2018 - 2019

  Jews and Other Others...: A Jewish American Poetics  
Prof. Webb - School of Languages301 Mon1600-2000 Sem  2
Webb - School of Languages301 Wed1600-2000 Sem  2
University credit hours:  2.0

Course description

Most Western discourse about identity formation depends upon the idea of an “Other” who is not “Us.” This course will take up this formulation and work to complicate it by exploring a range of texts featuring the interactions between Jews and Others –including African Americans, native American, Asians, and Latinos. In the course of discussions, we will seek to learn more about how racial, ethnic, and sexual difference work to shape that complex concept, known as “Americaness.” In addition to reading great novels such as  Henry Roth’s Call It Sleep, and Tony Kushner’s epic play, Angels in America, we will read some poetry, a few short stories, and watch a few great films as we ask:

*How has Jewish American writing and culture changed during the twentieth and twenty first centuries?

*How do these representations of Jewish Americans challenge or deepen your understanding of Americans?

*How does this work change your ideas about religion, race and ethnicity?

*Does this work perpetuate, or shatter, dearly held beliefs about belonging and identity

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