Courses: Fall 2018

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Please note that room locations and courses are subject to change. Please see the Class Schedules for updates. 

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Jewish Studies Courses

JDS 103LEC: Introduction to Judaism – Richard Cohen
Class # 23759
TuTh 12:30 – 1:50pm
Clemens 708

Judaism is one of the oldest continuously practiced world religions; its influence is inestimable. One need only think of the profound impact it has had on the origins, development, and basic elements of Christianity and Islam. Because Judaism has evolved and changed over a very long history - including the eras of the Hebrew Bible, the ancient Israelite commonwealth, medieval Talmudic-rabbinical communities, modern denominations, the Holocaust, Zionism and modern Israel - this course will approach Jewish history, theory and practice together. We will ask: What have Jews believed and done? What do Jews now believe? What are the meanings of Judaism – texts, rituals, practices, beliefs - for Jews? How is Judaism similar and different from other spiritual traditions? What relevance does Judaism still have for the larger world?

JDS 199SEM UB Seminar: Origins of Good and Evil – Alexander Green
Class #21398 
TuTh 9:30 – 10:50am
Clemens 708

Determining the origin of our moral beliefs and values is one of the central debates that has animated Western philosophers and theologians across time. One culture may consider a certain action morally correct and another culture may consider the same action morally incorrect. Why is that? How do we know what is good and evil, right and wrong? Is there one standard that unites different value systems or are all systems equally correct and variable? This course will not directly tackle the specific beliefs themselves (whether it be the ethics of war and peace, euthanasia, suicide, abortion or any such issue), but will seek to examine the different reasons that groups may arrive at diverse answers. We will read selections of classical works such as Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Hebrew Bible, Aquinas’ Summa Theologicae, Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals, Martin Buber’s I and Thou, and view a movie: Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors.

JDS 199SEM UB Seminar: Modern Revolution: Industrial, Political, Social – Richard Cohen
Class #21983    
TuTh 11:00am – 12:20pm    
Bell 138

Hardly any other events in human history have contributed more greatly to the transformation of humanity and its self-understanding after the rise of modern science, than the industrial revolution (steam engine, railroad, factory line), the spread of democracy (American and French revolutions) and the spectre of socialism (Russian revolution).  They opened prospects such as the universal spread of democracy, the liberal transformation of religion, the growth of a worldwide metropolitan culture, and the prospect of general prosperity.  Seeking to better understand these ends by examining their beginnings, we will explore the old and the new in the prose and poetry of such thinkers and artists as Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, Dostoyevsky, Darwin, Bergson and Nietzsche, among others.

JDS 199SEM UB Seminar: Justice – Sergey Dolgopolski
Class #22731  
TuTh 2:00 – 3:20pm
Clemens 708

“A law that is not just is not law” said recently a protestor against racial discrimination. This argument exemplifies a problem we will address in this course through reading, discussing, theatrically staging, and critically applying the work of the best writers and thinkers, both ancient and contemporary, who addressed the problem of justice in relation to equality, law, and freedom. In that wat, we will conduct a comparative study of the relationship between justice, law, and society in pagan, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Thought.

JDS 199SEM UB Seminar: Human and Animal – Noam Pines
Class # 20839   
TuTh 11:00am-12:20pm    
Clemens 708

The course will examine various depictions of human-animal relationship in Western literature and culture, from classical times to modern times. By looking at these texts, we will chart the emergence of a figure that occupies a borderline state between human and animal, and explore its implications for our understanding of Jewish and Christian relationships as well as human and animal nature. Readings include: Ovid, Marie de France, Hobbes, Shakespeare, Heine, Baudelaire, Tolstoy, Nietzsche, Kafka, and more

JDS 208LEC/HIS 299: Holocaust: History, Culture, and Memory – Noam Pines
Class #21979      
TuTh 2:00 – 3:20pm     
Natural Sciences Complex 228

How did the Holocaust happen? How was the “Final Solution” developed and executed? How have victims, perpetrators, and bystanders written and re-written the accounts of what happened?  And how do we remember this today? This course places the Holocaust in the broad context of Western history, thought, and culture by focusing on a variety of sources that include survivor testimonies, novels, and political theory. We will study classic texts such as Elie Wiesel’s Night, Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, and Art Spiegelman’s Maus. We will also view selected films, among them Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah, and Alain Resnais’ Night and Fog.

JDS 301LEC: Psychology of Religious Ecstasy: Sex, drugs, Rock & Roll and Religion – Marla Segol
Class #23768     
TuTh 3:30 – 4:50pm      
Clemens 21

This course examines religious ecstasy achieved through ritual intoxication achieved through sexuality, entheogens, and music, dance and trance.

JDS 380LEC/PSC380: Classic and Medieval (Jewish, Christian, Islamic) Ethics and Political Philosophy – Alexander Green
Class # 21986    
TuTh 12:30 – 1:50pm       
Park 148

This course will look at how Jewish, Christian and Islamic philosophers developed an ethical and political theory in dialogue with the classical philosophy of Plato and Aristotle in the medieval period.​ We will examine some central thinkers and works within each tradition, while comparing and contrasting different perspectives on God, the prophet, sacred texts, ethics, free will and tolerance for those of other faiths.

JDS 389LEC/GGS 330 – Women’s Voices, Jewish Experience – Marla Segol
Class #24137    
TuTh 11:00am – 12:20pm     
TBD

This seminar will consider examples of writings by representative women from the US and around the world. By closely examining these writings in historical, cultural, and discursive context, we hope to better understand why writing and literature remain crucial tools of feminist activisms across time and space.

Looking for a topic that is not being offered? Contact a faculty member to discuss developing your own Independent Study under their supervision:

JDS 499TUT Independent Study – Richard Cohen       
Class # 19021

JDS 499TUT  Independent Study – Sergey Dolgopolski 
Class # 19235

JDS 499TUT Independent Study – Alexander Green      
Class # 19293

JDS 499TUT  Independent Study – Noam Pines             
Class # 20055

JDS 499TUT  Independent Study – Marla Segol             
Class # 19236

Hebrew Courses

HEB 101LEC: Elementary Modern Hebrew 1* – Lilia Dolgopolskaia
Class # 17076    
MoWeFr 9:00 – 10:25am
Clemens 708

Class # 23766    
MoWeFr 11:00am – 12:20pm
Clemens 708

The beginning course of Modern Israeli Hebrew. Essentials of grammar, syntax and conversational practice; elementary reading and writing. Note: Students with other previous experience in Hebrew must take a placement exam.

*Please note this course offers two time slots. 

HEB 201LEC: Intermediate Hebrew 1 – Lilia Dolgopolskaia
Class # 15915     
MoWe 1:00 – 2:25pm 
Clemens 708

Further development of language skills: listening comprehension, oral efficiency, intermediate grammar and syntax, reading and writing. Note: Students with other previous experience in Hebrew must take a placement exam.

Already passed Intermediate Hebrew? Contact Lilia Dolgopolskaia to discuss taking your Hebrew to the next level:

HEB 499TUT:  Independent Study
Class # 18310

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