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DHIS 1400A - Comparing Jewish Modernities: Jews in Western Europe and the Muslim World in the Age of Colonialism

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

The nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were a time of great social, political and cultural change for Jewish communities in both Western Europe and the Muslim world. The French Revolution opened the era of emancipation in Western Europe, as Jews went from being members of semi-autonomous communities with a collective legal status into legal citizens of modern nations. During this same period, European colonial incursions into the Middle East and North Africa put an end to the Dhimmi system of "tolerated minorities” that had governed the legal status of both Christians and Jews in Muslim world for centuries, opening these communities up to European influence and interference. This course will consider the transformation of Jewish life in both of these cultural and political spheres, with particular attention to the ways in which “Eastern” and “Western” Jews perceived and influenced one another. Topics to be considered include continuity and rupture in Jewish cultural life and political and social status in both Western Europe and the Muslim World, Western Jews' perceptions of and participation in European colonial ventures (with particular attention to the influence of the Paris-based Alliance Israelite Universelle on Jewish communities throughout the Mediterranean basin), Eastern and Western Jews respective roles in and reactions to the emergence of the Zionist movement, as well as the immediate impact of the Shoah and the creation of the State of Israel.


MALINOVICH, Nadia (Maître de conférences, Docteur en histoire)

Course validation

Two short (2-3-page) papers and one longer (5-7-page) paper to be handed in on the last day of class. There will be a choice of topics for all papers.

Additional required reading

  • Please see the syllabus, which includes the required readings for each class session and a full bibliography
  • We will see the documentary film about the Alliance Israelite Universelle « In the Beginning there was a School » in class, and plan a class trip to the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaisme