The University of Southampton
Courses

ENGL2012 Jewish Fictions

Module Overview

Responses to the question of Jewish identity are elusive and diverse, full of fascinating interpretive knots that retie themselves as soon as they seem to be undone. In modern culture the notion of ‘Jewishness’ has been interpreted as something religious, racial, ethical, national and cultural. Consequently, the task of interpreting the complex meanings of ‘Jewishness’ and the figure of the ‘Jew’ involves a sensitive inquiry into a text’s historical and cultural context.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

- To introduce you to a range of images, genres and narrative strategies for representing Jews and Jewishness. - To analyse the texts within the historical and cultural contexts in which they were produced. - To consider the various meanings attached to the figure of the 'Jew' in relation to key social, cultural and political debates of the modern period. - To give you an idea of the wide range of responses to and interpretations of the notion of 'Jewishness' in modern culture.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • To introduce you to a range of images, genres and narrative strategies for representing Jews and Jewishness.
  • To analyse the texts within the historical and cultural contexts in which they were produced
  • To consider the various meanings attached to the figure of the 'Jew' in relation to key social, cultural and political debates of the modern period
  • To give you an idea of the wide range of responses to and interpretations of the notion of 'Jewishness' in modern culture

Syllabus

This module will introduce you to a fascinating range of texts and materials that you are unlikely to have come across before. Works by Henry Roth, Arthur Miller and Anne Michaels will introduce you to the different ways writers have approached Jewish identity. The module will also make use of the outstanding facilities of the Parkes Institute and archive (special collection in Hartley Library).

Special Features

This module will introduce you to a fascinating range of texts and materials that you are unlikely to have come across before. No prior knowledge or reading is necessary. The module will make use of the outstanding facilities of the Parkes Institute and archive (special collection in Hartley Library). The module is interested in the question of Jewish identity. Different writers have defined Jewish identity as religious, racial, ethical, national or cultural, and many have grappled with its changing meanings in the modern world. The diverse, elusive nature of 'Jewishness' has given rise to some of the most fascinating texts of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which we will be studying in this module.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

- There will be one 1-hour lecture per week to provide you with historical and cultural contexts for reading the texts and discuss strategies for interpreting them. - There will be one 1-hour seminar per week for closer textual analysis and group discussion. - Every student will lead the seminar discussion by introducing a text with an oral presentation on a particular week.

TypeHours
Independent Study126
Teaching24
Total study time150

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 50%
Essay  (2000 words) 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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