A thematic-chronological history of Jews from ancient times to the beginning of the modern era: the biblical background; political, social, religious and cultural interactions with the ancient Near East, Hellenism, Rome, Christians, and Muslims; the rise of rabbinic Judaism and its opponents; communal life; gender; Diaspora cultures. The course traces continuity and change of Judaism and Jewish civilization through examination of a variety of source material: primary historical texts, historical scholarship, and works of art, including literature and film.
A thematic-chronological history of Jews from the beginning of the modern era to the post World War II period: the resettlement of Jews in Europe; modernization of Jewish life and culture and resistance to it in Western and Eastern Europe, North America, Palestine, Middle East, and State of Israel; heresy, political emancipation, developments in antisemitism, enlightenment, secularization, nationalism, revolutions and radicalism, modern religious movements. The course analyzes the impact of modernity on Jewish life through examination of a variety of source material: primary historical texts, historical scholarship, and works of art, including literature and film.
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.
During the Middle Ages, although constituting a small percentage of the European population, Muslims and Jews played a central role in Christian thought. Constituting three intertwined world views, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam relied on each other as vehicles for self-definition as they tried to establish their own boundaries through a process of conversion, apologetics, polemics, and violence. In the process of doing so they studied each other’s texts, met with each other, and used each other as a foil. Rather than using reason to rise above confrontations, the European Enlightenment used reason as a way to establish more permanent boundaries between Christian Europe and Jews and Muslims. Reason and science became the foundation for racism, orientalism, and colonialism, which led European intellectuals to formulate The Jewish Question and The Eastern Question, for which Europe continues to seek solutions as it struggles with antisemitism and Islamophobia.
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.
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.
Introduces elements of grammar and vocabulary of modern Hebrew.
An extensive grammar review with practice in speaking, writing, and translation, based on the reading of texts by modern Hebrew writers.
Selections from current Israeli media including music, newspapers and television, as well as from modern Hebrew prose and poetry (e.g., Ahad Haam, Bialik, Tchernichowski, Agnon, Amichai, Oz, Yehoshua). The selections are studied in Hebrew; written assignments may be submitted in English