Poslední úprava: PhDr. Petr Bednařík, Ph.D. (22.11.2021)
History, Politics and Culture of Central European Jewry
This course explores histories of (East-)Central European Jewry. It introduces and critically examines selected core themes that formed histories and cultures of the Jews from the eighteenth until the twenty-first century. Topics include traditional Jewish society, enlightenment, emancipation, racial antisemitism, Jewish nationalism and Zionism, Holocaust and the rebirth of Jewish life after 1945.
Readings include both primary and secondary sources. All students are required to have read the assigned weekly reading before attending the class. Apart from that, students will be given occasional in-class readings (in the form of handouts).
February 18: Introductory Class and Syllabus Reading
February 25: Traditional Jewish Society
Salo Baron, “Ghetto and Emancipation,” reprinted in Leo W. Schwartz, ed. The Menorah Treasury (Philadelphia 1964): 50 - 63.
March 3: Enlightenment and the Haskalah
Jacob Katz, Out of the Ghetto: The Social Background of Jewish Emancipation (New York 1978): 42-103. (Focus on pages 42-56)
March 10: Emancipation
Hillary L. Rubinstein, Dan Cohn-Sherbok, “Enlightenment and emancipation in continental Europe, 1750-1880,” in The Jews in the Modern World: A History since 1750 (London 2002), 15-42.
March 17: Origins of Racial Antisemitism
Jacob Katz, From Prejudice to Destruction: Anti-Semitism, 1700-1933 (Cambridge 1980): 1-10, 245-300
March 24: Theodor Herzl and Political Zionism
Isaiah Friedman, “Theodor Herzl: Political Activity and Achievements,” in Israel Studies, vol. 9, no. 3 (Fall 2004): 46-79.
March 31: Assimilation and Identity Crisis
Marsha Rozenblit, “The Dissolution of the monarchy and the crisis of Jewish identity, October 1918 - June 1919,” in Reconstructing a National Identity: The Jews of Habsburg Austria during World War I (Oxford, New York 2004): 128-161.
April 7: The Holocaust
Yehuda Bauer, Rethinking the Holocaust (New Haven and London 2002): 1-13, 39-67.
April 14: Final Paper Outlines Due / No Class
April 21: The Holocaust as a Communal Genocide
Omer Bartov, Wartime Lies and Other Testimonies, in East European Politics & Societies 25:3 (2011): 486-511.
May 5: Postwar Jewish-Gentile Experience
Jan T. Gross, Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland after Auschwitz. Essays in Historical Interpretation (New York 2007): 81-117.
May 12: Holocaust Memory and European Identity
Karen Auerbach, Review Essay: Holocaust Memory in Polish Scholarship, in AJS Review 35:1 (April 2011): 137-150.
The final paper is due May 19.
Active participation: 30%
Final paper: 70%
Please note that this class requires active participation and is designed as a collaborative and explorative endeavor.
Please speak to me if there are any issues that I should be aware of – literally any issues that might hinder your performance in class – in the first week of the semester. Are you religious and know you will miss some of the classes because of any religious/traditional obligations? Is it difficult for you to speak in front of a class? Do you need more time to respond to a question? Let me know.
Students are allowed a maximum of two absences.
Evaluation is performed in accordance with the Dean’s Provision.