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Indiana University Bloomington
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Course Description ~

Coming to America (3 cr)
Allison Posner
JSTU-L 270 #33734
MW 2:30-5:00
8W2 course

This course will offer an introduction to Jewish life and culture through Yiddish, Hebrew, and English language literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. We will follow the immigration of Eastern European Jews to Israel and the United States through the stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, and Etgar Keret. Although this course will focus primarily on literary texts, we will also be examining essays on Jewish culture by scholars Jeffrey Shandler and Ruth Wisse.  Last and certainly not least, we will look at several examples of Jewish cultural production in television and film, namely the work of Larry David and the Coen brothers. Questions we will attend to include: What were the primary concerns of Jews in Eastern Europe as they faced the threat/temptation of assimilation?  How did the experience of Jews who immigrated to Israel differ from those who journeyed to the United States?  Can a text still be “Jewish” without Judaism?  What role does Jewish humor play in all of these works?