Susan A Glenn
Each seminar examines a different subject or problem. A quarterly list of the seminars and their instructors is available in the Department of History undergraduate advising office.
This course examines the history of anti-Jewish ideology, anti-Jewish stereotypes, and anti-Jewish activity in the United States from the late nineteenth century to the present. We will look at the relationship between antisemitism and racism, and the response of Jewish organizations and individuals to patterns of anti-Jewish prejudice and discrimination. Historians frequently refer to the United States as the great "exception" to the general historical pattern of anti-Jewish persecution in Europe. The Jews of the United States were never the victims of state-sponsored inquisitions, expulsions, pogroms, or holocausts. Yet, as we shall see in this course, even in the relatively free and more inclusive society of the United States, Jews faced considerable prejudice, discrimination, and, at times, even outright violence. Some of the same attitudes and ideas that culminated in the extermination of Europe's Jews contributed, in less catastropic ways, to Jew-hatred in the United States. Through class readings and individual research projects, students will learn about key aspects and patterns of antisemitism in the United States in the context of larger national and international developments.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Some background in 20th century U.S. history is helpful. The first assignment for the course is to read Neil Baldwin's book HENRY FORD AND THE JEWS (chapters 1-12), which we will discuss at our first class meeting. Copies have been ordered at the University Book Store and should be available before the end of fall quarter. At least one copy will also be on reserve for this course at Odegaard Library.
Class assignments and grading
During the first four weeks of this course, students will be reading a range of secondary and primary sources and working with archival materials in the UW Library's Special Collections. The major assignment is a 10-15 page research paper. Students are also expected to come to class prepared to discuss and critically engage the readings.
The final grade will be based on the quality of the research paper as well as the quality of student participation in class discussions.