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Jewish Films and Literature

ENGL 279.401
crosslisted as: GRMN 261, CINE 279, JWST 261, COML 265
TR 12-1:30 pm
fulfills requirements:
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Elective Seminar of the Standard Major

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 Jewishness on 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 Sholom Aleichem's Teyve 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 dilemmas 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