COMP 291 Fall 2012 Sirens in the Synagogue: Real and Imaginary Encounters in Jewish Narratives Antiquity to Present

Cross Listed as JWST291, REL292
Jewish culture, like culture in general, is shaped by a variety of encounters between groups. The image of the Sirens--half-birds (or fish)/half-women--serves as a point of departure to other perhaps no less surprising encounters. In this seminar, we shall read texts in English translation from the Hebrew Bible, and especially from the Rabbinic literature of Late Antiquity--Talmud and Midrash--as well as later periods, to explore the creative encounters that have shaped Jewish literature and culture. We shall study the continuous presence of Biblical interpretation in Jewish literature, as well as the dialogical exchanges with neighboring cultures, especially the Ancient Near East, the Greco-Roman world, emerging Christianity, the Mediterranean region, the Moslem and the European civilizations. Throughout our readings, we will explore cultural concepts such as ethnicity, gender, the sacred, social institutions (such as kingship, priesthood and marriage), individuality, and imagination. Our interpretations of a selection of texts will lead to a deeper understanding of the continuous tradition of Hebrew and Jewish literature and culture.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: active participation in discussions, a midterm paper, final paper, and several response papers to the readings
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Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: Jewish Studies concentrators and Religion majors
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Distribution Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under JWST or REL; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under COMP
Divisional Attributes: Division I
Other Attributes:
Enrollment Limit: 19
Expected Enrollment: 19
Class Number: 1409
COMP291-01(F) SEM Encounters in Jewish Narrative Division 1: Languages and the Arts Galit Hasan-Rokem
TR 11:20 AM-12:35 PM Hollander 101 1409
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