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 degree, below.

All modules are optional unless stated otherwise.

Module:

Christians and Jews in Europe: the Last 1000 Years

Programme:

BA History

Tutor:

Professor David Feldman
Director, Pears Institute

Year:

TBC

Description:

This course explores the relations between Christians and Jews in Europe from the 11th Century to the late 20th century. This is a history which encompasses expulsion and conversion, segregation and integration, acculturation and genocide. Each week will address a particular period or episode including: the Crusades, blood libels, the Enlightenment, Nationalism, the  Nazi Genocide and controversies over Israel. Students will be encouraged not only to think about the history of relations between Christians and Jews but also about the history of Europe in the longue duree.

Module:

European History from 1800

Programme:

BA History

Tutor:

Professor Nikolaus Wachsmann
Associate, Pears Institute

Dr Jan Rueger
Associate, Pears Institute

Year:

2015-2016

Description:

This course offers an outline history of Europe from 1800 to the present. It concentrates on political developments, set in the context of economic, social and cultural change and emphasises comparisons between different states and nations as well as focusing on the internal development of each of the major countries and the relations between them.

The Subjects covered include the First World War, the Russian Revolution, Hitler and Stalin, the Spanish Civil War, World War II and the 'Final Solution', the reconstruction and division of Europe after 1945, and the Revolutions of 1989 in Central and Eastern Europe.

Module:

Politics and the Middle East

Programme:

BA Politics

BA History and International Relations

BA Politics, Philosophy and History

BA Contemporary History and Politics

Tutor:

Matthijs van Den Bos

Year:

2015-2016

Description:

This new course provides an introduction to the contemporary political evolution of the Middle East, with a particular focus on inter-state relations, at both a regional and international level. It aims to develop a broad understanding of how the contemporary Middle East has evolved since 1918 and place the region within the wider comparative perspective of the developing world.

Module:

The Third Reich

Programme:

BA History

BA Politics, Philosophy and History

BA Contemporary History and Politics

Tutor:

Professor Nikolaus Wachsmann
Associate, Pears Institute

Year:

2015-2016

Description:

The Third Reich casts a dark shadow over the twentieth century and historians have long tried to understand how modern Germany could descend, in the space of a few years, into brutal terror, racial warfare and genocide. This course explores the rise and development of Nazi rule, from the early years of the Nazi movement after the First World War, to the Holocaust and to the final collapse of Hitler’s ‘Thousand Year Reich’ in 1945.

Key themes include the dynamics of Hitler's leadership, propaganda and popular opinion, terror and resistance and war and extermination.

Module:

Mass Violence and the Re-Making of Modern Europe

Programme:

BA History

Tutor:

Dr Ana Antic

Year:

2015-2016

Description:

This module explores the most turbulent decade of twentieth-century European history, and analyses the multiple axes of extreme violence - political, ethnic, racial, personal - which marked this period and instigated momentous changes in the history of the continent. The war disrupted pre-war collective identities and networks by relocating millions of people: the course will analyse how the migrations of soldiers, refugees, forced labourers, prisoners and prisoners of war re-shaped the continent and influenced personal and national identities.

Module:

War and Modern Society

Programme:

BA Politics

BA History and International Relations

BA Contemporary History and Politics

Tutor:

Dr Antoine Bousquet

Year:

2015-2016

Description:

In this course, consideration will be given to the role of war in shaping political, social and cultural modernity through an exploration of its interplay with processes of state formation, its place within political and international relations theory, and its role in shaping historical consciousness and both individual and group identities.

While the course seeks to contextualise war within its wider historiography, current issues such as the War on Terror, weapons of mass destruction, the revolution in military affairs, asymmetric warfare, humanitarian war, and genocide will also be covered.

Module:

International Migration and Transnationalism

Programme:

BA Global Politics and International Relations

BA Politics and Government

BA Politics, Philosophy and History

Tutor:

Matthijs van Den Bos

Year:

2015-2016

Description:

The essential debates and developments in modern-day international migration and transnationalism are explored in this module. It addresses: global historical trends in migration and the different trajectories of Europe and the US; debates on (im)migration motives and policy; and the UK reality. In the field of transnationalism it focuses on the relationship between (im)migration and integration including: citizenship, assimilation and multiculturalism.

Module:

Nationalism, Ethnicity and Religious Conflict

Programme:

BA Global Politics and International Relations

BA Politics and Government

BA Politics, Philosophy and History

Tutor:

Professor Eric Kaufmann
Associate, Pears Institute

Barbara Zollner

Year:

2015-2016

Description:

This course explores the concepts of ethnic group, nation and religion. The dominant theories of ethnicity, nationalism and religious politics are critically considered, looking at their relative strengths and weaknesses and their application to historical and contemporary case studies.

Module:

Multilingualism and Multiculturalism

Programme:

BA Linguistics and Culture

BA Linguistics and Language

Tutor:

Dr Penelope Gardner-Chloros

Year:

2015-2016

Description:

Multilingualism is a feature of modern societies. This module introduces key theoretical and practical issues in the study of multilingual societies and individuals, dealing with multilingualism at the levels of the nation, the region, and the group. Topics include: languages and cultures; core concepts and core values; language attitudes; assimilation and pluralism; and issues surrounding minority languages.