YU Summer Classes Provide Rich Opportunities for Learning

Beginning July 9, Second Session Includes Online and On Campus Courses

Summer may be a slower time for some, but at Yeshiva University, over 400 current and visiting students are accelerating their studies and exploring ideas by taking summer courses offered by the Katz School in topics that range from political science to accounting and Judaic studies.

The program’s second term begins on July 9 and features many online or blended courses in addition to those on the Wilf and Israel Henry Beren Campuses. This mix of options enables students to accommodate busy internship and travel schedules by completing their work on a flexible timetable and from varying locations.

Several courses will explore current issues in contemporary life. Dr. Elizabeth Stewart, associate professor of English, will teach students how to analyze film as an art form shaped by politics in her online course “Film & Gender.” Film analysis will help students understand ambiguous concepts like society, politics, ideology, gender and subjectivity, and show them that gaining skill in film analysis will also help them to read and analyze some of the social discussions going on these days about gender. “Movies are such marvelous dreams, such fantasies of who we imagine ourselves and our counterparts to be,” Dr.  Stewart notes, “and the fantasies about who we are as men and women are the most fanciful of all.”

A course to complement Dr. Stewart’s is Dr. Kate Mazza’s online course “History of Women in the United States” because it also explores how gender roles have changed over time and how women have lived throughout American history. “We will examine what ‘womanhood’ has meant at different points in American history, and how women’s lives have been affected by class and race, labor, social and cultural life, women’s opportunities, health, reproductive rights, and feminism,” she said.

Another course tackling an extremely timely issue is Dr. David Sugarman’s “The Migrant in America.” The migrant, Dr. Sugarman says, is at the heart of American mythology and cultural history, “but even today we’re still struggling to understand such things as what is a migrant and is a migrant different from an immigrant, refugee or asylum-seeker.” To answer these and other questions, this online course will trace through literature, films, myths and laws the concept of the migrant from the first foreigners to arrive on the continent to current debates about immigrants and asylum-seekers.

“As the grandchild of immigrants,” said Dr. Sugarman, “I’ve always been interested in the stories of how people have made their way to and around this country. This topic is central to the story of this continent and country, and it seems it will be even more important in the years to come.”

Not a day goes by without news of some terrorist action somewhere in the world, which is why Dr. Yoav Fromer’s course, “The Life and Death of Terrorism,” is so crucial. At the heart of this online course sits this question: “How is it possible that an idea such as terrorism, rooted in death and destruction, still remains so potent and attractive around the world at the dawn of the twenty-first century?” Dr. Fromer will use politics, culture, economics, philosophy, psychology, religion, history, short fiction, documentaries and films to help students comprehend what is it that ultimately drives terrorists to act.

“Because global terrorism has a terrifying ability to evolve, adapt, and translate unimaginable cruelty into seemingly unstoppable violence,” Dr. Fromer notes, “it’s more important than ever to understand why it emerged and how it developed if we are to effectively combat—and overcome—it.”

For those looking for something a bit lighter, Dr. Matthew Miller, associate professor of English, offers “Literature & Culture of the Roaring Twenties,” a time period that includes Prohibition, the rise of organized crime, the country’s first major revolutionary youth movement, the invention of popular radio and the creation of America’s first internationally respected native art form: jazz.

“I’m fascinated by the literature and culture of the Roaring ’20s,” said Dr. Miller. “It truly is one the most momentous and game-changing decades in American history, a decade when some of the greatest American art, music and culture came into being. This is a cultural studies course, touching on the diverse facets that make the ’20s such a rich time. Students can expect to become better readers, better writers and more knowledgeable citizens of American culture and history.”

Students will also find courses in economics, mathematics, physics and English, among other areas. For more information, visit www.yu.edu/katz/program/summer/courses.