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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2011
Coordinator(s)Leah Garret


Previously coded JWC4040


Before the Holocaust, the Yiddish speaking world played a critical role in the transmission of culture from East to West and West to East. Jewish authors rewrote 'A Thousand and One Nights', 'Don Quixote', 'Aesop's Fables', 'King Lear' and many other texts, transforming them into writings with Jewish and European characteristics. They also played with genre traditions, presenting a seemingly mainstream narrative from a subversive standpoint. In this seminar we will study the Jewish subversive tradition, with an eye to how the writings challenged the basic precepts of how literature works by deconstructing many elements of the novel and short story.


Upon completion of this unit, students will be expected to have:

  1. knowledge of the forms of writing to have emerged from the Jewish subversive literary tradition
  2. an understanding of the historical background to this tradition
  3. familiarity with the original stories that Jewish authors subverted, and recognise Jewish critiques of both internal Jewish writing as well as broader European discourse
  4. In addition, students studying at fifth-level will be expected to have an appreciation of the pivotal role Jews played in the transmission of culture from the Islamic world to Christendom and vice versa.


Seminar participation: 10%
Short essay (3000 words): 30%
Research essay (6000 words): 60%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Anna Halafoff

Contact hours

One 2-hour seminar per week