East European Jewry: Recent Historiographical Debates
With the fall of the Berlin Wall in November, 1989, Easter Europe suddenly became easily accessible to scholars based in Israel, America and other locations. How have these larger geo-political shifts affected the study of East European Jewry? Has the renewed access to archives in Eastern Europe, indeed, changed the very study and nature of Jewish history in the region? What about the renewed, and continuous, encounter between scholars in America and Israel and their colleagues based in Poland, Russia and the Baltic states? These and related questions will be raised and discussed through readings on central topics in the field such as: the history of Hasidism, acculturation, urbanization, modern politics, secular Jewish culture, the Holocaust, the Communist era and contemporary times.
Requirements: Active participation (including regular attendance), presentation, final paper.