In the Department

  • Yael Shapira's Inventing the Gothic Corpse shows how a series of bold experiments in eighteenth-century British realist and Gothic fiction transform the dead body from an instructive icon into a thrill device. For centuries, vivid images of the corpse were used to deliver a spiritual or political message; today they appear regularly in Gothic and horror stories as a source of macabre pleasure. Yael Shapira’s book tracks this change at it unfolds in eighteenth-century fiction, from the early novels of Aphra Behn and Daniel Defoe, through the groundbreaking mid-century works of...

  • Nouns combine with a variety of other elements – determiners, quantifiers, adjectives, relative clauses and more – to form noun phrases. Dr. Gabi Danon's "Noun Phrases" seminar focuses on the structure of such phrases across a wide variety of languages, with the goal of trying to identify significant generalizations that go beyond the seemingly arbitrary restrictions on noun phrase structure in particular languages. Among the questions discussed in this seminar:

    • To what extent is the word...
  • As part of her current research, Dr. Galit Weidman Sassoon examines the grammatical, conceptual and cognitive basis of linguistic phenomena of gradability, scale structure and vagueness from a theoretical, empirical and experimental perspective. This involves addressing questions such as the following:

    • VaguenessHow many grains of sand make a heap?
    • ...
  • In Open Your Hand: Teaching as a Jew, Teaching as an American (Rutgers University Press, 2018), Ilana Blumberg explores how civic and religious commitments shape the culture of her humanities classrooms, and argues that there is no education without ethics. When we know what sort of society we seek to build, our teaching practices follow.

     
    In vivid classroom scenes from kindergarten through middle school to the university level, Blumberg conveys the drama of intellectual discovery...
  • South African apartheid sign

    Taught by Dr. Karin Berkman, this course examines South African cultural production between 1948 and 1996, under apartheid rule and in the post-apartheid period. During the course of the semester, the class will read the works of some of South Africa’s most renowned writers, including Alan Paton, Nadine Gordimer, Athol Fugard, Oswald Mtshali, Mongane Wally Serote, Dennis Brutus, Antjie Krog, among others, and analyze diverse literary forms including the novel, the short story, life writing, drama, and poetry. In addition, close attention will be paid to South African film. In order...

  • Second language learners often produce language forms resembling those of children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). At present, professionals working in language assessment and education have only limited diagnostic instruments to distinguish language impaired migrant children from those who will eventually catch up with their monolingual peers. A new book titled Assessing Multilingual Children: Disentangling Bilingualism from Language Impairment, edited by...

  • Dr. Esther Schupak will be teaching a new course that will focus on reading Shakespeare's dramas and poetry in a political context. Of course, in order to arrive at a full understanding of the political aspects of Shakespeare’s work, we need to appreciate the circumstances of censorship that underlay his artistic production. The class will therefore begin by examining Elizabethan and Jacobean censorship and the limits that this practice imposed upon artistic expression, then move on to consider the issue of republicanism in an early modern context, defining...

  • About Decency (Black Lawrence Press, 2015) by Prof. Marcela Sulak: "Decency celebrates the spunky wenches, the unfortunate queens, the complicated translators, the wistful wives who have been hustled off the spotlit stages of history. Through the lens of Victorian manuals of etiquette, through the unfolding of religion from the Middle East to the American Southwest, Decency thinks through the brutal things we do to one another, recording the ways the individual operates in relation to society...

  • Taught by Dr. Dalia Fadila, this course will examine literature written by Arabs of American descent in the United States since the early 20th century. Students will work at analyzing and understanding a range of texts, including novels, essays, poetry, and short stories as well as the different ways they attempt to define Arab American literature as a genre. This course is based on the assumption that understanding the politics of identity, language, gender and culture helps reveal the ways Arab American literature theorizes about itself. Lines of comparison and contrast will be...

  • Joseph Soloveitchik (1903–1993) was a major American Orthodox rabbi, Talmudist, philosopher, and theologian, In The Last Rabbi: Joseph Soloveitchik and Talmudic Tradition (Indiana University Press, 2016), Professor William Kolbrener takes on the Soloveitchik’s controversial legacy and shows how he was torn between the traditionalist demands...