ENGL348J - Women and Jewish Literature

Women in traditional Jewish society were not granted access to the texts at the heart of Jewish culture—the Torah, the Talmud, and other legal codes and treatises. While great strides have been made in the last century to try to educate Jewish women, their relationship with the texts that have traditionally been reserved for men continues to be extremely fraught. In this class we explore the relationship between Jewish women and Jewish textuality—as readers, as writers, and as subjects of literary expression. We will try to understand the complex interconnectedness of being a reader and being a writer, as well as of being a subject and an object of the literary gaze. Students will be required to write three papers—two creative, and one critical. Readings will consist of primary literary texts and secondary critical texts written in English or translated from Hebrew and Yiddish.


Two lower-level English courses, at least one in literature; or permission of department.