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400-Level Senior Seminar Course  
UI-440      The Holocaust
Catalog Description

A critical analysis and examination of some of the fundamental political philosophical questions, normative concepts and ethical problems of the Holocaust.

Course Content

This course consists of a critical examination of the intellectual, cultural, philosophical, political and historical origins and development of the Holocaust. Extensive analysis of several major philosophical political, intellectual historical, literary and autobiographical works that have made a contribution in providing deep insights and raising significant questions on the Holocaust. In particular, analysis of key normative concepts and issues that stimulated such writers: anti-Semitism, intentionalism v. functionalism (i.e., the origins of the Holocaust), the "uniqueness" of the Holocaust, the political ideology of Nazism, Jewish resistance, the articulation of experiences of the Holocaust, the problems of memory and representation, theological and religious consequences of the Holocaust, the ethical issue of choices, Nazi propaganda, the plight of victims, and the roles and motivations of bystanders and perpetrators. This particular course will analyze political philosophical concepts, normative principles and issues from the interconnected perspectives of politics (political systems), culture, religion, and social philosophy (social systems), and ethical theory (behavioral systems).

Nature of Course

This course consists of a conceptual analysis of the most significant political philosophical, moral, and intellectual historical ideas, issues and themes of the Holocaust. Students will be encouraged to develop competency working in the area of ethical justification by applying moral principles and logical arguments to normative problems and issues in conjunction with the political theories of the Holocaust. Students will be encouraged and required to participate in an active Socratic dialogue with the instructor and with other students. At the end of each session, a series of analytical questions will be posed to students. Students will be required to respond orally to such questions in the following session. Consistent oral participation is not only a particular requirement of each individual student, but a necessity for the intellectual progress and understanding of the Holocaust for the entire class.

Student Expectations
  1. To attend consistently all scheduled classes and be prepared in all assigned work.
  2. To participate and engage actively in class discussion and dialogue with other students and the instructor.
  3. To maintain diligently a systematic set of class notes and to finish all required reading assignments on time.
  4. To take three major examinations (including a final exam), that will be composites of objective questions (multiple choice and/or identification) and analytical essay questions in which they clearly demonstrate comprehension of the critical thinking skills and substantive material of the course.
  5. To prepare and orally respond to a series of analytical questions posed at the end of each prior session.
  6. To prepare an oral presentation on a Holocaust political philosophical issue of normative concept.
  7. To prepare an interdisciplinary (15-20 page) written research paper.
  8. To comprehend the diverse conceptual frames of reference by which various theories and interpretations of the Holocaust are designed and articulated.
  9. To be able to evaluate critically scholarly research in the study of the Holocaust.

Junior or senior standing and completion of University Studies Core Curriculum, or consent of instructor.



Credit Hours 3