HS1ANS-Anti-Semitism: Medieval Christian-Jewish Relations and the Concept of ‘Anti-Semitism’

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Rebecca Rist

Email: r.a.c.rist@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module is optional for SINGLE HONOURS STUDENTS ONLY.

The module ‘Anti-Semitism: Medieval Christian-Jewish Relations and the Concept of ‘Anti-Semitism’ examines the concept of anti-Semitism in relation to one particular period of History: the High Middle Ages (1095-1291). The module aims to examine the story of a key contemporary idea (anti-Semitism) by setting it in its long-term historical context. It aims to show how understanding of an earlier period of History (in this case the medieval period) can help us to better understand the modern world, while also allowing students to follow up a topic in which they have a particular interest in more depth.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:

  • identify the sources of the topic in question

  • trace its historical development

  • be aware of differing historiographical interpretations of the pattern and causes of this development

  • understand how ideas and events are shaped by their historical contexts

  • organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing, both under timed conditions and in assessed coursework

  • demonstrate familiarity with bibliographical conventions and mastery of library skills.

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims:
•to encourage students to think independently
•to help students develop good oral and written communication skills
•to develop the effectiveness of students in group situations
•to develop IT skills through the use of relevant resources.

Outline content:
This module will explore the concept of ‘anti-Semitism’. The concept of ‘anti-Semitism’ as we know it is a modern one: the word was coined circa 1873 by Wilhelm Marr to describe and advocate a certain ‘racist’ view of Jews which was then further developed during the second half of the nineteenth century. This Option will discuss the concept of ‘anti-Semitism’ and the related concept of ‘anti-Judaism’ through the medieval, early modern and modern periods with particular reference to Jewish-Christian relations during the High Middle Ages (1095-1291). Hence the core of the course will remain medieval but will also bring in a comparative contemporary element. Themes to be explored will include the impact of the crusades on medieval Jewish communities, the rise of charges of blood libel, ritual murder and host desecration during the period, the imposition of anti-Jewish legislation by both the medieval Church and secular authorities, the motif of the Jewish moneylender, and the use of rhetoric and imagery to portray Jews and Judaism in medieval preaching and polemic.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching is by eight two-hour seminars over one term. Students are reminded to email their tutors for help and advice whenever needed and to note office hours.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 16
Tutorials 10
Guided independent study 74
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Written exam 50% 

one 1-hour unseen paper requiring 1 answer

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Written assignment 50%:

1 written assignment of c. 1,250 words, to be submitted once via Blackboard on Turnitin, by 12 noon on the submission deadline in Week 11 specified on the module site on Blackboard.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 40% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:
Where a re-sit is permitted, students will be assessed on the failed element(s) only in August. Any element(s) already passed will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Any element which is re-sat in August is capped at 40%. Failed coursework must be re-submitted by 12 noon, on the last Friday of August.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 11 September 2018


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