back to archive May 16 - 17, 2016

Seminar with novelist Gary Shteyngart

This course studies secular Jewish cultures, formed in Europe and the US. The course does not presume “Jewish” is a stable constant, but that it is instead formed in relation with and shaped by the cultures wherein Jews have dwelt. Typically, Jewishness is studied as a dialectical formation: Jews dispersed from a homeland suffer atrocity and eventually return. Jews of the American diaspora are presumed to wrestle with both points of this dualism, as they must locate themselves both at home in the US and in relation to the putative Israeli homeland. This course’s intervention is to study geographies of Jewishness outside the dialectic of Israel and the Holocaust in order to examine distinct secular and diasporic cultural production of Jews in the US and Europe.