The Golem is one of the most fascinating creatures in literature: part human, part beast. An object of mystery, pity, fear, and contempt. In this seminar, we will explore traditional versions of the Golem story in Jewish sources alongside selections from more modern Golem tales by authors such as Terry Pratchett, Mary Shelley, and Michael Chabon. Students will consider these different depictions of artificial humans as a way of exploring some deep questions: what it means to be human, what it means to create, and what fears and desires the figure of the Golem represents for Jews throughout history. We may even try writing some Golem tales of our own!
Earn a Tikvah Certificate
For students who want to take at least 3 courses this summer, you can become eligible for special additional opportunities—including essay prizes/scholarships, special sessions w/ Jewish leaders, and a Tikvah online certificate.Learn More
Meet the Instructors
Seminars are taught by Tikvah faculty and experts in the subject matter. Please note that course faculty are subject to change depending on availability.
Sarah Skwire is a Senior Fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc., a non-profit educational foundation and the co-author of the college writing textbook, Writing with a Thesis, which is in its 12th edition. Sarah has published a range of academic articles on subjects from Shakespeare to zombies and the broken window fallacy, and her work has appeared in journals as varied as Religions, Literature and Medicine, The George Herbert Journal, and The Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. She has written frequently for FEE, the Fraser Institute, Bleeding Heart Libertarians, and other print and digital outlets. Sarah’s work on literature and economics has also appeared in Newsweek, The Freeman, and in Cato Unbound, and she is an occasional lecturer for IHS, SFL, and other organizations. She has been featured on podcasts such as Economic Rockstars and Imaginary Worlds. Her poetry has appeared, among other places, in Standpoint, The New Criterion, and The Vocabula Review. She graduated with honors in English from Wesleyan University, and earned an MA and PhD in English from the University of Chicago.
Charles T. Rubin
Charles T. Rubin teaches political philosophy at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh. Recent publications focus on converging technologies, and those who believe they should be used to redesign humanity, a topic he discusses in Eclipse of Man: Human Extinction and the Meaning of Progress (Encounter/New Atlantis Books, 2014). Dr. Rubin is also author of The Green Crusade: Rethinking the Roots of Environmentalism (1994) and editor of Conservation Reconsidered: Nature, Virtue and American Liberal Democracy (2000). In 2017-18 he was a visiting Fellow in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University, working on a book exploring what classic stories about human-created monsters tell us about the coming age of biotechnology. Other work in the field of literature and politics includes studies of Henry Adams, Flannery O’Connor (with his wife Leslie G. Rubin), H.G. Wells, and contemporary author Neal Stephenson.