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ABOUT THE PROGRAM
This course examines how the American Jewish literary landscape has changed by reading the work of contemporary writers against the backdrop of their literary heritage.
In the twentieth century, the prominence of writers like Bernard Malamud, Saul Bellow, and Philip Roth was inextricably tied to their Jewishness: they were presented to the world not as American writers but as American Jewish writers. This course examines how the American Jewish literary landscape has changed. How are new Jewish writers reacting and responding stylistically and thematically to their literary heritage, if at all? Are they American Jewish writers or American writers who happen to be Jewish? What, if anything, is the value of an American Jewish canon? Take up these questions while reading Nicole Krauss’ The History of Love, Dara Horn’s A Guide for the Perplexed, David Bezmozgis’ The Free World, and Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
Instructor: Taly Ravid is completing a PhD in English at UCLA, where she specializes in contemporary American literature. She teaches a range of literature courses at UCLA, from “Post-War American Fiction” to “The Sixties in America” to “The American Novel.” Ravid is winner of the 2012–2013 Skirball Fellowship in Modern Jewish studies as well as a fellowship from the UCLA/Mellon Program on the Holocaust in American and World Culture.