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Indiana University Bloomington
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Course Description ~

Jews and Race (3 cr)
Sarah Imhoff
JSTU-J 310 #31188 / REL-C 323 #30266
MW 4-5:15 (SE 105)

Are Jews white? Are Jews a race? How does the Jewish community relate to “other” races? This class will explore the wide spectrum of ways American Jews have thought of themselves in relation to the idea of race and how the answers to these questions changed over time. Looking at both contemporary and historical sources, we will discuss how Jews fit into the racial landscape in different times and places. This course will analyze the complex relationship of Jews and African Americans, from slavery to Jim Crow to Civil Rights to the incident in Crown Heights. It will also consider topics such as Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews in the United States, the place of Jews as immigrants and subjects of “race science” in the early twentieth century, contemporary scientific ideas about DNA, the role of race in American Jewish literature, music, and theater, and the contemporary realities of Jews of different races through adoption, conversion, and intermarriage.