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Postdoctoral Fellow

Mr William Pimlott

w.pimlott@bbk.ac.uk

William joined the Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism in October 2021 as a Postdoctoral Fellow. He researches modern Jewish history with special interest in global history from below, transnational utopian movements, and the intersection of politics and aesthetics.

William’s doctoral research, Yiddish in Britain: Immigration, Culture and Politics, 1896-1910 explored the flourishing Yiddish press and literary world of Britain c1900, recontextualising the history of Britain’s immigrant Jewish community within broader Jewish transnational movements. Jewish political and cultural life in Britain in this period was broader and more complex than narratives of “anglicisation” allows, while London’s status as a centre between Old and New Worlds was the context for fertile, if transient, Jewish sub- and countercultures. Yiddish was a focal point of exchange and confrontation between a modernising Eastern European intelligentsia and a native Jewish community in transformation.

William has written for a variety of academic and non-academic publications, including Jewish Historical Studies, In Geveb, the London Review of Books, Tribune, and Jewish Currents.

Building on his doctoral research, William’s current project investigates the global Yiddish press – focussing on the polycentric development of Jewish journalism, politics and aesthetics in the period 1890-1920. This work pays particular attention to the cultural, commercial and social aspects of the Yiddish press, alongside its attempts to deal with transnational phenomena such as antisemitism and the White Slave Trade that were as international as its readers and journalists.

‘Jewish Art and Yiddish Art History: Leo Koenig’s Renesans’, Shofar, forthcoming, March, 2022 (with Alex Grafen).

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