NES 6739

NES 6739

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2015-2016.

The meaning of the Talmud has been a hotly debated topic by both Jews and Christians for more than 1500 years.  This course will use a series of animated short films based on stories found in the Talmud to ask questions about interpretation, performance, authorship, and the role readers play in the production of pre-existing texts.  In what ways is a film director forced to view a text through a different lens than a reader?  What role does an actor play in the production of meaning in a linguistically static script?  In the process of reading a text, we produce visual images in our own minds.  These images are sometimes drawn to reflect textual cues provided by the author, but quite often are the result of subconscious interpretive acts, where we are forced to write in the space that the author left blank.  How can bringing this aspect of the interpretive process to the foreground help us understand what it is we do when we read?  How can learning to read a text through the eyes of an artist change the way we read; and how can reading itself be a productive form of art?  The Talmud presents its laconic narratives in a manner that encourages readers to partner in the act of its writing.  The Talmud's literary form, therefore, makes it an ideal text through which to examine the art of close reading. (All Texts will be read in translation and no previous knowledge of Talmud is necessary.)

When Offered Fall.

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Syllabi: none
  •   Regular Academic Session.  Combined with: JWST 4739NES 4739

  • 4 Credits Graded

  • 17830 NES 6739   SEM 101