John C Foster
Explores the Holocaust as crucial event of the twentieth century. Examines the origins of the Holocaust, perpetrators and victims, and efforts to come to terms with this genocide in Europe, Israel, and the United States. Offered: jointly with JSIS C 269.
The Holocaust, the murder of six million Jews by Germans in Nazi-occupied Europe during the Second World War, is one of the crucial events of modern history. This course examines the origins, events, and consequences of the Holocaust, exploring how people were drawn into the process as victims and perpetrators. Students will explore the role of modern institutions, such as nation-states and bureaucracies, as well as the influence of ideologies, such as anti-semitism, scientific racism, and nationalism, on the development of systematic mass killing. Other topics covered will include debates about the implementation of genocide, the role of gender and sexuality, the meaning of resistance and complicity, the influence of war on genocide, and the philosophical implications of the Holocaust. Finally, the course will address some of the ways in which political conditions since the Second World War have influenced memory of the events and interpretations of their significance.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
The course will feature both lectures and group discussions.
There are no pre-requisites for this course.
Class assignments and grading
Students enrolled in this course are expected to attend lectures and discussions regularly and to complete assigned reading. Students will be required to complete two 5-7 page papers, weekly response paragraphs, and one in-class final exam.
Students are required to complete all assignments in order to pass the course. Grades will be calculated on the basis of the papers, the exam, and students' performance and participation in discussion.