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Fish Center Course Offerings

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The Holocaust in Global Cinema

HOL6510. Instructor: Dr. Rachel Bau

How the Holocaust is represented, both directly and indirectly, in films from around the world. We will investigate such questions as: What are the challenges of representing the Holocaust in filmic language? How do different countries work through their relationship to Holocaust history in the stories they tell in film? How can filmmakers avoid some of the dangers of film, a treasured medium of the Nazis and other propagandists? In our investigation, we will watch documentaries and feature films, art house cinema and box office hits. The course is structured chronologically to provide students a deeper understanding of how the challenges of representation in the initial post-Holocaust years differ from contemporary challenges to remember the Holocaust after the first-person witnesses are gone.

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The Holocaust: An Interdisciplinary Exploration

HOL5100. Instructor: Dr. Shay Pilnik

The Holocaust of European Jewry or the Shoah is a dark chapter in the history of mankind whose impact, long-term and far-reaching ramifications cannot be exaggerated. References to the Holocaust as a watershed, as a universe guided by its own laws and rules are many. They all seem to call for an understanding of the Holocaust as a wide-ranging phenomenon, whose effect and implications reach far beyond the interest of historians. The interdisciplinary exploration offered in this course, with guest speakers from a variety of fields – Film, Literature, Memory Studies, Fine-Arts, Sociology, Theology, Education and more – constitutes a new way to understand this new and growing academic discipline and grasp its magnitude. 

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Germany and the Holocaust: Roots, Perpetration and Aftermath

HOL6690. Instructor: Dr. Jess Olson

Investigate the place of the Holocaust in modern German history. We will explore the roots of German-Jewish interaction in modernity and the evolution of anti-Semitism in Germany; the specific factors that shaped the rise of radical and violent anti-semitic politics under the Nazi regime; and the process of the war and Holocaust. Finally, we will consider the role that the Holocaust has played in post-war Germany, from post-war reorientation of German politics to the resurgence of radical political movements in Germany today.  

jews waiting next to cattle cars

History of the Jews in Eastern Europe Since 1914

HOL6630. Instructor: Dr. Joshua Zimmerman

Survey of the political, social, and economic history of East European Jewry from the outbreak of the First World War to the end of Communist rule in 1989.  Topics include the character of the Soviet Jewish experiment; the evolution of Jewish life in interwar Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Lithuania; the impact of Nazi genocidal policies on the Jewish communities of the area, and the attempts to reestablish Jewish communal life after the Holocaust.  

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The Holocaust Across the Generations

HOL 6810. Instructor: Dr. Vera Bekes

What is the ineffable legacy of the Holocaust in the ontology of contemporary humanity?  In other words, how is humanity different today as a result of the Holocaust having occurred.  How does it affect our philosophies of life, of interacting with our families, with strangers, with friends?  How does it affect our culture, politics, and psychology?  In this sense we will approach the Holocaust, not as a fixed moment in time past, but as a living, breathing phenomenology today.  As an anthropologist studies a distant foreign culture we will study ourselves in effort to discern the impact of this historical trauma on our own way of being in the world (ontological a priori).

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