JWST 101
JWST 101 - Israeli Cinema

This course will address aspects of modern Israeli society and how they are reflected in the works of Israeli filmmakers. Topics include immigration, tension between Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews, various wars, the Holocaust and its impact, kibbutzim, equality for gender and sexuality, family structure, and trauma. Using these films, which are rarely screened outside of Israel, as a window into Israeli culture, students will have a better understanding of the complexity of modern Israel.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites:

Instructor: Chalamish

Distribution Requirements: ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

JWST 102
JWST 102/ REL 102 - Introduction to Jewish Studies

This course exposes students to major approaches to the interdisciplinary field of Jewish Studies. We will focus our attention, in sequence, on different objects of analysis: Jews, Jewish languages, Jewish texts, Jewish politics, and Jewish cultural expression. In each case, we will ask what it means to call that kind of object (a person, word, political idea, work of culture, etc.) Jewish, and we will examine some of the most influential answers that have been presented, from antiquity to modernity. By the end of the semester, students will have a solid grounding in the field as a whole and a roadmap for pursuing the study of Jews, Judaism, and Jewish culture at Wellesley (and beyond).

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: REL 10 2

Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: Lambert

Distribution Requirements: REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

JWST 104
JWST 104/ REL 104 - Study of Hebrew Bible/Old Test

Critical introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, studying its role in the history and culture of ancient Israel and its relationship to ancient Near Eastern cultures. Special focus on the fundamental techniques of literary, historical, and source criticism in modern scholarship, with emphasis on the Bible's literary structure and compositional evolution.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: JWST 10 4

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Jarrard

Distribution Requirements: HS or REP - Historical Studies or Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

JWST 201
JWST 201/ REL 201 - Bible and Popular Culture

Topic for Spring 2023: Satan

Topics in this course explores the Bible and its uses in contemporary popular culture. In Spring 2023, we will focus on Satan and popular culture. We will examine related concepts of demons and spirit possession in the biblical world along with their history of interpretation. Key biblical texts include the book of Job, Jesus’s temptation in the wilderness, and apocalyptic literature. In addition to the (re)creation of Satan in the medieval and early modern period, we will also cover popular case studies including Lil Nas X, Southpark, DMX, Hellboy, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Rick & Morty, and The Simpsons. This class has no prerequisites; no previous knowledge of the Bible is presumed.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: JWST 20 1

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Jarrard

Distribution Requirements: REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes: This is a topics course and can be taken more than once for credit as long as the topic is different each time.

JWST 209
JWST 209/ REL 209 - The Bible & Film

This course explores the use of biblical stories and themes in cinema. We will begin with films based on selected biblical texts including the creation accounts, the exodus, the books of Ruth and Job, the life of Jesus. We will then examine cinematic treatments of biblical themes: roles of women and children, apocalypse, monsters, and suffering. No previous knowledge of film or the Bible is assumed; the course offers an introduction to key modes of biblical interpretation including historical criticism, feminist, womanist, literary and comparative approaches. Films include East of Eden, Moonlight, Prince of Egypt, The Shape of Water, The Color Purple, Get Out, Apocalypse Now, and JoJo Rabbit.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Crosslisted Courses: JWST 20 9

Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: Jarrard

Distribution Requirements: REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy; ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

JWST 211
ITAS 209/ JWST 211 - Jewish Italian Literature (Eng)

This course offers an overview of Italian Jewish culture and literature from the Middle Ages to the present. Students will read prose and poetry, essays and articles, as well as watch films that address issues such as religious and cultural identity, the right to difference, anti-Semitism and the Shoah. The course will also give students an overview of the formation and transformation of the Jewish community in Italian society. In addition to well-known Jewish Italian writers like Primo Levi and Giorgio Bassani, students will read pertinent works by non-Jewish writers like Rosetta Loy and Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: JWST 211

Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: Parussa

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

JWST 233
CAMS 233/ JWST 233 - American Jews and the Media

This course examines Jews’ roles in the development of the American mass media and popular culture, as well as representations of Jewishness in a range of media from the turn of the 20th century to the present. We will focus on print, recorded, and broadcast media—including magazines, newspapers, pamphlets, record albums, radio, film, and television—and study some of the crucial figures in the histories of these cultural forms, while considering how Jewishness has been packaged for and presented to American audiences. Cultural productions studied will include Abie the Agent, The Jazz Singer, The Goldbergs, MAD Magazine, Annie Hall, Seinfeld, the New Yorker, and This American Life.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: CAMS 233

Prerequisites:

Instructor: Lambert

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

JWST 245
JWST 245/ REL 245 - The Holocaust & the Nazi State

An examination of the origins, character, course, and consequences of Nazi antisemitism during the Third Reich.  Special attention to Nazi racialist ideology, and how it shaped policies that affected such groups as the Jews, the disabled, the Roma, Poles and Russians, Afro-Germans, and gay men.  Consideration of the impact of Nazism on women and on the German medical and teaching professions.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: JWST 245

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Geller

Distribution Requirements: HS or REP - Historical Studies or Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year; Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

JWST 250
JWST 250 - Research or Individual Study

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring; Fall

JWST 250H
JWST 250H - Research or Individual Study

Units: 0.5

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring; Fall

JWST 270
ENG 270/ JWST 270 - Jewishness in U.S. Literature

The roles played by Jews in the development of modern American literature are complex and contradictory. Influential American authors expressed anti-Semitic views in their correspondence and work, and prejudice excluded Jews from many literary and cultural opportunities well into the 20th century. Nonetheless Jewish publishers, editors, critics, and writers were extraordinarily influential in the development of the field, founding leading publishing houses, supporting freedom of expression and movements like modernism and postmodernism, and writing some of the most influential and lasting works in the tradition. In this course, we will explore the ways Jews have been represented in American literature and their roles in modernizing and expanding the field. Fulfills the English Department’s Diversity of Literatures in English requirement.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: ENG 270

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Lambert

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

JWST 274
ENG 274/ JWST 274 - Diversification of US Lit, 1945-2000

What was at stake in the production and consumption of literature in the age of television and nuclear proliferation? We will read and analyze U.S. fiction, drama, and poetry produced after 1945, a period during which minority voices, particularly (but not only) those of American Jews, became central in U.S. literary culture. We will explore the tension between literature as just another form of entertainment (or even a pretentious instrument of exclusion) and literature as a privileged site of social analysis, critique, and minority self-expression. Authors considered may include Chester Himes, Saul Bellow, Flannery O’Connor, Lorraine Hansberry, Tillie Olsen, Fran Ross, Thomas Pynchon, Raymond Carver, Toni Morrison, Louise Erdrich, Susan Sontag, Alejandro Morales, Kathy Acker, Shelley Jackson, Tony Kushner, and Lan Samantha Chang. Fulfills the Diversity of Literatures in English requirement.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: JWST 274

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Lambert

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

JWST 277
JWST 277/ SPAN 277 - Jewish Women Writers of Lat Am

This course will explore the vibrant literary culture of Jewish women writers of Latin America from the 1920s to the present. We will examine selected works by these authors, daughters of immigrants, whose various literary genres reveal the struggle with issues of identity, acculturation, and diasporic imagination. Writers include Alicia Steimberg of Argentina, Clarice Lispector of Brazil, and Margo Glantz of Mexico, as well as a new generation of writers who explore issues of multiculturalism and ethnicity.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 16

Crosslisted Courses: JWST 277

Prerequisites: Open to students who have completed SPAN 241 or SPAN 242 or equivalent (AP 5) or by permission of the instructor. Not open to students who have taken JWST 377/SPAN 377.

Instructor: Agosin

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes: This course is also offered at the 300-level as JWST 377/SPAN 377.

JWST 290
ENG 290/ JWST 290 - Minorities in U.S. Comics

Comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels have throughout their history in the United States had a complex relationship with members of minority groups, who have often been represented in racist and dehumanizing ways. Meanwhile, though, American Jews played influential roles in the development of the medium, and African-American, Latinx, Asian-American, and LGBTQ artists have more recently found innovative ways to use this medium to tell their stories. In this course, we will survey the history of comics in the U.S., focusing on the problems and opportunities they present for the representation of racial, ethnic, and sexual difference. Comics we may read include Abie the Agent, Krazy Kat, Torchy Brown, Superman, and Love & Rockets, as well as Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, and Mira Jacob’s Good Talk.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: ENG 290

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Lambert

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

JWST 344
JWST 344/ REL 344 - Monuments & the Sacred

Why do people build monuments? How do they help and whom do they hurt? This seminar introduces approaches and case studies related to sacred monuments, monumentality, and memory from the ancient Mediterranean to the Confederate South. We will review current research in biblical studies, classics, archaeology, and sociology with a focus on physical monuments in the Bible, and in the ancient Near East, Greco-Roman antiquity, and up through the present. Case studies include historical monuments and artifacts such as the Law of Hammurabi, Confederate monuments, and obelisks of Mussolini; literary descriptions of artifacts including the Ten Commandments, cultic statues, and the Dead Sea Scrolls; and monument desecration and destruction including Roman condemnations of memory and #BlackLivesMatter protests. Possible trips to the MFA, and Harvard Art and Semitic Museums.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: JWST 344

Prerequisites: A course in a relevant subject area such as religion, art history, Africana studies, Jewish studies, classics, American studies, sociology, or by permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Jarrard

Distribution Requirements: HS or REP - Historical Studies or Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

JWST 345
CPLT 345/ JWST 345 - Representing the Holocaust

In this course, we will explore the formal and ethical questions raised by authors, artists, and theorists about the representation and memorializing of the Nazi genocide of European Jews. Focusing on stylistically inventive literature, with some incursions into popular media such as cinema, comic books, and video games, we will consider the transnational circulation of such works along with issues of translation and audience. Students will read closely through a corpus of challenging texts drawn from many languages, and they will be expected to produce original, creative insights into this literature. Authors studied may include Avrom Sutzkever, Kadya Molodowsky, Paul Celan, Sylvia Plath, S. Y. Agnon, Flannery O’Connor, Cynthia Ozick, Edward Lewis Wallant, Raymond Federman, Chava Rosenfarb, and Art Spiegelman.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: CPLT 345

Prerequisites: One course in literature or cultural studies (any language or region), or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Lambert

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year; Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

JWST 350
JWST 350 - Research or Individual Study

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Open to juniors and seniors.

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring; Fall

JWST 350H
JWST 350H - Research or Individual Study

Units: 0.5

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Open to juniors and seniors.

Instructor:

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring; Fall

Notes:

JWST 360
JWST 360 - Senior Thesis Research

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: Permission of the program.

Instructor:

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall; Spring

Notes: Students enroll in Senior Thesis Research (360) in the first semester and carry out independent work under the supervision of a faculty member. If sufficient progress is made, students may continue with Senior Thesis (370) in the second semester.

JWST 370
JWST 370 - Senior Thesis

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: JWST 360 and permission of the program.

Instructor:

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall; Spring

Notes: Students enroll in Senior Thesis Research (360) in the first semester and carry out independent work under the supervision of a faculty member. If sufficient progress is made, students may continue with Senior Thesis (370) in the second semester.

JWST 377
JWST 377/ SPAN 377 - Jewish Women Writers of Lat Am

This course will explore the vibrant literary culture of Jewish women writers of Latin America from the 1920s to the present. We will examine selected works by these authors, daughters of immigrants, whose various literary genres reveal the struggle with issues of identity, acculturation, and diasporic imagination. Writers include Alicia Steimberg of Argentina, Clarice Lispector of Brazil, and Margo Glantz of Mexico, as well as a new generation of writers who explore issues of multiculturalism and ethnicity.

Students in SPAN 277/ SPAN 377 will all get the same material, but seminar-level students will have additional assignments, including formal presentations and longer writing and independent work.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Crosslisted Courses: JWST 377

Prerequisites: Open to Junior and Senior majors or by permission of the instructor. Not open to students who have taken JWST 277/SPAN 277.

Instructor: Agosin

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Typical Periods Offered: Every three years

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes: This course is also offered at the 200-level as JWST 277/SPAN 277.

JWST 380
JWST 380 - Special Topics Jewish Studies

This course is designed as a capstone experience for the Jewish Studies major. Each Jewish Studies major will meet with the Director of the Jewish Studies Program at the end of her junior year. Together they will develop a reading list and course of study designed to situate the student's prior coursework within the broader field of Jewish Studies. The Jewish Studies Director will then arrange for appropriate faculty to meet with students during the academic term to supervise their reading and facilitate weekly discussions.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Open to Jewish Studies majors only.

Instructor:

Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: