ACTIVITY

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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.

Beyond Camps and Forced Labour: Current International Research on Survivors of Nazi Persecution

International Conference

4th January, 2023

Beyond Camps and Forced Labour: Current International Research on Survivors of Nazi Persecution

Emma Kuby, Northern Illinois University; Stefanie Schüler-Springorum, Technische Universität Berlin and others

This conference brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines who are engaged in research on all groups of survivors of Nazi persecution, and who explore its aftermath in Europe and beyond. Papers and panels will consider issues of survival, rehabilitation, postwar trials and justice, and memory.

Yiddish Glory: The Lost Songs of World War II

Public Event

4th January, 2023

Yiddish Glory: The Lost Songs of World War II

Psoy Korolenko, singer/songwriter and Anna Shternshis, University of Toronto

This lecture-concert brings back to life Yiddish songs, recently discovered in the Vernadsky Ukrainian National Library. Written by women, children and amateur soldiers, these songs tell the story of how Soviet Jews made sense of World War II as it unfolded.

Antisemitism, Racism, National Socialism, and what does this history mean for public memory today?

Public Lecture

5th January, 2023

Antisemitism, Racism, National Socialism, and what does this history mean for public memory today?

Stefanie Schüler-Springorum, Technische Universität Berlin

In this talk, Professor Schüler-Springorum will give an overview of the entanglements of antisemitism and racism that characterized National Socialism and which led to millions of victims – albeit from very different groups – all over German-dominated Europe. For a variety of reasons, these diverse victim groups have been remembered in different ways which now, in the second decade of the 21st century, have come under close scrutiny.  

Europe’s Jewish Battalions: Jewish Self-Defence and the Making of Europe’s Long Nineteenth Century

Seminar | For Scholars

25th January, 2023

Europe’s Jewish Battalions: Jewish Self-Defence and the Making of Europe’s Long Nineteenth Century

Jan Rybak, Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, University of London

In the upheavals, wars, and revolutions that shaped Central and Eastern Europe in the long nineteenth century, Jews found themselves both as victims of violence and as active participants. Dr Jan Rybak analyses the recurring phenomenon of Jewish armed self-organisation and self-defence. Jews participated in the violent transformation of the region, fighting simultaneously for their own protection and their emancipation and to reshape the societies in which they lived.

Holocaust Memory in Eastern Europe

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL LECTURE 2023

30th January, 2023

Holocaust Memory in Eastern Europe

Jelena Subotic, Georgia State University

In this lecture, Professor Subotic will explore the ways in which the memory of the Holocaust in post-communist Eastern Europe has been used to represent other types of historical crimes. Specifically, she will examine the extent to which this instrumentalization of Holocaust memory has fed the rise of nationalized, particularized, and populist remembrance practices, and has helped produce a crisis in Holocaust memory globally. 

Old and New Antisemitism in France

SEMINAR SERIES | ANTISEMITISM NOW

23rd May, 2023

Old and New Antisemitism in France

Nonna Mayer, Centre d’études européennes et de politique comparée, Sciences Po/CNRS

In this seminar, Nonna Mayer addresses the question whether “old” antisemitism in France has been replaced by the rise of new forms of prejudice emanating from the far left and from among Muslims, driven by hatred of Israel and Zionism.

Yiddish Political Cinema – Uncle Moses

Film screening and panel discussion

14th June, 2023

Yiddish Political Cinema – Uncle Moses

Vivi Lachs, Queen Mary, University of London and William Pimlott, Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, University of London

Based on the novel by Sholom Asch, and starring Maurice Schwartz, ‘Uncle Moses’ is a tale of urban poverty in the age of mass migration. The film has been fully restored by the National Center for Jewish Film, USA and will be shown with English subtitles. The screening will be followed by a discussion and Q&As.

Between Self-Determination and Self-Censorship: Antisemitism and Interwar Jewish Politics

Seminar | For Scholars

28th June, 2023

Between Self-Determination and Self-Censorship: Antisemitism and Interwar Jewish Politics

Marc Volovici, University of Haifa

In this talk, Marc Volovici will discuss different ways in which Jewish writers and activists understood and responded to their political strategies and self-presentation in the public sphere and how it might be instrumentalized by antisemitic agitators. Volovici will also consider the relevance of the interwar debate to contemporary political debates on antisemitism and anti-antisemitism. 

Is Antisemitism a form of Racism? And what does the answer mean for Anti-racism?

Public Lecture

4th July, 2023

Is Antisemitism a form of Racism? And what does the answer mean for Anti-racism?

Ben Gidley, Birkbeck, University of London

In this lecture, Ben Gidley proposes that an understanding of antisemitism can enrich anti-racist scholarship and a stronger dialogue with critical race scholarship will also enrich the study of antisemitism.

Yiddish Political Cinema – Grine Felder (Green Fields)

Film screening and panel discussion

12th July, 2023

Yiddish Political Cinema – Grine Felder (Green Fields)

Gil Toffell, British Universities Film and Video Council and William Pimlott, Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, University of London

Grine Felder, (Edgar G. Ulmer & Jacob Ben-Ami, 1937), Ulmer’s soulful, open-air adaptation of Peretz Hirshbein’s classic play heralded the Golden Age of Yiddish cinema. It is a pastoral tale set in the Eastern European alte heym, but in fact filmed in New Jersey. The film will be shown with English subtitles.

Migration hysteria: the deep historical roots of ‘replacement theory’
Illustration: Joe Magee/©Guardian News & Media Ltd

Public Lecture

12th October, 2023

Migration hysteria: the deep historical roots of ‘replacement theory’

Leo Lucassen, International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam and Leiden University

Refugees in Britain and elsewhere evoke fearful and harsh responses from governments and broad sections of the population. Leo Lucassen argues that this antipathy has deep roots in nineteenth and early twentieth century racial thought in the Atlantic world. And that far from being a new phenomenon, ‘replacement theory’ amounts to an old set of ideas in a new package.

How illiberal memory politics is hijacking the discourse on antisemitism

SEMINAR SERIES | ANTISEMITISM NOW

17th October, 2023

How illiberal memory politics is hijacking the discourse on antisemitism

Andrea Pető, Central European University

Andrea Pető considers how different illiberal governments and political parties are hijacking the memory politics of the Holocaust. She addresses three possible ways of conceiving this turn: namely, distortion, revisionism, and paradigm change.

A multiracial Jewish family in the early Atlantic World

Black History Month | Public Lecture

31st October, 2023

A multiracial Jewish family in the early Atlantic World

Laura Arnold Leibman, Reed College, United States

In this talk, Laura Leibman reveals how an early multiracial Jewish family who began their lives poor, Christian and enslaved in the Caribbean became some of the wealthiest Jews in New York. Their story mirrors that of the largely forgotten people of mixed African and Jewish ancestry and sheds new light on the fluidity of race in the first half of the nineteenth century.

The politics of definition: does defining racism help overcome it?

SEMINAR SERIES | ANTISEMITISM NOW

15th November, 2023

The politics of definition: does defining racism help overcome it?

Rebecca Ruth Gould, SOAS and Marc Volovici, University of Haifa

In this seminar, Marc Volovici and Rebecca Ruth Gould will consider the value and limits of definitions in confronting antisemitism and Islamophobia and the potential merits of alternative approaches.

Contemporary Jewish identities and experiences of racism: what can we learn from ‘big data’?

Public Lecture

21st November, 2023

Contemporary Jewish identities and experiences of racism: what can we learn from ‘big data’?

Nissa Finney, University of St Andrews

In a world awash with information, Nissa Finney asks, how do we untangle what Jewish identity means today? What can ‘big data’ tell us about Jewish experiences of discrimination? And what might (or might not) be distinctive about contemporary Jewish experiences of racism?

Resisters: how ordinary Jews fought persecution in Hitler’s Germany

Public Lecture

7th December, 2023

Resisters: how ordinary Jews fought persecution in Hitler’s Germany

Wolf Gruner, University of Southern California

Professor Wolf Gruner tells the story of five Jewish people – a merchant, a homemaker, a real estate broker, and two teenagers – who bravely resisted persecution and defended themselves in Nazi Germany.

Anti-Jewish racism and violence after 7th October and before

SEMINAR SERIES | ANTISEMITISM NOW

12th December, 2023

Anti-Jewish racism and violence after 7th October and before

Camila Bassi, Sheffield Hallam University and Yair Wallach, SOAS, University of London

The massacre and hostage taking carried out by Hamas on the 7th October 2023 has provoked different reactions. In this seminar, Camila Bassi and Yair Wallach examine responses to anti-Jewish violence.

Image: Barbara Rich.

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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