Syllabus for Roster(s):

  • 16Sp HIEU 1502-001 (CGAS)
In the UVaCollab course site:   16Sp HIEU 1502-001 (CGAS)

Course Description (for SIS)

HIEU 1501 Course Description

Antisemitism has been called both an ancient religious hatred and an ultra-modern racial ideology. Scholars often cite its origins in the early teachings of the Catholic Church, yet its appearance predates Christianity by centuries. In modern times, antisemitism has thrived in Muslim societies in which no actual Jews live. These puzzles continue today: We live in a world suffused with antisemitism—yet no one can agree on a satisfactory definition of it. In this first-year seminar, we will explore this complex topic as an introduction to the contemporary study of history.

            In this course, we will carefully trace the history of anti-Jewish ideologies from antiquity to the present. Our goal will be to examine where and how myths about Jews and Judaism develop in history, how they change over time, and when and why they result in violence. The long pedigree and elusive meaning of antisemitism make it an ideal vehicle to learn about the academic study of history as a whole. Hence, in this course we will pay special attention to what the continuities and discontinuities in the story of antisemitism can teach us about larger theoretical and methodological problems of historiography.

            We will proceed chronologically in this course from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome to the early Christian world, through to medieval and early modern Europe. As we reach the modern period, we will spend more time isolating the key strands of modern antisemitism—political, economic, cultural, and racial. In the second half of the course, we will examine some key topics in twentieth- and twenty-first century history of antisemitism, including the Holocaust, Communist antisemitism, and Islamist antisemitism. Concurrent with this portion of the course, students will develop their own research agendas for studying a specialized case of antisemitism from a pre-approved cluster of topics. Students will pursue an extended research project, including building a research bibliography.

In each course session, we will read a combination of narrative history and primary sources. Students will actively participate in sharing ideas and analyses of the readings. Then, the instructor will deliver some background remarks about the following week’s topic. Towards the end of the term, students will present their research-in-progress for group critique as we discuss methods and sources for historical study.

            This is an introductory course that assumes no prior knowledge of Judaism, Jewish history, or European history. We will read and critically analyze a variety of primary and secondary sources, including religious, political, and legal writings, artistic images and musical recordings, and scholarly studies. The overall goal of this course is to develop close critical reading and writing skills while engaging with a key moral problem of human history that the world continues to confront today.

Readings will include David Nirenberg’s Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition (2013), Walter Laqueur’s The Changing Face of Antisemitism (2006), and various other primary and secondary sources available on Collab. This course satisfies the second writing requirement. 

HIEU 1502 Syllabus

HIEU 1502

Antisemitism: The Limits of History

Spring 2016

(rev. 4/20/16)

Mr. James Loeffler

Class meetings: Mondays, 6-8:30PM in New Cabell Hall Room 115

Office Hours: Wednesdays, 10:30-12:00 and by appointment.

Office address: Nau 236

E-mail: james.loeffler@virginia.edu

www.jamesloeffler.com

 

Course Description

Antisemitism has been called both an ancient religious hatred and an ultra-modern racial ideology. Scholars often cite its origins in the early teachings of the Catholic Church, yet its appearance predates Christianity by centuries. In modern times, antisemitism has thrived in Muslim societies in which no actual Jews live. These puzzles continue today: We live in a world suffused with antisemitism—yet no one can agree on a satisfactory definition of it. In this first-year seminar, we will explore this complex topic as an introduction to the contemporary study of history.

            In this course, we will carefully trace the history of anti-Jewish ideologies from antiquity to the present. Our goal will be to examine where and how myths about Jews and Judaism develop in history, how they change over time, and when and why they result in violence. The long pedigree and elusive meaning of antisemitism make it an ideal vehicle to learn about the academic study of history as a whole. Hence, in this course we will pay special attention to what the continuities and discontinuities in the story of antisemitism can teach us about larger theoretical and methodological problems of historiography.

            We will proceed chronologically in this course from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome to the early Christian world, through to medieval and early modern Europe. As we reach the modern period, we will spend more time isolating the key strands of modern antisemitism—political, economic, cultural, and racial. In the second half of the course, we will examine some key topics in twentieth- and twenty-first century history of antisemitism, including the Holocaust, Communist antisemitism, and Islamist antisemitism. Concurrent with this portion of the course, students will develop their own research agendas for studying a specialized case of antisemitism from a pre-approved cluster of topics. Students will pursue an extended research project, including building a research bibliography.

In each course session, we will read a combination of narrative history and primary sources. Students will actively participate in sharing ideas and analyses of the readings. Then, the instructor will deliver some background remarks about the following week’s topic. Towards the end of the term, students will present their research-in-progress for group critique as we discuss methods and sources for historical study.

            This is an introductory course that assumes no prior knowledge of Judaism, Jewish history, or European history. We will read and critically analyze a variety of primary and secondary sources, including religious, political, and legal writings, artistic images and musical recordings, and scholarly studies. The overall goal of this course is to develop close critical reading and writing skills while engaging with a key moral problem of human history that the world continues to confront today.

Readings will include David Nirenberg’s Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition (2013), Walter Laqueur’s The Changing Face of Antisemitism (2006), and various other primary and secondary sources available on Collab. This course satisfies the second writing requirement. 

Requirements:

  1. Full attendance and active participation in all class discussions (50%);
  2. 2 short reaction papers (500-750 words) across the semester (5% each). If you are not satisfied with your grade on either of these paper assignments, you will have the option to revise and resubmit for reconsideration (but without guarantee of any change of grade);
  3. 1 bibliography essay assignment (500-750 words), in which you provide an annotated list of relevant sources with capsule descriptions of each one (15%);
  4. 1 independent research project culminating in a written research prospectus (due in two phases: a draft version at 750-1000 words, and a final version to be no less than 1500 words). This research prospectus is intended to be not a formal essay but a research proposal, in which you survey the literature on a topic and present a plan for how to tackle a major question in the history of antisemitism. (Draft is ungraded, final version is 25% of grade)

The above not withstanding, to pass the course it is necessary to complete all assignments, including acceptable papers on approved topics, and to attend all lectures. Attendance will be taken and multiple repeated absences will be grounds for failure. Students who need to miss class for religious holidays, family emergencies, athletic commitments or other reasons must obtain permission from the instructor prior to the date in question. The same applies to the submission of written assignments and exams. Late assignments will be penalized.

Cellphones must be turned off or set on “silent” mode during lecture. No use of iPhones, Androids, or any other email or texting devices is permitted during class. No recording devices are permitted in class. Laptops and tablets are limited to note-taking during class unless otherwise specified.

Grading Guide:

A+ 99-100                   A 94-98           A- 90-93

B+ 87-89                     B 84-86           B- 80-83

C+ 77-79                     C 74-76           C- 70-73

D+ 67-69                     D 64-66           D- 60-63

F Below 60

 

The Honor System 

The College of Arts and Sciences relies upon and cherishes its community of trust. We firmly endorse, uphold, and embrace the University’s Honor principle that students will not lie, cheat, or steal, and we expect all students to take responsibility for the System and the privileges that it provides. We recognize that even one Honor infraction can destroy an exemplary reputation that has taken years to build. Acting in a manner consistent with the principles of Honor will benefit every member of the community both while enrolled in the College and in the future. If you have questions about your Honor System or would like to report suspicions of an Honor offense, please contact Avery Rasmussen at acr3ey@virginia.edu or 434-924-7602.

 

Course Schedule

1/25 Introductory Course Meeting: Historicizing Hate, Defining Terms

            http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005175

            http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/156684.pdf

2/1 Theories and Definitions

Laqueur: 1-38

            Nirenberg: 1-12

Gavin Langmuir, Toward a Definition of Antisemitism (Berkeley, 1990), 311-52 (Collab)

Zygmunt Bauman, “Allosemitism: Premodern, Modern, Postmodern,” in Modernity, Culture, and “the Jew,” eds. Bryan Cheyette and Laura Marcus (Cambridge, 1998), 143-156 (Collab)

2/8 Judeophobia in the Ancient Pagan World

First Reaction Paper Due 2/11 by 8PM via email

Laqueur: 39-45

Nirenberg: 13-47

Martin Goodman, Rome and Jerusalem (New York, 2007), 366-76 (Collab)

Primary Source: Manetho on the Jews (from Josephus, Against Apion) (Collab)

2/15 Class Cancelled -- Snow

2/22 Anti-Judaism in the Early Christian and Medieval World

Laqueur: 45-62

           Nirenberg: 48-216

Primary Source: Excerpts from the Writings of Paul, Augustine, and St. John Chrysostom  (Collab)

2/29 Anti-Judaism in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe

            Second Reaction Paper due Monday 3/7 by 8PM via email

            Laqueur: 62-70

Nirenberg: 217-324    

Primary Source: Accounts of Medieval Spanish law codes, the Spanish Inquisition and Writings of Martin Luther (Collab)

3/7 No Class – Spring Break

3/14 Political Anti-Judaism in Enlightenment Europe

            Laqueur: 71-89

Nirenberg: 325-422

            Primary Source: Writings of Kant, Herder, and the French Revolution (Collab)

3/21 Economic Antisemitism in the Modern World

Laqueur: 171-89

Robert Wistrich, “The Jews and Socialism,” in Revolutionary Jews from Marx to Trotsky (London, 1976), 1-22 (Collab)

Nirenberg: 423-439

            Primary source: Karl Marx’s On the Jewish Question (1844) (Collab) and Stalin’s “Marxism and the National Question” (1913) (Collab)

3/28 No Class -- Extra Research and Writing Day

4/4 Cultural Antisemitism

Bibliographical Essay Due by 6PM via email AND please bring hard copy to class

Jacob Katz, “The Scandal of the Jewish Artist: Richard Wagner,” in From Prejudice to Destruction (Cambridge, 1980), 175-94 (Collab)

James Loeffler, “Richard Wagner's ‘Jewish Music’: Antisemitism and Aesthetics in Modern Jewish Culture,” Jewish Social Studies 15:2 (2009): 2-36 (Collab)

Primary source: Richard Wagner’s Judaism in Music (1850/1869) (Collab)

4/11 Racial Antisemitism and Political Violence

Laqueur: 81-124

            Nirenberg: 423-59

            Primary source: Writings by Wilhelm Marr and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (Collab)

4/18 Antisemitism and the Holocaust: Competing Theories

            Readings from Yehudah Bauer, Zygmunt Bauman, and Daniel Goldhagen (Collab)

            Primary Source: Hitler’s Mein Kampf (excerpt) (Collab)

4/25 Islamic Antisemitism and Modern Anti-Zionism

Draft (ungraded) of Final Writing Assignment due at beginning of class (please submit hard copy and via email)

Laqueur: 191-206 (optional)

Mark Cohen, “Modern Myths of Muslim Anti-Semitism,” in Muslim Attitudes to Jews and Israel: The Ambivalences of Rejection, Antagonism, Tolerance and Cooperation, ed. Moshe Ma’oz (Brighton, 2010), 31-47 (Collab)

Gabriel Schoenfeld, The Return of Antisemitism, excerpt (Collab)

Primary Source: 1988 Hamas Charter (Collab)

5/2 Final Class: Concluding Discussion

5/9 Final Writing Assignment due via email by 5PM