Muslim-Jewish Relations: History and Memory in the Middle East and Europe, 622-1945

This information is for the 2014/15 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Marc Baer E307


This course is available on the BA in History, BSc in Government and History and BSc in International Relations and History. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is available to General Course students.

Course content

Because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, most discussions of Muslim-Jewish relations focus on the period after 1948. Muslims and Jews, however, have engaged with one another for over 1,400 years. Just as at the beginning, when Muhammad first met Jewish Arabs in Medina in 622, Jewish and Muslim relations have spanned the whole range of human interaction. What approaches have historians taken to understand the connected histories of Jews and Muslims in Middle Eastern and European history, from their earliest relations in seventh-century Arabia to mid-twentieth-century Europe? Through attention to historical events and personalities as well to religious texts, language, law, ritual, sacred spaces, intellectual and spiritual movements, art, architecture, and literature we will explore different approaches to the history and memory of Muslim-Jewish relations in the Middle East and Europe, evenly divided between the pre modern and the modern period. Students are advised that this is not a history of the Palestinian-Israeli struggle, although its impact on the memory of Muslim-Jewish relations in history will be discussed.


20 hours of seminars in the MT. 20 hours of seminars in the LT. 4 hours of seminars in the ST.

20 two-hour seminars in the MT and LT; two revision seminars in the ST.  Students will be expected to read essential primary and secondary material for each weekly meeting and to participate in the seminar discussions.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 exercise in the MT and 1 exercise in the LT.

Students will be required to produce two primary document analyses during the year. 

Indicative reading

1. A History of Jewish-Muslim Relations, From Their Origins to the

Present Day, ed. Abdelwahab Meddeb and Benjamin Stora (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013); Medieval Iberia: Readings from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Sources, ed. Olivia Constable, 2nd ed. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011); Norman Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands: A History and Source Book (Philadelphia: The JewishPublication Society, 1998); Norman Stillman, The Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 2003); Marc David Baer, The Dönme: Jewish Converts, Muslim Revolutionaries, and Secular Turks (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010); Aomar Boum, Memories of Absence: How Muslims Remember Jews in Morocco (Stanford:Stanford University Press, 2013)


Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 3000 words) in the MT.
Essay (25%, 3000 words) in the LT.

A two-hour unseen written examination in the ST. A mock examination paper will be distributed to students so that they can familiarize themselves with the structure of the examination. The two essays will count for 50% of the final course assessment, 25% each. The final examination will count for 50% of the final course assessment.

Key facts

Department: International History

Total students 2013/14: Unavailable

Average class size 2013/14: Unavailable

Capped 2013/14: No

Lecture capture used 2013/14: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication