In the immediate post-war era the struggle against antisemitism was central to anti-racist politics. Leading scholars writing at the time, among them W.E.B. Du Bois and Hannah Arendt, viewed antisemitism as a key form of racism.
In recent decades, however, there has been a ‘parting of the ways’ between anti-antisemitism and anti-racism. Scholarship on antisemitism – now often situated within Jewish studies – has little dialogue with scholarship on racism in general.
In this lecture, Ben Gidley argues that we need to move past the parting of the ways, and develop a more relational or multi-directional understanding. He proposes that an understanding of antisemitism can enrich anti-racist scholarship and a stronger dialogue with critical race scholarship will also enrich the study of antisemitism.
Dr Ben Gidley is a Reader in Sociology and Psychosocial Studies and Research Associate of BISA, at Birkbeck, University of London. His research focuses on integration, diversity, antisemitism and Muslim-Jewish relations. His books include: Turbulent Times: The British Jewish Community Today with Keith Kahn-Harris (Continuum, 2010), Antisemitism and Islamophobia in Europe: A Shared Story? with James Renton (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) and Jews and Muslims in Europe: Between Discourse and Experience, with Sami Everett (Brill, 2022). Ben is a board member of the European Sociological Association Research Network 31 on Racism and Antisemitism; and a board member of the British and Irish Association of Jewish Studies.