Fall 2020 Lower Division: HEB 001: Elementary Hebrew Itay Eisinger Speaking, listening, comprehension, reading and writing fundamentals of modern Hebrew.
Upper Division: POL 135: International Politics in the Middle East Zeev Maoz International politics of the Middle East as a microcosm of world politics. The Middle East as a regional system. Domestic and International Politics in the Middle East. Changing Political Structures in the Middle East. Superpower involvement in the Middle East.
SOC 195: Environmental Conflict and Cooperation (Case Study: Middle East) Yael Teff-Seker This course examines the relationship between politics, economy, and the environment, with a focus on environmental conflicts and cooperation in the Middle East. The course aims to provide the students with basic knowledge of theories, models, and ideas; familiarity with exemplary case studies; a forum for discussing burning contemporary issues; and opportunities for initiative research in the field.
GER 297: Graduate Film Studies: The Case of Cinema in Germany Jaimey Fisher The seminar introduces graduate students to research and teaching in film studies, primarily by offering an overview of the history of German cinema. The course will take up the major periods of German film history, including the Weimar, the Nazi, the 1950s-60s, the New German Cinema, and the contemporary (Berlin-School) periods, but also probe this conventional periodization. The seminar will engage each film in its historical, political, and economic context and provide some theories of how these contexts can relate to film itself. Special attention will be to attendant theories of film and media as well as to how to effectively teach with them. The seminar will focus on the formal and technical aspects of these films, particularly how they represent via a technique that self-consciously mimics or resists (even when instrumentalizing) the classical Hollywood system. Among the historical and national themes this very rich cinema brought forth are: modernity and trauma in the Weimar era, the impact of the Nazi movement on media, postwar German reconstruction, feminism, political radicalism and terrorism in the 1970s, the “micropolitics” of the home and sexuality, and its relationship to Hollywood as well as to American political hegemony. Knowledge of German welcome, but not required.
Winter 2021 Lower Division: HEB 001B: Elementary Hebrew II Itay Eisinger Continuation of Speaking, listening, comprehension, reading and writing fundamentals of modern Hebrew.
RST 1F: Ethnic and Religious Conflict over Natural Resources Yael Teff-Seker Natural resources and values, especially when scarce or mismanaged, can become the reason for inter-group competition and disputes. In other cases, pressure resulting from climate change (e.g. droughts) and resource degradation (e.g. pollution) can reduce economic, social, and political resilience, and exacerbate an already existing religious or ethnic conflict.
The course examines the processes and perceptions that contribute to the development of such conflicts. Using project-based learning (PBL) and experiential learning exercises, the course provides students the freedom to choose their case studies, the tools and theories with which to analyze cases of ethnic and religious environmental conflict around the world, as well as potential ways in which to resolve, manage, or prevent resource-based clashes. Lastly, the course explains ways in which we can promote joint management and cooperation regarding natural resources between ethnic and religious groups who share them.
Upper Division: HIS 113: History of Modern Israel David Biale Topics include the rise and fall of utopian Zionism, the century-long struggle between Jews and Arabs, the development of modern Hebrew culture, the conflict between religious and secular Jews, and the nature of Israel's multicultural society.
AHI 120A/HMR 120A: Art, Architecture, and Human Rights Heghnar Watenpaugh This course studies human rights as they relate to art, architecture, and cultural heritage. It introduces the concept and history of human rights as they relate to culture. It examines museums, art collections, and cultural-heritage management, their relation to the cultural prerogatives of communities and indigenous groups, and protection of cultural heritage during war and conflict. There are no prerequisites for this course.
REL 230E: Inter-Group Conflict in the Middle East Yael Teff-Seker The Arab-Israeli conflict does not exist in a void. It was, and still is, influenced by external geo-political interests and events, religious beliefs and perceptions, and other external factors such as economy, climate, and scientific-technological advances. The conflict also influences other tensions within and between Jewish, Christian, and Muslim groups, as well as other religious and ethnic minorities in the area.
The course first explains the history of the conflict, using several points of view, and allowing students to voice and discuss their own opinions and analyses of these historic events. It then invites students to understand the complexities of the current situation in the Middle East, and introduces positive examples of cooperation, peace treaties, and synergies. The course encourages students to pursue active learning through researching specific topics, cross-sections (e.g. gender, race), and case studies that are of personal or academic interest to them; as well as through participatory simulations of real-life cases, including role-playing, and using a peace-building app.
Spring 2021 Lower Division: RST 023—Introduction to Judaism Eva Mroczek This course surveys the history, practices, beliefs, texts, and traditions of Judaism both as a global phenomenon and as a part of American culture. We will ask two seemingly simple questions: what is Judaism, and who is a Jew? The answers, however, are far from simple. Students will examine how various Jewish communities across history and the world have shaped their practices and beliefs within their own specific socio-historical circumstances, and how they have understood their identity as Jews alongside their other racial, ethnic, and cultural identities. Students will critically examine a range of primary sources (including the Hebrew Bible, Dead Sea Scrolls, the Talmud, the Zohar, and modern rabbinic responsa [rulings], including contemporary American material), and discuss topics like observance of holidays, dietary laws, diverse ideals regarding family life and sexual behavior, and relationships with other religious and cultural groups. Students will explore how Jewish identity, textual traditions, religious practices, race and ethnicity, and political circumstances combine to define Judaism differently in diverse times and places. The course will also give students an opportunity to discuss a foundational question of Religious Studies -- what is a "religion"? -- through the study of Judaism and Jewishness, which has been defined in various contexts not only through the category of religion, but also in terms of race, ethnicity, nationhood, peoplehood, tradition, and culture. GE credit: ACGH, AH, DD, WC, WE.
Upper Division: HIS 142A: History of the Holocaust David Biale In a century of genocides, the Holocaust of the European Jews remains perhaps the most systematic attempt to destroy a whole people. In this course, we will attempt to understand how one nation committed genocide against another, first by instituting policies of exclusion and expulsion and then mass murder. The course will consider the history of the Holocaust against the background of Jewish and German history in modern times. We will also take up the question of the uniqueness of the Holocaust and comparisons with other instances of mass death, both by the Nazis (against the disabled mentally retarded, the Sinti/Roma, homosexuals, Poles and Russian prisoners of war) and by others in the twentieth century. Students should be aware that this is an emotionally, as well as intellectually challenging subject that has relevance to our world today.
Required Books Doris Bergen, War and Genocide Jan Gross, Neighbors Sebastian Haffner, Defying Hitler Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz Joseph Pell, Taking Risks Dawid Sierakowiak, The Diary of Dawid Sierakowiak