Jewish Cultural History
HIST/JWST 250 – Winter 2018
MW 1:30-3:20, DEN 213
Prof. Liora Halperin
Office: THO 316 Email: email@example.com
Office Hours: MW 3:30-4:30 (except when otherwise announced) and by appointment
Jewish history is transnational history. It is the story of a group of people held together (but not always closely together) by ethnic identity, cultural heritage, religious tradition, and/or politics; dispersed throughout much of the world; and engaged in a range of connections and relationships both with other Jews and with the societies in which they lived. This course is a broad survey of Jewish history, from ancient times to the present. It focuses on a central and evolving question: how have Jews in various places and at different times interacted with those other groups among whom they lived? When and how have they become integral parts of those other groups and when and how have they developed their identity against or in opposition to those groups?
In addition to providing a broad survey that focuses on approximately the last 1500 years of history, this course focuses on reading primary texts, placing them in the appropriate cultural context, and using them to understand the ways in which Jews lived their lives and the ways they disagreed with each other about the right way to be Jewish.