Sexuality in Jewish Literature and Culture
Credit only granted for: JWST319L or JWST373. Formerly: JWST319L. Provides students with a unique exploration of texts and films created by various Jewish authors and filmmakers, and the way they dealt with questions of gender and sexuality. The texts and films touch on the central social, economic, and cultural issues of European, American, and Israeli Jewry during the middle ages, and up to the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. It will explore how the categories of gender and sexuality changed and were represented in rich and contrasting ways according to the authors' social norms and ideological convictions. Focusing on sexuality and gender in Jewish culture can help us better understand Jewish social norms, creativity, and history, in particular modern Jewish literatures, visual medias, and the Jewish encounter with modernity as a whole. We will be reading prominent writers and filmmakers such as Sholem Aleichem, Philip Roth, S. Y., Jill Soloway, Abramovitsch, Todd Solondz, Celia Dropkin, I. B. Singer, Sholem Ash, Boaz Davidson, Judd Apatow, Tseruyah Shalev, and others. This is a discussion-based course; however, it also emphasizes developing the skills of analytical and abstract thinking and critical writing about texts and other cultural productions. This course does not require proficiency of any foreign language or any specific historical knowledge. Cross-listed with ENGL378V. Credit only granted for JWST373, JWST319L, or ENGL378V.