JWST 434 Spring 2013 The Meaning of Diaspora and the Jews of Europe

Cross Listed as HIST434
Dispersion, exile, migration, statelessness are all aspects of diaspora. And in the study of diasporic peoples and cultures, the Jews have long figured as the archetype. Indeed, prior to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, the diasporic condition both defined and, in a meaningful way, was defined by the Jewish experience. As a result, Jewish political figures, intellectuals, and scholars have played a central role in discussions of the meaning of diaspora, including debates about its political and social implications, economic value, and cultural significance. This seminar examines various interpretations of Jews' diasporic existence from the nineteenth century to the present, both as a cultural practice and a form of group identity from which political claims have been made. Ultimately, this seminar will test the proposition that "The Modern Age is the Jewish Age," that is, that the meaning of diaspora in modern Jewish history has direct relevance to students of human identity, not just of Jewishness. In addition to common readings, students will conduct independent research on some aspect of the history of diaspora that will culminate in a 20-page paper.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on class participation, several short papers, oral presentations, and a 20-page research paper
Additional Info: not available for the Gaudino option and cannot be taken Pass/Fail
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: History majors and Jewish Studies concentrators
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: HIST Group B Electives - Asia
Enrollment Limit: 15
Expected Enrollment: 15
Class Number: 3550
JWST434-01(S) SEM Diaspora & Jews of Europe Division 2: Social Studies Alexandra Garbarini
W 1:10 PM-3:50 PM Hollander 240 3550
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