Jewish Studies Program at Michigan State University

 

Jewish Studies Program

The Jewish Studies Program at Michigan State University engages in interdisciplinary study of the history, cultures, language(s), identities, and religion of the Jewish people. While our program encompasses the historical and geographic breadth of Jewish experiences, our particular strengths are in five key areas: American Jewish history, culture, and literature; European Jewish History and Holocaust Studies; Hebrew; Israel Studies; and Judaism and Jewish Philosophy.

A hallmark of our program is the close interaction of faculty, students and community members. The Jewish Studies Program offers a 20 credit undergraduate minor in Jewish Studies that allows students to explore, in interdisciplinary and flexible ways, Jewish history, culture, and identity, to learn Hebrew, and to study Judaism and Jewish thought. Students work closely with faculty mentors, who provide guidance both on academic development and professional opportunities. Our students have opportunities to engage in substantive research projects in class or as guided independent studies as well as senior theses, and to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs in Israel. The result is a collegial, supportive community of students and faculty who form lasting relationships.

The Jewish Studies Program also supports the scholarly work of Jewish Studies faculty at MSU, developing a nationally recognized program that fits with the aspirations of a 21st century global university. We have 6 core Jewish Studies faculty and over 20 affiliated faculty from ten departments and colleges across the university. The program contributes to and enhances knowledge of Jewish life in the university community, mid-Michigan, and the State of Michigan.

The Undergraduate Jewish Studies Minor
The Jewish Studies Minor offers a rich interdisciplinary program which introduces undergraduates to the history, cultures, language(s), identities, religion, and civilization of the Jewish people. Students can choose from among our varied and flexible course offerings (listed below), for a minimum of twenty (20) credits, which can be taken while fulfilling the requirements for a major in nearly any field at MSU. Our minor centers on our strengths in American Jewish History and Culture, European Jewish History and Holocaust Studies, Hebrew, Israel Studies, and Judaism and Jewish Philosophy. We emphasize close collaboration with and advising from faculty, and offer rich opportunities for undergraduate research. These curricular components are enhanced by our many co-curricular lectures and films designed to enhance classroom experiences and research.

 

In Memoriam

anna-1With a heavy heart, we announce the passing of Professor Anna Norris. Anna was an incredible person, teacher, colleague, and scholar. She was an and active member of Jewish Studies as well as the French program. Anna is survived by her husband Ken, and children Elliot and Camille. If you would like to send a condolence card their home address is 1411 Haslett Rd. Haslett, MI 48840

Jewish Studies, in coordination with Anna’s Department of Romance and Classical Studies, will have a panel honoring her work on Friday, April 21st at 2:45 pm in B-342 Wells.

Anna gave an impressive presentation on Holocaust survivors and Holocaust memory in France this past fall as part of our Jewish Studies faculty/student seminar. She also participated in the workshops on using Holocaust Testimonials from the Shoah Archives in September and was having her students use them in her classes.

Anna Norris was Associate Professor of French and was an active affiliate faculty of Jewish Studies for over a dozen years. She had a wide range of research interests in French literature, culture, cinema, Holocaust studies, and trauma writings. She taught a wide range of courses in theses fields, both at the undergraduate and the graduate levels, and was the resident director of the summer program in Tours, France. Anna was nominated for the Faculty of the Year Award, by the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and was named Chevalier des Palmes Académiques by the French Ministry for Higher Education and Research. She served as Acting Chair of the Department of French, Classics, and Italian from 2008 to 2010. Her publications include a book on prison writings in nineteenth and twentieth century France (2003) and co-edited a book on French women’s writings and war (2007) and peer edited essays and book chapters on prison writings, French literature, French and Francophone cinema, women’s and gender studies, Holocaust studies, and Jewish studies. She was finishing a book manuscript on Marie Cappelle Lafarge. Anna was working on Marcel Ophüls, the first French filmmaker to tackle the controversial topic of French collaboration and resistance during World War II. She recently published “Auschwitz-Birkenau 1944–1945: Marceline Loridan-Ivens tourne et retourne son passé,” Women in French Studies 2015, and “Mauvaises mères et filles meurtries dans les textes d’Irène Némirovsky” in Daniela Di Cecco (ed.), Girls in French and Francophone Literature and Film (Leiden, the Netherlands: Koninlijke Brill NV, 2015).

May Anna’s memory be for a blessing and may she rest in peace. We will miss Anna and remember her.
 

SPRING SEMESTER 2017 EVENTS

THURSDAY, APRIL 20th, 7:00-8:30pm
25th ANNUAL RABIN HOLOCAUST/3rd MICHAEL BRILL MEMORIAL LECTURE
HISTORY AND CATASTROPHE: THE SECRET WARSAW GHETTO ARCHIVE OF EMANUEL RINGELBLUM

The Lincoln Room of the Kellogg Center
During World War II Jews resisted not only with guns but also with pen and paper. Even in the face of death they left “time capsules” full of documents, which they buried under the rubble of ghettos and death camps. The Ringelblum Archive in the Warsaw Ghetto buried thousands of documents. But of the 60 people who worked on this mission, only three survived. Professor Samuel Kassow (Trinity College) will discuss their story. Co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters and James Madison College.

FRIDAY, APRIL 21st, 9:00-2:40 pm
STUDENT RESEARCH CONFERENCE
ANNUAL JEWISH STUDIES STUDENT RESEARCH CONFERENCE

Wells Hall B-342
Students will present projects from their Jewish Studies courses, followed by a lunch with Jewish Studies alumni.

FRIDAY, APRIL 21st, 2:45 pm
PANEL HONORING THE WORK OF ANNA MORRIS
B-342 Wells
Jewish Studies, in coordination with the Department of Romance and Classical Studies, will have a panel honoring the work of Anna Morris, of blessed memory.

 

News

Kaila Waineo, Jewish Studies Minor, was awarded the Audrey and Michael Rubner Scholarship for 2017-2018. This prestigious scholarship is awarded to students excelling in Middle East Studies, Security Studies, or U.S. Foreign Policy.

Events

25th ANNUAL RABIN HOLOCAUST/3rd MICHAEL BRILL MEMORIAL LECTURE: HISTORY AND CATASTROPHE: THE SECRET WARSAW GHETTO ARCHIVE OF EMANUEL RINGELBLUM
Thursday, April 20th in the Lincoln Room of the Kellogg Center

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