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Indiana University Bloomington
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Course Description

Gender and Jewish History (3 cr)
Sarah Ifft Decker
JSTU-H 500 Topics in Jewish Studies (13923)
R 2:30-4:30 (GY 407)

Gender identity has shaped the religious, social, and economic options available to Jewish men and women, as well as those of non-binary gender identities, for much of Jewish history. Social norms, often shared with surrounding cultures, as well as Jewish law have dictated the distinctly gendered ways Jews lived their lives. This course will explore how Jewish men, women, and non-binary people negotiated and sometimes challenged gendered expectations, from the Hebrew Bible to the present. How did Jews understand their gender, and how did gender intersect with Jewish identity? We will employ texts from different historical eras (available in translation), as well as scholarly studies. Students will be expected to present on readings and complete a related reading response paper on three occasions over the course of the semester, and will complete a final research paper on a topic of their choice related to gender and Jewish history. ​

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