Jewish Experience in Central Europe

Course NameJewish Experience in Central Europe
Course CodeHIS236
DescriptionThis course investigates the history and experiences of Central European Jewry. We will compare the cultural heritage, religious life, political situation, identity formation and self-understanding of Jews in Central Europe starting the in 9th century through today. We will spend considerable time in the following time periods: before, during and after the breakdown of Austria-Hungary, the Second World War and communism. This history course will examine the experiences of Jews throughout Central and Eastern Europe: from Germany in the West to Russia, Hungary and Ukraine in the East and everything in between. In this broad survey, we will pay specific attention to gender and class analysis in our approach to this material. In addition, together, we will explore the complicated history of anti-Semitism as it affected Jewish life in Central Europe as well as the numerous ways Jews flourished in Central Europe in spite of it.
Learning OutcomesUpon completion of this course, students will be able to:
– Describe what it means to be Jewish in Central Europe from the ~17th-21st centuries (religiously and culturally);
– Understand the fundamentals of Jewish history in Central Europe;
– Identify the main obstacles in the life of Central European Jewry (in different time periods);
– Critically discuss and evaluate main interpretations of the Holocaust;
– Assess the role class and gender played in one’s Jewish experience in Central Europe.
SchoolSchool of Humanities & Social Sciences
Number of credits (US / ECTS)3 US / 6 ECTS