FLAGS: GC | Wr | EL
The origins of Western (Christian) anti-Semitism can be traced to the Gospel of St John in the New Testament, which stigmatizes the Jews as “the children of the Devil.” Anti-Semitism thus originates in the religious feud that gradually intensified between the Jewish community and the followers of Jesus Christ. The early Church Fathers denounced the Jews using the most violent language, and a pattern was established. The first part of the course consists of an examination of the Christian critique of the Jews through the Middle Ages.
The second part of the course focuses primarily on the development of an intensified anti-Semitism in Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries, culminating in the Holocaust in Europe. Literary texts by Henri de Montherlant, Somerset Maugham, Aharon Applefeld, Ernest Hemingway, and Georges Perec are used to explore the nature of anti-Semitic perspectives on the Jews as a group or “tribe.” The course covers anti-Semitic developments up to the present day.
Ashley Montagu, "Are 'the' Jews a Race?" in Man's Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race (1974): 353-377.
Léon Poliakov, "The Fateful Summer of 1096," in The History of Anti-Semitism, Vol. 1 (1974): 41-72.
Léon Poliakov, "Activated Anti-Semitism: Germany," in The History of Anti-Semitism, Vol. 1 (1974): 210-245.
Joshua Trachtenberg, The Devil and the Jews (1943): 11-52.
David I. Kertzer, "Introduction," in The Popes Against the Jews: The Vatican's Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001): 3-21.
George L. Mosse, "Eighteenth-Century Foundations," "The Birth of Stereotypes," "Nation, Language, and History," in Toward the Final Solution (1978): 1-50.
John M. Efron, "The Jewish Body Degenerate?" in Medicine and the German Jews: A History (2001): 105-150.
Maurice Fishberg, "Pathological Characteristics," in The Jews: A Study of Race and Environment (1912): 270-295.
Somerset Maugham, “The Alien Corn” (1931).
Henri de Montherlant, “A Jew-Boy Goes to War” (1926).
Jean-Paul Sartre, Anti-Semite and Jew (1946): 7-54.
Michael H. Kater, “Everyday Anti-Semitism in Prewar Nazi Germany: The Popular Bases” (1984): 129-159.
Examination #1 — 20% of grade
Examination #2 — 20% of final grade
Paper #1 (4 pages) — 10% of final grade
Paper #2 (4 pages) — 10% of final grade
Paper #3 (10 pages) — 40% of final grade