Jews and Antisemitism in Modern Europe, 1789-1945

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

Objectives and Content:

The goal of the course is to study aspects of the position of Jewish minorities and modern antisemitism, namely beliefs and behaviors hostile to Jews because they are "Jews" (as defined by the antisemites) in Western Europe between 1789 and 1945.

The course shall convey knowledge of perceptions of and behavior towards Jewish minorities in the modern West and compare it to several other political environments.

Content: The course studies the historical context of attitudes towards and the position of Jews in modern Europe between 1789 and 1945. The course will focus in particular on French history between 1789 and 1848 and German history from 1879 to 1945. By way of individual assignments, it will explore also other Western European national contexts. It also offers two comparative contexts, namely that of premodern Western Europe and of 19th and 20th century Eastern Europe (as yet to be defined specific cases).

Learning Outcomes

The student shall by the end of the course have gained the following learning outcome defined in knowledge, skills, and general competence:


The student

  • has basic historical knowledge of attitudes and behavior towards Jewish religious minorities in modern Europe between 1789 and 1945.
  • has basic historical knowledge of the various impacts of the rise of the modern nation state and of the consequent development of modern Western political history on attitudes towards and treatment of Jews.
  • is familiar with scholarly, ideological, and political debates about modern antisemitism


The student

  • can critically identify modern forms of antisemitism and their specific historical contexts
  • can critically identify the main historical forces behind modern antisemitism and tolerant attitudes towards Jews.
  • can make connections between these larger historical forces and specific instances of or attitudes toward antisemitism.

General competence:

The student

can utilize historical knowledge of modern variants of antisemitism, knowledge of their historical contexts, familiarity with debates on the nature of modern antisemitism, as well as the developed skills to make connections between these, to form and articulate a nuanced understanding of the nature(s) of antisemitism in the modern West.


Full time/part time

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


Place of Instruction

Online course, and therefore not restricted to Bergen.
Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
The course literature is in English. Students should therefore have a sound knowledge of English
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course
Admission to the Master's Programme in the Study of Religions or other Master's Programmes at the UiB.
Teaching and learning methods

The teaching and student activities in this course will entirely take place online.

  • short introductory videos.
  • Readings
  • following each video/reading there will be a short quiz, that tests the students basic understanding of the video/reading
  • individual feedback on discussion postings and essays from the instructor
  • participation in online discussions
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

In this course the following compulsory requirements have to be approved in order to sit for the examination:

  • Course quizzes (quizzes) following videos and/or texts (8 quizzes, with the total of up to 3000 words). The quizzes will test the students' command of the prescribed course material, and successful completion of at least 70% online course questions in course quizzes.
  • A minimum of one discussion posting (minimum 100 words) that answers one of more questions as well as a minimum of two responses (of each minimum 50 words) to postings by other students.

Compulsory requirements are evaluated with "approved/not approved."

Forms of Assessment

The examination consists of two papers:

  1. essay (about 1000 words) - 40% of the total grade
  2. essay (about 2000 words) - 60% of the total grade

Both parts of the assessment must be passed in order to pass the examination.

The examination will be given a total grade.

The exam assignment will be given in English.

The exam can be submitted in English.

Grading Scale
A graded marking scale (A to F) is used. A is the top grade and F means Failed.
Assessment Semester
Spring. There will also be assessment early autumn semester for students with valid mandatory course requirements.
Reading List

The reading list consists of approximately 500 pages.

The reading list is published by December 1st. for the spring semester.

Course Evaluation
The course unit will be evaluated regularly.
Examination Support Material
Programme Committee
The Programme Committe for The Study of Religion
Course Coordinator
The Programme Committe for The Study of Religions, Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies- and Religions (AHKR)
Course Administrator
Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies- and Religion (AHKR)