Representing the Other: Jews in German Texts from 1500 to 2000

Thomas Kovach
Tuesdays 1 PM - 3 PM (AZ Time)
September 27, October 4, 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15, 29, and December 6, 2022

Representing the Other: Jews in German Texts from 1500 to 2000

Fall 2022
1 PM - 3 PM (AZ Time)
September 27, October 4, 11, 18, 25, November 1, 8, 15, 29, and December 6, 2022


Main Campus



Attend In Person OR Online

This seminar will examine the ways in which Jews, Judaism, and Jewishness have been represented in German works from 1500 to the present. We will view the different ways in which Jews are portrayed, ranging from the imperfectly assimilated community member to the inscrutable alien, from the moral exemplar to the menace to the community. The readings will be placed in the context of Jewish settlement in and assimilation to the German-speaking world, as well as various forms of Gentile resistance to this settlement and assimilation, ranging from the traditional religiously-based anti-Judaism to the economically based resentment of the Jew as usurer or exploiter, to the nationally based ostracism of the Jew as non-German in the early nineteenth century, to the racially motivated antisemitism of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Texts will range from those trying to combat anti-Jewish prejudice to blatantly antisemitic texts, with some very ambiguous ones.

Hybrid Course Format

  • All classes will be delivered in-person and online via live video streaming. Students will enroll in their preferred format during registration.
  • In-person classes will be held in the Rubel Room at the University of Arizona's Poetry Center (1508 E Helen St, Tucson, AZ 85721). Enrollment for in-person classes is limited by classroom capacity and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. All students attending on-campus will observe the relevant University of Arizona policies designed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 (more information here). Students who enroll to participate in person will also have complete online access to the course, including all class recordings.   
  • Online students may attend all classes via live video streaming and will be able to participate in all course Q&A sessions with the professor in real-time. Students may also access class recordings for a limited time to assist those who may not be able to attend the live class times. Online access will be password protected and only available to enrolled students.

Registration Will Open Online:
Monday, August 29, 2022, at 8 AM (AZ Time)

Course Registration

Meet Your Professor

Professor Emeritus
Department of German Studies

THOMAS KOVACH is Professor Emeritus in the Department of German Studies. He got his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature with a German emphasis at Princeton and came to the University of Arizona in 1994, where he headed the German Studies Department from 1994 to 2004. Much of his teaching has centered on German-Jewish issues, both German-Jewish writers and the way Jews have been portrayed in texts by non-Jewish Germans through the ages.


Poetry Center
Dorothy Rubel Room
1508 E Helen
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States
Located on the SE corner of Helen Street and Vine Avenue, one block north of Speedway and three blocks west of Campbell Ave.

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