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What is Antisemitism? With David Shyovitz

April 12 @ 11:00 am - 12:15 pm

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In modern political discourse, “Antisemitism” is frequently invoked and infrequently defined. The imprecision with which the term is deployed leads to broad disagreements about the nature and scope of the phenomenon. Is anti-Semitism a form of racism? Of xenophobia? Of anti-religious animus, akin to Islamophobia? Is it a conspiracy theory? Does antisemitism assume that Jews constitute a religion? A nationality? An ethnicity? A “race”? One reason these questions are so hotly contested is because they are usually discussed historically, in isolation from the extensive academic scholarship on the origins and development of antisemitism—both the actual phenomenon and the descriptive term itself. In our sessions, we will explore several historical case studies of anti-Jewish rhetoric, violence, and discrimination from antiquity through the present, paying particular attention to the analytical concepts that historians have developed and deployed—including, but not limited to anti-Semitism, antisemitism, anti-Judaism, and Judeophobia.

* This is a two part class that occurs on April 5 and April 12

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DAVID SHYOVITZ (PhD University of Pennsylvania) is Associate Professor of History at Northwestern University, and Director of NU’s Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies. He is the author of A Remembrance of His Wonders: Nature and the Supernatural in Medieval Ashkenaz (2017), and has lectured widely throughout the United States, Israel, and Europe