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Courses - Spring 2022
HIST
History Department Site
HIST286
Urban Dreams and Nightmares: The Jewish Experience of Cities
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
CORE: SH, D
GenEd: DSHS, DVUP
Cross-listed with: JWST275.
Credit only granted for: HIST286 or JWST275.
Cities give expression to man's power while they highlight human limitations. It is urban social diversity that makes great wealth and thriving culture possible, but it also fixes discrimination behind walls constructed from paper and stone. Nations make cities symbols of the sacred and the glorious, while they ignore the poverty and social alienation that city life breeds. Jews, intensively urbanized for millennia, provide a special vantage point from which to study the beauty and the tragedy implicit in city-building. Our sources will include the Bible, poems, plays and novels but also US Supreme Court rulings and news of riots in Israel. We will survey how Jews have shaped, and been shaped by, the urban challenge over time and space.