HST 339 Jews in Modern France: Between Image and Experience (3)

The experience of Jews in modern France, and the figuration of "Jews" in the French cultural imaginary, have been complex and equivocal. In 1791, revolutionary France became the first European country to extend the right of citizenship to Jews. Yet France has also known deep currents of antisemitism. This ambivalence survives into the contemporary moment. In post-war French discourse, Jews have frequently been championed as the bearers of a deterritorialized, decentered, identity-less identity par excellence and, more recently, have been the targets of violence and vilified in ways that both break with and recall traditional antisemitism. In this course, we will explore the experience and the representation of Jews in French society and culture from before the French Revolution of 1789 to the present day in historical documents, novels, political cartoons, philosophical essays, historical scholarship, and films. Course readings and class discussions in English.

Cross-listed with FRE.

Back to top