HIST 1710 The Jewish Atlantic: 1492-Present

The Jewish Atlantic: 1492-Present (also JWST 1710, RELST 1710) (GHB) (HST-AS) (GLC-AS) (HTR)

Tuesday and Thursday: 1:25-2:40

Professor Mayer Juni

Who were the Jews that first settled in the Americas and around the Atlantic? How did their experiences intersect with processes of colonization, empire-building, and racialization and the formation of an interconnected Atlantic World that linked Europe, Africa, and the Americas? Why do half the world's Jews live currently in countries on the Atlantic littoral? How do they maintain trans-national bonds with other Jews around the world?

In this course, students will learn about the rise and fall of the Sephardi Diaspora that was sparked by the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, by (1) tracing the settlement patterns of Iberian Jews across Europe, Africa, and the Americas; by (2) reconstructing their global economic activities and their interactions with other Jews and non-Jews; and by (3) investigating the uneasy ways they mapped onto the religious, political, geographic, and racial schema of the period. We will study the larger social, cultural, political, and economic forces that led to the gradual decline of the Sephardi Diaspora during the 18th century. We will explore how the mass migrations of European, Middle Eastern, and North African Jews to North America, Latin America, South Africa, France, and the UK in the 19-20th centuries rejuvenated but also radically transformed the Jewish Atlantic. And we will analyze how the formation of the State of Israel impacted the bonds of solidarity that give coherence to this multi-ethnic Jewish Diaspora. 

Map image for HIST 1710 open access: Courtesy of the John Carter Brown Library.

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Map image for HIST 1710
Map image for HIST 1710 open access: Courtesy of the John Carter Brown Library.