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                                                      Fall 2020 Opening Plan: Please refer to our latest updates here

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Cultural Responses to the Holocaust

Course Description:

The Holocaust of European Jewry or the Shoah, the murder of six million Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators in a variety of countries across the world, is a dark chapter in the history of mankind whose impact, long-term and far-reaching ramifications cannot be exaggerated. The intent of Adolf Hitler and his henchmen to erase from the face of the earth, first and foremost the Jewish people, and also, other groups deemed socially and racially “undesirable” marks one of the low-points of moral degradation and barbarism in the history of humankind; and event whose horrific magnitude and barbarism continue to haunt and affect our lives in the post-Holocaust era. 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. From survivor author Yechiel Dinur who recounted his life on “planet Auschwitz,” through the musicologist and cultural critic Theodor Adorno who claimed that writing poetry after Auschwitz would be barbaric, up to the French philosopher Jean François Lyotard, who described the Holocaust as an earthquake which destroys not merely lives, buildings and objects, but also the instruments used to measure it – the impact of the Holocaust sweeps across, influences and is influenced by, a myriad of academic disciplines. The interdisciplinary exploration offered in this course,  with guest speaker participants from a variety of fields – film, literature, memory studies, fine arts, sociology, theology and more -- constitutes a new way to understand this new and growing academic discipline and grasp its magnitude.  

Classes begin on August 31st. Registration is now open for Fall 2020 courses with generous, limited scholarships available for students - first come first serve. To inquire more about enrolling in this course, email our Founding Director, Dr. Shay Pilnik at shay.pilnik@yu.edu.

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