Course Descriptions


Fall Quarter (F18)

Dept/Description Course No., Title  Instructor

This course explores the history of Jerusalem, a holy city for Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike, from ancient Biblical times to the present. In a sense, this is a global history of Western culture on a small scale, and we will be looking at the religious and political history of Jews, Christians, and Muslims and their encounter with one another, focusing on a specific place but pursuing the story over a long period of time. Topics will include the role of Jerusalem in the Bible, the Second Temple Period and Jerusalem under Roman rule; the birth of Christianity, the incorporation of Jerusalem into the Islamic world, and the period of the Crusades; Jerusalem under Ottoman rule and the British mandate; and, finally, the history of Jerusalem since the establishment of the State of Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Final grades will be based on a midterm and final exam, a final paper, as well as participation and short assignments in the discussion section. We will use  Karen Armstrong, Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths, as our text book. Primary source readings will be made available on EEE.
Satisfies Pre-1800 Requirement
Days: TU TH  12:30-01:50 PM


This course will concern itself with the response to the Holocaust in the memoirs of Primo Levi and Liana Millu, and in the fiction of Giorgio Bassani. Framing their writings will be brief readings in the work of historians Liliana Picciotto Fargion, Michele Sarfatti and Susan Zuccotti.

Italy had no native tradition of anti-Semitism to compare with the French or Austrian (Action Française; Karl Lueger’s Christian Social Party). Moreover, the Holocaust in Italy begins comparably late–in 1943 with the overthrow of Mussolini–and continued with the consent of the Republic of Salò, the largely puppet state the Germans set up for him after his rescue. The class will briefly address such historical questions as the relation between Italian Fascism and anti-Semitism, the role and responsibility of the Papacy in the eventual deportations, and, finally, the heroism of Italian individuals and even institutions (the diplomatic corps) in the face of unspeakable atrocity. In Levi and Millu we shall address more literary questions: Italian identity, for example. What did it mean to be an Italian Jew in the camps– hence Sephardic–thus to speak no Yiddish and not to be observant, i.e. to be both culturally and religiously ignorant? On the other hand, what did it mean for an Italian Jew to be cultured and completely assimilated to Italian life: “tutti dottori, tutti avvocati” unlike Austrian, Hungarian and Russian Jews? We will study the development of the identity of the protagonist as s/he struggles to survive in the Italy of the race laws and then in the inconceivable conditions of Auschwitz. Incidentally, according to Liliana Picciotto Fargion, the total number of Jews deported was 8,613 or whom 7,631 died. She adds 291 who were murdered in Italy; this out of approximately 43,000 Jews. All readings are in English.
Days: MO WE  02:00-02:50 PM


This is a lecture course (with required discussion sections) on monotheistic religions, surveying key historical events, major figures, basic ideas, essential practices, significant texts, notable artifacts, and important trends in scholarship concerning the religions under review. The class presumes no prior knowledge of these traditions and has no prerequisites; it fulfills requirements for the History major, the Religious Studies major and minor, and satisfies General Education categories IV (Arts and Humanities) or VIII (International/Global Issues). Three textbooks (one for each religion) and three essayistic in-class tests (one for each religion).  Weekly short, typed essays to facilitate small group discussions. Note that the study of religion at University is academic, not devotional.
Days: MO WE  11:00-11:50 AM

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

Fall Quarter (F18)

Dept Course No., Title   Instructor