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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Julia N. Eulenberg
HIST 250
Seattle Campus

Introduction to Jewish Cultural History

Introductory orientation to the settings in which Jews have marked out for themselves distinctive identities as a people, a culture, and as a religious community. Examines Jewish cultural history as a production of Jewish identity that is always produced in conversation with others in the non-Jewish world. Offered: jointly with JSIS C 250.

Class description

This course provides an introduction to some of the main themes in the history of the Jews in Western culture and society, from the ealy middle ages to the present. The Jews have constituted a nearly continuous, classic minority in both the Christian and Muslim worlds; and the basic approach of this course will be to examine the ways in which they have interacted within the larger society in which they lived. At each point, we will look for evidence of such interaction and its implications, not only for the Jews, but for the majority society as well--the dynamics of intercultural relationships, the limits of social and religious tolderance, the changing nature of persecution, socio-economic interactions, and other ways to measure contact and change. The Jewish communities that participated in these majority societies were not monolithic, but represented a variety of backgrounds, languages, and cultures. Our understanding of Jews in Western civilization, therefore, is much broader than the generalizations often presented in survey courses.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

regular attendance and discussion (15%), one midterm (20%), a 7-12 page paper (30%), and a final exam (25%). This course can be taken as a Writing course. All students are encouraged to submit a rough draft and rewrite the paper, for a grade acknowledging improvement between rough and final drafts. Students are also encouraged to use the Writing Center, as they begin to develop and write their papers.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Loryn R. Paxton
Date: 06/03/1998