Course description

The Jewish community of Rome is the oldest one in all of Europe, dating back to 200 BCE, but it is only a part of a complex and fascinating mosaic that is Italian Jewry. In this course we will examine the long Jewish presence in the Italian peninsula through the work of some of Italy’s most eminent modern Jewish writers, filmmakers, social scientists and historians of Jewish Italy. We will focus on the historical events that have shaped the past hundred and fifty years: the role of Italian Jews in the unification of Italy and state-building, two world wars and different social movements of the pre- and post-WWII eras, and the plurality of Jewish Italian voices today, especially in their relationship to Israel and the diaspora. The course material will include several lectures by Italian scholars and writers, as well as virtual visits to Italian cultural and political institutions relevant to our topic.

This course is taught in English. Open to students at Cornell and elsewhere, in addition to adult learners.

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