Course Descriptions

Comparative Literature

113. Trauma, Memory, Historiography (4) Derwin, Weber - Prerequisite: upper-division standing. May be repeated for credit to a maximum of 8 units with consent of department chair. How do individuals, communities, cultures, nations remember and/or forget, preserve and/or erase, traumatic events?

122A. Representations of the Holocaust (4) Derwin - Prerequisite: upper-division standing. Not open for credit to students who have completed German 116A.
Close reading of post-Holocaust literature. Taught in English.

122B. Holocaust in France (4) Derwin, Nesci - Same course as French 122X.
Through analysis of testimonies, memoirs, fiction, and film, this course focuses on France under the Nazi occupation. Topics include the Vichy Regime (1940-1945), the Resistance Movement, the Church under Vichy, anti-Semitism, deportations and concentration camp imprisonment, and national memory after World War II.

197. Upper Division Special Topics (4) Staff - Prerequisite: upper-division standing.
May be repeated for credit to a maximum of 12 units.
Content will vary with each instructor.


197. Studying & Teaching the Holocaust (4) Weissglass - This course will both increase students’ understanding of the history of the Holocaust and their ability to teach it to secondary school (grades 7-12) students. We will read and discuss the history and the literature on teaching the Holocaust.


116A. Biblical Literature: The Old Testament (4) Staff - Prerequisites: Writing 2 or 50 or 109AA-ZZ or English 10 or upper-division standing. A literary approach to the Hebrew scriptures and the Apocrypha.

134JB/JL/JS. Studies in the Literature of Cultural and Ethnic Communities in the United States (4) Staff - Prerequisites: Writing 2 or 50 or 109AA-ZZ or English 10 or upper-division standing. May be repeated for credit to a maximum of 12 units provided the letter designations are different, but only 8 units may be applied toward the major.
Courses on writing produced by, or associated with, cultural communities in America such as the Jewish Bible or Jewish Literature.

197. Upper-Division Seminar (4) Staff - Prerequisites: Writing 2 or 50 or 109AA-ZZ or English 10 or upper-division standing. Content will vary with each instructor. Students will be asked to do a project that acquaints them with some of the resources of the library and results in their reading beyond the primary course materials. (Spring 2007 – The Figure of the Jew).

German, Slavic, and Semitic Studies

95A. Elementary Yiddish (4) Staff - An introduction to the Yiddish language. The goal is to convey the rudiments of the grammar, and to acquire the ability both to read printed Yiddish and to read and write cursive Yiddish.

95B. Intermediate Yiddish (4) Staff - Prerequisite: German 95A. Continuation of German 95A with further exposure to the grammar of Yiddish. More attention given to standard literary figures (Sholem Aleichem, Peretz, etc.) and their easier works.

95C. Advanced Yiddish (4) Schwartz - Prerequisite: German 95B. Continuation of German 95B with advanced grammatical study. Emphasis on literary texts of some maturity and difficulty as well as contemporary Yiddish in this country, both journalistic and literary.

164E. Great Writers in German Language - Kafka (4) Staff - Prerequisite: Upper-division standing. A study of Kafka’s literary works. Readings and lectures in English.

243. German Judaism in Literature and Philosophy (4) Weber - Prerequisites: graduate standing and consent of instructor. Analysis of German eighteenth-, nineteenth-and twentieth-century texts on Judaism. Exploration of historical, philosophical, political contexts of desire for/resistance against “German-Jewish symbiosis.” Discussions include German, French, and Israeli commentaries.


1. Elementary Hebrew (4) Wheeler - The beginning course in Hebrew. Starting with the study of the alphabet, the student is initiated into the rudiments of the language. Basic grammar, vocabulary, and conversation.

2. Elementary Hebrew (4) Wheeler - Prerequisite: Hebrew 1. Continuation of Hebrew 1.

3. Elementary Hebrew (4) Wheeler - Prerequisite: Hebrew 2. Continuation of Hebrew 2.

114A-B-C. Readings in Modern Hebrew Prose and Poetry (4-4-4) Wheeler - Prerequisite: Hebrew 6. Improve language ability and acquire knowledge in Hebrew literature. Reading/analyzing literary texts of modern and contemporary major Hebrew writers. Relationships between land, people and history, social, political, spiritual, and gender issues; impact of war.


33D. The Holocaust: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (4) Marcuse - Basic introduction to the history of the Nazi Holocaust. The examination of approaches taken by other disciplines, such as sociology, psychology, and literary studies, is designed to help students understand how history relates to other disciplines.

117D. Feminist Perspectives on Jewish and Christian Traditions (4) Farmer, Hecht - Prerequisite: History 4B or upper-division standing. Same course as Interdisciplinary 185HF. This seminar examines selected “clanic” texts (Biblical, Talmudic, Patristic) dealing with women, gender, and sexuality; as well as historic and contemporary uses, reinterpretations and responses to those texts.

118B. Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Spain: Conquest, Colonization, and Coexistence (4) Blumenthal - Prerequisite: History 4A and 4B. Assesses the more than seven centuries of Muslim, Christian, Jewish coexistence (convivencia) in the Iberian peninsula, examining intercultural and interfaith relations from the time of the Visigoths (fifth century) to the expulsion of the Moriscos (Muslim converts to Christianity) in 1609.

131F. Anti-Semite and Jew in Modern Europe and America, 1870 to Present (4) Lindemann - Prerequisite: History 4C. A study of modern anti-Semitism, beginning with the appearance of political anti-Semitism in Germany and Austria-Hungary; the Dreyfus Affair; Jewish patriots and revolutionaries; Nazism and the Jews; Zionism; anti-Semitism since WW II.

133C. Twentieth Century Germany, Part II (4) Marcuse - Prerequisite: History 2C or 4C. After examining development during the last years of World War II, this course traces the histories of East and West Germany from 1945 to unification in 1989.

133D. The Holocaust in German History (4) Marcuse - Prerequisite: History 2C or 4C.
Not open for credit to students who have completed History 193D.
The Nazi campaign of racial purification through eugenics and mass murder can be considered one of the watershed events of Western civilization. This course examines the historical, social, political, and economic factors which combined to result in the Holocaust, as well as some of the consequences of that event for German and world history.

133Q. Readings on the Holocaust (4) Marcuse - Prerequisite: History 33D or 133B or 133C or 133D (may be taken concurrently). Exploration of selected topics pertaining to the Holocaust through memoirs, historiography, and works of fiction. The course is structured as a dialog between students and the instructor based on written analyses of the literature.

146T. History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (4) Gallagher - Prerequisite: History 46 or upper-division standing. History of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Course themes include evolution of Zionism, Palestine before World War I, the British Mandate, World War II, the Arab-Israeli wars, rise of Palestinian nationalism, and Israeli and Palestinian societies today.


194. Group Studies in Linguistics (2-4) Staff - Prerequisite: Linguistics 20.
May be repeated for credit to a maximum of 8 units.
Content will vary with each instructor. A course limited to small groups whose interest and needs will determine the central focus (Winter 2008 - The Structure of Yiddish).

Political Science

149. Israeli Politics (4) Stoll - Prerequisite: Political Science 6; not open to freshmen.
Recommended preparation: background in the history and politics of the Middle East, such as that obtained in Political Science 150A
. An introduction to the politics of Israel. Examines both Israeli domestic politics and Israel in comparative perspective.

150A. Politics of the Middle East (4) Bouraad-Nash - The development of governmental institutions and political forces in the postcolonial era. Emphasis on relationships between ideology, cultural dynamics, and politics, including examination of inter-Arab conflict and the war in Lebanon.

150B. Politics of the Middle East (4) Staff - Prerequisite: Political Science 150A.
Political development and nationalism in the Northern Tier, Arab North Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula. The politics of oil. The resurgence of Islam, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Afghanistan, great power rivalry in the Middle East since 1945.

Religious Studies

17A. Introduction Biblical Hebrew I (4) Garr - Introduces the student to the orthography, phonology, grammar, and lexicon of Tiberian Biblical Hebrew as found in most printed Bibles. There will be extensive grammatical exercise in recitation and written forms in which the student learns the bulk of Hebrew grammar. The course will conclude with selected Pentateuchal readings when the student applies grammatical knowledge to actual texts.

17B. Introduction to Biblical Hebrew II (4) Garr - Prerequisite: Religious Studies 17A. Continuation of Religious Studies 17A.

17C. Introduction to Biblical Hebrew III (4) Garr - Prerequisite: Religious Studies 17B. Continuation of Religious Studies 17B.

24. The Teachings of Jesus (4) Thomas - Exploration of key interpretations of the life and teachings of Jesus, and analysis of the sources from which these are reconstructed, in historical, comparative, and contemporary perspectives.

115A. Literature and Religion of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (4) Hecht, Garr - Introduction to the varieties of literature, traditions, and institutions of ancient Israel through the prophetic period.

115B. The Prophets (4) Hecht - The origins, development, and enduring significance of the prophetic movement in ancient Israel.

115D. The Social and Cultural History of the Bible (4) Hecht - Examination of the role of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament in the formation of western civilization. Central topics are the interplay between the Bible and art, architecture, iconography; liturgy, poetry, literature; cosmology, scientific thought, economics, politics.

115E. Seminar on the Pentateuch (4) Garr - Prerequisite: Religious Studies 115A.
An analysis of select Pentateuchal texts from a variety of critical perspectives.

115F. Seminar on the Hebrew Bible (4) Garr - An examination of select books and topics in the study of the Hebrew Bible.

116A. The New Testament and Early Christianity (4) Thomas - Study of the varieties of early Christian traditions and literature of the first century, with special (but not exclusive) attention to the New Testament.

116B. Second-Century Christianity (4) Thomas - Study of the various religious trends in developing Christianity as represented in the writings of the early Fathers, the later books of the New Testament, the New Testament Apocrypha, and the “heretical” movements.

118J. Jesus, Judaism and the Origin of Christianity (4) Friedland - A sociohistorical perspective that analyzes the relationship between the Jesus movement and the Jewish society of his day. Examines the organization and meaning of sanctity and sovereignty, and the positions of the Jesus movement within the politics of these institutions.

121A. Introduction to Targumic Aramaic I (4) Garr - Prerequisites: Religious Studies 17A-B-C. The grammar and basic vocabulary of Targumic Aramaic, concentrating on Targum Onkelos - the “official” Jewish Aramaic translation of the Old Testament. Students memorize the nominal and verbal paradigms of the dialect, and read selected passages from the Joseph story.

121B. Introduction to Targumic Aramaic II (4) Garr - Prerequisites: Religious Studies 121A. Continuation of Religious Studies 121A.

130. Judaism (4) Hecht - Elements of traditional Judaism in biblical and rabbinic times.

131A. From the Maccabees to the Rabbis (4) Hecht - This course examines the religious and political history of Judea from Alexander the Great to the end of the second century of the Common Era, giving special attention to the Maccabean revolt, the Hasmonean dynasty, Herod the Great, the Dead Sea Scrolls community, the Pharisees and Zadducees, the Great Revolt and the Bar Kokhba Revolt, prominent Rabbis such as Yochanan ben Zakkai, Akiva ben Yosef, and Yehudah ha-Nasi, and the early strata of Rabbinic Literature, including the Mishnah.

131B. Judaism in the Graeco-Roman World (4) Hecht - Study of the cultural and religious interactions of Judaism with Hellenism among the Greek-speaking Jews of the diaspora. Special attention will be given to the writings of Philo of Alexandria.

131C. Judaism in the Medieval World (4) Hecht - Course covers period from 650 to 1500 CE and topics: Karaite movements; biblical and Talmudic commentaries; growth of mystical movements; disputations between Christians and Jews.

131D. Judaism in Modern Times (4) Hecht - Challenge of the Enlightenment and emancipation movements to traditional Jewish life in Western and Eastern Europe. Religious and secular responses to these challenges (orthodox, conservative, reform, Zionism, socialism) in Europe and the United States.

131E. Contemporary Trends in Judaism (4) Hecht - An examination of the variety of trends in Judaism from the first world war to the present. Major areas of study include the following: the philosophies of Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, and Abraham Heschel, the growth of the conservative and reform movements in America, the Holocaust, the postwar disorientation and responses to the Holocaust.

131F. The History of Anti-Semitism (4) Hecht - A systematic examination of the history of anti-Semitism, beginning with the emergence of anti-Judaism in the world of late antiquity, its transformation into theological anti-Semitism in the middle ages, and the emergence of racial anti-Semitism in the modern world. The central focus will be anti-Semitism as a religio-historical category.

131H. Politics and Religion in the City: The Case of Jerusalem (4) Hecht - Prerequisite: upper-division standing or a prior course in Religious Studies.
Examines relationships between religion and politics in Jerusalem. As a sacred center for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and national center for Israelis and Palestinians, Jerusalem provides the unique opportunity to examine co-existing groups holding opposite world views.

131J. Introduction to Rabbinic Literature (4) Holdrege, Garr - An introduction to the basic texts of rabbinic literature through an analysis of representative passages from the Mishnah, Talmud, and Midrash. Particular attention will be given to the various types of Midrash and the principles and methods of Midrashic interpretation. (Knowledge of Hebrew not required.)

133. Introduction to Jewish Mysticism (4) Holdrege - An introduction to the schools and texts of Jewish mysticism, with particular attention to the Zohar, Lurianic Kabbalah, and Hasidism. Examination of conceptions of God and the Sefirot, Torah, creation, and redemption, along with consideration of the role of meditative techniques.

141A. Sociology of Religion: The Classical Statements (4) Staff - Religion as it is treated by major social theorists, including Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Freud, Simmel, Malinowski.

141B. Sociology of Religion: Religious Organizations in Contemporary Society (4) Staff - Religion as it appears in formal institutions, including the study of religious beliefs, religious professionals, and the dynamics of religious organizations. Emphasis is on contemporary U.S.

142A. Religious Literature in Hebrew (4) Garr - Prerequisite: Religious Studies 17A-B-C. May be repeated for credit to a maximum of 8 units. An application of grammatical and analytic skills acquired in introductory Hebrew to the rapid reading of Biblical Hebrew texts, complemented by an emphasis on critical and interpretive approaches to the Hebrew Bible. Texts change with each offering of the course.

142B. Religious Literature in Hebrew (4) Hecht, Garr - Prerequisites: Religious Studies 17A-B-C. Introduction to poetry of the Hebrew Bible with special reference to cultic songs. Texts will be selected from Psalms, Song of Songs, and Koheleth in order to examine the varieties of poetic style.

142C. Religious Literature in Hebrew (4) Hecht, Garr - Prerequisites: Religious Studies 17A-B-C. Introduction to Palestinian midrashic literature with special emphasis upon the development of reading skills. Texts to be selected from Bereshit Rabbah, Wayyikra Rabbah, and Pesikta de-Rav Kahana.

252A. Seminar in Christian Origins (4) Thomas - Prerequisite: Religious Studies 116A.
Course content variable; may be repeated. Not open for credit to students who have completed Religious Studies 252.
Historical and critical examination of selected figures, ideas, and movements pertaining to nascent Christianity.