Course Descriptions


Winter Quarter (W19)

Dept/Description Course No., Title  Instructor

The Holocaust, the Nazi state’s attempt to murder all European Jews, is a defining moment in modern history. How do we comprehend the incomprehensible? Can we make sense of such a horrifying event? Does it defy explanation? Is it unique or can we compare it with other forms of genocide? In this course, we will explore these questions by learning about the nature of Jewish communities in Germany before the Holocaust; considering other forms of genocide that preceded the Holocaust; and analyzing the Nazi rise to power and the Nazi state’s move toward the “final solution. In the second half of the course, we will look carefully at how the Holocaust has been remembered and commemorated since 1945. Readings will consist primarily of historical primary sources.

Days: MO WE  01:00-01:50 PM


This course is an introduction to the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, a collection or ancient library of fascinating texts produced by dramatically different groups in drastically different places and time periods. The texts in this collection are some of the world’s most enduring works of literature, ideology, theology, and more, and continue to shape our world, just as our world continues to shape how the texts are understood.
The goal of the course is to acquaint students with the central texts in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and to situate these texts in their historical contexts. Secondary goals of the course include introducing students to the various theoretical and methodological frameworks scholars have used to better understand these text, and well as to introduce students to the reception of these texts by ancient Jews and Christians.

GE: (IV)
Days: TU TH  09:30-10:50 AM


This class addresses the history of the Second World War within the context of its origins in Europe. The course will discuss some of the many wars that made up this global conflict, such as the civil wars between collaborators and resistance movements in Nazi-occupied Europe, the Allied bombing war that targeted civilians, the Nazi war against the European Jews. The course will highlight the moral dimensions of World War II that appeared in the daunting choices faced by both individuals and groups. We will examine the attempts, at the war's end, to administer justice and address questions of memory and of loss.
Days: TU TH  02:00-03:20 PM


The period spanning from the final books of the Hebrew Bible to the coming of Muhammad was formative and momentous for Jews. This course will introduce students to the major political, social, and cultural developments in Jewish history, including the return of the exiled Israelites from Babylonia to Judea; the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucids and the rise of Jewish autonomy, the life and death of Jesus and movement(s) that formed around him; the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, the rise of the rabbis and the production of rabbinic literature; and much more.
Days: TU TH  02:00-03:20 PM


Courses Offered by the Jewish Studies Minor or other Schools at UCI

Winter Quarter (W19)

Dept Course No., Title   Instructor