Courses

Please consult the online course catalog for cross-listed courses and full course information.

The courses listed below are provided by Student Information Services (SIS). This listing provides a snapshot of immediately available courses within this department and may not be complete. Course registration information can be found at https://sis.jhu.edu/classes.

Column one has the course number and section. Other columns show the course title, days offered, instructor's name, room number, if the course is cross-referenced with another program, and a option to view additional course information in a pop-up window.

History of the Jews in Modern Times, from the Middle Ages to 1917
AS.130.216 (01)

A broad survey of the significant political and cultural dynamics of Jewish history in the Medieval, Early-Modern, and Modern Eras.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Katz, David
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 1/19
  • PosTag(s): INST-GLOBAL, INST-NWHIST

Introduction to Modern Jewish History
AS.100.129 (01)

Jewish history 1750-present in Europe, the Near East, the US, Israel; the challenges of modernity and new forms of Jewish life and conflict from Enlightenment and emancipation, Hasidism, Reform and Orthodox Judaism to capitalism and socialism; empire, nationalism and Zionism; the Holocaust. Extensive attention to US Jewry and State of Israel.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AM
  • Instructor: Moss, Kenneth
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 3/20
  • PosTag(s): HIST-EUROPE, HIST-MIDEST, HIST-US

Readings - Hebrew Prose
AS.130.442 (01)

Reading of biblical Hebrew prose, especially from the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Staff
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 9/10
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Elementary Yiddish I
AS.210.163 (01)

Year-long course. Includes the four language skills, reading,writing, listening, and speaking, and introduces students to Yiddish culture through text, song, and film. Emphasis is placed both on the acquisition of Yiddish as a tool for the study of Yiddish literature and Ashkenazic history and culture, and on the active use of the language in oral and written communication. This class will be using In Eynem, the brand new Yiddish language program from the Yiddish Book Center. Both semesters must be taken with a passing grade to receive credit. Cannot be taken Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 9:00AM - 10:15AM
  • Instructor: Lang, Beatrice
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 12/12
  • PosTag(s): n/a

"Things of Darkness": Shakespeare and the Legacy of Early Modern Racialization
AS.060.372 (01)

How and why do Shakespeare's works channel racism and supremacist ideologies? How and why is it that they have also been used for inspiration and aspiration by people of color and thinkers on the political left? This course uses performance history from the Elizabethan moment to the present to explore how early modern topics such as anti-Semitism, bodily monstrosity, blood lineage, colonialism, and religious concession have allowed Shakespeare's plays to function as vehicles for thinking about race across time. Case studies include anti-Semitism in The Merchant of Venice at a time when it was illegal for Jews to be in England; the eighteenth­and nineteenth-century blackface traditions of Othello and the careers of Edmund Kean and Ira Aldridge; Duke Ellington's exploration into Shakespeare in his 1957 jazz album Such Sweet Thunder; and Julie Taymor's 1994 Titus Andronicus, which was optioned and championed by Steve Bannon, former executive chairman of Breitbart News. Each unit of the course features an early modem play, readings about the performance tradition of that play, and an article or book chapter on that play.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 3:00PM - 4:15PM
  • Instructor: Best, Royce Lee
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 12/18
  • PosTag(s): n/a

GOD 101: The Early History of God - Origin, Character, Practice
AS.134.101 (01)

In a world of big ideas, there is none larger than that of God. Divinity is an ever-present topic for both religious devotees and hard core secularists—for anyone who embraces the humanities or ponders what makes us human. Humans are, for better and worse, homo-religiosus (humans who practice religion) as much as homo-sapiens. But what do we know of God historically? How do we go about reconstructing divinity from ancient texts and archaeology? How do we best walk back in time to understand ancient Middle Eastern cultures that gave birth to notions of the divine that have come down to today’s Judaism, Christianity and Islam? This course looks synthetically at the vast topic of God—exploring questions of historical origin, how God was characterized in literature (mythic warrior, king, parent, judge, holy, compassionate) and how God was represented in iconography, both materially and abstractly. Secondly, how did belief intersect with practice? Using the indow of divinity, this course will peer into the varieties of religion experience, exploring the royal use of religion for power, prestige and control balanced against the intimacy of family and household religion. It will probe priestly prerogatives and cultic status, prophetic challenges to injustice, and the pondering of theodicy by poetic sages.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 12:00PM - 1:15PM
  • Instructor: Lewis, Theodore
  • Room:  
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/19
  • PosTag(s): NEAS-HISCUL

Arab-Israeli Conflict (IR)
AS.191.335 (01)

The course will focus on the origin and development of the Arab-Israeli conflict from its beginnings when Palestine was controlled by the Ottoman Empire, through World War I, The British Mandate over Palestine, and the first Arab-Israeli war (1947-1949). It will then examine the period of the Arab-Israeli wars of 1956, 1967, 1973, and 1982, the Palestinian Intifadas (1987-1993 and 2000-2005); and the development of the Arab-Israeli peace process from its beginnings with the Egyptian-Israeli treaty of 1979, the Oslo I and Oslo II agreements of 1993 and 1995, Israel's peace treaty with Jordan of 1994, the Road Map of 2003; and the periodic peace talks between Israel and Syria. The conflict will be analyzed against the background of great power intervention in the Middle East, the rise of political Islam and the dynamics of Intra-Arab politics, and will consider the impact of the Arab Spring.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: T 4:00PM - 6:30PM
  • Instructor: Freedman, Robert
  • Room: Levering Arellano
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/20
  • PosTag(s): INST-IR, INST-CP

Introduction to Modern Jewish History
AS.100.129 (02)

Jewish history 1750-present in Europe, the Near East, the US, Israel; the challenges of modernity and new forms of Jewish life and conflict from Enlightenment and emancipation, Hasidism, Reform and Orthodox Judaism to capitalism and socialism; empire, nationalism and Zionism; the Holocaust. Extensive attention to US Jewry and State of Israel.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 12:00PM - 12:50PM
  • Instructor: Moss, Kenneth
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 14/20
  • PosTag(s): HIST-EUROPE, HIST-MIDEST, HIST-US

Intermediate Yiddish I
AS.210.263 (01)

For students who have completed one year of Yiddish language study or equivalent, this course will provide the opportunity to broaden and deepen their knowledge of Yiddish culture while continuing to improve their skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking Yiddish. Alongside textbook-based language work, students will read, listen to and interact with a variety of texts, for example literature, journalism and oral history.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 12:00PM - 1:15PM
  • Instructor: Lang, Beatrice
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 12/12
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Elementary Biblical Hebrew
AS.130.440 (01)

Introduction to the grammar, vocabulary, and writing system of biblical Hebrew.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Staff
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 9/10
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Religious Themes in Film and Literature
AS.211.480 (01)

This course would be of interest to anyone who would like to learn about the intersection of religion and modern culture. At the center of the course will stand a close study of the representation of religious themes and their role in modern literature and cinema. The works which we will deal with are not considered religious and yet they include religious themes as part of their narrative, images, language or symbolic meaning. We will trace in various works from various countries and genre, themes such as: divine justice, providence, creation, revelation, the apocalypse, prophecy, sacrifice and religious devotion. We will also study the ways in which Biblical and New Testament stories and figures are represented in these works. The course will have a comparative nature with the aim of learning more about the differences between the literary and cinematic representations.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Stahl, Neta
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 9/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Third Year Hebrew
AS.384.315 (01)

Designed to maximize comprehension and the spoken language through literary and newspaper excerpts providing the student with the language of an educated Israeli. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies. Final day/time will be determined during the first week of classes based on students’ schedules.

  • Credits: 4.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Cohen, Zvi
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 3/6
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Representing the Holocaust
AS.211.333 (01)

How has the Holocaust been represented in literature and film? Are there special challenges posed by genocide to the traditions of visual and literary representation? Where does the Holocaust fit in to the array of concerns that the visual arts and literature express? And where do art and literature fit in to the commemoration of communal tragedy and the working through of individual trauma entailed by thinking about and representing the Holocaust? These questions will guide our consideration of a range of texts — nonfiction, novels, poetry — in Yiddish, German, English, French and other languages (including works by Primo Levi and Isaac Bashevis Singer), as well as films from French documentaries to Hollywood blockbusters (including films by Alain Resnais, Claude Lanzmann, and Steven Spielberg). All readings in English.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: W 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Spinner, Samuel Jacob
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 3/15
  • PosTag(s): INST-GLOBAL, GRLL-ENGL

Second Year Hebrew
AS.384.215 (01)

Designed to enrich vocabulary and provide intensive grammatical review, and enhance fluency in reading, writing and comprehension. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies. Final day/time will be determined during the first week of classes based on students’ schedules.

  • Credits: 4.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Cohen, Zvi
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 4/6
  • PosTag(s): n/a

First Year Hebrew
AS.384.115 (01)

Designed to provide reading and writing mastery, to provide a foundation in Hebrew grammar and to provide basic conversational skills. Cross-listed with Jewish Studies. Final day/time will be determined during the first week of classes based on students’ schedules.

  • Credits: 4.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MTWTh 9:00AM - 9:50AM
  • Instructor: Cohen, Zvi
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 8/12
  • PosTag(s): n/a

The Domestic Politics of Israel
AS.191.315 (01)

Israel’s politics and history are complex, involving multiple military conflicts, domestic struggles and dynamic international relationships. This course will focus on Israel’s domestic politics by tracing the story of the development of its party system and the parties composing it. A parliamentary democracy with a proportional representation electoral system, Israel’s party system includes multiple parties who represent the various segments of Israeli society. What are the origins of this party system and the parties within it? What changes have they experienced and what are the factors that influence those changes? Who are the important actors and what might be motivating them? How have these parties influenced the development of Israel’s domestic politics? Using both historical and statistical materials, these questions and others will serve as our guide on a journey to a better understanding of Israel’s domestic politics, from its inception to the present day.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: M 4:00PM - 6:30PM
  • Instructor: Dolinsky, Alona Olga
  • Room: Mergenthaler 111
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 6/18
  • PosTag(s): POLI-CP, INST-CP

Course # (Section) Title Day/Times Instructor Room PosTag(s) Info
AS.130.216 (01)History of the Jews in Modern Times, from the Middle Ages to 1917TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMKatz, David INST-GLOBAL, INST-NWHIST
AS.100.129 (01)Introduction to Modern Jewish HistoryMW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AMMoss, Kenneth HIST-EUROPE, HIST-MIDEST, HIST-US
AS.130.442 (01)Readings - Hebrew ProseStaff 
AS.210.163 (01)Elementary Yiddish ITTh 9:00AM - 10:15AMLang, Beatrice 
AS.060.372 (01)"Things of Darkness": Shakespeare and the Legacy of Early Modern RacializationTTh 3:00PM - 4:15PMBest, Royce Lee 
AS.134.101 (01)GOD 101: The Early History of God - Origin, Character, PracticeTTh 12:00PM - 1:15PMLewis, Theodore NEAS-HISCUL
AS.191.335 (01)Arab-Israeli Conflict (IR)T 4:00PM - 6:30PMFreedman, RobertLevering ArellanoINST-IR, INST-CP
AS.100.129 (02)Introduction to Modern Jewish HistoryMW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 12:00PM - 12:50PMMoss, Kenneth HIST-EUROPE, HIST-MIDEST, HIST-US
AS.210.263 (01)Intermediate Yiddish ITTh 12:00PM - 1:15PMLang, Beatrice 
AS.130.440 (01)Elementary Biblical HebrewStaff 
AS.211.480 (01)Religious Themes in Film and LiteratureTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMStahl, Neta 
AS.384.315 (01)Third Year HebrewCohen, Zvi 
AS.211.333 (01)Representing the HolocaustW 1:30PM - 4:00PMSpinner, Samuel Jacob INST-GLOBAL, GRLL-ENGL
AS.384.215 (01)Second Year HebrewCohen, Zvi 
AS.384.115 (01)First Year HebrewMTWTh 9:00AM - 9:50AMCohen, Zvi 
AS.191.315 (01)The Domestic Politics of IsraelM 4:00PM - 6:30PMDolinsky, Alona OlgaMergenthaler 111POLI-CP, INST-CP