Jewish Studies

Jewish Studies

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2018-2019 Course Offerings

HIST 221 Fall: Jewish and World Civilization (until 1492)
Instructor: Dr. Vassili Schedrin
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.
HIST 222 Winter: Jewish and World Civilization (since 1492)
Instructor: Dr. Vassili Schedrin
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.
HIST 244-001 Winter: Jews on Film
Instructor: Dr. Gordon Dueck
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"?
HIST 295 Fall : The Holocaust
Instructor: Dr. Gordon Dueck
A fall/winter course taught in conjunction with HIST-295, the first half comprises the lecture component; the second half is a seminar that explores the vast field of Holocaust literature/historiography. The background to and processes of the destruction of the Jews of Europe between 1933 and 1945. Themes to be covered include: modern anti-semitism, Jewish communities in the inter-war era, Nazi racial policies, the Judenrat, the organization of the death camps, the attitudes of the Christian churches, the role of collaborators, the ideology of mass murder, and the questions of ‘compliance’, ‘resistance’, and ‘silence’
HIST 339 Winter: Jews without Judaism
Instructor: Dr. Gordon Dueck
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.
HIST 344 Fall : Plural Visions: New World Jews & the Invention of Multiculturalism
Instructor: Dr. Gordon Dueck
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.
HIST 400-004 Fall : Jewish Life Under Communism
Instructor: Dr. Vassili Schedrin
The course is a thematic exploration of Jewish history in the Revolutionary Russia and Soviet Union. We will examine how, in 1917-1991, communist ideology, state policies, and everyday life in USSR (such as sweeping emancipation of the Jews and anti-Judaism of the Soviet state, government support of secular Jewish culture and Soviet leaders’ antisemitism) together with global developments and phenomena (such as Jewish assimilation and popular antisemitism, Holocaust and emergence of the Jewish state) shaped an unique Jewish identity, social and cultural profile of the Soviet Jews. With the help of primary sources, scholarship, literature and movies we’ll see how Soviet Jews developed and maintained their identity in the Soviet Union and spread their culture throughout the world when most of them emigrated after the fall of USSR.