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Sophomore Seminar: East European Jewish Experience

HIST 156
Spring 2011 not offered
Crosslisting: RELI 234, REES 156
Certificates: Jewish and Israel Studies

Our concept of the life of East European Jews has been dominated by the Hollywood and Broadway blockbuster FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. The shtetl has been the paradigm of East European Jewish experience. But the powerful imagery of the shtetl is largely a creation of 19th-century writers. This course will take us beyond the shtetl and will look at the history of the Jews in Eastern Europe from the initial settlement of the Jews there until the eve of modernity. We will examine how historians and writers have shaped our understanding of Jewish history in that region and the context in which the persisting imagery of Eastern European Jews was created. Why were certain stories told? What can different historical sources show us about Jewish life in Eastern Europe? We will discuss how Jewish history in Eastern Europe was studied by historians and couple the narratives created by scholars with historical sources: privilege charters, crime records, rabbinic response, anti-Jewish literature, and others. We will try to probe the relation between history, historical sources, and historical writings.

Essential Capabilities: Information Literacy, Writing
The students will be exposed to research tools and methods through special library sessions and assignments.

Writing will be stressed in class, and students will work on papers, which will include a draft stage. I will comment and guide the students on the writing process. Writing tutor will be available.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS HIST
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (RELI)

Last Updated on OCT-02-2023
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