Jews and Muslims: A Modern History (JS1111.09)
Catalog Description: Independent learning and inquiry in an environment in which students can express knowledge and defend opinions through intensive class discussion, oral presentations, and written expression.
From the Syallbus: What do you think of when you hear the words “Jews and Muslims”? Can we think of Muslims and Jews together without conjuring a vision of raised guns and bombs exploding? What is the history of Muslim-Jewish relations beyond the images of violence in the Middle East that so often flash across our television screens? Turning our focus to Jewish communities indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa, this class seeks to answer that question by covering a neglected chapter of Muslim-Jewish relations. It is a history of Jews and Muslims who lived as neighbors, in cooperation as well as in conflict. We will look at the experiences of individuals who lived through periods of major upheavals (including the impact of colonialism, imperialism, nationalism and decolonization) in order to understand the effect these different processes had on inter-communal relations across time and space. Our sources will include letters, newspaper articles, memoirs, histories, ethnographies, and photographs. Special attention will be given to reading these sources critically and to honing writing skills.
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