SES 2999 Special
Topics Course: Jews, Identity, and Difference
Instructor: Dr. Sheryl Nestel
OF SOCIOLOGY AND EQUITY STUDIES IN EDUCATION, OISE/UT
and Time: Tuesday
& Thursday 5:30 – 8:30 PM
416 923-6641 Extension 6018
Course Website: http://link.library.utoronto.ca/MyUTL/guides/index.cfm?guide=sherylnestel
course examines the multiple and contradictory identities ascribed
to and embraced/resisted by Jews in contemporary Western societies.
Relying substantially on anti-essentialist theories of identity, the
course begins with some foundational assumptions: 1) that
identities, including Jewish identity, are not static but constantly
in production and subject to contestation and revision, 2) that identities are both
culturally constructed and historically embedded, and 3) that the
analytic categories of race, gender, sexuality and class articulate
in the production of identities. Within this theoretical framework,
we will explore practices of Jewish identity construction and trace
the role of shifting relations of power in these practices. New forms of Jewish
cultural, political and spiritual resistance to cultural erasure
will be surveyed as will contemporary expressions of anti-Semitism.
Finally, we will explore the implications of new conceptualizations
of Jewish identity for anti-racist politics, scholarship and
pedagogy and the role for an “autonomous Jewish Voice” (Boyarin,
1996) in critical social analysis.
course readings are drawn from an emerging body of literature
associated with “The New Jewish Studies” (Heller, 1999) which
utilizes cultural studies, feminist, postcolonial, postmodern, queer
and anti-racism frameworks to rethink the terms in which Jewish
identity has been represented. Reflecting an emergent literature,
the readings often raise more questions than they answer but will
hopefully help generate lively classroom debate and inspire
participants to engage in new modes of scholarly inquiry.
of class participation will
comprise 25% of the final course grade.
Writing should be clear, direct and
grammatically correct. Papers should be typed double-spaced,
preferably in an easy-to-read font and size (please do not use
anything below 10 pt). Always include page numbers for citations or
quotes from the assigned reading. For any additional citations,
please use any conventional academic referencing format such as APA,
MLA, etc (see below for cyberlinks). If you have not already done
so, it may be helpful to choose a reference style, learn it well,
and employ it consistently in your academic writing. This will save
you time and effort as you proceed in your academic career and make
it easier to submit your work for publication if you choose to do
so. Don’t hesitate to use the resources (courses, writing labs,
etc.) offered by the university to improve your writing skills. Your
ideas will enjoy a better reception if they are expressed with
clarity and elegance.
University of Toronto site for writing resources (includes reference
Harvard University Writing Site (grammar, punctuation, style,
will need to obtain the following texts.
copies of Maus are available through the Toronto Public
Spiegelman’s Maus I and Maus II (see week III below
for detailed reference). There
are also several copies in the U of T Library system as well as in
the Toronto Public Library system.
Insider/Outsider: American Jews and
Multiculturalism, ed. D Biale, M Galchinsky, S Heschel
(see week X below for detailed reference).
readings appearing on the syllabus with an asterisk (*) can be
accessed on the course website: <http://link.library.utoronto.ca/MyUTL/guides/index.cfm?guide=sherylnestel>.
If you are not working at computer on campus, you must have a U of T
library card in order to access the website; when prompted, you must
enter your library card number and PIN (usually the last four digits
of your student number). If you are unfamiliar with using web-based
materials, please consult the instructor.
The remainder of the required readings will be made available for
who are unfamiliar with Jewish history and culture are urged to read
at least one background text. For example: Nicholas De Lange, An
Introduction to Judaism Cambridge University Press, 2000 . or
Melvin Konner, Unsettled: An Anthropology of the Jews, New
York: Viking Compass, 2003.
*Heller S. 1999. The New
Jewish Studies: Defying
Tradition and Easy Categorization. The Chronicle of Higher
1-6 (internet version).
SR. The Paradox of Jewish Studies in the New Academy. In Insider/Outsider: American Jews and
Multiculturalism, ed. D Biale, M Galchinsky, S Heschel, pp.
116-130. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California
J. & Fisher-Fishkin S 1996. Glossary of Hebrew, Yiddish and
“Yinglish” Terms. People of the Book: Thirty Scholars Reflect on
Their Jewish Identity. Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin
Troubling Jewish Identity
L, J. 2000. Mapping, Not Tracing: Opening Reflection. In Mapping Jewish Identities,
ed. LJ Silberstein, pp. 1-36. New York: New York University
SZ. 2000. Varieties of Authenticity in Contemporary Jewish Identity.
JewishSocial Studies 6:
I. 1990. Khaloymes/Dreams in Progress: Culture, Politics, and
Jewish Identity. In Dreams of
an Insomniac: Jewish
Feminist Essays, Speeches and Diatribes, pp. 187-211. Portland,
Oregon: The Eighth Mountain Press
to be shown in class:
Treyf produced, written & directed by Alisa Lebow and
Cynthia Madansky. [New York, NY] : Treyf Productions, 1998.
J., 2000. Coming Out Jewish. London and New York: Routledge
The Holocaust and Contemporary Jewish Identity
A. 1986. Maus I: A Survivor's Tale. My Father
Bleeds History. New York: Pantheon
A. 1991. Maus II: A Survivor's Tale. And Here
My Troubles Began. New York: Pantheon
MA. 2000. The Labor of Remembrance. In Mapping Jewish Identities,
ed. LJ Silberstein, pp. 97-121. New York: New York University
D (Ed.). 2003. Considering Maus: Approaches to Art
Spiegelman’s “Survivor’s Tale” of the Holocaust. Tuscaloosa and
London: Univ. of Alabama Press.
D. 1998. 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Art Spiegelman's Maus. In History and Memory after
Auschwitz, pp. 139-79. Ithaca and London: Cornell University
M. 1995. The Shoah Goes On and On: Remembrance and
Representation in Art Spiegelman’s ‘Maus’. Melus 20.3,
to be shown in class: Punch Me in the Stomach starring Deb
Filler; director, Francine Zuckerman; producers, Francine Zuckerman
and Jonathan Dowling. Toronto, Ont : Punch Me in the Stomach
Productions, Inc. 1995.
The Holocaust and Contemporary Jewish Identity II
1994. All German Jews? In The Imaginary Jew, pp. 17-34.
Lincoln and London:
University of Nebraska Press
Suchoff D 1994.
Introduction. In A
Finkielkraut The Imaginary Jew, pp. vii - xviii. Lincoln and
London: University of
P 1999. “Would They Hide My Children?” In The Holocaust in
American Life, pp. 170-206. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin
J E 1995. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum: Memory and the Politics of
Identity. In L Nochlin and T. Garb (Eds.) The Jew in the
Text: Modernity and the
Construction of Identity. London: Thames and Hudson.
Z. 2000. The Holocaust's Life as a Ghost. In The Holocaust Ghost: Writings on
Art, Politics, Law and Education, ed. FC Decoste, B Schwartz,
pp. 3-15. Edmonton, Alberta: University of Alberta Press
F. 2000. Delayed Impact: The Holocaust and the Canadian Jewish
Community. Kingston and Montreal: McGill-Queens Univ.
SJ. 2000. Reflections on Peter Novick’s Holocaust in American
Life: Two Perspectives.
Judaism 49.4: 484-492
ME. 1999. "Negroes are not Jews: Race, Holocaust Consciousness, and
the Rise of Jewish Neoconservatism. Radical History Review 75:
Constructing Jewish Difference
Gilman, S 1985. Introduction: What are Stereotypes and Why
Use Texts to Study Them? In Difference and Pathology: Stereotypes
of Sexuality, Race, and Madness 15-35. New York and London:
Cornell University Press.
S 1991. The Jewish Nose:
Are Jews White? Or the History of the Nose Job. In The Jew's Body 169-93. New
York and London: Routledge
SL 1996. A Problem Still. In Smart Jews: The Construction of the
Image of Jewish Superior Intelligence, pp. 1-30. Lincoln: University of Nebraska
S. (2002) In the Blood? :
Consent, Descent, and the Ironies of Jewish Identity.
Jewish Social Studies 8. 2/3: 139-152
J. 1998. Angels, Monsters, and Jews: Intersections of Queer and
Jewish Identity in Kushner's Angels in America. PMLA - Publication of the Modern
Language Association 113: 90-102
D. 1997. Secret Temples. In Jews and Other Differences: The New Jewish Cultural
Studies, ed. D Boyarin, J Boyarin, pp. 176-202. Minneapolis
University of Minnesota Press
S. 2003. If There Are No Races, How Can Jews Be a “Race”? Journal
of Modern Jewish Studies 2, 1: 79-96.
J. 1999. The Yiddish are Coming: Mickey Katz, Antic-Semitism,
and the Sound of Jewish Difference. American Jewish History
S 2003. Jewish Frontiers:
Essays on Bodies, Histories, and Identities. New
Facts (Judeophobia). New Internationalist, 372, October, 2004
J 2003. No, it's not Anti-Semitic. London Review of Books, 25.16 , August 21,
F 2004. A Frenchman or a Jew? New York Times Magazine
February 29, 2004. 48-51, 61.
J 2004. Is Anti-Zionism Anti-Semitism? In R Rosenbaum (Ed.) Those Who
Forget the Past. New York: Random House. 422-437.
*Klug B 2004. The Myth of the New
Reflections on Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism and the Importance
of Making Distinctions. The Nation 278. 4 23-35.
New and Old (response to Klug) The Nation 278.4, April 12,
Wieseltier L 2002. Hitler is Dead -
Against Ethnic Panic. The New Republic, May 27, 2002.
to be shown in class:
Discordia: When Netanyahu Came to Town (NFB, 2004) Ben
Addelman and Samir Mallaland
Prod. and Dir. Martin Himel, 2003.
Z. 1998. Allosemitism:
Premodern, Modern, Postmodern. In Modernity Culture and 'the
Jew', ed. B Cheyette, L Marcus, pp. 143-56. Stanford: Stanford
R. 1996. Shaking the Family Tree: A Personal Exploration of
Anti-Semitism in Newfoundland. Canadian Woman Studies 16.4:
S. 1990. Anti-Judaism in Christian Feminist Theology. Tikkun 5.3: 25-8, 95-7
M. 1999. Ethnonationalism, Anti-Semitism, and Identity
Politics: The North
American and South African Experiences In Jewries at the Frontier, ed.
SL Gilman, M Shain, pp. 335-350. Chicago: University of Illinois
B. 2002. Returning to Safe. Tikkun, 17.1: 22-25.
VII. Jews and
CB. 1999. From the Brotherhood of Man to the World to Come: The Denial of the Political
in Rabbinic Writing under Apartheid. In Jewries at the Frontier, ed.
SL Gilman, M Shain, pp. 259-89. Chicago: University of Illinois
K 1998. How Did Jews Become White Folks? In How Jews Became White Folks and
What That Says about Race in America, pp. 25-52. New Brunswick,
N.J.: Rutgers University Press
C. 1998. "Beyond the Pale":
Rearticulating U.S. Jewish Whiteness. In Talking Visions: Multicultural Feminism in a
Transnational Age, ed. E Shohat, pp. 451-84. Cambridge: MIT
M 1996. Jews in the U.S.:
The Rising Costs of Whiteness. In Names We Call Home: Autobiography on Racial
Identity. B Thompson & S Tyagi (Eds.) 121-37. New York and
DP 1998. Narcissism of Minor Differences and the Problem of
AntiRacist Pedagogy. In Lost
Subjects, Contested Objects:
Toward a Psychoanalytic Inquiry of Learning, 97-112.
Albany: State University of New York Press.
MF1998. Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the
Alchemy of Race. Cambridge, USA & London: Harvard Univ. Press.
Both/And: Hybrid Identities
R 1996. The Story of Ruth, the Anthropologist. In People of the Book: Thirty Scholars Reflect on
their Jewish Identity, ed. J Rubin-Dorsky, SF Fishkin, pp.
261-79. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press
Rich A 1982. Split at the Root.
In Nice Jewish Girls: A Lesbian Anthology, ed. ET Beck, pp. 67-84. Watertown,
E 1999. Taboo Memories and Diasporic Visions: Columbus, Palestine and
Arab-Jews. In Performing
Hybridity, ed. M Joseph, JN Fink, pp. 131-56. Minneapolis:
University of Minnesota Press
J 2004. Better Off Than You Would Have Been: Feminist Legacies for
Transnational Adoptive Families in the Jewish Community. Nashim: A Journal of
Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues 8 (2004) 143-154
R 2001. Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting
Self. New York:
K 1997. Black, Jewish and Interracial: It's Not the Colour of
Your Skin, but the Race of Your Kin, and Other Myths of
Identity. Durham and London: Duke Univ. Press.
L 2003. The Flying Camel:
Essays on Identity by Women of North African and Middle
Eastern Jewish Heritage. New York: Seal Press.
D & Aviv C (Eds.) 2002. Queer Jews . New York: Routledge.
D, Itzkovitz D & Pellegrini A (Eds.) 2003. Queer Theory and
the Jewish Question. New York: Routledge
to be shown in class: Fresh Blood : a Consideration of
Belonging : a video / by B. H. Yael. Toronto : V Tape,
M 1996. The Mouse that Never Roars: Jewish Masculinity on
American Television. In Too
Traditional Identities, ed. NL Kleeblatt, pp. 93-107. New
Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press
D 2000. The Colonial Drag:
Zionism, Gender, and Mimicry. In F Afzal-Khan, K
Seshadri-Crooks (Eds.) The
Pre-Occupation of Postcolonial Studies 234-65. Durham and
London: Duke University Press
R-E 1999. The Jewish American Princess: Detachable Ethnicity, Gender
Ambiguity and Middle Class Anxiety. In Fighting to Become
Gender, and the Anxiety of Assimilation 177-208. Boston: Beacon
M 2001. Moniker. In Our
Monica, Ourselves in. L Berlant & L Duggan (Eds.) , 175-202.
New York and London: New York University Press l
A 1997. Jewishness As Gender. In Performance Anxieties: Staging Psychoanalysis,
Staging Race, pp. 17-37. New York and London: Routledge
M & Levitt L 1997. Judaism Since Gender. New York and
Jews and Other "Others"
H. 2000. Peoples Apart:
Race, Religion, and Other Jewish Differences in Crown
Heights, pp. 1-51. Unpublished Doctoral Thesis, Department of
Anthropology, University of California at Santa Cruz.
N. 1998. Fag-Hags and Bu-Jews:
Towards a Jewish Politics of Vicarious Identity. In Insider/Outsider: American Jews and
Multiculturalism. In D Biale,
Galchinsky & S Heschel (Eds.) 254-68. Berkeley, Los
Angeles and London: University of California Press
C. Pluralism and it's Discontents. In Insider/Outsider
to be shown in class: Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights,
Brooklyn and Other Identities / conceived, written and performed
by Anna Deavere Smith, based on her stage play ; directed by George
C. Wolfe. [New York] : Public Television Playhouse, Inc., 1993.
Israel, Zionism and Diasporic Jewish
(for those unfamiliar with the history of Zionism): Herzberg, Arthur (1959)
Introduction in The Zionist Idea, pp. 15-100. New York: Harper and Row.
E 2003. From Galut to T'futsoth: Post-Zionism and the
Dis<>location of Jewish Diasporas. In E Nimni (Ed.) The
Challenge of Post-Zionism:
Alternatives to Israeli Fundamentalist Politics. London
and New York: Zed Books
M. 1998. Scattered Seeds:
A Dialogue of Diasporas. In Insider/Outsider: American Jews and
Multiculturalism, ed. D Biale, M Galchinsky, S Heschel, pp.
185-211. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California
D et al 1999. The Jewish Diaspora, Israel, and Jewish
Identities: A Dialogue.
South Atlantic Quarterly 98: 1/2 Winter/Spring 1999.
LJ. 1999. Mapping Zionism/Zionist Mapping. In The Postzionism
Debates: Knowledge and
Power in Israeli Culture, pp. 15-46. New York, London: Routledge.
Y & Bristman B
2002. Diaspora, Kinship and Loyalty: The Renewal of Jewish
National Security. International Affairs 78.1 69-95.
*Kirshenbaum G. (2003) Zionism and its
Discontents. Tikkun, 18.6, 51-53.
D & Boyarin J 1993. Diaspora: Generation and the Ground of
Jewish Identity. Critical
Inquiry 19: 693-725
J 2004. Israel,
Diaspora and the Routes of National Belonging. Toronto: Univ. of
Ellis M 2002.
Israel and Palestine -- Out of the Ashes: The Search for Jewish
Identity in the 21st Century. London: Pluto Press
Spiritual, Cultural, Pedagogical, and Political
R 1998. Here Comes Skotsl: Renewing Halakhah. Engendering
Judaism: An Inclusive
Theology and Ethics. Philadelphia and Jerusalem: The Jewish Publication
A. 1998. Why We Do This Anyway ?: Klezmer as Jewish Youth
Subculture. Judaism 47:
Simon R. 1995. Face to Face with
Alterity: Postmodern Jewish Identity and the Eros of Pedagogy. In
Question of Impersonation, ed. J. Gallop pp. 90-105. Bloomington
and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.
C 2004. A Voice from Within: A Challenge for the Conservative Jewish
Movement and its Gay/Lesbian Activists. Nashim: A Journal of
Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues 8 (2004)
Tikkun Community: Core Vision @ http://www.tikkun.org/community
to be shown in class - Trembling Before G-D. `
J. 1996. The Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life. In The Narrow Bridge: Jewish Views on
Multiculturalism, ed. M Brettschneider, pp. 207-18. New
Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University
D 2001. Yentl's Revenge: The Next Wave of Jewish Feminism.
New York: Seal
A, Hyman NM, Waskow A 2000. Trees, Earth and Torah: A Tu B'Shvat Anthology.
for Jewish Renewal <http://www.aleph.org/advisory.html>
Student Presentations of Work in Progress