Humanities Quadrangle, Rm. 423, 203.432.0843
Director of Graduate Studies
Elli Stern [F]
David Sorkin [Sp]
Professors Joel Baden (Divinity), Steven Fraade (Emeritus, Religious Studies), Paul Franks (Philosophy), Christine Hayes (Emeritus, Religious Studies), Hannan Hever (Comparative Literature), Nancy Levene (Religious Studies), Ivan Marcus (History; Religious Studies), Samuel Moyn (Law), Paul North (German), Maurice Samuels (French), David Sorkin (History), Elli Stern (Religious Studies; History), Katie Trumpener (Comparative Literature; English), Laura Wexler (Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; American Studies)
Associate Professors Marci Shore (History), Jacqueline Vayntrub (Divinity)
Senior Lecturer Peter Cole (Comparative Literature)
Senior Lector II Shiri Goren (Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations)
Senior Lector I Dina Roginsky (Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations)
Lectors Josh Price (German), Orit Yeret (Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations)
Jewish Studies offers an interdisciplinary approach to the critical study of the culture, history, languages, literature, religion, and thought of the Jews. Jewish institutions, philosophies, societies, and texts are studied critically and in comparative historical perspective in relation to the surrounding societies and cultures.
Graduate-level programs are available through the following departments: Comparative Literature (Hebrew and Comparative Literature), History (Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Jewish History), Religious Studies (History and Literature of Ancient Judaism, Medieval and Modern Jewish History, Philosophy of Religion), Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (Northwest Semitic, Hebrew Language and Literature), and Philosophy. Applications are made to a specific department, and programs of study are governed by the degree requirements of that department.
Other resources include the Judaica collection of Sterling Memorial Library and its Judaica bibliographer, the Fortunoff Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, the biweekly faculty/graduate student Jewish Studies Seminar, several lecture series, postdoctoral fellowships, and graduate fellowships in Jewish Studies.
Additional information is available on request to the director of graduate studies of the department of intended specialization, or to the Chair, Program of Jewish Studies, Yale University, PO Box 208282, New Haven CT 06520-8282, and at http://judaicstudies.yale.edu.
For course offerings in the Hebrew language and in Israeli society and culture, see Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.
JDST 670a / NELC 805a / PERS 505a, Middle Persian Kevin van Bladel
This one-term course covers the grammar of Middle Persian, focusing on royal and private inscriptions and the Zoroastrian priestly book tradition. Permission of the instructor required.
JDST 671a / HEBR 524a, Creative Writing in Hebrew Orit Yeret
An advanced language course with focus on creative writing and self-expression. Students develop knowledge of modern Hebrew, while elevating writing skills based on special interests, and in various genres, including short prose, poetry, dramatic writing, and journalism. Students engage with diverse authentic materials, with emphasis on Israeli literature, culture, and society.
JDST 674a / HEBR 578a, Languages in Dialogue: Hebrew and Arabic Dina Roginsky
Hebrew and Arabic are closely related as sister Semitic languages. They have a great degree of grammatical, morphological, and lexical similarity. Historically, Arabic and Hebrew have been in cultural contact in various places and in different aspects. This advanced Hebrew language class explores linguistic similarities between the two languages as well as cultural comparisons of the communities, built on mutual respect. Students benefit from a section in which they gain a basic exposure to Arabic, based on its linguistic similarity to Hebrew. Conducted in Hebrew. Prerequisite: HEBR 503, or placement test, or permission of the instructor.
JDST 761a / HIST 596a / MDVL 596a / RLST 773a, Jews and the World: From the Bible through Early Modern Times Ivan Marcus
A broad introduction to the history of the Jews from biblical beginnings until the European Reformation and the Ottoman Empire. Focus on the formative period of classical rabbinic Judaism and on the symbiotic relationships among Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Jewish society and culture in its biblical, rabbinic, and medieval settings.
JDST 764b / HIST 590b / MDVL 590b / RLST 777b, Jews in Muslim Lands from the Seventh through the Sixteenth Century Ivan Marcus
Introduction to Jewish culture and society in Muslim lands from the Prophet Muhammad to Suleiman the Magnificent. Topics include Islam and Judaism; Jerusalem as a holy site; rabbinic leadership and literature in Baghdad; Jewish courtiers, poets, and philosophers in Muslim Spain; and the Jews in the Ottoman Empire.
JDST 806b / HIST 603b / MDVL 603b / RLST 616b, How the West Became Antisemitic: Jews and the Formation of Europe, 800–1500 Ivan Marcus
This seminar explores how medieval Jews and Christians interacted as religious societies between 800 and 1500.
JDST 861b / HIST 597b / RLST 797b, Twentieth-Century Jewish Politics David Sorkin
This seminar explores major aspects of twentieth-century Jewish politics with an emphasis on new forms of political practice.
JDST 862a / CPLT 644a, The Betrayal of the Intellectuals Hannan Hever
The target of the seminar is to clarify the concept of the intellectual and its political and literary uses during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The point of departure is Julien Benda’s influential book, The Betrayal of the Intellectuals (1927). Benda defines two kinds of intellectuals: the particularists, who are specifically committed to country, party, and economic issues—later thought of as the arena of “identity politics”—and the universalists, committed to more general humanist values. What makes one an intellectual? Does becoming an intellectual depend on specific historical, social, cultural, literary, and political conditions? Is being an intellectual a matter of “talking truth to power” in accordance with universalist values? The course looks at a variety of definitions of what constitutes an intellectual, based on approaches such as Benda’s notion of the betrayal of the particularist intellectual, or postcolonial intellectualism. The course then looks at the specificity of intellectualism as it appears in certain contexts through readings from Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Joshua Heschel, Jean-Paul Sartre, George Orwell, Naguib Mahfouz, Frantz Fanon, Eleanor Roosevelt, James Baldwin, Angela Davis, Martin Buber, Edward Said, Antonio Gramsci, Herbert Marcuse, and Toni Morrison. Open to undergraduates with permission of the instructor.