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.

Antisemitism and Global Politics: Germany, Poland, and Palestine in the 1930s

15th January, 2014

Antisemitism and Global Politics: Germany, Poland, and Palestine in the 1930s

Professor Timothy Snyder, Yale University

Professor Snyder will explore the ways that different sorts of antisemitism can themselves bring about conflicts that are meaningful or even decisive to the history of the European Jews.

Symposium on Antisemitism in Europe: Experiences and Perspectives

18th March, 2014

Symposium on Antisemitism in Europe: Experiences and Perspectives

Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP; Jonathan Boyd, Institute for Jewish Policy Research; Ioannis Dimitrakopoulous, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights; David Feldman, Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism; Mark Gardner, Community Security Trust; Nonna Mayer, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris

The Symposium will consider the findings of the major survey into antisemitism in Europe carried out by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). It also introduces new UK-specific findings into the debate based on the Institute for Jewish Policy Research’s continuing analysis of the data.

The Challenge of the Extreme Right in Europe: Past, Present, Future

20th March, 2014

The Challenge of the Extreme Right in Europe: Past, Present, Future

Emanuele Toscano, University G. Marconi; Daniel Trilling, New Humanist; Shulamit Volkov, Tel Aviv University

The workshop will compare extreme right movements across Europe and consider the circumstances that have nurtured them. It will facilitate consideration of their practices, ideologies, cultural forms, appeal and use of new technologies; discussion of how the past of fascism and Nazism shapes but also differs from contemporary developments; and the exchange of views on how best to understand and respond to this challenge.

Labour and Race in Modern German History

27th March, 2014

Labour and Race in Modern German History

Various Speakers

This three day international conference will examine ‘race’ and ‘labour’, two of the great mobilising forces which shaped Germany in the modern world, exploring their interaction in a wide range of contexts. The chosen timeframe is broad, stretching from the early nineteenth century to questions concerning labour and race in the Third Reich and post-war Germany.

“No Stab in the Back!” Race, Labour and the National Socialist Regime under the Bombs, 1940-45

It is often argued that the Hitler regime was profoundly influenced by the ‘stab-in-the-back’ myth generated by the German collapse in 1918. In World War II the anxiety that the home front might collapse was fuelled by the escalating bomber offensive and the widespread popular belief that urban communities would not be able to withstand the bombing.

Parliaments and Minorities: Ethnicities, Nations and Religions in Europe, 1848-1948

13th May, 2014

Parliaments and Minorities: Ethnicities, Nations and Religions in Europe, 1848-1948

Professor John Breuilly, London School of Economics and Political Science; Professor Dieter Gosewinkel, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung; Professor Stefanie Schüler Springorum, Technische Universität Berlin; Professor Maud Mandel, Brown University

This conference will explore the rise and impact of nationalism on parliaments and political organisation. It will also examine the collective experience of a continent in how to resolve, or fail to resolve, cultural oppositions through institutional means.

Nationalities and Parliaments Now: What Can We Learn rom the Past?

13th May, 2014

Nationalities and Parliaments Now: What Can We Learn rom the Past?

Professor Tim Bale, Queen Mary, University of London; Professor Robert Hazell, University College London; Professor Simon Hix, London School of Economics; Dr Gwendolyn Sasse, University of Oxford

This discussion will explore how the fit between democratic institutions and national identities and aspirations is being challenged across Europe.

Muslims and Jews in France: History of a Conflict

15th May, 2014

Muslims and Jews in France: History of a Conflict

Professor Maud Mandel, Brown University

Professor Mandel will speak about the global, national and local origins of the conflict that has long shadowed Muslim-Jewish relations in France, challenging the belief that rising antisemitism in France is rooted solely in the unfolding crisis in Israel and Palestine.

Pogroms: Contemporary Reactions to Antisemitic Violence in Europe c. 1815-1950

30th May, 2014

Pogroms: Contemporary Reactions to Antisemitic Violence in Europe c. 1815-1950

Professor Manfred Gailus, Technische Universität Berlin; Dr François Guesnet, University College London; Dr Hugo Service, University of Oxford.

In this half-day workshop leading scholars will examine this question in three different contexts: nineteenth-century Germany, the Russian Empire in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, and Poland in the aftermath of the Second World War.

Memory and Contestation: Histories and Representations of African Enslavement and the Holocaust in Britain Today

6th June, 2014

Memory and Contestation: Histories and Representations of African Enslavement and the Holocaust in Britain Today

Caroline Bressey, University College London; David Cesarani, Royal Holloway, University of London; Linda Grant, Writer; Tony Kushner, University of Southampton; Paul Salmons, Institute of Education, University of London; Andrea Stuart, Writer; Arthur Torrington, Windrush Foundation; Tony Warner, Black History Walks

The event will be divided into a series of four panels: Historiography, Fiction, Memorialisation and Education.  Each panel will comprise two ‘paired’ contributions, one dealing with the legacies of the Holocaust and one with the legacies of African enslavement.

Narratives of Violence

16th June, 2014

Narratives of Violence

Donald L. Horowitz, Duke University; Eyal Naveh, Tel Aviv University; Rainer Schulze, University of Essex; Steven Zipperstein, Stanford University.

Involving academics from all over the world, the conference will explore the ways in which violence against religious groups, ethnic groups and visible minorities, as well as against women and sexual minorities, has been incorporated into larger political projects and into the subsequent construction of different communities.

Debating Antisemitism: Why do Jews Disagree so Much?

26th June, 2014

Debating Antisemitism: Why do Jews Disagree so Much?

Diana Pinto, intellectual historian and author; Keith Kahn-Harris, writer and sociologist; David Feldman, Director, Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London

Diana Pinto and Keith Kahn-Harris, join David Feldman, Director of the Pears Institute, to explore the perennial, perplexing question – why do Jews disagree so much on the issue of antisemitism?

Histories of Prejudice: Persecuting Others

3rd July, 2014

Histories of Prejudice: Persecuting Others

Dr Becky Taylor, Dr Matt Cook, Dr Jessica Reinisch, Birkbeck, University of London

This round-table discussion considers the histories, connections and disconnections between groups and peoples which mainstream society frequently classes as ‘outsiders’. Taking Becky Taylor’s new book as its starting point, speakers will explore the experiences and prejudices that have shaped the lives of marginalised groups in twentieth century Europe including Roma, Jews, refugees and homosexuals.

Integration, Disadvantage and Extremism – Report Launch

16th July, 2014

Integration, Disadvantage and Extremism – Report Launch

Stephen Williams MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government; John Mann MP; David Feldman, Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London; Ben Gidley, COMPAS, University of Oxford;

This event will launch the report ‘Integration, Disadvantage and Extremism’, produced by researchers from the University of Oxford and Birkbeck, University of London, for the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism. The report examines what drives extremism in British society.

Zionism and the British Labour Party

15th October, 2014

Zionism and the British Labour Party

Professor David Feldman, Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism

A Life, a Death, a Legacy: Writing the History of Ritual Murder

3rd November, 2014

A Life, a Death, a Legacy: Writing the History of Ritual Murder

Professor Miri Rubin, Queen Mary, University of London

Miri Rubin’s lecture demonstrates the involvement of scholars and monks, bureaucrats and opportunists in attempts to make the accusation work. The story of child murder – first told in Norwich around 1150 – is as revealing about Christians as it is about Jews, both in the Middle Ages and since.

Hiroshima, the Holocaust and the Rise of Global Memory Culture

27th November, 2014

Hiroshima, the Holocaust and the Rise of Global Memory Culture

Dr Ran Zwigenberg, Pennsylvania State University

Zwigenberg’s talk will concentrate on the narratives of sacrifice and victimization that were central to the postwar reimagining of the A-bomb survivors as symbols of resistance and as moral authorities in the Japanese and international peace movements; and to the wider connections of this history to that of victims of the Holocaust.

Israel and Antisemitism in Britain: Now and in the Future

10th December, 2014

Israel and Antisemitism in Britain: Now and in the Future

The Rt. Hon. Baroness Warsi PC; Eve Garrard, University of Manchester; Ed Kessler, Woolf Institute and University of Cambridge; Brian Klug, University of Oxford, Daniella Peled, journalist

This panel discussion will reflect on the ways in which antisemitism figured in the controversies caused by the conflict. The speakers, representing a range of views on both Israel and Palestine and on the nature and significance of antisemitism in Britain, will explore: is there a climate of rising antisemitism in Britain?

Statement – 3

The Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism is a respected source of independent advice and comment on antisemitism, contributing to policy formation and public debate.

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