AMCULT 387 - History of American Jews
Fall 2022, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: American Culture (AMCULT)
Department: LSA American Culture
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Requirements & Distribution:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


Jews today are one of the most visible minorities in the United States: college educated, high income, steadfast supporters of the Democratic party. But it wasn’t always this way. How did a poor immigrant group become American and how did they manage to stay Jewish at the same time? This course explores a series of overlapping questions. How should American Jews be understood: As an American minority group? a dissenting non-Christian religious group? an immigrant and ethnic group? as a privileged white group? a cultural group?

Employing the visual and aural dimensions of Jewish culture, including film, photography, music, and television along with readings in original documents and historical texts, the course suggests that studying American Jews challenges accepted interpretations of American history. Why for example, does the Jewish American poet Emma Lazarus’s sonnet “The New Colossus” adorn the Statue of Liberty? Why did the deaths of so many Jewish and Italian working women in Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire dramatically change labor laws in the United States?

Course Requirements:

Three blog posts, two response papers, one research paper, take-home midterm, take-home final

Intended Audience:

Geared towards mostly upper-class students, but students of all levels are welcome.

Class Format:



AMCULT 387 - History of American Jews
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (DIS)
 In Person
Th 1:00PM - 2:00PM
003 (DIS)
 In Person
Th 3:00PM - 4:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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