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.

Lives Unworthy of Life? Disability Pride Versus Eugenics

29th January, 2020

Lives Unworthy of Life? Disability Pride Versus Eugenics

Professor Tom Shakespeare, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Professor Tom Shakespeare will discuss the international eugenics movement before and after 1900, and the euthanasia it resulted in during the Nazi regime.

Anti-Racism and Ethno-Religious Political Identity

11th February, 2020

Anti-Racism and Ethno-Religious Political Identity

Keith Kahn-Harris, Leo Baeck College

Recent controversies over antisemitism on the UK and US left have revealed vulnerabilities in anti-racist practice. One of the most significant is a reluctance to fully engage with the ways in which ethno-religious identities can also be political identities.

A Bystander Society? Passivity and Complicity in Nazi Germany

18th February, 2020

A Bystander Society? Passivity and Complicity in Nazi Germany

Professor Mary Fulbrook, University College London

Professor Fulbrook analyses the conditions under which people were more or less likely to show sympathy with victims of persecution, or to become complicit with racist policies and practices.

The Windrush Betrayal: Exposing the Hostile Environment

27th February, 2020

The Windrush Betrayal: Exposing the Hostile Environment

Amelia Gentleman

Amelia Gentleman, award-winning journalist, discusses the Windrush scandal and her role in exposing the government’s ‘hostile environment’ policy.

POSTPONED: Jew Süss and Jud Süss – Film Screening and Panel Discussion

22nd March, 2020

POSTPONED: Jew Süss and Jud Süss – Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Professor Erica Carter, King’s College London and Dr Daniel Wildmann, Leo Baeck Institute London

This double bill of two rarely-screened films, produced in the era of Nazi power promises to be a thought-provoking and troubling event. A panel discussion about both films will follow the screening.

POSTPONED – Pogroms and the Origins of the European Genocide of the Jews

14th May, 2020

POSTPONED – Pogroms and the Origins of the European Genocide of the Jews

Professor Jeffrey Veidlinger, University of Michigan

This talk examines how the genocidal violence that engulfed the region right after the Russian Revolution laid the groundwork for the Holocaust.

POSTPONED – At Home in Britain? Jewish Country Houses, Collections and National Memory
South Front, Waddesdon Manor. Photo Studio 8 © National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

19th May, 2020

POSTPONED – At Home in Britain? Jewish Country Houses, Collections and National Memory

Professor Abigail Green, University of Oxford, Dr Thomas Stammers, Durham University

What do the fate of these houses and the extraordinary art collections that once embellished them tell us about the changing place of Jews and Jewishness in Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries?

POSTPONED – Writing a Life in History: Holocaust Historian Lucy S. Dawidowicz (1915-1990)

4th June, 2020

POSTPONED – Writing a Life in History: Holocaust Historian Lucy S. Dawidowicz (1915-1990)

Nancy Sinkoff, Rutgers University – New Brunswick

Nancy Sinkoff will explore how the life of Lucy S. Dawidowicz provides a window on to the major events and questions that shaped Jewish life in the twentieth century.

A Conversation on Racial Antisemitism
Wiener Holocaust Library Collections

21st October, 2020

A Conversation on Racial Antisemitism

Professor David Feldman, Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism and Professor Stefanie Schüler-Springorum, Centre for Research on Antisemitism, Technical University, Berlin

David Feldman and Stefanie Schüler-Springorum explore the origins and history of racial conceptions of antisemitism, and reflect on their significance today.

Image: Schoolwork produced in Nazi Germany representing the antisemitic and racist Nuremberg Laws of 1935. Wiener Holocaust Library Collections. 

Comparing Comparisons: Preliminary Reflections on a New Era of Historical Analogy
Quinn Dombrowski from Berkeley, USA – Never again means now, CC BY-SA 2.0

Webinar | For Scholars

22nd October, 2020

Comparing Comparisons: Preliminary Reflections on a New Era of Historical Analogy

Professor Michael Rothberg, University of California, Los Angeles

For the last four years there has been an intensified debate—at least in Europe and North America—about the ethics and politics of historical comparison. Michael Rothberg offers preliminary reflections on this spate of recent controversies while also situating them in relation to selected earlier disputes.

Antisemitism and the Left in the Russian Revolution

10th November, 2020

Antisemitism and the Left in the Russian Revolution

Dr Brendan McGeever, Birkbeck, University of London

By examining pogroms committed by the Red Army, Dr Brendan McGeever reveals the explosive overlap between revolutionary politics and antisemitism, and the capacity for class to become racialized in a moment of crisis.

Racism, Antisemitism, and South African Jewish Perspectives on Victimhood
Holocaust Memorial Westpark

Webinar | For Scholars

1st December, 2020

Racism, Antisemitism, and South African Jewish Perspectives on Victimhood

Professor Shirli Gilbert, University College London

Drawing on historical materials and contemporary interviews, Shirli Gilbert will explore Jews’ diverging perspectives on victimhood: their own victimhood, that of others, and how the two may or may not intersect.

Professor David Feldman, Director – 3

We build alliances to promote knowledge and share understanding, making our work ever-more relevant in a world threatened by populisms and conspiracy theories from the political left and right

Professor David Feldman, Director

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