Odesa: Jews in the Modern World

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  • Lecture 1: A city like no other
    • In this first lecture, Professors Kenez & Baumgarten describe life in Odesa circa 1850-1930, a port city in Ukraine that was a dynamic opportunity zone for its Jewish population. They also introduce Jewish virtuosos Bialik, Babel, and other writers and artists of Odesa.
  • Lecture 2: Jewish life in the Russian Empire
    • Professor Kenez discusses the lives of Jews in the Pale of the Settlement, demographic changes, and the impact of industrialization on Jews in late 19th-century Russia.
  • Lecture 3: Modernism & Internationalism
    • Professor Baumgarten discusses Babel’s short story “Gedali,” the intercultural lives of Jewish virtuosos, and the impact of modernism and internationalism on their creative output.
  • Lecture 4: Antisemitism in the Russian Empire
    • Professor Kenez discusses programs, varieties of antisemitism, and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
  • Lecture 5: Jewish achievement in the modern world
    • Professor Kenez discusses the culture, skills, and talents that Jews used to achieve something extraordinary in the modern world. He focuses on the development Jewish working and entrepreneurial classes, the advent of the Bund (the Jewish Labor Force), and the onset of the Revolution and Russian Civil War.
  • Lecture 6: Jewish virtuosity
    • Professor Baumgarten discusses Babel’s stories about growing up in Odesa where, for a brief window of time, Jews could have a better life than anywhere else in the Russian Empire. Simultaneously this was a dangerous and contested social space.
  • Lecture 7: Revolution & Civil War
    • In this final letcure, Professors Kenez & Baumgarten discuss the role and fates of Jews during the Russian Revolution and Civil War.
  • Final Project: A Postcard from Odesa
    • Learners will compete a peer reviewed final project: "A Postcard from Odesa"