Module HPS-4002:
Antisemitism & the Holocaust

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Overall aims and purpose

This module explores the relevance of antisemitism to the genocide of European Jews – the ‘Holocaust’ – and National Socialism. The emphasis is on historiographical and interpretative questions: • to what extent is antisemitism a set of ideas or a set of practices and events? • how have antisemitic ideas shaped, or even caused, a specific historical event, the Holocaust? • what is the relationship between intentions, ideologies and historical, social, cultural and political structures in this context? The course is based on analysis of source material and historical-theoretical accounts. It aims to sharpen students’ ability to approach a specific and crucial event of twentieth century history with critical reference to the historiographical and social-theoretical problems it throws up. It will highlight the connections between intellectual, social and political history as they lead to a specific event, and in turn, as this particular event re-shapes our ways of thinking about history and society.

Course content

Eleven weekly 2h-sessions will consist of a combination of short introductory lectures, student presentations and seminar discussions, integrating guided reading, prepared reading and study assignments. The module may include, but will not be limited to the following contents: text analysis of key documents such as Hitler’s speech of January 30, 1939 and the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’, historical analysis of the development of antisemitism from 1879 to 1933, the November Pogrom of 1938, the role of gender for antisemitism and the Holocaust, as well as a series of theory-driven interpretations of antisemitism and the Holocaust (including Friedlander, Burrin, Arendt, Postone, Adorno and Horkheimer. Other sessions will address the Debate on the representability of the Holocaust and the debate on ‘new’ antisemitism.

Assessment Criteria

excellent

A- to A* (70% +) Excellent students will be able to demonstrate a mature, theoretically informed understanding of the relationship of antisemitism to the Holocaust, excellent ability to reflect on the larger historical context and the contemporary relevance of both, to relate this critically to substantive research, and a high level of competence in applying the methods used in theoretical explanation of historical phenomena using a variety of source materials. Students must demonstrate excellent awareness of relevant concepts, be able to undertake independent library-based research on a particular problem or question and construct complex written arguments in scholarly form.

threshold

C- to C+ (50-59%) To pass the module, students must demonstrate a theoretically informed understanding of the relationship of antisemitism to the Holocaust, some ability to reflect on the larger historical context and the contemporary relevance of both, to relate this to substantive research, and basic competence in applying the methods used in theoretical explanation of historical phenomena using source materials. Students must demonstrate basic awareness of relevant concepts and be able to express themselves in scholarly form.

good

B- to B+ (60-69%) Good students will be able to demonstrate a clear, theoretically informed understanding of the relationship of antisemitism to the Holocaust, good ability to reflect on the larger historical context and the contemporary relevance of both, to relate this to substantive research, and sound competence in applying the methods used in theoretical explanation of historical phenomena using a variety of source materials. Students must demonstrate good awareness of relevant concepts, be able to undertake independent library-based research on a particular problem or question and express themselves in scholarly form.

Learning outcomes

  1. locate analysis and conceptual awareness within an overall understanding of historical and societal context;

  2. construct complex written arguments in scholarly form

  3. reflect critically on the relationship of antisemitism to the Holocaust, reflect on the larger historical context and the contemporary relevance of both.

  4. analyse and interpret a historical event in different social and historical settings using a variety of source materials;

  5. undertake independent library-based research on a particular problem or question;

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION Individual classroom presentation

A classroom presentation supported by a detailed handout consisting of an exegesis and critical discussion of one of the key theoretical texts (a list of texts that are available for this purpose will be provided at the beginning of term), taking place in weeks 5-11

30
ESSAY Essay

essay questions will be provided, or can be arranged with the module convener after week three.

70

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Seminar

seminar discussions framed by presentations by course convenor and by students

22
Private study

Students will need to conduct research and wider reading around the topic to supplement seminar work, and work on their assignments.

178

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • how to make ethically sound judgements in relation to research carried out by others or oneself
  • the ability to formulate and investigate sociologically informed questions
  • awareness of how political and cultural values - including the student's own - have an impact on responses to and rival interpretations of safety and security, crime
  • competence in using major theoretical perspectives and concepts in sociology, and their application to social life
  • the capacity to analyse, assess and communicate empirical sociological information
  • the ability to conduct sociological / criminolgical research
  • the ability to undertake and present scholarly work
  • the ability to recognise the relevance of sociological knowledge to social, public and civic policy.
  • the ability to formulate and investigate sociologically informed questions
  • competence in using major theoretical perspectives and concepts in sociology, and their application to social life
  • the ability to identify a range of qualitative and quantitative research strategies and methods
  • the ability to conduct sociological research
  • the ability to undertake and present scholarly work
  • the ability to understand the ethical implications of sociological enquiry
  • the ability to recognise the relevance of sociological knowledge to social, public and civic policy.
  • theoretical and empirical relationships between power, crime and social change, and the impact of globalisation
  • alternative theoretical approaches within criminology, and contemporary debates about the content and scope of criminology
  • how crime, deviance and victimisation are socially and legally constructed the different sources of information about crime and victimisation, both quantitative and qualitative, and how they are produced - including their location in particular legal, political, social and ideological frameworks - and how they can be interpreted
  • different forms of crime and their social organisation
  • the philosophy and politics of criminalisation, victimisation, criminal justice and modes of punishment
  • the development, role, organisation and governance of efforts to reduce and prevent crime, deviance and harm, and to ensure personal and public safety and security in different locations; the role of the state and non-governmental agencies
  • the effectiveness of such measures, and human rights issues in relation to preventive and pre-emptive measures
  • the social and historical development of the main institutions involved in crime control in different locations
  • representations of victimisation, crime and deviance, and of the main agents and institutions which respond to crime and deviance, as found in the mass media, new media, in official reports and in public opinion
  • how to develop a reflective approach and a critical awareness of the values of local cultures and local politics, and of the student's own values, biography and social identity, and how to bring these skills to bear in an informed response to crime and victimisation
  • relationships of crime, deviance and offending, and victimisation to social divisions such as: age, gender, sexuality, social class, race, ethnicity and religious faith

Historiographical methods impact of sociological theories on historiographical perspectives

Courses including this module