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Indiana University Bloomington
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Course Description

Coming to America: History and Memory of Immigration in Jewish Literature (3 cr)
Stephen Katz
JSTU-L 270 (32122)
TR 4:00-5:15 (Global & International Studies Building 0003)

This course will inform students of the encounter of Jews, in large numbers, with America, particularly in the years of the Great Migration of the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when some 2 million Jews made their way to the New World.  The encounter changed both.  Jews—unlike all previous meetings with other cultures, hurriedly took on Americanism, acculturating and assimilating at a rate unheard of in the past.  America, too, was transformed by this influx of a new ethnic group, much as it has been when other groups also met this culture.  Readings (all in English translation) of memoirs, novels and works of poetry composed in English, Hebrew and Yiddish will comprise the course that aims to familiarize students with the factors “bridging” European Jewish literary traditions with those composed several decades later in English by some of America’s leading (Jewish) literary figures, among them T. Dreiser, S. Bellow, B. Malamud, C. Potok, Cynthia Ozick, Allegra Goodman and Philip Roth, among others.