JHI 1341: Sepharad: The Jews of Medieval Spain
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This course will investigate the cultural history of the Jews of Spain (the Sephardim), from the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula in 711 until the expulsion of 1492. Medieval Spain, with its vibrant Muslim and Jewish populations, was one of the most complex and culturally rich European societies of its time. It served as a bridge for intellectual, artistic and scientific imports from the east to the European north. Its experiment with convivencia –“the living together” of three different religions within the same society – was unheard of in pre-modern Europe. With convivencia as our lens, we will examine the possibilities and limitations of multi-cultural tolerance by studying the socio-political and cultural trajectory of the Sephardim and their Christian and Muslim neighbors. The course will explore the rich intellectual and artistic heritage of the Sephardim. We will read a wide range of Sephardic writing: the poets of the Andalusian Golden age, the neo-Aristotelian philosophers and scientists, travel diaries, converso dramatists and the music of the Aljamas as preserved in Ladino ballads. ___ 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 *Challenge assumptions about religion and society in the medieval world *Examine the complexities and ambiguities of culture, society and identity *Deepen appreciation of Sephardic history *Use writing in a variety of formats to engage and think critically about the material. By writing about the primary and secondary sources we will refine our understanding and deepen our connection to the themes and questions central to this critical historical moment. IN THIS CLASS YOU ARE NOT A SPECTATOR YOU ARE AN ACTIVE PARTICIPANT IN YOUR INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT
Perelis, Ronnie. (2020, Fall). Syllabus, JHI 1341: Sepharad: The Jews of Medieval Spain, Yeshiva College, Yeshiva University.
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