Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

To find units available for enrolment in the current year, you must make sure you use the indexes and browse unit tool in the current edition of the Handbook.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitAustralian Centre for Jewish Civilisation
OfferedNot offered in 2013
Coordinator(s)Professor Leah Garrett


Previously coded JWC3260


The unit will focus on Jewish literary responses to catastrophe from ancient times to the Holocaust. After considering the historical framework for events including the Destruction of the Temple, the Crusades and the Spanish Exile, students will read the poetry, stories, songs, and prayers that the Jews composed in reaction to the catastrophes. We will consider how the literature of destruction manifested a Jewish religious response to collective trauma, and how the literature became a means of cultural survival for the Jewish people. We will also examine if and how the literature of destruction is artistic.


Upon completion of this unit, students will be expected to have the capacity to:

  1. Analyse the historical contexts of key events that challenged Jewish theological understandings
  2. Understand the cultural meanings of 'destruction' and 'catastrophe' in Jewish writings
  3. Explore the unique meaning of the Holocaust in Jewish thought and it's literary representations
  4. In addition, students at fourth year will have the ability to appreciate the range of literary forms practised by Jews through history.


Written work: 90% (4500 words)
Participation: 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 2 hour seminar) per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study