Professor Barbara Mann
Drop in hours @ UNT601: Thursday 230-4 and by appointment
212 678 8816; firstname.lastname@example.org
The historian Yuri Slezkine has said that the modern age is “the Jewish age,” and that modernization is “about everyone becoming Jewish.” Indeed, the situation of the Jew has been viewed as prototypically modern — a hybrid, cosmopolitan identity conditioned by a rootless, peripheral existence. In this course, we will read a series of texts by modern Jewish authors in an attempt to understand this uneasy relationship between the Jew and the modern. Some of these writings are well known, even canonical; others are less familiar, marginalized by virtue of having been written in Hebrew or Yiddish. We will first ask how ideas about Jewishness and modernity are represented in these texts. To what extent are these categories in conflict with one another? What is the relationship between the artist and his or her community? We will also examine how Jewish multilingualism complicates the relation between language and identity across a wide variety of artistic genre and media, including poetry, diaries and paintings. Students will acquire a broad familiarity with central texts in modern Jewish writing, and develop analytical and critical skills to address formal and substantive questions about the relation between culture and Jewish identity.
* Required readings are available on Blackboard E-reserves. Students are responsible for accessing, downloading and bringing to class a paper or digital copy of the assigned texts to class. Please contact the library at blackboard@JTSA.EDU with any problems you may have with accessing the digital readings.
* The following required books are on reserve in the JTS library, available for purchase at Book Culture and easily found online.
The I.L. Peretz Reader, ed. Ruth Wisse (Yale University Press, 2002).
The Sons, Franz Kafka (Schocken, any edition)**
Modernism: A Guide to European Literature, 1890-1930, eds. Malcolm Bradbury and James McFarlane (Penguin, any edition).
Call It Sleep, Henry Roth (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, any edition).
Eight Great Hebrew Short Novels, Alan Lelchuk and Gershon Shaked, eds. (Toby Press, 2005).
The End of Everything, Dovid Bergelson (Yale University Press, 2008 ).
**Required texts from this book are also available on Blackboard.
Written Course Requirements
* Student posts to course blog as per instructions (see schedule)
* In-class midterm
* Take home final essay assignment, to be submitted via Blackboard
* Final course grade will reflect quality of and progress in written work, including blog posts, midterm and final assignment, as well as class attendance, preparedness and participation.
Please check Blackboard frequently for updates and current assignments.
Final grade determined as follows:
Blog posts – 25%
Blog comments – 10%
Class attendance/participation – 15%
Midterm – 25%
Final assignment – 25%
Electronic devices: Please turn your cell phones off in class, and do not check for messages or texts during class time. You may use an electronic device such as a laptop or tablet and access the internet in class only for class purposes.
Academic integrity: JTS students are expected to bear individual responsibility for their work, to learn the rules and definitions that underlie the practice of academic integrity and to uphold its ideals.
Students in this class are expected to maintain academic integrity and academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in this class. JTS Student Disciplinary Procedures may be found athttp://www.jtsa.edu/About_JTS/Administration/Policies/Student_Disciplinary_Procedures.xml
The JTS policy on disabilities may be found athttp://www.jtsa.edu/About_JTS/Administration/Policies/Students_with_Disabilities.xml
September 10th — introduction
Richard Wagner, “Jewry in Music” (1850), Mendes-Flohr, Paul & Yehuda Reinharz, eds., The Jew in the Modern World , pp. 268-270.
PLEASE JOIN THE CLASS BLOG BEFORE CLASS ON SEPTEMBER 12TH.
September 12th: Representing the People of the Book
“The Name and Nature of Modernism,” in Modernism: A Guide to European Literature.
I.L. Peretz, “Introduction,” “Stories,” “In the Mail Coach,” The I.L. Peretz Reader.
Class IT session: orientation to course blog.
September 17th – Becoming Modern I
Peretz, “Impressions of a Journey Through Tomaszow” (1890-1904)
September 24th — Generations
Franz Kafka, “The Judgment,” “Letter to His Father” (excerpts TBA), The Sons
October 1st — Between East and West I
Franz Kafka, “A Report to the Academy,” “Jackals and Arabs,” The Complete Stories (New York, Schocken, 1971).
Kafka, Letter to Max Brod, June 1921, Letters to Friends, Family and Editors (New York: Schocken, 1977), 286-289.
October 3rd – Kafka (con’t)
“Josephine,” “From a Small Literature” (journal excerpt, 25th Dec 1911), “An Introductory Talk on the Yiddish Language,” Prague, Politics and the Fin de Siècle, Mark Anderson, ed. (New York: Schocken, 1989), 259-266.
October 8th — Chagall
Barbara Mann, “Visions of Jewish Modernism,” Modernism/Modernity 13:4 (November 2006): 673-699.
October 10th – Reuven
Milly Heyd, “Reuven Rubin in Palestine,” Rubin Musuem Catalogue of the Permanent Collection (Tel Aviv: Rubin Museum, 1993), 89-105.
October 15th — Between East and West II: Brenner
Y. H. Brenner, “Nerves” (1909), in Eight Great Hebrew Short Novels
October 17th – Brenner, con’t
Suggested reading: Benjamin Harshav, Language in Time of Revolution, selections
October 22nd – Between Shtetl and Shtot
Dovid Bergelson, The End of Everything
October 24th – Bergelson (con’t)
The End of Everything (con’t)
October 29th – Bergelson (con’t)
The End of Everything (con’t)
October 31st – IN-CLASS MIDTERM
November 7th–The Poet and the Metropole
Selections from Dropkin, Margolin and Penguin Book of Modern Yiddish Verse
“Introspectivism,” American Yiddish Poetry, Benjamin and Barbara Harshav, eds. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986 ), 774-778 (manifesto text).
November 12th -The Poet and the Metropole, con’t
Moshe Leyb Halpern, selections from In New York: A Selection. Kathryn Hellerstein (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1982).
Selected poems from American Yiddish Poetry, 762-769.
Suggested reading: “The Poetry of the City” and “The Cities of Modernism” (Bradbury)
November 14th — – Becoming Modern II
David Fogel, “Facing the Sea,” (1932), Eight Great Hebrew Short Novels, Alan Lelchuk and Gershon Shaked, eds. (Toby Press, 2005).
Suggested Reading: David Fogel, “Language and Style in Our Young Literature” (1931),Prooftexts 13 (1993): 15-20.
Robert Alter, “Fogel and the Forging of a Hebrew Self,” Prooftexts 13:1 (January 1993)
November 19th-21st – Mome-loshen and the Anglo Tradition: Henry Roth
Call it Sleep
Call it Sleep con’t
Call it Sleep con’t
December 5th – last class