• Academic Credits: 3
  • Mode of Instruction: Lecture
  • Syllabus:  Spring 2024

    Syllabus Disclaimer:  The information on this syllabus is subject to change. For up-to-date course information, please refer to the syllabus on your course site (Canvas, etc.) on the first day of class.

  • Cross-listed Course: 01:563:269
  • Course Description

    Recent years have witnessed an upsurge in antisemitic rhetoric and incidents in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere. Jews have been verbally and physically attacked and some have been murdered. The actions and statements of diverse social and political constituencies are labeled antisemitic.

    This course invites students to think deeply about contemporary discourses of and about antisemitism in light of their historical precedents and resonances. Students will monitor current events and analyze their representations in the media. They will also study the complex history of antisemitism—a term that has been used to denote a constellation of phenomena that disparage Jews and Judaism. The historical portion of the course will proceed chronologically, starting with an analysis of negative attitudes toward Jews and Judaism in the ancient and medieval worlds and also considering modern Europe, the United States, and the Middle East.

    Throughout, attention will be devoted to the wide-ranging contexts and content of antisemitism; the functions that anti-Jewish animus has served in different societies; the roles of religion, science, and politics in anti-Jewish ideologies and actions; factors that have intensified and mitigated anti-Jewish ideologies and their expressions; and the relationships that have existed between hatred of Jews and other forms of prejudice. Students will ponder continuities and turning points in the history of antisemitism as well as the significance of antisemitism as an analytic category. They will also consider the dangers of focusing on antisemitism at the expense of other dynamics in Jewish history.

    Addressing urgent questions in historical perspective, students will emerge better equipped to navigate the challenges of the contemporary world.

    Credit not given for both this course and 01:563:269.