A cutting edge exploration of what unites and divides us
Drawing together religious, historical and medical artefacts, as well as literature, art, film and cultural ephemera, this exhibition explores how blood, in its regulation and its representation, has been interpreted and exchanged as a symbol between Jews and non-Jews through the centuries, with a particular focus on the real and symbolic links between Christians and Jews.
The exhibition confronts some of the most difficult issues surrounding Jewish culture and identity: the rite of circumcision, the slander of the blood libel, and ideas of the Jewish ‘race’ and of racial purity.
Anthony Bale, Professor of Medieval Studies at Birkbeck and David Feldman, Director of the Pears Institute have acted as academic advisors for the exhibition and as editors for an accompanying publication, Blood – Reflections on What Unites and Divides Us, a collection of specially commissioned essays from leading international scholars which expand on the exhibition’s themes.
This illustrated publication is available on-line from the Pears Institute. Full details and order your copy
The Pears Institute is organising a series of public lectures to run alongside the exhibition:
Blood Fractions: the Octoroon and Other Fantasies
Professor Roger Luckhurst, Birkbeck, University of London
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Genealogies of the Future
Professor Jonathan Boyarin, Cornell University
Free talks on themes related to Blood will be held at Birkbeck in the New Year. Details will be posted on the Pears Institute website.