religious Studies.

MES 322K • Sacr/Sec In Contemp Jewish Lit

41655 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 930am-1100am MEZ 1.120
(also listed as E 322, HEB 374, J S 363, R S 353)

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.

 

Texts:

Mind-Body Problem, Counterlife, Pillar of Salt, Book of My Mother, Shadows of a Childhood, City of Many Days, Lover, Dolly City. Additional information regarding textbooks will be provided by the instructor.

 

Grading:

To be provided by the instructor.

 

SPECIAL NOTE: This course satisfies Area V requirements for English and Area II requirements for Religious Studies.

MES 325 • Intro To Israeli Literature

41672 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 1.210
(also listed as HEB 374)

This course will encompass almost six decades of fiction, from the 1948 declaration of Israeli independence to the present time. We will read the works of the first Israeli generation from the late 1940s and early 1950s, and continue with those of the State Generation, or New Wave (including Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua), of the 1950s-1980s. We will continue with contemporary writing by women, Mizrahim, & Israeli Arabs, and finally, arrive at postmodernism. Our explorations of Israeli literature will be marked by points of political turbulence and upheaval, beginning with the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and culminating in the current Al-Aqsa Intifada. Along the way, we will examine some major themes of Israeli literature, including the shift from collective concerns to individual ones, the disillusionment with Zionism, the creation of an Israeli identity, and intergenerational conflicts. We will also consider the interaction between literature and various tensions in Israeli society (Jews and Arabs, Mizrahim and Ashkenazim, the religious and the secular).

 

Texts:

Book Lost; "Facing Forests"; Kashua, Dancing Arabs; Oz, "Nomad & Viper"; Matalon, Bliss; Grossman, "Yani on the Mountain"; Shamir, Walked Through Fields; Megged, Living on Dead; Hareven, City Many Days; Shalev, Blue Mountain; Appelfeld, Badenheim; Castel-Bloom, Human Parts.

 

Grading:

To be provided by the instructor.

 

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