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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

ENGL 53.46 New York and the Metropolitan Imagination in Twentieth-Century American Jewish Literature

This course will offer an introduction to American Jewish culture by focusing on the perception of New York City among successive generations of Jewish writers, performers, and cultural activists. Although our focus will be primarily on literary sources, in English and translated from Yiddish, we will also consider memoirs, political documents, journalism, music, and film. The topics we will consider include:How are the ambivalences of immigration expressed among Jewish immigrants writing, alternately, in English or in Yiddish?


How does the city provide new modes of expression for Yiddish writers?
How does music offer a venue for Jewish performers to enter an American “mainstream” while preserving an audible sense of Jewish difference?
How do Yiddish writers address the Holocaust, and what challenges emerge when translating Yiddish into English after the Holocaust?
How do post-War Jewish intellectuals, the children of immigrants, critique their society and influence the development, and denouement, of American liberalism?
How does the “sexual revolution” challenge notions of a distinct Jewish ethnicity and ethos, and what strategies do Jewish authors develop to critique changing mores and morals from a specifically Jewish perspective?
How does an avant-garde Jewish theatre contribute to a contemporary understanding of American culture as multi-cultural, hybrid, and hyphenated?

Cross Listed Courses

JWST 021

Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:LIT; WCult:CI

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.

Department-Specific Course Categories

Course Group III