Between Crisis and Renewal: Jewish American Identity in Contemporary Literature

In this class we will explore the question of what it means to be Jewish in twenty-first-century America through a joint reading of a number of major Jewish American authors. By confronting various issues such as tradition, anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and the establishment of Israel, Jewish American writing tries to construct its own unique answer to this complex question. On our literary journey, we will join the likes of Roth and Chabon as they let their imagination grow wild with American shtetls, mock pogroms, and alternative Jewish states. We will also drift through the streets of New York and Chicago with Malamud, Englander, and Bellow's wandering Jews in their search for meaning.

In addition to our class reading, which will be comprised of selected short stories and excerpts from longer works, a suggested reading list with primary and secondary sources will be given on the first day of class.  

For the course syllabus, click here.