Jewish Identity in France

This seminar focuses on Jewish identity in France from cultural, historical, and literary perspectives. Participants will analyze the legacy of universalism and Jewish civil rights in France, the dynamics of universalism and particularism, and the history of Jewish migration from Eastern Europe and North Africa. Particular attention will be paid to the interwar period and the Second World War in France. Readings include texts by scholars Maurice Samuels, Pierre Birnbaum, and Nadia Malinovich. In addition, we will look at authors who discuss Jewish identity in France from the perspective of immigration and the experience of the Second World War; these authors include Benjamin Fondane, Irène Némirovsky, and Albert Memmi. This topic is related to the instructor’s publication, Writing Occupation: Jewish Émigré Voices in Wartime France (Stanford University Press, 2020).