This course will explore the rich history of the representations of Jews within French culture and contributions to French history. The class will consider how French Jews served as incubators of cultural modernity. France was the first country in Europe to emancipate Jews from their ghettos, offering them civil rights and civic equality. But at the same time, France was a crucible for the development of modern anti-Semitism. Jews appear as characters in novels, hosts of intellectual salons, as actors on the French stage, as icons of financial capitalism, as examples of the limits and possibilities of immigration, integration, and even assimilation, as authors and intellectuals, as quintessentially French and Other to France. We will navigate these tensions through literature, art, film, theater, and in their diverse historical contexts.
Course Attributes: AS HUM; AS LCD; AS SC; EN H