History | Jews of Eastern Europe
D304 | 27273 | Thorne


Above class carries Culture Studies credit
A portion of the above class reserved for majors
Above class open to undergraduates and Education MA’s only
Above class meets with JSTU-J 303

The historian Yuri Slezkine famously declared the twentieth century
as “The Jewish Century.”  Whether or not we accept this claim, the
years 1848-1938 also proved pivotal for European Jewry, particularly
in Eastern Europe.  This period witnessed staggering contributions
made by East European Jews in the realms of politics and culture,
generally—though not uniformly—in the context of occupying a
marginal status in society.  Key questions and themes this course
explores are: emancipation/acculturation/assimilation; Zionism;
socialism; the status of Jews within the Austro-Hungarian, Russian,
and Ottoman empires; the relationship between Jews and other ethnic
groups within these empires; modernity; the shtetl; and
antisemitism.  For the purposes of this class, “Eastern Europe”
refers to the European territories of the Austro-Hungarian, Russian,
and Ottoman Empires, but excludes the Polish partitions ceded to
Prussia.

This course is primarily discussion-based, although brief lectures
will be given regularly to provide historical context.  Prior
knowledge of the course subject is not required. Students will be
evaluated on the basis of two short papers, two tests, and a final
research paper.  There will be no required textbook for this
course.  Rather, students will read articles and chapters from
monographs made available on OnCourse and/or e-reserves.