Modern Jewish History
This course examines modern Jewish history from the sixteenth century to the present, focusing on the political, social, religious, and cultural transformations of Jewish life around the world. Major topics to be discussed will include political emancipation and Jewish modernization, Zionism and Jewish political movements, antisemitism and the Holocaust, the divergent paths of American and European Jewries, and post-World War II relations between global Jewry and the State of Israel. This is an introductory course that assumes no prior knowledge of Judaism or Jewish history.
The reading for the class will include a variety of scholarly articles and an extensive array of primary sources drawn chiefly from Paul Mendes-Flohr and Jehuda Reinharz’s source book, The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History. Requirements will likely include three short papers in response to primary sources; a midterm exam; a final exam; and active participation in class. HIEU 2102 follows HIEU 2101, Jewish History I: The Ancient and Medieval Experience, though the two may be taken independently.
HIEU 1502 (1)
Introductory Seminar in Post-1700 European History
"Revolutions of 1989"
This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of revolutions that transformed the map of Europe. In June 1989, Poland held democratic elections for the first time in half a century; in November, East Germans were allowed to cross the Berlin Wall; in December, Romania’s longtime dictator was overthrown and hanged. Within the space of a year – sometimes called the “year of miracles” – East European communism collapsed, foreshadowing the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Yet 1989 was not just an end but a beginning: the beginning of democratic reforms, the emergence of a unified Germany, the start of a civil war in Yugoslavia. This seminar looks at the causes and consequences of the Revolutions of 1989, in Eastern Europe and beyond. Using eyewitness accounts, novels, films, paintings, and scholarly works, we will consider why the revolutions happened when they did, whether they could have been avoided, and how they have shaped the world we live in today.
HIEU 3559 (1)
New Course in European History
"Eastern Europe from Napoleon to NATO"
To Western observers, Eastern Europe has often seemed like “the other Europe” – a mass of lands in between Germany and Russia. For all that, the countries of Eastern Europe have consistently been at the center of European history. This region was the starting point of both World Wars and the focus of the Holocaust. It was also the site of Europe’s major confrontations: between nationalism and imperialism, between fascism and communism, between the Soviet Union and the capitalist world. This course explores the development of Eastern Europe from the late eighteenth century to the present day. It covers a geographical area with more than a dozen contemporary countries – including Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, and Slovenia. Rather than study these countries individually, however, we will examine the forces that created them, and ask what alternative outcomes were possible. Readings include selections of primary and secondary sources, in addition to short novels by such writers as Ivo Andrić, Witold Gombrowicz, and Milan Kundera.
HIUS 4501 (6)
Seminar in United States History
"The War of 1812 in the Past and the Present"
Between 2012 and 2015 Americans will witness, in varying ways and to differing degrees, celebrations marking the bicentennial of the War of 1812. These celebrations, however, will consist of no more than a very limited number of selected historical memories from the war-time years in the history of the early republic. They will not enable us to fit the War of 1812 into any coherent understanding of its proper place in the nation’s past. This class will help students to understand how this state of selective historical memory—or amnesia—came into being while, at the same time, permit them to see the conflict as the culminating moment of several major themes that shaped the development of the early American nation. Requirements for the class will include the writing of a research paper (20-30 pp.) based on primary and secondary sources. Students will be expected to work through more than one draft of this paper. These requirements will fulfill the second writing requirement for those who need it. A list of books to be read will be available later.
Sarah Milov joining history department faculty in Fall 2014
Nic Wood (Ph.D. '13) receives NEH Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Library Company of Philadelphia
HIST 5077 / RELC 5077
Hitler, Pius XII, the United States and WW II
Since Rolf Hochhuth’s play, “The Deputy” was first performed in Germany in 1963, controversy has swirled around Pius XII, the wartime pope. Hochhuth [portrayed the pope as anti-Semitic--and hence silent in regard to the Holocaust--and pro-Hitler, partly out of fear of communism. Since then the pope and the Vatican have had defenders and attackers. The literature on both sides of the question has been more heated than historical. The course will investigate that controversy through the lens of American relations with the Vatican. After general reading on both sides of the question of the role of the pope, including several recent books that rely on the recently opened Vatican Archives up to 1939, the students will choose a topic in consultation with the professor on which to write a major paper. Course requirements: 1) attendance at class and discussion; 2) short weekly papers on the readings: and 3) a major paper of 20 pages on a topic approved by the professor.