Fall 2016 -
Graduate Course Description
Discipline and Number
10:00 AM - 12:45 PM
Description of Course:
The Holocaust, the annihilation of six million Jews under the Nazis, looms large in our twenty-first-century consciousness. It involves both a monumental assault against millions of defenseless people and a brutally imposed process of dying, which reduced the victims into matter while they were still alive. It also involves the destruction of the age-old East-European Jewish culture. Although the mass killings stopped after the Third Reich was defeated, this destruction process has not ceased to put pressure on our contemporary world, casting dark shadows on the modern Western consciousness. In fact, it challenges our fundamental values and raises questions of enormous significance: â€œHow was it possible for the Nazis to systematize, mechanize, and socially organize the Holocaustâ€? â€œHow could the German State unhinge in 12 short years the basic structure of Western civilization?â€ And â€œHow could European societies, including their moral and academic institutions, fail to protest against and defeat Nazi ideologyâ€?
Our course will search for answers to these questions and raise many others. It will locate and study the roots of the â€œfinal solutionâ€ by analyzing the shapes and forms of the early persecutions of the Jews. Using a wide-ranging interdisciplinary approach, including films and works of art, it will ponder the circumstances and causes of the Holocaust and consider the psychological, social, moral, theological, and aesthetic dilemmas it has continued to raise.
The course will provide an excellent background for teachers in this field. Those interested in obtaining a certificate in Holocaust Studies and develop a curriculum and courses on the Holocaust will be able to arrange special tutorial sessions for this purpose with the instructor. Also, they will be encouraged to contact and get acquainted with the work of the Dallas Memorial Center for Holocaust Studies.
Required Texts May Include:
Yehuda Bauer, History of the Holocaust
Chaim Kaplan, Scroll of Agony
F. MÃ¼ller, Eyewitness to Auschwitz
A. Schwarz-Bart, The Last of the Just
M. Radnoti, Foamy Sky
J. Weil, Mendelssohn Is on the Roof
E. Wiesel, Night
In addition, weâ€™ll watch two movies, The Son of Soul and The Warsaw Ghetto, study texts by David S. Wyman, Richard Breitman, David Patterson, read about, and discuss the issues of aesthetics in Holocaust art and literature.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Regular class attendance; participation in class discussion; one class presentation, one two-page paper, and one research paper (10-15 pages) which would be suitable for one of the portfolio essays.
1st Paper (Due October 10th) You will write a two-page paper about an issue that interests regarding our readings.
2nd Paper (Due December 9th )You will write a paper 10-15 pages about a topic you have chosen to study.
Regular class attendance (15%) and active participation in class discussion (15%) comprise 30% of the final grade. Missing more than three classes will affect your grade.