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Graduate Program



Graduate Program

Course Offerings


Graduate Fall 2007 Courses


JS 560: Approaches to Jewish History
JS 597R: Directed Study
JS 598R: Thesis/Exam Preparation
JS 730R: The History, Ideology, and Politics of Holocaust Denial
JS 730R: Readings in Judeo-Arabic Texts
JS 730: Marginality, Memory and Identity


JS 560: Approaches to Jewish History (same as HIST 585)
Goldstein, M 1:00-4:00, MAX: 12 (4 JS, 8 HIST)

Course description: This course will explore how traditional understandings of Jewish history in the ancient and medieval periods were transformed with the rise of modern Jewish historiography beginning in the early nineteenth century. Examining some of the classics of Jewish historical writing as well as some innovative new voices, we will explore how Jewish historiography of the last two hundred years has been shaped both by the demands of the secular academy and by the challenges and concerns of modern Jewish life: the quest for Jewish emancipation, the rise of Jewish nationalist consciousness, and the search for a home in the diaspora. We will end with a survey of trends in recent scholarship, focusing particularly on the impact of feminism, postmodernism and postzionism.

Texts: Possible texts include:

  • Morris, Benny, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949
  • Boyarin, Daniel, Unheroic Conduct: The Rise of Heterosexuality and the Invention of the Jewish Man
  • Katz, Jacob, Out of the Ghetto
  • Meyer, Michael A., The Ideas of Jewish History
  • Goldman, Karla, Beyond the Synagogue Gallery: Finding a Place for Women in American Judaism
  • Scholem, Gershom, The Messianic Idea in Judaism
  • Schwartz, Seth, Imperialism and Jewish Society, 200 BCE to 640 CE
  • Moore, Deborah Dash, At Home in America
  • Yerushalmi, Yosef Hayim, Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory

Particulars: The course will require substantial reading (both assigned and individual), participation in weekly discussion, two short oral presentations and two writing assignments, one a 5-7 page review of a set of readings and the second a 10-15 page paper which locates a set of readings within their historiographical context.

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JS 597R: Directed Study
Faculty, Time: TBA

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JS 598R: Thesis/Exam Preparation
Faculty, Time: TBA

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JS 730R: The History, Ideology, and Politics of Holocaust Denial (same as RLHT 738, HIST 585) Lipstadt, Wed 11:45-2:00, MAX: 15 (JS 5, RLHT 5, HIST 5)

Course description: This seminar will examine the phenomenon of Holocaust denial. Topics to be covered include the evolution of denial in the immediate aftermath of World War II, the resurgence of denial in the 1980's with the establishment of the Institute of Historical Review and the publication of the Journal of Historical Review, the Zundel trial in Canada, Irving v. Penguin and Lipstadt, the evolution of Holocaust denial laws in Europe, Arab/Muslim Holocaust denial, and denial on the Internet.

Texts: Among the texts will be:

  • Richard Evans, Lying About Hitler
  • Deborah Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust
  • Deborah Lipstadt, History on Trial
  • Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman, Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It?
  • Robert Van Pelt, The Case for Auschwitz
  • Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Assasins of Memory: Essays on the Denial of the Holocaust
  • John Zimmerman, Holocaust Denial: Demographies, Ideologies, and Testimonies

Particulars: TBA

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JS 730R: Readings in Judeo-Arabic Texts (same as MESAS 570R)
Margariti, T 4:00-7:00, MAX: 10 (5 JS, 5 MESAS)

Course description: This course is designed to introduce students to Judeo-Arabic, the language spoken and written by the vast majority of the world's Jews in Arab lands, through the study of Judeo-Arabic texts from various periods and places. These texts are a rare window on the history of Arabic and its spoken dialects, since they preserve distinctive linguistic features of usage not found in classical Arabic texts. They are also a major source for the history of the Jews from the Middle Ages to the modern period, and cast light into hitherto shadowy corners of the social history of the Middle East - its minorities and majorities alike.

Texts: Students will read the texts in the original language, from the original manuscripts (reproduced digitally or on microfilm). Students will also read short selections of secondary works on Judeo-Arabic literature, and the history of paper, letter-writing, and the mail system.

Particulars: Requirements include weekly preparation of texts and one research paper consisting of scholarly edition of an unpublished Judeo-Arabic text. This course is recommended for anyone with a strong interest in Arabic and the history of the Middle East. May be repeated for credit as the texts will change. Prerequisite: five semesters of Arabic (Familiarity with the Hebrew alphabet is not a preprequisite).

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JS 730: Marginality, Memory and Identity (same as HIST 585)
Wachtel, W 4:00-7:00, MAX: 6 (JS 3, HIST 3)

Course description: This seminar will concentrate on two case studies of peoples who found themselves culturally and politically marginalized. These groups, the Uru Indians of Bolivia and the Crypto-Jews of Latin America (also sometimes referred to as marranos and conversos), were both dominated during the course of the sixteenth century but managed to endure until today. In addition to examining the strategies used by these two groups to survive, we will analyze how their collective memory served as an essential component of their unique identities. Moreover, both cases permit the scholar to investigate the relationship between anthropological fieldwork and historical investigation. By linking the early modern period to contemporary ethnographic work, this course also allows reflection about the role of history in anthroplogy and anthropology in history.


  • TBA

Particulars: TBA.

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