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CCR 199H1F
Contemporary French Jews


P. Bovy


This interdisciplinary course presents the situation of contemporary French Jews, using recent events in the news (principally the Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket attacks of early 2015) as a starting point. The course situates contemporary French Jewry in the context both of French Jewish history and of contemporary France, and its changing demographics. Topics covered include the demographics and politics of the current French Jewish population, as well as the specific challenges of studying identity in France, where official records of religious or ethnic affiliation are not kept. While the focus is on the vast majority of French Jews who are staying put in France, the course addresses the question of French Jewish emigration to Israel and elsewhere, looking both at the figures and the coverage. Readings include English-language media coverage of the French Jewish population and of French anti-Semitism, as well as scholarly and literary writing by and about French and North Africa Jews. The in-class component includes (subtitled) French-Jewish cinema and visual arts. Through critical analysis of these varied materials, the course addresses the cultural, intellectual, and religious life of French Jews today, while also teaching writing, research, and oral presentation skills.

Required readings: Paula Hyman, The Jews of Modern France; Electronic course reader.

Assignments and evaluation: Paper 1: 25%; Paper 2: 35%; End-of-term test: 25%; Overall assessment: 15%.

Prerequisite: None.


This course is found in the following categories:


Revue Arborescences

Considérant que rien de ce qui touche la langue française ne lui est étranger, la revue Arborescences se veut un espace de réflexion sur les enjeux actuels des études françaises aussi bien en littérature, en linguistique qu’en didactique.


Estimant que rien de ce qui touche la langue française ne lui est étranger, la revue électronique Arborescences veut offrir un espace de réflexion sur des questions d’importance en études françaises, relevant aussi bien de la didactique que de la lit

History of the Department

165 years of French Studies at the University of Toronto (1853-2018)