21st-Century Jewish Literature: A Glimpse into My Syllabus

Collage of three book covers: THE MAN IN THE WHITE SHARKSKIN SUIT by Lucette Lagnado; THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA by Philip Roth; and LETTERS TO MY PALESTINIAN NEIGHBOR by Yossi Klein Halevi.

A number of you have asked for details about the syllabus I’ve been working on for my upcoming undergraduate course on “21st-Century Jewish Literature.” Suffice to say that I’ve spent a lot of time this summer preparing for this class. (And with just two weeks to go before the first class meeting, I’m not done yet!)

Mindful of a number of factors—including the cost of book purchases—I’ve worked hard to feature among these readings plenty of materials that are freely available online and/or via databases accessible to all of my students. We’ll be reading lots of essays, short stories, poems, and excerpts from longer works. I’m asking that students obtain for themselves only three titles—those pictured above, by Lucette Lagnado, Philip Roth, and Yossi Klein Halevi (all three of those books are available in paperback and e-book format, with copies also available through our university and local public libraries).

Below are the names of the other authors (and translators) of texts featured on the syllabus. (Not cited here: the authors of supplementary secondary readings.)

I’m excited to engage with these works. I hope that my students will be, too!

  • Allison Amend
  • Molly Antopol
  • Dalia Betolin-Sherman (trans. Ilana Kurshan)
  • David Bezmozgis
  • Danit Brown
  • Ruth Calderon (trans. Ilana Kurshan)
  • Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt
  • Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach
  • Shulem Deen
  • Jehanne Dubrow
  • Jason K. Friedman
  • Eduardo Halfon (multiple translators)
  • Rachel Hall
  • Dara Horn
  • Julia Knobloch
  • Michal Lemberger
  • Sara Lippmann
  • Erika Meitner
  • Yehoshua November
  • Amos Oz (trans. Nicholas de Lange)
  • Abigail Pogrebin
  • Ilan Stavans
  • Ayelet Tsabari
  • Julie Zuckerman

8 thoughts on “21st-Century Jewish Literature: A Glimpse into My Syllabus

  1. What a great list! Have you given any thought to offering an online class on this for the general public/your readership?

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Not yet! I’ve designed this very much with the twice-a-week meeting and paper-writing (and other) requirements in mind. Need to see how it goes and then think about adapting for other formats/settings.

  2. Erika Dreifus says:

    Update! Some details about how the course is organized are available on this Twitter thread: https://twitter.com/erikadreifus/status/1161257412302651394.

  3. Nina Lehman says:

    can I sign up?

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Alas–not unless you’re a Baruch College student (and even then, I think there were just two seats left when I last checked!).

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