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JEWISHST 125: Modern Jewish Mysticism: Devotion in a Secular Age (RELIGST 165)

The twentieth-century was a time of tremendous upheaval and unspeakable tragedy for the Jewish communities of Europe. But the past hundred years were also a period of great renewal for Jewish spirituality, a renaissance that has continued into the present day. Beginning with the writings of the Safed Renaissance, the Sabbateanism, and the Hasidic masters, our course will focus on key thinkers in the 19th and 20th centuries, including: Hillel Zeitlin, Martin Buber, Abraham Isaac Kook, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Arthur Green. Drawing upon essays, homilies, and poems, we will examine the ways in which their works re-cast and reinterpret the Jewish tradition in answer to the singular questions and challenges modernity. We will mark the development of their thinking against the two World Wars, the Holocaust, and the complex and multi-faceted processes of secularization. We will also consider the theological project of modern Jewish mystics in dialogue with modern Jewish philosophers (such as Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, and Emmanuel Levinas) as well as modern philosophers and scholars informed by Christianity (from William James to Charles Taylor).nnThis course argues that the processes of sacralization, of reclaiming a life of mystical devotion, are best understood as a unique response to Jewish modernity rather than a retreat to past modalities of religion. In seeking to prove this point, we will explore writers whose work emerged in and engaged with different social and cultural domains. We will investigate their writings with an eye to issues such as power and identity, and will draw upon their works in charting the intersection of mysticism, literature, language and experience. Throughout our readings, we will keep our eye on the sustained impact of feminism on Jewish mysticism in the second half of the twentieth century. This course is structured as a seminar, and our class discussions will be rooted in the primary sources. It assumes no prior background of Judaism or any other religious traditions. All readings will be made available in English.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Mayse, E. (PI)

JEWISHST 129: Sacred Words: Jewish Thought and the Question of Language (RELIGST 169)

Jews have long been referred as the people of the book, but they might better be referred to as the people of the word. Drawing upon texts from the Hebrew Bible to the works of modern Hebrew writers like of Hayyim Nahman Bialik and Amoz Oz, this seminar will chart the development of Jewish thinking on language over the past two millennia. We will explore issues such as: the idea of canonization; oral versus written language; the nature and possibility of translation; the origins of language; notions of negative theology; mystical approaches to the word; the rebirth of Hebrew as a spoken and cultural language; and the limits of language after the Holocaust. This course will also bring Jewish thought into dialogue with contemporary philosophical reflections on issues of language. Modern explorations of language will prove an interesting way of deepening our understanding of the Jewish thinkers on one hand, and enriching contemporary intellectual discourse on the other.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Spring 2018 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

JEWISHST 129A: Milk and Honey, Wine and Blood: Food, Justice, and Ethnic Identity in Jewish Culture (RELIGST 129)

This course examines Jewish culture and the food practices and traditions that have shaped and continue to shape it. Students learn to prepare a variety of meals while studying about the historical and literary traditions associated with them, such as the dietary `laws¿ and the long history of their interpretation, as well as the cultivation of eating as devotional practice in Jewish mystical traditions. We will explore how regional foods the world over contribute to the formation of distinct Jewish ethnic identities, and how these traditions shape contemporary Jewish food ethics. The course includes guest visits by professional chefs and food writers, and field trips to a local winery.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Spring 2019 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

JEWISHST 143: Literature and Society in Africa and the Caribbean (AFRICAAM 133, AFRICAST 132, COMPLIT 133A, COMPLIT 233A, CSRE 133E, FRENCH 133)

This course aims to equip students with an understanding of the cultural, social, and political aspects at play in the literatures of Francophone Africa and the Caribbean of the 20th and 21st century. Our primary readings will be Francophone novels and poetry. We will also read some theoretical texts. The assigned readings will expose students to literature from diverse French-speaking regions of the African/Caribbean world. This course will also serve as a "literary toolbox," with the intention of facilitating an understanding of literary genres, and terms. Students can expect to work on their production of written and spoken French, in addition to reading comprehension. Special guest: Moroccan author Meryem Alaoui. Required readings include: Aime Cesaire, Maryse Condé, Fatou Diome, Dany Laferriere, Leonara Miano, Albert Memmi. Taught in French. Prerequisite: FRENLANG 124 or consent of instructor.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Seck, F. (PI)

JEWISHST 144B: Poetic Thinking Across Media

Even before Novalis claimed that the world must be romanticized, thinkers, writers, and artists wanted to perceive the human and natural world poetically. The pre- and post-romantic poetic modes of thinking they created are the subject of this course. Readings include Ecclestias, Zhaozhou Congshen, Montaigne, Nietzsche, Kafka, Benjamin, Arendt, and Sontag. This course will also present poetic thinking in the visual arts--from the expressionism of Ingmar Bergman to the neo-romanticism of Gerhard Richter.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2016 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

JEWISHST 147B: The Hebrew and Jewish Short Story (COMPLIT 127B)

Short stories from Israel, the US and Europe including works by Agnon, Kafka, Keret, Castel-Bloom, Kashua, Singer, Benjamin, Freud, biblical myths and more. The class will engage with questions related to the short story as a literary form and the history of the short story. Reading and discussion in English. Optional: special section with readings and discussions in Hebrew. Note: To be eligible for WAYS credit, you must take the course for a Letter Grade.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Shemtov, V. (PI)

JEWISHST 155D: Jewish American Literature (AMSTUD 145D, ENGLISH 145D, REES 145D)

From its inception, Jewish-American literature has taken as its subject as well as its context the idea of Jewishness itself. Jewish culture is a diasporic one, and for this reason the concept of Jewishness differs from country to country and across time. What stays remarkably similar, though, is Jewish self-perception and relatedly Jewish literary style. This is as true for the first-generation immigrant writers like Isaac Bashevis Singer and Anzia Yezierska who came to the United States from abroad as it is for their second-generation children born in the United States, and the children of those children. In this course, we will consider the difficulties of displacement for the emigrant generation and their efforts to sustain their cultural integrity in the multicultural American environment. We'll also examine the often comic revolt of their American-born children and grandchildren against their (grand-)parents nostalgia and failure to assimilate. Only by considering these transnational roots can one understand the particularity of the Jewish-American novel in relation to mainstream and minority American literatures. In investigating the link between American Jewish writers and their literary progenitors, we will draw largely but not exclusively from Russia and the countries of Eastern Europe.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Spring 2018 | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

JEWISHST 240: The Yiddish Story (AMSTUD 240Y)

The Yiddish language is associated with jokes, folktales, and miracle legends, as well as modern stories. This class traces the development of Yiddish literature through these short oral and written forms, following Jewish writers out of the East European market town to cities in the Soviet Union, Israel, and especially the United States. We conclude with stories written in other languages about Yiddish writers. Readings include Sholem Aleichem, I. L. Peretz, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Esther Singer-Kreitman, Cynthia Ozick, and Dina Rubina. Readings in English; optional discussion section for students who read Yiddish.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2017 | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

JEWISHST 242G: Myth and Modernity (COMPLIT 222A, GERMAN 222, GERMAN 322, JEWISHST 342)

Masters of German 20th- and 21st-Century literature and philosophy as they present aesthetic innovation and confront the challenges of modern technology, social alienation, manmade catastrophes, and imagine the future. Readings include Nietzsche, Freud, Rilke, Musil, Brecht, Kafka, Doeblin, Benjamin, Juenger, Arendt, Musil, Mann, Adorno, Celan, Grass, Bachmann, Bernhardt, Wolf, and Kluge. Taught in English. Note for German Studies grad students: GERMAN 322 will fulfill the grad core requirement since GERMAN 332 is not being offered this year. NOTE: Enrollment requires Professor Eshel's consent. Please contact him directly at eshel@stanford.edu and answer these 2 questions: "Why do you want to take this course?" and "What do you think you can add to the discussion?" Applications will be considered in the order in which they were received. Enrollment is limited to 20 students.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Eshel, A. (PI)

JEWISHST 249: The Algerian Wars (CSRE 249, FRENCH 249, HISTORY 239G)

From Algiers the White to Algiers the Red, Algiers, the Mecca of the Revolutionaries in the words of Amilcar Cabral, this course offers to study the Algerian Wars since the French conquest of Algeria (1830-) to the Algerian civil war of the 1990s. We will revisit the ways in which the war has been narrated in literature and cinema, popular culture, and political discourse. A special focus will be given to the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962). The course considers the racial representations of the war in the media, the continuing legacies surrounding the conflict in France, Africa, and the United States, from Che Guevara to the Black Panthers. A key focus will be the transmission of collective memory through transnational lenses, and analyses of commemorative events and movies. nReadings from James Baldwin, Assia Djebar, Albert Camus, Frantz Fanon, Mouloud Feraoun. Movies include "The Battle of Algiers," "Days of Glory," and "Viva Laldjérie." nTaught in English.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Spring 2018 | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
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