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Wartell, Rebecca Instructor

Positions

Research Areas research areas

Research

research overview

  • Rebecca Wartell researches Sephardic Jews in the early modern period, with a particular interest in issues of refugees and migration after the Spanish Expulsion. She is interested in the economic and social dynamics between established Jewish communities, religious authority, and exiles. In her teaching, Rebecca specializes in Jewish/Christian and Jewish/Muslim historical interactions, with a particular interest in the Roman and Spanish Inquisitions of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. She has taught courses in Jewish culture and history to students of all ages and backgrounds, and enjoys helping students increase their critical thinking and analytic skills. Rebecca has a Master's degree in Theological Studies from Harvard University and a PhD in History from Monash University. She is thrilled to live Colorado, where she is a fourth-generation native.

keywords

  • Sephardic Jews, Sephardic Diaspora, Spanish Inquisition, Roman Inquisition, Mediterranean Studies, Rabbinic texts, Jewish Mediterranean, Jewish migration history, Jewish refugees, Mediterranean trade, Cross-Atlantic Trade, Early Modern Jews,

Publications

selected publications

Teaching

courses taught

  • GRMN 2502 - Representing the Holocaust
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020
    Examines representations of the Holocaust in film, memoirs, poetry, novels, graphic novels, memorials. Considers questions such as: How to depict an event that resists representation? How does the memory of the Holocaust transform over generations? How do representations of the Holocaust inform our understanding of other experiences of racism and genocide? What ethical issues are at stake? Taught in English. Same as JWST 2502.
  • GSLL 2350 - Introduction to Jewish Culture
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Spring 2019 / Fall 2019 / Spring 2020 / Fall 2020 / Spring 2021
    Explores the development and expressions of Jewish cultures across the chronological and geographical map of the Jewish people, with an emphasis on the variety of Jewish ethnicities and their cultural productions, cultural syncretism, and changes, including such issues as sexuality and foodways. Sets the discussion in relevant contexts and looks at cultural representations that include literary, religious and visual texts. Same as JWST 2350.
  • GSLL 2551 - Modern Jewish Literature
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019
    Examines Jewish experience through the study of literary texts from around the world, mainly from the 20th and 21st centuries. Discusses issues pertaining to secularism and tradition; diasporas and homelands; modernity and questions of identity raised by the intellectual transitions brought about by political and social emancipation; sexualities; enormous changes wrought by population redistributions, world wars and rapid cultural transformations. Same as JWST 2551.
  • HIST 4524 - The Jews of Spain and Portugal: After Expulsion
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2021
    This course considers the experience of Jews and converses during the Spanish Inquisition and the Iberian expulsions of the 1490s. Sephardic refugees faced social, economic, and political upheavals in the decades after their exile, leading to new communities in settings as diverse as North Africa, India, Turkey, the Caribbean, and the Americas. The study of texts and traditions from the Sephardic diaspora will explore themes including forced conversion, rabbinic authority, colonialism, and mercantile networks. Previously offered as a special topics course. Same as JWST 4524.
  • JWST 2350 - Introduction to Jewish Culture
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Spring 2019 / Fall 2019 / Spring 2020 / Fall 2020 / Spring 2021
    Explores the development and expressions of Jewish cultures across the chronological and geographical map of the Jewish people, with an emphasis on the variety of Jewish ethnicities and their cultural productions, cultural syncretism, and changes, including such issues as sexuality and foodways. Sets the discussion in relevant contexts and looks at cultural representations that include literary, religious and visual texts. Same as GSLL 2350.
  • JWST 2502 - Representing the Holocaust
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020
    Examines representations of the Holocaust in film, memoirs, poetry, novels, graphic novels, memorials. Considers questions such as: How to depict an event that resists representation? How does the memory of the Holocaust transform over generations? How do representations of the Holocaust inform our understanding of other experiences of racism and genocide? What ethical issues are at stake? Same as JWST 2502.
  • JWST 2551 - Modern Jewish Literature
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019
    Examines Jewish experience through the study of literary texts from around the world, mainly from the 20th and 21st centuries. Discusses issues pertaining to secularism and tradition; diasporas and homelands; modernity and questions of identity raised by the intellectual transitions brought about by political and social emancipation; sexualities; enormous changes wrought by population redistributions, world wars and rapid cultural transformations. Same as GSLL 2551.
  • JWST 3130 - Jews in the American West
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020
    Explores the history of Jewish migration and settlement in the American West. Jewish pioneers in the nineteenth century included explorers, businessmen, and cowgirls that established small communities in territories that had not yet achieved statehood. As westward expansion progressed, Jews continued to find opportunity in the West, balancing assimilation with unique expressions of religious identity. The history of communal institutions including synagogues, hospitals and summer camps offers new perspectives on this underrepresented segment of American Jewry. Same as HIST 4837.
  • JWST 3202 - Women, Gender & Sexuality in Jewish Texts & Traditions
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Spring 2021
    Reads some of the ways Jewish texts and traditions look at women, gender and sexuality from biblical times to the present. Starts with an analysis of the positioning of the body, matter and gender in creation stories, moves on to the gendered aspects of tales of rescue and sacrifice, biblical tales of sexual subversion and power, taboo-breaking and ethnos building, to rabbinic attitudes towards women, sexuality and gender and contemporary renderings and rereadings of the earlier texts and traditions. Same as HEBR 3202 and RLST 3202 and WGST 3201.
  • JWST 3820 - Topics in Jewish Studies
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Intensive study of a selected area or problem in Jewish Studies. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours as topics change.
  • JWST 3930 - Internship in Jewish Studies
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020 / Spring 2021
    Learn beyond the classroom by interning in a local non-profit organization that connects with the Program in Jewish Studies through its mission and/or program. Interns will attend class to learn about work place ethics, professional development and leadership skills through a Jewish Studies lens. Interns will be supervised by the faculty member of record as well as the employer housing the intern. Recommended prerequisites: HEBR 2350 or JWST 2350 or HIST 1818 or JWST 1818 or HIST 1828 or JWST 1828. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours.
  • JWST 4000 - Capstone in Jewish Studies
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020
    Serves as the final product for students completing the major in Jewish Studies. Students will design a project under the supervision of a mentor that serves as the summation of their past work in Jewish Studies. Capstone projects can take the form of a thesis, film or another media. Instructor consent required for JWST minors.
  • JWST 4524 - The Jews of Spain and Portugal: After Expulsion
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2021
    This course considers the experience of Jews and converses during the Spanish Inquisition and the Iberian expulsions of the 1490s. Sephardic refugees faced social, economic, and political upheavals in the decades after their exile, leading to new communities in settings as diverse as North Africa, India, Turkey, the Caribbean, and the Americas. The study of texts and traditions from the Sephardic diaspora will explore themes including forced conversion, rabbinic authority, colonialism, and mercantile networks. Previously offered as a special topics course. Same as HIST 4524.
  • RLST 3202 - Women, Gender & Sexuality in Jewish Texts & Traditions
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Spring 2021
    Reads some of the ways Jewish texts and traditions look at women, gender and sexuality from biblical times to the present. Starts with an analysis of the positioning of the body, matter and gender in creation stories, moves on to the gendered aspects of tales of rescue and sacrifice, biblical tales of sexual subversion and power, taboo-breaking and ethnos building, to rabbinic attitudes towards women, sexuality and gender and contemporary renderings and rereadings of the earlier texts and traditions. Same as WGST 3201 and JWST 3202 and HEBR 3202.
  • SPAN 4220 - Special Topics in Spanish and/or Spanish American Literature
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Examines intensively particular topics or issues concerning Spanish and/or Spanish American literature selected by the instructor. May be repeated up to 7 total credit hours. Recommended prerequisites: SPAN 3120 and an additional course above SPAN 3000.
  • WGST 3201 - Women, Gender & Sexuality in Jewish Texts & Traditions
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Spring 2021
    Reads some of the ways Jewish texts and traditions look at women, gender and sexuality from biblical times to the present. Starts with an analysis of the positioning of the body, matter and gender in creation stories, moves on to the gendered aspects of tales of rescue and sacrifice, biblical tales of sexual subversion and power, taboo-breaking and ethnos building, to rabbinic attitudes towards women, sexuality and gender and contemporary renderings and rereadings of the earlier texts and traditions. Same as JWST 3202 and HEBR 3202 and RLST 3202.

Background

International Activities

global connections related to teaching and scholarly work (in recent years)

Other Profiles