Latest Update: Welcome to the website of the Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, formerly the Pears Institute.

The Meanings of Antisemitism

This project traces the changing ways in which antisemitism has been conceived and defined from the 1880s, when the word antisemitism first became commonplace, to the early twenty-first century. It reveals how the meaning of the term antisemitism has changed in parallel with different civil, political and national rights claims made by and on behalf of Jews.

Essays emerging from this project have appeared in:

  • ‘Antisemitism and Islamophobia’ in special issue: ‘Antisemitism: Historical Concept, Public Discourse’, Zion: A Quarterly for Research in Jewish History, 2020, pp. 295-310 (in Hebrew)
  • Towards a History of the Term “Anti-Semitism”’, AHR Roundtable ‘Rethinking Anti-Semitism’, American Historical Review, October 2018, pp. 1139-1150.
  • ‘Islamophobia and Antisemitism’ in O. Khan (ed.) Islamophobia Twenty Years On, Runnymede Trust, 2017.

A book is forthcoming with Princeton University Press (2021).

Contact: David Feldman, Director, Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism.

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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