The Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism is a centre of innovative research and teaching on antisemitism, racialization and religious intolerance. It contributes to knowledge and understanding, policy formation and public debate.
Latest Update: BISA has received a major funding boost from the Open Society Foundations to support its work – see the homepage for more.
The Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism was established in 2010 by Birkbeck, University of London and Pears Foundation.
We are the only university centre in the UK dedicated to the study of antisemitism and one of only two in Europe. The Institute is renowned internationally for its innovative research and teaching.
Our work is framed by our conviction that antisemitism is a distinctive form of racism. Through our research and public activity we establish points of connection between the problem of antisemitism and the challenge of racisms more broadly.
Our scholarship contributes to public debate on antisemitism, racialization and religious intolerance and we provide expertise and advice to a wide range of institutions in the UK, Europe and the wider world.
The Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism is both independent and inclusive.
Refugees in Britain and elsewhere evoke fearful and harsh responses from governments and broad sections of the population. Leo Lucassen argues that this antipathy has deep roots in nineteenth and early twentieth century racial thought in the Atlantic world. And that far from being a new phenomenon, ‘replacement theory’ amounts to an old set of ideas in a new package.
In this seminar, Andrea Pető considers how different illiberal governments and political parties are hijacking the memory politics of the Holocaust.
The Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism (BISA), University of London has received a grant of £500,000 from the Open Society Foundations (OSF). This funding will enable BISA to forge ahead with its ambitious programme of research, policy and public engagement addressing antisemitism in the present. The Institute will promote a better understanding of the sources and dynamics of antisemitism and explore how racialization, discrimination and persecution of Jews in the past continue to leave a legacy today.
In this volume, historians, social scientists and philosophers reflect on definitions of antisemitism and Islamophobia in both the past and the present. The essays explore the deep historical roots of contemporary debates and consider how and why definitions of antisemitism and Islamophobia have become a site of fierce political contestation in recent years.
Ben Gidley and Jan Rybak consider the rise of antisemitic conspiracy theories since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and how these age-old narratives are now being widely shared in both right-wing and left-wing political spaces.
Winner of the 2023 British and Irish Association for Jewish Studies book prize. This deeply researched study draws on archival sources across eight languages to trace the everyday practices through which Zionism came to have meaning in Jewish lives in east-central Europe during the First World War.
In this talk Marc Volovici will discuss different ways in which Jewish writers and activists understood and responded to their political strategies and self-presentation in the public sphere and how it might be instrumentalized by antisemitic agitators. Volovici will also consider the relevance of the interwar debate to contemporary political debates on antisemitism and anti-antisemitism.
The relationship between antisemitism and other forms of racism and exclusion is not only a historical question. It is an urgent issue for today.Professor David Feldman, Director