RELS 257 is an introductory level course. As such, no prior knowledge of the subject matter is required on your part. We will engage in a systematic examination of the history of antisemitism, beginning with the emergence of anti-Judaism in late antiquity, its transformation in the Middle Ages, and the evolution of a racialized antisemitism in the modern world. In each period, students will investigate the socio- political contexts that gave rise to the fear of, hatred toward, and attacks on Jewish individuals and communities. Class sessions will involve a mix of lecture and class discussion.
RELS130 is an introductory level survey of Jewish history from the late Medieval period until the late twentieth century. As such, no prior knowledge of the subject matter is required on your part. This course will explore the history of Jews, Judaism, and Jewish life from the Middle Ages to the present day. In doing so, we will use the widest geographical lens possible by examining Jewish communities stretching from Baghdad to Berlin to Buenos Aires and beyond. In order to illustrate important ideas, frequent use will be made of various primary source materials including literature, film, religious texts, and more. Throughout our study of the past 500-odd years of Jewish history, particular emphasis will be placed on cultural transformation as an index of broader historical processes such as changes in intra-communal authority, European colonialism, relationships with the state, and the development of Jewish secularism. Our time in the classroom will be split between lecture format, class discussion, screening relevant video material, and occasional group work.