Fall 2019: Upcoming Classes in Jewish Studies
HIST 383 / RELG 381 / JSTU 381: Jewish History I, Ancient and Medieval Jewish History.
This course studies the history of the Jews from the Persian restoration in the sixth
century BCE to the Spanish expulsion of 1492 CE. Topics include: power dynamics between
minority and majority cultures; Hellenization and cultural hegemony; revolt and revolution;
Jews and early Christians; Rabbinic Literature; Jews and early Islam; Jewish sectarianism;
Kabbalah and various forms of "mystical" writing; the Jewish experience in Christian
Europe; the breakdown of pluralistic co-existence in the West. The emphasis is on
the reading and analysis of primary sources rather than scholarly debates.
HIST 497 Senior Research Seminar: "God and Nature"
God and Nature examines the place of the natural world in religious thought from antiquity
to the modern era. It compares Jewish and Christian attitudes to nature across several
genres and in a variety of contexts. Among the topics we study are the relationship
between theology and science; approaches to magic; the role of medicine; the place
of astronomy and astrology in religion; and the popularization and diffusion of scientific
knowledge. The course also considers the impact that religious institutions such as
monasteries, and religious practices such as sacrifices, have on landscapes and economy.
We will also explore the historical background to issues with contemporary relevance
such as the stances Judaism and Christianity have taken on animal cruelty and environmental
protection. Questions we consider include the following: Have religions historically
acted as forces of exploitation or conservation? How do historical changes—political,
ecological, intellectual—alter the way religious thinkers and believers address these
RELG/JSTU 230: Introduction to Judaism
ENGL 803: A klug zu Columbus! Jewish identity in literature and film
Why Jewish Studies?
The Jewish Studies program supports the many ways students can engage with Jewish
life and thought. The program offers opportunities for students such as study abroad,
student research, and academic and community programming that educates our students
and community on the many facets of Jewish history, culture, and tradition both locally
and around the world.
With many courses dealing with Jewish content offered across multiple departments, the Jewish Studies
Program maintains an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental approach to Jewish scholarship.
Beyond the classroom, students are encouraged to take advantage of the program's study abroad funding, as well as campus and community resources that abound in Columbia.
Professors who contribute to the vitality of the Jewish Studies Program come from
many different departments, such as English, History, and Religious Studies. A vibrant
mix of consulting faculty and associate scholars add to the depth of knowledge in
Jewish Studies at USC Stands in Solidarity with the Islamic Community following the NZ Massacre
The USC Jewish Studies Program sends its condolences to the local and worldwide Islamic community in the wake of the devastating attack on the mosques in New Zealand.
John R. Mandsager to join Workshop for Early Career Faculty in Jewish Studies at UPenn
Congratulations to Joseph Olmert on his Best of Carolina 2019 award!
Joseph Olmert voted Best of Carolina 2019 by the Daily Gamecock
Understanding and Challenging Antisemitism
What should we be doing about antisemitism? To explore the answer to this difficult question, join the upcoming workshop with Dr. Meir Muller
Free film screenings explore Jewish history
Join our community partners for two upcoming film events exploring Jewish history.
Latest News in Jewish Studies