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.

Holding on Through Letters: Jewish Families During the Holocaust

Public Event | Online

2nd February, 2021

Holding on Through Letters: Jewish Families During the Holocaust

Professor Debórah Dwork, The City University of New York

Jewish families in Nazi Europe tried to hold onto each other through letters. But wartime conditions applied. Letters were censored, and could not be sent between countries at war with each other. How to keep in contact? And, once contact was established, what to say — and about what to remain silent?

When and Why Did Self-Determination Become a Right for All Nations? Jews, Arabs, and the Marxist World Revolution

Webinar | For Scholars

16th February, 2021

When and Why Did Self-Determination Become a Right for All Nations? Jews, Arabs, and the Marxist World Revolution

Professor James Renton, Edge Hill University

When did national self-determination become the conventional means to rectify the grievances of oppressed peoples? This transformation took place in the latter years of the Great War and had a momentous impact on the global political ideas of a post-Ottoman ‘Middle East’, the nationalist Jew, and the nationalist Arab. It was, James Renton will argue, a victory for the political thought of the Second International and its most significant legacy.

Intersectionality and its Discontents: Why Antisemitism Matters

Intersectionality and its Discontents: Why Antisemitism Matters

Professor Karin Stögner, University of Passau, Germany

Intersectionality is a methodological approach in the social sciences that investigates the multidimensionality of power relations. Why does this framework routinely exclude antisemitism?

Jews, Liberalism, Antisemitism

Public Event | Online

29th April, 2021

Jews, Liberalism, Antisemitism

Professor Abigail Green, University of Oxford; Professor Simon Levis Sullam, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia; Professor Jessica Marglin, University of Southern California; Professor Derek Penslar, Harvard University

This panel discussion explores how liberalism, citizenship, nationality, religion, race and gender functioned and interacted differently in European Jewish heartlands, in the Mediterranean peripheries of Spain and the Ottoman empire, and in the North American Atlantic world.

Next Event
Jews, the Reformation and Making Europe
Rembrandt Belsazar

Public Event | Online

17th May, 2021

Jews, the Reformation and Making Europe

Dr Kenneth Austin, University of Bristol; Professor Anthony Bale, Birkbeck University of London; Professor Helen Parish, University of Reading.

The Reformation marked a hugely significant turning point in Europe’s history. Taking Kenneth Austin’s path-breaking study, ‘The Jews and the Reformation’ (Yale University Press, 2020) as its starting point, this event, part of Birkbeck Arts Week, explores the place and significance of Jews in the Reformation, as well as the impact of the Reformation on Europe’s Jews.

Sexual Fantasy in Antisemitism

Webinar | For Scholars

25th May, 2021

Sexual Fantasy in Antisemitism

Aidan Beatty

Antisemitism often mixes a sexualized horror regarding Jews with a specific kind of sexual titillation. Drawing on both Critical Race Theory and Porn Studies, this paper examines what these disciplines can add to the study of antisemitism, and places antisemitism within the larger history of race, gender, and sexuality. 

New Histories of Racialization and Resistance – a Conversation

Public Event | Online

7th June, 2021

New Histories of Racialization and Resistance – a Conversation

Professor Jacob Dlamini, Princeton University; Professor Alan Lester, University of Sussex; Dr Sadia Qureshi, University of Birmingham; Dr Kristy Warren, University of Leicester.

How we memorialise and study the past is being questioned today in new ways. The global reverberations of the Black Lives Matter protests of the summer of 2020 and the growing demands to ‘decolonise’ knowledge from within and without higher education challenges anyone who seeks to engage with a contentious present and troubling past.

Unindicted Co-Conspirators: White Jews on the Periphery of Black Power
Verso

Webinar | For Scholars

8th July, 2021

Unindicted Co-Conspirators: White Jews on the Periphery of Black Power

April Rosenblum

Jewish activists were a conspicuous presence in the U.S. New Left of the 1960s. Yet in contrast to the large and influential Jewish Left that preceded the Second World War, Jews in the U.S. New Left rarely presented themselves as a collective force. 

Statement – 1

The founding principle of the Institute is that the study of antisemitism is vital to understanding racialization, racism and religious intolerance.

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