The Ghetto and the Holocaust

This seminar traces the “ghetto” and the Holocaust as central concepts in Jewish and Black historiography in the Polish cities of Krakow and Warsaw.

The Ghetto and the Holocaust
June 10 – July 19, 2019
POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw, and in Kraków

Mitchell Duneier, chair of the Department of Sociology
Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, chief curator, Core Exhibition, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

This seminar traces the “ghetto” and the Holocaust as central concepts in Jewish and Black historiography. The seminar will divide its time between the Polish cities of Warsaw and Krakow. In Warsaw, we will spend three weeks at the new POLIN Museum for the History of the Polish Jews, which stands on the site of the Warsaw ghetto and the prewar Jewish neighborhood. The core exhibition will be an orienting device for our thinking about one thousand years of Jewish life in Poland before and during the Holocaust. In Krakow, students will explore the intact Jewish quarter dating from the late medieval and early modern period and the Kraków ghetto established by the Nazis. In both cities, students will read first-hand accounts of these conditions. 

Along the way, the seminar will visit the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising, “Kraków under Nazi Occupation 1939–1945” at Oskar Schindler's Factory, and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration and Extermination Camp. In comparative perspective, U.S. Black ghettos from World War II to the present will be studied in depth.

A key orienting question of the course is the place the Holocaust should have in our understanding of Jewish and Black ghettos?  In what ways should the Holocaust and the ghetto be reference points for one another and fundamental to our understanding of Jewish and Black history? What kind of focal point can the experiences of Jews and Blacks reasonably be for one another? 

The course fulfills the social analysis (SA) general education requirement.

Course Fee: $6,200

Includes all housing, required course excursions, related academic expenses, visas (for international students), estimated personal meals and estimated airfare ($1,500). World Travel, the University travel agency, will book all participants’ flights. Details on the required booking process will be provided by seminar administrators.

All participants should budget an additional $800 for personal expenses and be prepared to cover costs of required and routine immunizations (estimated $50) as recommended by University Health Services. The immunization costs are covered in full for students enrolled in the University’s Student Health Plan. For students covered by families’ health insurance or other insurance plans, the associated costs will vary. International phone plans are highly recommended for all students.

Financial Aid

Students accepted into a Global Seminar and receive term financial aid automatically receive funding toward the course fee and personal meals based on the level of term aid. Possibilities for additional financial support may be available through the Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE). Princeton subsidized Student Loans, available from the Office of Financial Aid, are also highly recommended. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

Students who accept a place in a Global Seminar and then, before the seminar begins, withdraw or cannot participate because they are no longer enrolled at Princeton will lose the nonrefundable deposit and any unrecoverable costs. There are no refunds after the start of the program.

This seminar is generously supported by the Beth M. Siskind Global Seminar Fund. PIIRS Global Seminars are also made possible in part by the generous contributions of alumni and friends and ongoing efforts of the Office of Development.

Questions? Contact Yolanda Sullivan, Manager, Global Initiatives.