School of History

HST6383 – Representations of Jews and Judaism in Film

Module code: HST6383

Credits: 15
Semester: SEM 2

Module Convenor: Dr Daniel Wildmann

From the birth of movie-making, Jews and Judaism have been represented on screen in very different ways. In this QMUL Model module, students will explore how films throughout the twentieth century have represented Jewish life, culture and identities. Each week students will be presented with a film, which we will discuss in seminar after the screening. The selected films are drawn from different genres such as melodrama, thriller and comedy, and reflect the difference in approaches to cinema in countries such as the USA, UK, France, Poland, Germany and Israel. We will begin with the assimilation of Jews in the USA as pictured in the film The Jazz Singer (1927), move through Dickens characters, dancing Rabbis, and allegations of Antisemitism, before ending with the recent representation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the film Bethlehem (2013). At the heart of the module are two of the most prevalent problems of modern societies: how to come to terms with minorities and how minorities try to find a place within the societies they form part of. Students will learn how to engage with these historical problems through the prism of film.

Assessment: Source Analysis (1,000 words) [25%] and Essay (3,000 words) [75%]
Level: 6