JHIS 4930 – K Topics: Jewish Presence in Latin America
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This course explores Jewish immigration, settlement, cultural production and religious life from the earliest instances of European conquest and colonization of the Americas until the present day. The Americas are not just a geographic space, but they also function as a dreamscape –paradise, savage frontier, land of refuge, or an El Dorado. We will explore the interplay between Jews, Judaism and the realities and mythologies of Latin America. The majority of the material will come from the Spanish and Portuguese zones of Central and South America with attention given to the Jewish communities of the Dutch and English colonies of the Caribbean such as Curaçao and Jamaica with some forays into North America. The investigation into the colonial period will focus more heavily on aspects of Sephardic history such as crypto-Judaism, Inquisitorial persecution and the expansion of the western Sephardim to the New World. As the course moves into the modern period, more emphasis will be placed on the experience of Eastern European Jewish immigrants and their descendants. Secondary sources will provide the wider historical context for the wide range of primary texts that will be at the center of the class discussion. ___ Goals of the course: *Develop textual and analytical skills through careful engagement with primary sources *Empower the student to think critically, creatively and personally about the texts and their historical context *Examine the complexities and ambiguities of culture, society and identity
Perelis, Ronnie. (2021, Spring), Syllabus, JHIS 4930 – K Topics: Jewish Presence in Latin America, Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University.
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