Power, Identity and Jewish History

Subject 673-393 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Usually 12.5 points of second-year history or second-year Jewish studies or second-year European studies.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Gideon Reuveni


Subject Overview: The modern Jewish experience has often been characterized as an era of increasing participation in civil society, and is juxtaposed with the "premodern" era of Jewish separateness. By re-integrating the history of the Jews into the social and cultural fabric of their host societies, this subject seeks to challenge these dichotomies and introduce students to the complexity of the Jews' experience. It begins by exploring the meaning for Jews of the transformation from traditional society, as defined by religious identity and socio-economic structure, into a modern society of complex religious, ethnic, social and political identities. Then it turns to examine the different ways in which Jewish men and women in various parts of the world responded to the challenges of modernity. We will look at various aspects of the Jewish encounters with modernity ranging from economic and social transformations, religious reform, relations with the non-Jewish environment, emancipation and gender, the rise nationalism and the dilemmas of Jewish identities in the post-Holocaust period. This examination will show that modernity did not only refashioned Jewish cultures, but also provided Jews with new venues for imagining cultural belonging. Special emphasis will be placed on the use of primary texts and documents, including memoirs, diaries, visual images, and literary works.
  • have an overview of the history of Jews in modern times and a nuanced understanding of the complexity and multiplicity of this history;
Assessment: A take home exam 1500 words, 40% (due mid-semester), a research essay 2500 words 50% (due end of semester) and tutorial participation 10%. Hurdle requirement: students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to be pass this subject.
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available at the beginning of semester
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • demonstrate research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources;
  • show critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion, and determining strength of an argument;
  • demonstrate understanding of changing knowledge base in specialist area
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Hebrew
Hebrew Major
History Major
Jewish Studies

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