Fall 2019 Lower Division: HEB 001: Elementary Hebrew Galia Franco Speaking, listening, comprehension, reading and writing fundamentals of modern Hebrew.
Upper Division: GER/HUM 144: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud Sven-Erik Rose The esteemed French philosopher Paul Ricoeur famously characterized the triumvirate of modernist master-thinkers Karl Marx (1818-1883), Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), and Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) in terms of a “hermeneutics of suspicion.” By this Ricoeur meant that Marx, Nietzsche and Freud, each in his own way, are all modern detectives of sorts: they look at what is happening on the surface of things as so many dissembling fictions that individuals and societies perpetuate in order to keep hidden various kinds of unsettling "deep" truths that actually structure our desires and morals, our culture and politics, our identities and consciousness, our very sense of who we are. In this course we will explore the ways that Marx, Nietzsche and Freud each develop modes of analysis to unveil the deeper, latent meanings and forces that they understood to reside behind or beneath our consciousness (or false consciousness).
SOC 144: Agriculture and Society: Israel/Palestine and California As Case Studies Rafi Grosglik This course examines agriculture and food as a lens through which to gain insight into our identities, the shape of our local communities and nations, as well as the emergence of a global society. By comparing case studies from Israel/Palestine and California (and other states), we will explore how food and agriculture relate to culture, politics, health and environment. We will examine the social, cultural, economic and political dynamics of food systems and food consumption. We will discuss some of the major issues and controversies in the sociology of agriculture and sociology of food, and relate these to contemporary debates on globalization, industrialization, McDonaldization, inequality, social justice, labor rights and environmental sustainability.
Readings cover the social and socio-ecological consequences of industrial food systems from global and local perspectives, the green revolution, organic agriculture, fair trade, food localism, veganism, agricultural and culinary heritage, the role of science and technology in agro-food systems and more. In the final assignment, students will develop an analytical research paper on a topic related to class readings and discussions.
SOC 195: Food, Culture and Society (Seminar) Rafi Grosglik
Graduate Seminars: GER 297: Modern Yiddish Culture Sven-Erik Rose Yiddish is a fascinating “peripheral” European culture that is very rich in its own right, spanning multiple national and political contexts and opening up critical perspectives on how to look at dominant European discourses of culture, gender, territorial claims, and more. Germanists have a special obligation to become conversant with major trends in Yiddish culture, since Yiddish culture was itself one of the victims of the German genocide of European Jewry. That said, this seminar will not, primarily, be about the Holocaust, but rather about the vibrant and extremely diverse transnational Yiddish cultural currents from the 19th century until the Holocaust, as well as about attempts to sustain Yiddish cultural life after the catastrophe. We will survey the rise of modern Yiddish literature in the latter 19th and early 20th century through the work of the triumvirate of modern Yiddish “classical” authors, Sholem Yankev Abramovitsh (Mendele Moykher Sforim, 1835-1917), Shalom Rabinovitz (Sholem Aleichem, 1859-1916), and Yitskhok Leybush Peretz (1852-1915). We will furthermore explore the staging of tradition to various esthetic and political ends in modernist Yiddish drama (Sholem Asch, God of Vengeance, 1906; S. Ansky, The Dybbuk, 1920), and also read key works of experimental modernist prose including Dovid Bergelson’s “At the Depot” and Descent (1913); Yiddish women’s poetry (e.g. Rokhl Korn, 1898-1982 and Kadya Molodovsky, 1894-1975); and Yiddish culture in the USA (e.g. Mani Leyb, 1883-1953; Moyshe-Leyb Halpern, 1886-1932; Yankev Glatshshteyn, 1896-1971; and Isaac Bashevis Singer, 1902-1991). Along the way, we will engage with varieties of Yiddish nationalism and Yiddish socialism; touch on Yiddish culture in the Soviet Union and on cultural exchanges between Yiddish and German; and read recent scholarship including Naomi Seidman on fault lines between European vs. Ashkenazic Jewish gender systems; Daniel Boyarin on Ashkenazic Jewish masculinity; and Zohar Weiman-Kelman on intersections between Yiddish and queer theory.
The seminar will be conducted in English, and all readings can be read in English translation.
Winter 2020 Lower Division: HEB 001B: Elementary Hebrew II Galia Franco Continuation of Speaking, listening, comprehension, reading and writing fundamentals of modern Hebrew.
Upper Division: COM 142:Modern Jewish Fiction Tim Parrish For our purposes, Modern Jewish Fiction begins when the wealthy farmer Job was challenged to prove his faithfulness to the Lord, despite having his family, his lands, and his health taken away from him. Not without agony, Job’s faith endured. This ancient story frames our discussion of how modern Jewish writers have responded to the crises of identity that history in the twentieth and twenty-first century has posed for them. We will read a range of writers, focusing primarily upon European and American writers; some of our reading material will concern the Holocaust (or Shoah) but the emphasis will be examining how these writers confront the meaning of being Jewish in a world where religious ritual and faith is no longer understood to comprise the essence of being a Jew. Authors to be read and discussed include Kafka, Cynthia Ozick, Philip Roth, and the Nobel Prize Winners, Saul Bellow, Imre Kertesz, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Patrick Modiano. Two exams, one paper.
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
SOC 195:(University Honors Program) Farm to Fork: Food, Agriculture and Society (Comparative Perspectives: Israel, California and Palestine) Rafi Grosglik This seminar examines agriculture and food as a lens through which to gain insight into our identities, the shape of our local communities and nations, as well as the emergence of a global society. Based on case studies from California and other states, Israel and Palestine, we will explore how food and agriculture relate to culture, politics, health and environment. We will examine the social, cultural, economic and political dynamics of food systems and food consumption. We will discuss some of the major issues and controversies in sociology of agriculture and sociology of food, and relate these to contemporary debates on globalization, industrialization, MacDonaldization, inequality, social justice, labor rights and environmental sustainability. Readings cover the social and the socio-ecological consequences of industrial food systems from global and local perspectives, the green revolution, organic agriculture, fair trade, food localism, veganism, agricultural and culinary heritage, the role of science and technology in agro-food systems and more. In the final assignment, students will develop an analytical research paper on a topic related to class readings and discussions.
Spring 2020 Upper Division: HIS 110-2:Antisemitism and Islamaphobia: The Anatomy of Twin Hatreds Susan Miller In this course we study the origins and evolution of two historical phobias that were initially disassociated but have in recent years become intertwined; hatred of Jews and hatred of Muslims. Both have deep historical roots in the Western psyche, an both have evolved over time, reflecting cultural trends and political crises in the wider world. Our focus is on the contemporary period and with an emphasis on those writings--popular and highbrow--that capture the mounting crescendo of antipathy toward Jews and Muslims around the globe today. In our seminar, we will expose the parallel structures in each phobia, their origins, their differences, their connection to world events, their evolving socio-historical meanings, and efforts to contain them through legislation and education. We will also discuss the costs and dangers that their unchecked spread could pose to democracy. HIS 112A: Jewish Mysticism and Hasidism David Biale This course will introduce students to an important, but often misunderstood strand of the Jewish religious tradition. Jewish mysticism can be traced back to the Bible and it still exerts an important influence on Judaism today. We will read key original sources and also what remains the most important survey of our subject, Gershom Scholem’s Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism. The last part of the course will treat Hasidism, the pietistic, mystical movement that arose in Eastern Europe in the 18thcentury and that is still influential today.
HIS 142B: Memory of the Holocaust David Biale This course deals with the myriad ways the memory of the Nazi genocide of the Jews has been constructed in the half century since the event. The goal of the course is to teach students how to analyze critically the way memory shapes and sometimes distorts our images of the past, especially when that past involves a collective trauma that may defy representation. The course is interdisciplinary in nature, involving varied texts from memoirs, literature, film, architecture and philosophy.
Required Readings: Aharon Appelfeld, Badenheim 1939 Imre Kertesz, Fatelessness Otto Dov Kulka, Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death Art Spiegelman, Maus: A Survivor’s Tale and Here My Troubles Began Art Spiegelman, Maus: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History Elie Wiesel, Night
POL 136: Arab-Israeli Conflict Ze'ev Maoz Causes, course, and implications of Arab-Israeli conflict. Competing Israeli and Arab narratives, politics of force, diplomacy. Domestic politics and A-I conflict, the superpowers and the A-I conflict, A-I conflict and world politics, potential solutions.
POL 145: Israeli Politics Matthew Shugart Introduction to the domestic politics of Israel in comparative perspective, including issues of internal cultural diversity, religion and politics, fragmentation of the political party system, and coalition governance.
Graduate Seminar: HIS 201W/ HIS 102X:Mediterranean Passages: The Theory and Practice of a Regional History Susan Miller The Mediterranean has been called the navel of the world. Since ancient times, it has been a sea of passage, trade, and conflict. In this seminar we examine the many ways in which the Mediterranean has been imagined, mapped, and written about from ancient times until the present by exploring various themes framing the idea of the "Mediterranean." We begin by considering the viability of the Mediterranean as a geographical and cultural unit by examining ancient Greek lyrical poetry evoking the region. From there we will move on to other topics, such as cities and routes, war and piracy, concepts of honor and shame, gender, ethnic cleansing, migration and displacement. We will examine art and film, poetry, fiction and travel writing as exemplars of a Mediterranean consciousness. Finally, we will consider how historical narrative contributes to defining this region as a constituent unit of global history.
This is a graduate level course open to qualified undergraduates who are majoring in the humanities and social sciences.
SOC 295: Eating for Change: Food and Social Justice Rafi Grosglik