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Modernist Jewish Poetry

ENGL 591.401
crosslisted as: YDSH 509, GRMN 509, COML 509, JWST 509
instructor(s):
Thursdays 3-5:00 pm
fulfills requirements:
Sector 3: Early Literature to 1660 of the Standard Major
Sector 5: 19th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major

“Modernist Jewish Poetry” is a new course, a graduate seminar also be open to advanced undergraduates. Based in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, this course will be cross-listed with Comparative Literature, English, and Jewish Studies.

The premise of this course is to present Jewish modernism as an international phenomenon of the early 20th century. The course will attempt to define “Jewish modernism” through the prism of poetry, which inevitably, given the historical events in Europe and America during this time, grapples with aesthetic, religious, and national ideologies and methods.

The syllabus will focus mainly on poetry written in Yiddish and English, and will also include German, Russian, and Hebrew verse. All poetry, critical, and theoretical materials will be taught in English translation, although students who know the languages will be encouraged to work on the original texts and will bring to the table a comparative perspective. Because we will be discussing translated poems, a secondary focus of the course will, in fact, be on literary translation’s process and products.