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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Maureen Jackson
SISJE 490
Seattle Campus

Special Topics

Content varies.

Class description

Jewish Communities of the Middle East This class studies Jewish communities of the Middle East through focusing onone of the region’s most significant historical Jewish communities – Sephardic Jewry. We will follow the expulsion of Sephardic Jews from Spain and Portugal in the 15th century to their lives in the Ottoman empire, Turkey and beyond. How did Jews and their neighbors live together, shaping local arts, economies, relationships, cuisines? How were Jewish communities governed under Islamic administrations? What kinds of historical transformations took place in Sephardic communities across the centuries? In the modern period we will investigate issues of nationalism, citizenship and migration, as well as how Sephardic Jews are remembered today. To probe these questions, we will study primary and secondary sources, including historical scholarship, memoirs, fiction, film, and music. We will discuss how historians think about and evaluate sources, interrogate historical ‘objectivity,’ and develop tools for critically reading diverse historical narratives. Required Texts: Aron Rodrigue and Esther Benbassa, Sephardi Jewry: A History of the Judeo-Spanish Community, 14th-20th Centuries. University of California Press, 2000 [1993]. Leon Skiaky, Farewell to Salonica: City at the Crossroads. Philadelphia: Paul Dry Books, 2003 [1946]. Course reading packet.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


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 Hazan Paxton
Date: 02/23/2009