Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism : Birkbeck University of London
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Antisemitism, ethnicity, holocaust, immigration, intolerance and identity, multiculturalism, racism, xenophobia - study opportunities at Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck has an unparalleled reputation for the breadth of study of antisemitism and intolerance across its departments and schools: History, Politics, Psychosocial Studies, Social Policy and Education, English and Humanities and Law. You will find details on many of these courses, which can be studied as part of a postgraduate qualification, below.

An interdisciplinary programme - Culture, Diaspora and Ethnicity – is offered at MA, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate levels. This encompasses the social sciences, law, arts and humanities. Find out more »

All modules are optional unless stated otherwise.

Module:

Culture, Community, Identity

Programme:

MA/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate Culture, Diaspora, Ethnicity

MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/ Postgraduate Certificate Education, Power and Social Change

MA/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate Gender, Sexuality and Culture

Msc/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate Gender, Sexuality and Society

MA Psychosocial Studies

Tutor:

Dr Yasmeen Narayan

Year:

2016-2017

Description:

This interdisciplinary module draws from cultural studies, sociology, literary studies, psychosocial and urban studies. It explores: ‘race’ and racism; postcoloniality; orientalism; nationalism; and the concepts of ‘culture’ and ‘community’; ‘identity’ and ‘diaspora’; as well as community and religious revivalism. These are considered in relation to human rights, globalisation and ‘the war on terror’. Core module for students on the Culture, Diaspora and Ethnicity programme.

Module:

Middle East Politics

Programme:

MSc Global Politics

MSc Middle East in Global Politics: Islam, Conflict and Development

MSc Politics of Population, Migration and Ecology

Tutor:

Dr Matthijs van den Bos

Dr Barbara Zollner

Year:

2016-2017

Description:

 This module aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of the domestic political structures and international relations of the region. It will focus on the region post-2003, and the issues of authoritarianism and democratisation, sectarianism and Islamist politics, and will examine the structural issues in the regional political economy.

We will also study the role and place of the region in British, European and Western policy, and the effects of Middle East politics on Western states and societies.

Module:

War, Politics and Society

Programme:

MA Contemporary History and Politics

MSc Global Politics

MSc Politics of Population, Migration and Ecology

Tutor:

Dr Antoine Bousquet

Year:

2016-2017

Description:

This course will examine the role of war in the emergence and development of the nation-state. It will provide an understanding of the distinct historical problems and patterns that have categorised the emerging regions of the world, including the Middle East. Among the contemporary issues addressed are the 'war on terror', weapons of mass destruction, genocide, humanitarian intervention, and war in the global South.

Module:

Politics of Population Change: Immigration, Ageing and Conflict

Programme:

MSc Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict

Tutor:

Professor Eric Kaufmann
Associate, Pears Institute

Year:

2016-2017

Description:

This course looks at the theories and interpretations of political demography, demographic engineering, ethnicity and nationalism. It examines the interplay and impact of nationalism, ethnicity and ethno-religious conflict on international and global politics, applying these analytical models to historical and contemporary case studies. Core module for students on the MSc Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict.

Module:

Nationalism and Ethno-Religious Conflict

Programme:

MSc Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict

Tutor:

Professor Eric Kaufmann
Associate, Pears Institute

Year:

2016-2017

Description:

The origin and dynamics of nationalism and ethno-religious conflict within states are examined in this module. It explores the concepts of ethnic group and nation, and their performative correlates, ethnicity and nationalism. A range of analytical models to ethnic, national and religious conflict are considered, applying these theories to historical and contemporary case studies. Core module for students on the MSc Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict.

Module:

Global Conflict, Security and Humanitarianism

Programme:

MSc Global Politics

Tutor:

Dr Alejandro Colas

Year:

2016-2017

Description:

This module offers a comprehensive overview of the main themes concerning the inter-relationship between global conflict, security and humanitarianism. It combines theoretical coverage of the key debates with more concrete explorations of the historical, sociological and political dimensions of civil wars, counterinsurgency and complex emergencies. The module is cross-disciplinary, incorporating political-theoretical, historical-sociological and public policy literatures into the syllabus.

Module:

The Nazi Capture of Power

Programme:

MA Contemporary History and Politics

MA European History

MA Historical Research

MA History of Ideas

MA Global History

Tutor:

Dr Nikolaus Wachsmann
Associate, Pears Institute

Year:

2016-2017

Description:

This course focuses on a brief, but crucial period of modern German history, exploring the rapid take-over, establishment and consolidation of Nazi rule in the early 1930s. Using primary source material and secondary literature, students will examine key events and broader historical themes surrounding the Nazi capture of power, including: the role of the German elites, resistance and terror, propaganda and culture, anti-Jewish policy and the place of Hitler within the Nazi dictatorship.

Module:

Cultures of Human Rights

Programme:

Postgraduate law programmes: LLM/MA/MRes/Diploma

MA/Postgraduate Diploma/ Postgraduate Certificate Culture, Diaspora, Ethnicity

Tutor:

Eddie Bruce-Jones

Year:

2016-2017

Description:

This course attempts to gain a nuanced understanding of the politics of human rights and a discussion of the limits of rights within various political and cultural struggles. With the aid of ethnographic and critical studies of human rights struggles, it examines the question of the relation between culture, however defined, and human rights theory and practice. It also considers the conditions for overcoming the apparent non-correspondence between culture and rights and culture and law more generally.

Module:

Sociolinguistics

Programme:

MA Applied Linguistics

Tutor:

Dr Penelope Gardner-Chloros

Year:

2016-2017

Description:

Concepts and topics of Sociolinguistics are explored in this module. These include: language and society; varieties of language; linguistic variation and change; speaker variables; social network; speech community; community of practice, ethnography of communication and language and gender.

Module:

Equality and the Law

Programme:

Postgraduate law programmes: LLM/MA/MRes/Diploma

MA/Postgraduate Diploma/ Postgraduate Certificate Culture, Diaspora, Ethnicity

Tutor:

Eddie Bruce-Jones

Year:

2016-2017

Description:

This course enables students to scrutinise the legal rules and underlying assumptions regarding difference that promote equality and regulate discrimination. The course considers UK equality law and equality laws on the European and international level. It engages with debates regarding the legal and social categories of race, gender, class, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, nationality and disability and examines the social theories of equality taking examples from the UK, US and Europe. 

For a full description of the module contact the School of Law: law@bbk.ac.uk

Module:

Power and Control in Golden Age Spain

Programme:

MA Renaissance Studies

Tutor:

Carmen Fracchia

Year:

2016-2017

Description:

The course will focus on the visual image as a representation of the social order and it will give emphasis to the connection between the visual arts and the formation of the Spanish empire. The course will mainly address responses to issues of patronage, censorship, gender, class, and race. The visual form created by a group of artists in Counter-Reformation Spain will be studied in their socio-historical context and in the light of a series of critical texts. 

Module:

Language, Culture and Communication

Programme:

MA Intercultural Communication for Business and Professions

Tutor:

Professor Zhu Hua

Year:

2016-2017

Description:

This course provides an introduction to key issues, concepts and methods employed in the study of language and intercultural communication. Topics covered include:  Language, Culture & Communication: An introduction, Culture-specific ways of communication, Multicultural classroom, Living with differences, The workplace, Business, Travel and study abroad, Developing Intercultural Communication Competence and symbolic competence, Language, identity and interculturality.

Module:

Jews and Antisemitism in Modern Europe: Histories and Approaches

Programme:

MA Contemporary History and Politics

MA European History

MA Historical Research

MA History of Britain

MA History of Ideas

MA London, Cities, Cultures: Urban and Metropolitan Histories

MA Psychoanalysis, History and Culture

MA World History

MA/Postgraduate Diploma/ Postgraduate Certificate Culture, Diaspora, Ethnicity

Tutor:

Nathan Kurz

Year:

2016-2017

Description:

This module explores the history of the Jews in Europe from the second half of the eighteenth century to the present, examining France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom. It covers the most significant approaches to antisemitism and asks what, if any, is the relationship between the history of antisemitism and anti-Zionism today. The module explores potential connections between the histories of antisemitism and racism more broadly.

Module:

Interrogating Intersectionality: Power, Identity and Difference

Programme:

MA Psychosocial Studies

Tutor:

Margarita Aragon

Year:

2016-2017

Description:

This module will examine the interrelationship between modern discourses of human difference, as well as between the practices of social differentiation and domination to which they have been tied. Focusing on race, gender, sexuality, age, class and disability, it will examine both the historical emergence of these mutually constituted configurations, as well as the ways in which they are embodied, experienced and contested in contemporary social contexts.

Module:

Social Justice

Programme:

LLM Constitutional Politics, Law and Theory

MA / LLM Criminal Law and Criminal Justice

MSc Global Criminology

LLM / MA Human Rights

LLM Law General

LLM International Economic Law, Justice and Development

Tutor:

Adam Geary

Year:

2016-2017

Description:

This course examines the conjunction of law, global politics, rights and development from the perspective of political justice. In general, it will explore present developments and tendencies in the theories and practices of rights from a planetary perspective. In particular, we will focus on the current merging of security and development. Development is understood as the complex composite of discourses that articulates trade, aid and political relationships between developing and developed nations.

Module:

'Race', Ethnicity and Development

Programme:

MSc International Development

Tutor:

TBC

Year:

2016-2017

Description:

This course looks at how constructions of 'race' and ethnicity are inscribed within processes and projects of development. It examines how these notions shape, and are in turn shaped by, changing global economic and political forces. You will trace how ideas of 'race' have been central to development discourses from the colonial idea of 'trusteeship' and the 'white man's burden' to the contemporary preoccupation with a 'clash of civilisations' and 'failed' and 'rogue' states, and the emergence of the development/security approach.