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Leopold Bloom, Bloom's Hotel, Dublin

HI4359 - Irish and Jewish Identities

Module Organiser: Aidan Beatty and David Brown
Duration: Michaelmas term
Contact hours: 2 hours per week
Weighting: 10 ECTS
Assessment: 80% examinations, 20% essay

The Irish and the Jews are two of the classic outliers of modern Europe. Simultaneously European and not European, both endured a bifurcated status, perceived as racially inferior and yet also seen as a natural part of the European landscape. This course is a comparative study of Jewish and Irish national identity in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and also focuses on Irish and Jewish history in the 17th and 18th century and on historiography. It looks at the vast complex of stereotypes that defined both nations as being somehow different from other Europeans, and at the ways that Zionism and Irish nationalism responded to these stereotypes. The course is designed for people with an interest in Irish, Jewish or Israeli history, James Joyce, the history of nationalism, imperialism and Diasporas, whiteness studies, and the history of Europe, particularly its lesser-studied fringes. Readings are drawn from both primary sources and up-to-date research, but no prior knowledge of Irish or Jewish history is required. By the end of this course students will have a solid grounding in both national histories, the histories of two prominent Diasporas and their respective national movements, as well as engaging with broader questions about national identity, state-building, race and minorities, and peace and reconciliation.