As a special topic for 2014, this course will be a dialogue course that compares the changes in Jewish life in Christian Europe and in the Ottoman Empire; the dynamics of relationships between Christians and Muslims and Ashkenazic, Sephardic, Eastern Jews; the resettlement of Jews in the west and in the east; modernization of Jewish life and culture and resistance to it in Western and Eastern Europe, North America, Palestine, the Middle East, and the State of Israel; heresy, political emancipation, developments in enlightenment, secularization, modern religious movements, radicalism, antisemitism, Zionism, and the Holocaust.
As a special topic for 2015, this course will be a dialogue course that will pay particular attention to the relations between Jews, Arabs, and Christians in History. Beginning in the time of the Bible, the course will follow the emergence of Hebrews/Jews and Arabs, and subsequent developments under Greeks, Romans, Christians, and Muslims. The course will examine the changing political, religious, social, and cultural interactions among and between Muslims, Christians, and Jews.
A dialogue seminar on the geographical, historical, and cultural setting of the Land of Israel\Palestine; impact of foreign powers and ideas; its role in religious and political thought; nationalism; construction of narratives, competition for hegemony and territory; attempts to divide the land; the role of dialogue between Palestinians and Jews.
This lecture course will focus on the origins of the Nazi genocide of Jews, the interlocking roles played by perpetrators and bystanders, and the various interpretations that scholars have brought to bear on the subject in an attempt to explain how and why it happened. By way of comparison, the experience of other racial minorities under Hitler's regime, e.g., Roma and Afro-Germans, will be briefly examined.
Taught in conjunction with HIST-295, the first half comprises the lecture component (described above) of the course; the second half is made up of a seminar component. Among the controversies covered latterly: Holocaust memorials and their discontents; Holocaust denial; and the intentionalist/functionalist debate.
What does the secular Jew believe in? From the emergence of Baruch Spinoza—the first secular Jew—in the 17th century, to the eruption of ideology in the 19th and 20th centuries, many modern Jews lost their faith in G-d and placed it in humanity instead. Jewish involvement in modern movements (e.g., socialism, liberalism, and nationalism) will be the focus of this course.
This course studies the historical role of Jews as migrants—as strangers in a strange land—and their eventual transformation from "Outsiders" to "Insiders", as a way of understanding their current place in North American society. For the sake of context, readings will include comparisons with the experiences of other minority groups.
The Jewish presence in American filmmaking has long been the obsession of hate-mongers. But historians have begun to approach the matter as a legitimate subject of enquiry and have shown that it is possible to avoid the bigot-booster trap that so often plagues the study of hot-button issues such as this one. This course attempts to answer the following questions: Has Hollywood's "Jewishness" had a discernible impact on the content of cultural products? Have the changes in American society--and in the film industry--since the early 20th century had an effect on the way in which Jews and Jewish identity are represented on screen? Have Jewish images become "normalized"?
An introduction to the self-definition of Judaism through an analysis of the concepts of God, Torah and Israel past and present. Also, a preliminary study of the struggles facing Jews in Europe,the Station of Israel and North America.
A study of the tensions that come into play as Jews formulated views of the Other to balance co-existence with them. Source materials include authoritative writings of Jewish commentary and law and social scientific views of them.