Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Topics in Jewish-American Literature cancelled

ENGL 287.401
TR 10:30-12

From the 1922 silent film Hungry Hearts through the first "talkie," The Jazz singer, produced in 1927, and beyond Schindler's List, Jewish characters have confronted the problems of their Jewishnes son the silver screen for a general American audience. Alongside this Hollywood tradition of Jewish film, Yiddish film blossomed from independent producers between 1911 and 1939, and interpreted literary masterpieces, from Shakespeare's King Lear to Sholem Aleichem's "Tevye the Dairyman," primarily for an immigrant, urban, Jewish audience.

In this course, we will study a number of films and their literary sources (in fiction and drama), focusing on English- language and Yiddish films within the framework of three problems of interpretation: a) the different ways we "read" literature and film; b) the various ways that the media of fiction, drama, and film "translate" Jewish culture; and c) how these translations of Jewish culture affect and are affected by their implied audience.

The films will be drawn from the following list: Tevye, Fiddler on the Roof, Hester Street, Uncle Moses, Hungry Hearts, The Jazz Singer, Gentlemen's Agreement, Marjorie Morningstar, The Pawnbroker, Enemies: A Love Story, Schindler's List, Goodbye, Columbus, Annie Hall, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute.

fulfills requirements