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

Academic Excellence


The Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism is part of Birkbeck, a leading research and teaching university. Our students study antisemitism, racialization and religious intolerance across disciplines. 

The Institute is committed to the study of antisemitism across a wide range of disciplines. Being part of Birkbeck, University of London enables us to draw on an unparalleled combination of expertise in the study of antisemitism, racialization, racial and religious intolerance, multiculture, ethnicity and identity across the widest range of disciplines: history, politics, psychosocial studies, geography, English and humanities and law.

As a leading research university, students benefit from cutting-edge thinking by academics who are experts in their field.

Study at Birkbeck

Modules offered at Birkbeck include:

‘Race’, Ethnicity and Development (BA)
Racism and Antisemitism (BA)
The Politics of Race and Diaspora (BA)
Urban Multiculture (BA)
Auschwitz in History and Memory (MA)
Culture, Community, Identity (MA)
Jews and Antisemitism in Europe since 1948 (MA)
Modern Europe and Its Others: Jews, Muslims, Blacks (MA)
The Holocaust (MA)
The Nazi Capture of Power (MA)
Contesting Culture (MSc)
Culture, Community, Identity (MSc)
Equality and the Law (MSc)
Race, Ethnicity and Development (MSc)

An interdisciplinary postgraduate programme, ‘Culture, Diaspora, Ethnicity’, stretches across the social sciences and arts and humanities and is offered at certificate, diploma and MA levels. This programme explores debates on ‘race’ and racism, multiculture and postcoloniality; empire and the formation of modern Britain; contemporary transnational political communities, social identities and urban culture.

The Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism has a committed and dynamic population of postgraduate research students. They explore issues concerned with antisemitism, Jewish and non-Jewish relations, the Holocaust, memory and memorialisation, racialization, religious and racial intolerance, multiculture, national identity and questions of difference.

The Institute embraces history, psychosocial studies, social policy, politics, literary studies and law, as well as innovative interdisciplinary approaches to the study of antisemitism, racialization and racism.

The Institute’s staff and Associates welcome applications for MPhil/PhD from students whose research lies within their areas of interest. See our People pages for more information on research specialisms.

Research Studentships

Our current PhD students include:

Morwenna Blewett

The use and exclusion of art restoration professionals by the Nazi kleptocracy. Part-funded by Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation. Supervisor: Nik Wachsmann.

Sue Blunn

The presence and purpose of references to the abolition of sati in British social and political debate c. 1832-1900. Supervisor: David Feldman.

Satyadev Gunput

To examine the history of Southall from 1962 to 2000 as a means to assess the impact of multiculturalism on minority communities. Bonnart Trust PhD Scholarship, Birkbeck. Supervisor: David Feldman.

Ieisha James

Bordering on whiteness: Exploring the racialised subjectivities of Italian women in post-Brexit London. Supervisors: Ben Gidley and Brendan McGeever.

Jemima Jarman

The history of attempts to convert Jews to Christianity in Victorian London. AHRC Studentship. Supervisor: David Feldman

Zehra Miah

‘White’ Muslims: Turks in London, 1970-1999. Bonnart Trust PhD Scholarship, Birkbeck. Supervisors: David Feldman and Julia Laite.

Anthony Nicholls

Young Jewish masculinities. Supervisors: Stephen Frosh and Ben Gidley.

Jennifer Putnam

If walls could talk: wartime graffiti in Nazi camps and ghettos. Bonnart Trust PhD Scholarship, Birkbeck and Gerda Henkel Foundation. Supervisor: Nik Wachsmann.

Joseph Radcliffe

Black seamen in British ports c.1900-40. AHRC CHASE Studentship. Supervisor: David Feldman.

Zeljka Oparnica

The in-between diaspora. crisis and renaissance of the Balkan Sephardim (1890-1940). Marjory Boughton Studentship, Birkbeck and Leo Baeck Fellowship. Supervisors: Fred Anscombe and David Feldman.

Drew Shapter

Analysing the role of memorialisation and commemoration in the integration of the victims of Nazism into post-war European society. Supervisors: Stephen Frosh and Silke Arnold-De Simine

Lenita Torning

Building Bridges, Negotiating Boundaries – Young Christians’, Jews’ and Muslims’ experiences of interfaith work in the UK.  Supervisors: Stephen Frosh and Ben Gidley.

Georgina Trevelyan-Clark

England’s Jews, physically absent yet mythologically present: from Foxe to Prynne (1563–1655). Supervisors: Anthony Bale and Susan Wiseman.

Emilie Wiedemann

The term anti-Semitism in international politics since 1975. AHRC Studentship. Supervisor: David Feldman.


Facing Antisemitism: Politics, Culture, History

What is antisemitism? How can we recognise and define it? How widespread is it? Where does it come from? Why does it persist? How does antisemitism arise within different political and religious contexts? Is there a difference between anti-Zionism and antisemitism? What is the relationship, in theory and in practice, between anti-racism and opposition to antisemitism?  

‘Facing Antisemitism: Politics, Culture, History’ is a short course which explores the sources, development and contemporary forms of antisemitism drawing on information and concepts from the social sciences and history.  It is taught over three sessions by Birkbeck’s acknowledged experts on antisemitism, Professor David Feldman, Dr Ben Gidley and Dr Brendan McGeever.

There are no formal entry requirements for this non-accredited course: it is open to students and the general public, as well as organisations.

This course will run in April 2022.

Register  here

Statement – 4

The Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism is the only centre in the UK, and one of only two centres in Europe, whose mission is to promote understanding of antisemitism.

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