Senior Lecturer in Sociology, School of Social Sciences

Dr Brendan McGeever

Brendan joined Birkbeck in 2015 as an Early Career Research Fellow at the Institute, before taking up a lectureship in the Department of Psychosocial Studies.

Brendan’s core areas of specialism are the study of racism and anti-racism, historically up to the present day. He is particularly interested in the relationship between racialization and antisemitism and exploring the extent to which these two areas of research can be brought together within the wider sociology of racism and ethnicity studies.

Brendan is the author of Antisemitism and the Russian Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2019). This work of historical sociology explores the articulation between antisemitism and revolutionary politics, focusing, in particular, on the racialization of class politics within the revolutionary left. At the heart of this work is a further exploration of anti-racist agency within the Bolshevik movement. Based on extensive archival fieldwork in Russia, Ukraine and the United States, the book finds that the Soviet response to antisemitism was led not by the Party leadership, as is often assumed, but by a loosely connected group of radicals who mobilized around a Jewish political subjectivity.

As part of his wider interest in antisemitism, racism and class politics, Brendan has collaborated with Professor Satnam Virdee (University of Glasgow) on a project exploring the significance of antisemitism in the socialist movement of fin de siècle Europe. A collection of papers based on this work was published as a Special Issue of the journal Patterns of Prejudice in September 2017.

In 2019, Brendan was selected as aNew Generation Thinkerby the BBC and AHRC.

Find out more

Brendan McGeever’s core areas of specialism are the study of antisemitism, ‘race’ and racism and racialization. He also has a specialist interest in the study of the former Soviet Union, the history of Marxism and Marxist theory as well as social theory, historical sociology and ethnographies of the archive.

Brendan is currently working on two projects: one on the sociology of antisemitism and other racisms, and another on race, class and crisis in Brexit Britain (with Satnam Virdee).


  • Antisemitism and the Russian Revolution. Cambridge University Press, 2019.
    Awarded the 2021 British Association for Jewish Studies Book Prize; Winner, Reginald Zelnik Book Prize 2020, awarded by Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES); Honourable Mention, W. Bruce Lincoln Prize 2020, awarded by (ASEEES); Honourable Mention, Alexander Nove Book Prize 2020, awarded by British Association for Slavonic and East Europeans Studies (BASEES). Translated and published in French L’Antisémitisme dans la Révolution russe (1917-1920).

Book Chapters

Journal Articles

On the BA programme, Brendan teaches ‘Class’ and a special module ‘Racism and Antisemitism’. He also teaches on the postgraduate modules ‘Masterclass in Social Research’ and ‘Independent Research Methods’.

Brendan welcomes students wishing to carry out research on the following areas: racism and racialization; antisemitism; nationalism; class; Marxism; the former Soviet Union; contemporary Russia.



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