JHI3510 Writing Jewish History
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►We take Jewish history for granted. We assume that we know what we mean when we talk about history, but do we? As one of the longest “histories” of any group in the human family, Jewish history spans unimaginable epochs of time, physical locations that span the globe, and considerable diversity. So what does “the” history of the Jewish people look like? ►Of course there is no single answer to this question. But in this class we will take the question of what, exactly, it means to write Jewish history seriously as a historical question. Our purpose here is to uncover and examine many of the approaches and varieties of Jewish history over the entire span of the (recorded) history of the Jewish people. We will be paying particular attention to the ways in which understandings of history have developed both within the Jewish context and in relationship to the historical self-understanding of the many cultures in which Jews have been embedded. ►Functionally, our course will span the entirety of Jewish history from the closing of the canonization of Tanakh, through the Rabbinic and Ganoic periods, the Middle Ages, early modern period, and modern period, up to the present day. In terms of readings and texts, each week you will notice the readings divided between “primary” and “secondary” readings. You are responsible for the “secondary” readings on your own, while the primary readings we will be examining and discussing together in class.
Olson, Jess. (2020, Fall). JHI3510 Writing Jewish History, Yeshiva College.