History | Cosmopolitanism in Modern Europe
J300 | 2860 | Shore


A portion of the above section reserved for Jewish Studies majors
and certificate students
J300:  also open to non-majors
Above section COAS intensive writing section and also requires
registration in COAS W333
Above section open to undergraduates only

TOPIC:  JEWS AND COSMOPOLITANISM IN MODERN EUROPEAN INTELLECTUAL
HISTORY

Isaac Deutscher was raised to become a great Talmudic scholar.
Instead he became a Polish communist and later a renegade
Trotskyite, expelled from the Polish Communist Party in 1932.  In
February 1958, now living in emigration in England, he told the
story of “the non-Jewish Jew” to the World Jewish Congress.  There
is Jewish tradition—Deutscher began, citing Spinoza, Heine, Marx,
Luxemburg, Trotsky and Freud—of breaking with Jewish tradition.  For
Jews, in Deutscher’s reading, had always been restless and rootless,
always occupied a liminal position, always lived on the borders of
various languages, cultures, heritages, civilizations, at once in
and apart from society.  Victimized time and time again by religious
intolerance and nationalist sentiments, Jews have longed for a
universal ideology, a universal Weltanschauung.  Inspired by
Deutscher’s essay, this seminar will examine “cosmopolitan”
ideologies in modern European intellectual history-including
Marxism, psychoanalysis, and deconstruction.

This is a reading-intensive course.  Texts include those by Karl
Marx, Sigmund Freud, Hannah Arendt and Jacques Derrida.  Assignments
include two book reviews and a seminar paper.