Friday, October 28, 2016

Spring 2007, course preview, part 6, DETECTIVE FICTION with a Jewish Twist

JS 0625/Englit 0625  Thurs 6-8:30 pm
Instructor:  Jeffrey Aziz

This is a section of the regular "Detective Fiction" course--i.e. fullfills the same requirements that one does--but cross-listed with JS because of a focus on Jewish identity as it emerges in these texts. 

Course Description (for this section): 
Of the perennial characters of fiction, the detective is a late arrival, appearing in the mid-nineteenth century, spreading and mutating in the twentieth and twenty-first. A question for us, as we turn the detective’s lens back upon him, is to understand why such a character is produced at this historical moment. What is the detective? Why do we modern, urban types need him? What happens when the detective herself transgresses boundaries of gender, race, or social class? The course will trace a development from the early work of Edgar Allan Poe, through the Sherlock Holmes stories of Arthur Conan Doyle, to modern and even postmodern detectives, including such works as The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon. This course will explore the representation of social difference in detective fiction in registers of gender, sexual identity, and ethnicity, with a special emphasis on the representation of Jewish identity through such texts as Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated and William Goldman’s Marathon Man.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Spring 2017 Course preview, part 5: Let's start at the very beginning...

ISRAEL IN THE BIBLICAL AGE


This course explores the history and development of the people of Israel in ancient times. What do we know about the Israelites and how do we know it? Students will read both biblical and extra-biblical materials and study the remains of key archaeological sites. They will learn about everyday life in ancient Israel, the role of class and gender, life-cycle events, religious festivals, political institutions, systems of belief, and famous personages in history and lore. The trajectory of the course will begin with the Near Eastern origins of the people, continue through the rise of the Israelite and Judahite monarchies, and end with the post-exilic reestablishment of the Second Temple commonwealth in the Persian period. 

Dr. Ben Gordon 
JS 1100/HIST 1765/RELGST 1100
MWF 11-11:50  Gen-Ed: Foreign Culture/Reg


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Spring 2017 courses, part 4, O Jerusalem!


Some of today's news stories:






What is this city?  Ancient sacred site?  Contested land?  Wanna-be high-tech center?  Eurocup contender?   All of the above?

Study the real and imagined Jerusalem, past and present in:

Jerusalem: History and Imagination
with Dr. Benjamin Gordon
JS 1160/HIST 1779/HAA 1105/RELGST 1160
MW 3-4:15  Gen-Ed: Foreign Culture/Reg  OR Historical Change

The holy city of Jerusalem is at the heart of the Western religious imagination and of contemporary political conflict in the Middle East. Traditionally it has been a center of religious pilgrimage, home to Israelite kings and Islamic caliphs. Today it is a cutting-edge urban center marked by stunning demographic diversity, a rapidly expanding economy, and an intractable political crisis. In this course, we will examine the history of the city—from its earliest days to today—with an eye toward its religious significance in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Special attention will be given to Jerusalem’s changing urban fabric: its architecture, neighborhoods, natural resources, economy, and religious institutions. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Spring 2017 internship opportunities, part 3: Holocaust Center of Greater Pittsburgh

Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh
Internship Description


Title of Project: The Butterfly Project Pittsburgh
Name of Organization: The Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh
Name of Supervisor: Lauren Bairnsfather

Semester: Spring 2017 and Fall 2017, possible to intern in one or both semesters

Number of Credits: 2 Credits or 2 1-Credit positions each semester

The Butterfly Project is an international effort to commemorate the 1.5 million children killed in the Holocaust.  The goal is to paint one butterfly for each child. The Project is based in San Diego, and each city that participates has put its own twist on the final product. The Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh plans to paint between 1000 and 1800 butterflies, working with partners around the city. The intern will be involved in several aspects of the project. Responsibilities may include: Conducting research about children in the Holocaust and writing exhibition labels; communicating with partner organizations; participating in events as appropriate; contributing to the vision of the final exhibition, to open in Fall 2017.

To Apply: Contact Christina Sahovey, csahovey@hcpgh.org or 412-939-7289.

I
Internship available for credit as JS 1900 (contact Dr. Ben Gordon) or RELGST 1900 (contact Dr. Rachel Kranson)


Spring 2017 JS Courses, Part 3: Holocaust History and Memory


Go beyond "Denial"  (the movie): 

Holocaust History and Memory

Instructor: Rachel Kranson

JS 1252/HIST 1769/RELGST 1252
TTh 2:30-3:45  Gen-Ed: Foreign Culture/Reg  OR Historical Change


The Holocaust
that is, the genocide of six million Jews in Nazi-Occupied Europe during World War IIwas a critical event of the early twentieth century that continues to resonate today. Our historical survey looks at the Holocaust primarily through the experiences of its Jewish victims, though we discuss some of the other groups, such as the Roma, disabled people, and gay men, who were also targeted and systematically murdered by the Nazis. Additionally, we think about the perpetrators of the Holocaust and the ideologies that led to the genocide, such as racism, nationalism, and anti-Semitism. Finally, we move beyond the history of the Holocaust to think about the ways that this event has been remembered and reconstructed by survivors, nations, institutions, museums, the arts, popular culture, and the media. Looking at how institutions here in Pittsburgh commemorate the Holocaust offers us local, concrete examples of how people continue to grapple with this history.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Spring 2017, Internship Opportunities, part 2: American Jewish Museum



The American Jewish Museum explores diverse perspectives about Jewish art, philosophy and culture in as wide a scope as possible. It supports great, complex and bold ideas. It champions artists and art making. It believes art has the power to build communities, and it promotes interfaith and intergenerational explorations.

Programs and exhibits are organized to include all members of the community regardless of religious affiliation. Because the museum is in a highly trafficked area within the JCC and is open to the public more than 90 hours a week, it attracts a wide audience and offers unparalleled educational opportunities.

The objective of the AJM internship is to offer experience to individuals interested in participating in museum-related activities that delve into the connective tissue between Judaism, arts and culture, contemporary society and Pittsburgh’s distinct Jewish narrative. The internship is designed to expose young professionals to the principles of research, exhibition preparation, and museum management, giving interns practical experience.  

It is not required for interested students to have an affiliation with Judaism.
It is not required for interested students to be Art History or Fine Arts majors.

The AJM seeks a current student interested in the following areas:
Exhibition research and preparation: The AJM has exhibit-related opportunities in the following areas: research, educational outreach preparation, marketing, organization of collateral materials, labels and visitor interpretation, Web content, and administration.
Education: organizing docent program for upcoming exhibitions; preparing educational activities at the museum’s Resource/Education area, organizing exhibition-related activities.
 
The ideal candidate is one who wishes to contribute in a substantive way to the museum, is articulate, able to think and react quickly and willing to do a wide variety of tasks. The intern will interact with JCC members, staff, vendors as well as the community-at-large. 

The intern will ideally complete 120 hours (average of 9 hours per week) in order to earn three academic credits.The AJM is flexible regarding the structuring of the intern’s weekly hours.

Melissa Hiller, American Jewish Museum Director, provides direct supervision to intern(s).

Internships are available during Spring 2017 and/or Fall 2017.

The AJM is located in the JCC, so we offer complimentary JCC membership during the internship period.

Please send current resume to:
Melissa Hiller, AJM Director,
mhiller@jccpgh.org
-or-
AJM/JCC
5738 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh PA  15217

412.697.3231 

And as with all internships for credit, make sure to discuss your plans with Dr. Gordon. 

Spring 2017 Course Preview, Part 2: MEDIEVAL RELIGIOUS COEXISTENCE? IT'S COMPLICATED!

Christians, Muslims, Jews in the Middle Ages: Connection & Conflict
Adam Shear
JS 1644/HIST 1768/RELGST 1644
TTh 9:30-10:45  Gen-Ed: Historical Change

Was the world of Europe and the Middle East before the Enlightenment a period of unending religious conflict and intolerance?  Were Jews the victims of severe persecution and violence everywhere during this period?  Did Christians and Muslims engage in unceasing religious wars? The answer to all three of these questions is no. While the Middle Ages were a period of conflict and competition between the three major western religious groups, they were also a time of coexistence and cooperation. This class shifts from extreme dichotomies and simplistic stereotypes to deeply examine the period in all of its complexity: what were the theological, political, and legal contexts in which Christians, Muslims, and Jews interacted in both Christian Europe and the Muslim world?  How did these deeply religious societies organize themselves to tolerate the religious “Other”?  When and why did toleration break down and lead to expulsion, forced conversion, or violence?  What kinds of cross-cultural exchanges and cooperation take place in economic, cultural, intellectual, and social life?  We will also look at new ideas of toleration (and intolerance) that emerged at the end of the Middle Ages and examine aspects of inter-religious encounters and dialogues today.  We will discuss not only the significance of Jewish-Christian-Muslim interactions in the Middle Ages but also assess these encounters as a case study in the broader history of religious diversity, pluralism, and conflict.

(Escorial, Madrid: image from Book of Chess, Dice, and Tables 1283)

(BnF, Gallica: image from Bible Moralisee, 1250)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Spring 2017, Internship Possibilities, part 1: PLAN A JEWISH LEARNING CONFERENCE

Project: Ignite Summit 
Hillel Jewish University Center
Supervisor: Danielle Kranjec, Senior Jewish Educator
Credits: 3 credits
Spend 9 hours a week helping to plan and execute the HIllel JUC's second annual Ignite Summit, a weekend-long peer-led learning Shabbaton and conference. Tasks will include helping to organize materials and sessions for more than 250 undergraduates leading up to the Ignite Summit which will take place in March. After the Ignite Summit itself, the intern will work to analyze data regarding the participants and their experience. Prior experience developing peer-led programming at Hillel or on Jewish topics a plus but not required.
For questions and to apply: contact Danielle Kranjec at daniellek@hilleljuc.org
To arrange registration and credit, get in touch with Dr. Ben Gordon in the Jewish Studies Program.

Spring 2017 Course Preview, part 1: SAY IT IN YIDDISH!

Introduction to Yiddish Language and Literature
David Schlitt, adjunct professor-- SEE BIO BELOW 
JS 0040 /GER 0033
Th 6-8:30 pm
For hundreds of years, the majority of Jewish life happened in Yiddish. On the eve of World War II, eleven million Jews spoke this rich, Slavic-infused Germanic language. After undergoing the demographic devastation of the Holocaust and experiencing marginalization of all kinds, Yiddish has survived as a linguistic chain that connects modern diaspora Jewry to centuries of Jewish civilization and culture. Yiddish is key to some of the most exciting creative and cultural developments happening in Jewish life today. This course will serve as a lively introduction to Yiddish language and culture. By the end of the course, students will have the reading proficiency to work with basic Yiddish texts, and will be able to understand and conduct simple conversations. Students will learn the basics of Yiddish grammar and will be conversant in Yiddish culture, both past and present.
David Schlitt is Director of the Rauh Jewish History Program and Archives at the Senator John Heinz History Center. An archivist-historian with a decade of experience in public history, Schlitt has worked at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts, and was the Yiddish-language project archivist for the Elie Wiesel Archives at Boston University's Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Call for Submissions: "70 Faces"

Students, consider submitting your writing or art to "70 Faces Magazine"
Current Call for Submissions:
What values have been passed down through your family? 
Why are traditions important?
What traditions would you like to see started?
What traditions will you continue?
Share your opinions, experiences and perspectives in a creative, artistic way through 70 Faces Magazine. We are a bi-annual publication that focuses on a different human value each semester. We hope to create a snapshot of the Pitt campus through artistic expression, whether it is through poetry, photography, fiction or nonfiction writing. Participants are welcome to work with members of the 70 Faces staff throughout the production and publication process. All submissions should be sent to 70faces.Pitt@gmail.com on or before October 28th. Like us on Facebook for more information.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Jewish Studies SPRING 2017 courses: Do we have courses for nearly every interest? Yes we do!



SPRING 2017      Jewish Studies and Related Courses







A COURSE FOR NEARLY EVERY INTEREST!  SEE BACK FOR COURSE DESCRIPTIONS.

Elementary Hebrew 2
Haya Feig
JS 0014    
 MTWThF 10-10:50 (5 credits)
Intermediate Hebrew 4
Haya Feig
JS 0025
MWF  11-11:50
Biblical Hebrew
Haya Feig
JS 0037
TTh  11-12:15 (5 credits)
รจ  e-mail feig@pitt.edu for info on Hebrew courses and placement

Introduction to Yiddish Language and Literature
David Schlitt
JS  0040 /GER 0033
Th 6-8:20 pm
Israel in the Biblical Age
Benjamin Gordon
JS 1100/HIST 1765/RELGST 1100
MWF 11-11:50  Gen-Ed: Foreign Culture/Reg
Jerusalem: History and Imagination
Benjamin Gordon
JS 1160/HIST 1779/HAA 1105/RELGST 1160
MW 3-4:15  Gen-Ed: Foreign Culture/Reg  OR Historical Change
Religion, Nature, and the Environment
Benjamin Gordon
RELGST 1519
TTh 9:30-10:45   Gen-Ed : Foreign Culture/Com
Jews and Judaism in the Modern World
Rachel Kranson
JS 1250/HIST 1767/RELGST 1250
TTh 11-12:15  Gen-Ed: Historical Change
Holocaust History and Memory
Rachel Kranson
JS 1252/HIST 1769/RELGST 1252
TTh 2:30-3:45  Gen-Ed: Foreign Culture/Reg  OR Historical Change
Christians, Muslims, Jews in the Middle Ages: Connection & Conflict
Adam Shear
JS 1644/HIST 1768/RELGST 1644
TTh 9:30-10:45  Gen-Ed: Historical Change
The Historical Jesus
Tucker Ferda
JS 1645/RELGST 1645
TTh 1-2:15   Gen-Ed: Historical Change 
Inventing Israel: Zionism, Anti-Zionism, Post-Zionism
Adam Shear
JS 1681/HIST 1712/RELGST 1681
TTh 1-2:15  Gen-Ed: Historical Change
Capstone Paper for Certificate
Benjamin Gordon
JS 1901 Independent Study (3 credits)
times TBA
Internships for Credit, Research Assistantships, Teaching Assistantships, Directed Research:  http://www.jewishstudies.pitt.edu/undergraduate/independent.php for opportunities or email: bdg36@pitt.edu  for more information about internships and research opportunities.
JS 1900,1902,
1904, 1905
1-4 credits



COURSE DESCRIPTIONS: 

Yiddish Language and Literature
For hundreds of years, the majority of Jewish life happened in Yiddish. On the eve of World War II, eleven million Jews spoke this rich, Slavic-infused Germanic language. After undergoing the demographic devastation of the Holocaust and experiencing marginalization of all kinds, Yiddish has survived as a linguistic chain that connects modern diaspora Jewry to centuries of Jewish civilization and culture. Yiddish is key to some of the most exciting creative and cultural developments happening in Jewish life today. This course will serve as a lively introduction to Yiddish language and culture. By the end of the course, students will have the reading proficiency to work with basic Yiddish texts, and will be able to understand and conduct simple conversations. Students will learn the basics of Yiddish grammar and will be conversant in Yiddish culture, both past and present.

Israel in the Biblical Age
This course explores the history and development of the people of Israel in ancient times. What do we know about the Israelites and how do we know it? Students will read both biblical and extra-biblical materials and study the remains of key archaeological sites. They will learn about everyday life in ancient Israel, the role of class and gender, life-cycle events, religious festivals, political institutions, systems of belief, and famous personages in history and lore. The trajectory of the course will begin with the Near Eastern origins of the people, continue through the rise of the Israelite and Judahite monarchies, and end with the post-exilic reestablishment of the Second Temple commonwealth in the Persian period.


Jerusalem: History and Imagination
The holy city of Jerusalem is at the heart of the Western religious imagination and of contemporary political conflict in the Middle East. Traditionally it has been a center of religious pilgrimage, home to Israelite kings and Islamic caliphs. Today it is a cutting-edge urban center marked by stunning demographic diversity, a rapidly expanding economy, and an intractable political crisis. In this course, we will examine the history of the city—from its earliest days to today—with an eye toward its religious significance in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Special attention will be given to Jerusalem’s changing urban fabric: its architecture, neighborhoods, natural resources, economy, and religious institutions.




Religion, Nature, and the Environment
When is religion good for the environment? When is it not? In this course, students will become acquainted with how religious traditions throughout the world have addressed specific ecological problems. They will explore ways in which religious institutions are an important organizational hub in struggles for environmental justice. After a survey of approaches to the natural world, students will focus on themes such as garden spiritualties, gendered Nature reverence, and eco-justice. They will also acquire the skills to assess the scripturally inspired indifference—or even antagonism—to environmental science, and the long shadow it has cast on the global economy.

Jews and Judaism in the Modern World
What is a “secular Jew?” How was medieval anti-Judaism different than modern anti-Semitism? How did German Jews go from being full citizens of their country to victims of genocide? What was the relationship between Middle Eastern Jews and European Jews during the age of colonialism? Why did some Jews think it necessary to build a nation of their own, while others were content to be citizens of non-Jewish states? In this course, we discuss these and other questions that are critically important not only to the history of Jews, but also to the history of the modern world.


Holocaust History and Memory
The Holocaustthat is, the genocide of six million Jews in Nazi-Occupied Europe during World War IIwas a critical event of the early twentieth century that continues to resonate today. Our historical survey looks at the Holocaust primarily through the experiences of its Jewish victims, though we discuss some of the other groups, such as the Roma, disabled people, and gay men, who were also targeted and systematically murdered by the Nazis. Additionally, we think about the perpetrators of the Holocaust and the ideologies that led to the genocide, such as racism, nationalism, and anti-Semitism. Finally, we move beyond the history of the Holocaust to think about the ways that this event has been remembered and reconstructed by survivors, nations, institutions, museums, the arts, popular culture, and the media. Looking at how institutions here in Pittsburgh commemorate the Holocaust offers us local, concrete examples of how people continue to grapple with this history.

Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the Middle Ages: Connection and Conflict
Was the world of Europe and the Middle East before the Enlightenment a period of unending religious conflict and intolerance?  Were Jews the victims of severe persecution and violence everywhere during this period?  Did Christians and Muslims engage in unceasing religious wars? The answer to all three of these questions is no. While the Middle Ages were a period of conflict and competition between the three major western religious groups, they were also a time of coexistence and cooperation. This class shifts from extreme dichotomies and simplistic stereotypes to deeply examine the period in all of its complexity: what were the theological, political, and legal contexts in which Christians, Muslims, and Jews interacted in both Christian Europe and the Muslim world?  How did these deeply religious societies organize themselves to tolerate the religious “Other”?  When and why did toleration break down and lead to expulsion, forced conversion, or violence?  What kinds of cross-cultural exchanges and cooperation take place in economic, cultural, intellectual, and social life?  We will also look at new ideas of toleration (and intolerance) that emerged at the end of the Middle Ages and examine aspects of inter-religious encounters and dialogues today.  We will discuss not only the significance of Jewish-Christian-Muslim interactions in the Middle Ages but also assess these encounters as a case study in the broader history of religious diversity, pluralism, and conflict.

The Historical Jesus
It comes as a surprise to most people to learn that there is actually very little agreement among historians about who Jesus of Nazareth really was and what he intended to accomplish. This class explores critical research on the historical Jesus and the important primary sources and methodologies that are used to reconstruct his public career. Did he claim to be the Messiah, or perhaps more? Why did he call disciples, and what did he teach them? How can we explain how early Christians reflected on Jesus after his crucifixion? This course attempts to situate Jesus in his first century Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts, and to hear his message afresh in that time and place.

Inventing Israel: Zionism, Anti-Zionism, and Post-Zionism
How did the modern nation-state of Israel emerge against backdrop of a wide range of different views of nationalism among 19th- and early 20th-century Jews?  Why did some Jews support the idea of a Jewish state and others oppose it? In this course, we will study the origins and development of Zionism as a form of modern Jewish nationalism, the emergence of different Zionist ideological streams, and non-Zionist, anti-Zionist, and post-Zionist views of Jews and non-Jews. We will also explore 
Zionism as a case study of relations of religion and nationalism in modernity.