Spring Term 2021 Courses

PSU Spring students in park blocks


Fantasy Literature course

ENG 306U Fantasy Literature | Weingrad




ENG 306U | Fantasy Literature ​
INSTRUCTOR: Professor Michael Weingrad

Asynchronous Instruction | CRN: 61156

In this heavy-reading course we will read lesser-known classics of fantasy literature as forms of moral and religious engagement with an often secularized, “disenchanted” world. Reading list includes:

Hope Mirrlees, Lud-in-the-Mist
G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday
C. S. Lewis, Perelandra
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
Diana Wynne Jones, Fire and Hemlock

Fulfills University Studies cluster requirement: Examining Popular Culture



Retelling the Bible course

JST 325U | Retelling the Bible | Spielman




JST 325U | Retelling the Bible
INSTRUCTOR: Professor Loren Spielman
TIME/DAY(S): Tuesday/Thursday, 10:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

The stories that make up the Hebrew Bible have been not only told, but recounted, reformulated and interpreted by different cultures, faiths and peoples from antiquity through the present day. Come learn about the earliest ways that Jews interpreted and reread the Bible- including works from the Apocrypha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Rabbinic Midrash and other ancient Biblical commentaries.

Fulfills University Studies cluster requirements: Interpreting the Past


History of Zionism course

JST/HST 379U | History of Zionism | Spiegel 


JST 379U/ HST 379U | History of Zionism
INSTRUCTOR: Professor Nina Spiegel
Tuesday/Thursday, 12:00 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.

Nationalism is very much in the news. But what is a nation? And what is the Jewish nation? This course will explore the ideas and visions that shaped the modern Israeli state. We will examine the sources and contexts of the emergence of Zionism, its theorists and philosophers, its actualization in the State of Israel, and its various achievements, contradictions, challenges, and lessons for us today. Our sources will include photography, film, novels and memoirs such as Puah Rakovsky’s My Life as a Radical Jewish Woman: Memoirs of a Zionist Feminist in Poland.

Fulfills University Studies cluster requirement: Global Perspectives



History of antisemitism course rev. 20210212

HST 399 | History of Antisemitism (mini-course) | Meir

HST 399 | History of Antisemitism (mini-course)

TIME/DAYS: Tuesdays 5:00 p.m. - 6:50 p.m. on 4/13, 4/20, 4/27, 5/4, 5/11, 5/18.
CRN: 64274

This intensive two-credit mini-course will chart the development of hostility towards Jews from antiquity to the present day. In lectures and discussion, students will gain an understanding of how anti-Jewish hostility has persisted over millennia even as it has adapted to individual historical and geographic contexts. Topics include anti-Jewish bias in the ancient world and foundational Christian sources; social and economic marginalization and expulsions in medieval Europe; the emergence of political and racial antisemitism in the nineteenth century; Nazi antisemitism; and contemporary expressions of anti-Jewish sentiment, including left- and right-wing antisemitism and conspiracy theories such as QAnon. 

Note: This two-credit course will meet in remote synchronous mode for a total of 11 hours. An additional 7.5 hours of remote asynchronous learning are required for successful completion of the course.


Hebrew Language Courses at PSU

Learning the Hebrew language will open you to the complexities of a culture that is as passionate about art, media, and technology as it is about history and archaeology.  Modern Hebrew is a language that is written in the same alphabet as the Hebrew Bible, and uses mostly the same words and grammatical structures, but oftentimes with different meanings.  How does Modern Hebrew maintain continuity with an ancient language and yet stay viable in the realities of the 21st century? By using grammar creatively and coining new vocabulary to express modern concepts. The result is a language that is poetic, multi-layered, dynamic, and expressive.



HEBREW 203 | Second-Year Hebrew
INSTRUCTOR: Sharon Erez-Shai
TIME/DAY(S):  Monday/Wednesday, 10 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

HEB 202 emphasizes modern media Hebrew -- translation and writing. Recommended prerequisite: HEB 201. This is the second course in a sequence of three: HEB 201, HEB 202, HEB 203. 


fruit stand israel