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

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The Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism holds seminars, workshops and conferences for scholars, and lectures, discussions and film screenings that are open to everyone.

Rescue: Memory, Myth and Morality

Rescue: Memory, Myth and Morality

John Dobai, Holocaust survivor; Professor Tony Kushner, University of Southampton; Professor Bob Moore, University of Sheffield. Chair: Dr Ludivine Broch, Research Fellow, Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism

But what did ‘rescue’ consist of? What forms did it take? To what extent was the rescue of Jews discussed or ignored in Allied nations and in their Jewish communities? These questions will be addressed by John Dobai, rescued as a child in Budapest, and by scholars Bob Moore and Tony Kushner.

Backlash Against Multiculturalism in Europe: Struggling Over the Mode of Incorporation

Professor Alexander, one of the world’s leading social theorists, seeks to analyse the on-going conflict among the dominant majority groups in Europe over how immigrant groups, particularly Muslims, should be incorporated into the civil sphere.

Literature, Immigration, and Diaspora in Fin de Siècle England: A Cultural History of the 1905 Aliens Act

Literature, Immigration, and Diaspora in Fin de Siècle England: A Cultural History of the 1905 Aliens Act

Professor David Glover, University of Southampton; Professor Sonya Rose, Visiting Fellow, Birkbeck Institute of Humanities, Birkbeck, University of London; Professor Bill Schwarz, Queen Mary, University of London

David Glover is joined in this round-table discussion by Bill Schwarz and Sonya Rose to explore the figure of the ‘alien’ in late Victorian and Edwardian culture, the growing debate on race and national identities at the fin de siècle and to discuss the complex inter-relationships between literature and history.

Writing Auschwitz: Testimony, Representation and Prose in the Work of Charlotte Delbo, Primo Levi and Holocaust Writers

18th March, 2013

Writing Auschwitz: Testimony, Representation and Prose in the Work of Charlotte Delbo, Primo Levi and Holocaust Writers

Professor Susan Derwin, University of California; Professor Robert Gordon, University of Cambridge; Dr Paul Gradvohl, University of Warsaw

This conference, organized in the centenary of Charlotte Delbo’s birth, aims to highlight the contribution that Delbo and other survivors, including Primo Levi, Jorge Semprun and Jean Amery made to Holocaust testimonial writing.

SHOAH

27th April, 2013

SHOAH

Dr Ludivine Broch, Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London and Professor Jane Caplan, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford and Birkbeck, University of London

Claude Lanzmann, a Jewish French resister under Vichy, began to record the testimonies of people closely connected with the Holocaust in the 1970s – a journey which would last fifteen years and culminate in the nine-hour documentary-style film, SHOAH.

Symposium on Integration, Disadvantage and Extremism

Symposium on Integration, Disadvantage and Extremism

Rob Berkeley, Runnymede Trust; Anthony Heath, University of Oxford; Maleiha Malik, King's College London; John Mann MP; Nasar Meer, University of Northumbria; Baroness Sayeda Warsi

The Symposium will reflect on the government’s integration strategy and to do so in the light of both contemporary developments and recent scholarship. It will bring the most current evidence-based research to bear on urgent issues of policy for an invited audience of academic experts, policy makers and parliamentarians.

Sanctioned Laughter: Humour, War and Dictatorship in Twentieth Century Europe

Sanctioned Laughter: Humour, War and Dictatorship in Twentieth Century Europe

Professor Orlando Figes, Birkbeck, University of London; Professor Stephen Gundle, University of Warwick; Dr Patrick Merziger, Freie Universität Berlin

This workshop will examine why European dictatorships found it so difficult to dispense with humour, even though this risked subverting claims to total political commitment made by the regimes of Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini.

Margery Kempe (c.1373 – c.1438), the Jews, and the Northern Jerusalem

Margery Kempe (c.1373 – c.1438), the Jews, and the Northern Jerusalem

Professor Anthony Bale, Birkbeck, University of London

Professor Bale, will consider Margery Kempe’s representation of Jews and Judaism alongside her descriptions of the Holy Land. Bale’s lecture will explore the religious and cultural background of Kempe’s writing, and will locate Kempe in terms of other late medieval writers and pilgrims.

Boycotts – Past and Present

Boycotts – Past and Present

John Chalcraft, London School of Economics; Saul Dubow, Queen Mary, University of London; Jeremy Krikler, University of Essex; Kenneth L. Marcus, Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law; Derek Penslar, University of Toronto and University of Oxford; Frank Trentmann, Birkbeck, University of London and University of Manchester.

This three-day international conference will examine boycotts in the longue durée, seeking to gain deeper understanding of the development of these movements and their efforts to weaken, ostracize and delegitimize specific institutions, polities and states.

René Cassin, the Holocaust, and the Universal Declaration for Human Rights

Professor Winter explores the central role played by Holocaust remembrance in the framing and passage of one of the foundational human rights documents of the twentieth century: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Encounters with Athens, Rome and Jerusalem: (re)visiting sites of textual authority in the C19th and early C20th

1st July, 2013

Encounters with Athens, Rome and Jerusalem: (re)visiting sites of textual authority in the C19th and early C20th

Stefano Evangalista, University of Oxford; Simon Goldhill, University of Cambridge; Donatien Grau, Université Paris-Sorbonne; Constanze Guthenke, Princeton University; Miriam Leonard, University College London; and Billie Melman, Tel Aviv University

This two-day international conference explores the diverse ways in which the cultural authority of Athens, Rome and Jerusalem has mediated the experience and identities of those places in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Writing Jews in Contemporary Britain

Writing Jews in Contemporary Britain

Nathan Abrams, Bangor University; David Brauner, University of Reading; Bryan Cheyette, University of Reading; Ruth Gilbert, University of Winchester; James Jordan, University of Southampton; Nadia Valman, Queen Mary, University of London

Through the workshop we explore the representation of ‘hyphenated’ British and Jewish identities; the recent history and current state of British-Jewish literary and visual culture; and the relation of that culture to the mainstream in Britain.

Tinghir-Jerusalem: Echoes from the Mellah

23rd October, 2013

Tinghir-Jerusalem: Echoes from the Mellah

Professor Gil Anidjar, Columbia University; Dr Moshe Behar, University of Manchester; Kamal Hachkar, independent film maker; Dr Guila Clara Kessous, Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po)

French film maker Kamal Hachkar explores the 2000-year-old Judeo-Berber culture of Tinghir, a village high in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, and follows the trail of the village’s once substantial Jewish population to its émigrés and descendants in Israel.

The Recurrence of Genocide Since the Holocaust

The Recurrence of Genocide Since the Holocaust

Professor Philip Spencer, Kingston University

Professor Spencer explores some of the reasons that have been put forward to account for these troubling failures, and reflects on what light our current understandings of the Holocaust can throw on the acute problem of genocide today.

What Does the Rule of Law Really Mean?

12th November, 2013

What Does the Rule of Law Really Mean?

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC

Baroness Helena Kennedy, barrister, writer and broadcaster, questions law’s role in a time of conflict, increasing inequality and global terror.

New Perspectives on Antisemitism and Islamophobia: Racialization and Religion

New Perspectives on Antisemitism and Islamophobia: Racialization and Religion

Professor David Feldman, Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London; Professor Brian Klug, University of Oxford; Dr Nasar Meer, Centre for Civil Society and Citizenship, Northumbria University; Professor Tariq Modood, University of Bristol; Professor John Solomos, University of Warwick; and Professor Pnina Werbner, Keele University

This collaborative event marks the publication of a new and ground-breaking collection of essays, Racialization and Religion, edited by Nasar Meer, which brings together the contemporary study of Antisemitism and Islamophobia.

Diasporas of the Mind

Diasporas of the Mind

Professor Bryan Cheyette, University of Reading; Professor Robert Eaglestone, Royal Holloway, University of London; and Professor Susheila Nasta MBE, The Open University

Professor Bryan Cheyette and other scholars will discuss the ways in which histories and cultures can be imagined across national and communal boundaries and consider Bryan’s argument for a new comparative approach which encompasses both Jewish and postcolonial writers.

Statement – 2

The Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism explores the pattern of antisemitism both today and in the past. We connect research on antisemitism to the wider study of racialization and intolerance.

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