COMP 334 Imagining Joseph (W)

Last offered Spring 2014

Cross Listed as REL334, ANTH334, JWST334
Beloved son, rival brother, faithful servant, dreamer, seer, object of desire, lover, husband, bureaucrat, the figure of Joseph is one of the most fully-limned and compelling figures in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scriptural traditions. The story of Joseph unfolds over fourteen chapters in the Hebrew Bible, and is the subject of the fourth longest sura in the Qur'an. Through millennia, the story of Joseph has inspired a wealth of interpretations, commentary, apocrypha, re-tellings, and back-story, including an apocryphal book of scripture about Joseph and his wife, Asenath, Sufi poetry about Joseph and Zuleikha (Potiphar,s wife), a trilogy by the 20th century German novelist Thomas Mann, a musical by Andrew Lloyd Weber, and many expressions in Western visual art. The course will explore these various expressions, looking to them for the ways in which Joseph has captured the imaginations of peoples and cultures across time and space. The course will be organized as a collaborative seminar in which the class will read the foundational scriptures together, followed by thematic discussions to which students will contribute insights from their own readings of particular peripheral texts. Students will learn the pleasures of close and intense exegetical reading in approaching the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, as well as the more expansive pleasures of linking post-scriptural expressions together.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: 3- to 5-page weekly response papers; 15-page final paper; class participation
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Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: Preference based on responses to a questionnaire
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Distribution Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under ANTH, JWST, or REL; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under COMP
Divisional Attributes: Division II, Writing Intensive
Other Attributes: JWST Core Electives
Enrollment Limit: 12
Expected Enrollment: 10
Class Number: 3202
COMP 334 SEM Imagining Joseph (W) Division 2: Social StudiesWriting Intensive Peter Just
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