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Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and the Politics of Definition

Attempts to define antisemitism and Islamophobia have been accompanied by controversies which bring to the surface disciplinary, conceptual and broader political differences. The Institute explored these disagreements in an international workshop entitled ‘Antisemitism: Definition Matters’ held in 2019. The workshop brought together speakers from a range of perspectives to consider the changing and contested understanding of antisemitism and Islamophobia, and the issues which arise when each has been defined in particular times and places.

This workshop will give rise to a volume of essays, Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and the Politics of Definition, exploring the political and theoretical issues entailed by attempts to define antisemitism and Islamophobia, with contributions from historians, sociologists, and philosophers. The volume will be published in 2022 in the Palgrave Critical Studies of Antisemitism and Racism series (series editor, David Feldman).

Project team: David Feldman, Director, Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism and Marc Volovici, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism and Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck, University of London.

Image credit: Felton Davis: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Professor David Feldman, Director – 4

Our work shows how antisemitism has often been intertwined with anti-Muslim, anti-migrant, anti-black and anti-Irish bigotries. Antisemitism and other racisms should not be considered in isolation and still less in competition.

Professor David Feldman, Director

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