JDST 213: Spring 2018
Monsters mirror the anxieties and fears of the cultures and communities in which they are formed, emerging more vigorously when cultural stresses are keenest. This course examines the Jewish experience in the modern world by exploring both the monsters Jewish artists and writers created and the monsters they were accused of being. Beginning with a survey of traditional beings like the Nephilim and Og of Bashan, the Dybuk and the infamous Golem of Prague, we will then read about Jewish pirates, punk musicians, wrestlers, and wanderers. In closing, we will discuss one of the greatest monster creators of all time, Jack Kirby. Along the way, the demonizing of Jews from Blood Libel to the recent Charlottesville protests will be examined.