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JWC3270 - Reading Gender in Judaism

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Melanie Landau


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


This subject explores a range of questions relating to the interpretation of gender in the Bible and Talmud, such as counter-narratives of women's power, the representation of sexuality, and the construction of masculinity. Drawing in part on methods from contemporary cultural studies, students will be encouraged to engage in close readings of the texts in order to develop personal and persuasive interpretations.


On successful completion of this subject students will be expected to demonstrate an ability to:

  1. Read closely and analyse Biblical and Talmudic texts (in translation).
  2. Read Biblical and Talmudic narratives with a sense of the gender questions they pose.
  3. Integrate the theoretical frameworks for reading with one's personal response to the texts.
  4. To use textual proofs to support one's arguments.
  5. Demonstrate the skill of learning in chevruta, a traditional method of analysing classical Jewish sources.
In addition, students pursuing this subject at a third year level will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a greater level of sophistication and independence in their engagement with primary sources and the gender questions which they pose; and a deeper understanding of the theoretical issues that underpin the course.
  2. Formulate and develop an independent research question which is grounded in a reading and analysis of primary sources.


Preparation for chevruta study: 10%
Research essay (2500 words): 50%
Mid-semester class test: 10%
Take home exam (1500 words): 30%

Contact hours

2.5 hours (1 x 2.5 hour seminar) per week