Online Summer 2021

Zionism: A Global History examines the history of the Zionist movement from a global perspective. The course is designed for students with no prior knowledge of Jewish, European, or Middle Eastern history. The goal is to survey how Zionism emerged as a widespread political movement and, in the process, helped create an independent state for the Jewish people in its ancient homeland. The course will be divided into three equal parts: (1) The Rise of Modern Zionism; (2) A State in the Making; and (3) Nation Building.

Through an analysis of primary sources and deep contextualizing of the historical and political landscape of the 19th and 20th centuries, this course encourages a deeper understanding of Jewish culture and society, the history of nationalism, and the encounters between Jews and Arabs. Students will be asked to analyze historical texts, as well as a fictional film, offering a visual counterpoint that will also help students gain a deeper understanding of the historical context. In addition to familiarizing students with the backstory of a globally significant movement – one of profound regional, religious, human rights, and geopolitical importance – this class will teach students fundamental historical interpretation skills.