Faculty Profile

Edward Merwin

Part-time Associate Professor of Religion; Director of The Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life(2001)

Contact Information

merwin@dickinson.edu

Asbell Center
717.245.1636

Bio

His teaching interests are in American Jewish history and popular culture, with a particular focus on the Lower East Side and Yiddish culture. His current research centers on Jewish-themed Broadway plays, and on the history of the Jewish deli in America.

Education

  • B.A., Amherst College, 1990
  • M.A., Hunter College of the City University of New York, 1998
  • Ph.D., 2002

2013-2014 Academic Year

Fall 2013

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

Spring 2014

JDST 206 Jews & Judaism in the U.S.
Cross-listed with RELG 206-01.

RELG 206 Jews & Judaism in the U.S.
Cross-listed with JDST 206-01.

JDST 216 Jews and Money
Cross-listed with RELG 250-01. For better or worse, Jews and money are often linked in the popular imagination. This course will examine the role of wealth and poverty in Jewish religion and culture, from Biblical times to the present. We will pay particular attention to how the stereotype of the greedy, money-making Jew developed, and ask how this image has played out in Western civilization. Among the texts that we will study are Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice," Karl Marx's "On the Jewish Question," Stephen Birmingham's "Our Crowd," and the Bock-Harnick-Stein musical, "Fiddler on the Roof." We will conclude with an in-depth examination of the Madoff scandal, as well as a study of the escalating problem of poverty among both ultra-Orthodox and Russian-born Jews in the U.S. and Israel.

RELG 250 Jews and Money
Cross-listed with JDST 216-02. For better or worse, Jews and money are often linked in the popular imagination. This course will examine the role of wealth and poverty in Jewish religion and culture, from Biblical times to the present. We will pay particular attention to how the stereotype of the greedy, money-making Jew developed, and ask how this image has played out in Western civilization. Among the texts that we will study are Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice," Karl Marx's "On the Jewish Question," Stephen Birmingham's "Our Crowd," and the Bock-Harnick-Stein musical, "Fiddler on the Roof." We will conclude with an in-depth examination of the Madoff scandal, as well as a study of the escalating problem of poverty among both ultra-Orthodox and Russian-born Jews in the U.S. and Israel.

Summer 2014

PUSP 101 Intro to Public Speaking
An introduction to public speaking addressing the construction and delivery of both informative and persuasive speeches. Students will receive training in (and will practice) overcoming anxiety, gathering and presenting information, determining and responding to audience preferences, and incorporating rhetorical tools to enhance persuasion.

AMST 200 Food & Food Ways in the US
Selected topics in American studies at the introductory level. The subject matter will vary from year to year dependent upon the interests of faculty and the needs and interests of students. Recent topics have included mass media; health, illness, and culture; Latino/a U.S.A.; racial politics of popular music; Caribbean-American literary and visual cultures; Black feminisms. This course fulfills the DIV II social sciences distribution requirement. This course is cross-listed as LALC 123 when topic is relevant.