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:

Contested Nation: Germany 1871-1918

Programme:

BA History (full-time)

BA History (part-time)

BA Global Politics and International Relations (final year students)

BA Politics, Philosophy and History

BA Politics and Society (current students only)

Tutor:

Dr Jan Rueger
Associate, Pears Institute

Year:

2013-2014

Description:

Who did the Germans think they were? This course explores how processes of nation-building and state-building were negotiated between local, regional and national levels in the 19th century. It examines the ways in which nationality and concepts of 'belonging' were constructed in cultural and political contexts. Constitution and citizenship, boundaries, war and memory, monarchy and empire are central themes; similarly race, gender, antisemitism and religious conflict. Runs alternate years with The Birth of Modern Germany, 1870-1933.

Module:

The Birth of Modern Germany, 1870-1933

Programme:

BA History (full-time)

BA History (part-time)

BA Politics and Society (current students only)

Tutor:

Dr Jan Rueger
Associate, Pears Institute

Dr Nik Wachsmann
Associate, Pears Institute

Year:

2014-2015

Description:

From unification under Bismarck to Hitler's appointment as Chancellor, this module covers a crucial period in the birth of modern Germany. This was a period of rapid change and sharp contradictions, of utopian dreams and authoritarian initiatives, of humanitarian visions and radical nationalism, of great wealth and deep despair, of radical reform and reactionary opposition. The module explores the emergence of modern Germany from political, economic, social and cultural perspectives. This includes the rise of antisemitism and racism in modern Germany. Runs alternate years with Contested Nation: Germany 1871-1918.

Module:

International Migration and Transnationalism

Programme:

BA Global Politics and International Relations

BA Politics and Government

BA Politics, Philosophy and History

BA Politics and Society (current students only)

Tutor:

Matthijs van Den Bos

Year:

2013-2014

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

BA Politics and Society (current students only)
Tutor:

Professor Eric Kaufmann
Associate, Pears Institute

Barbara Zollner

Year:

2013-2014

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:

Imprisonment and Justice

Programme:

Law (LLB)

Tutor:

Sarah Lamble

Year:

2013-2014

Description:

A critical introduction to the meaning, purpose and limits of imprisonment within western legal systems. It considers the social, historical, political and economic context, including the impact of slavery and colonialism on Britain’s contemporary penal system, and examines contemporary debates on penal policy in Britain and other liberal democracies.The key social and legal issues arising from imprisonment are explored, including: racism in the British penal system and immigration detention; the challenges of penal reform and the alternatives.

For more information see the LLB second year options handbook available from the School of Law: law@bbk.ac.uk

Module:

Pagans, Infidels and Jews

Programme:

BA Arts and Humanities

BA English

Tutor:

Dr Anthony Bale
Associate, Pears Institute

Year:

2015-2016 tbc

Description:

Medieval and early modern racism and the effects of a Christocentric view of the world are explored in this course. English and European representations of ‘pagans, infidels and Jews’ are studied through poetry, prose and drama. In particular it looks at: cultures in contact and conflict; representations of Islam, Judaism and antisemitism; ideas of savagery and cannibalism and the ‘discovery’ of the pagan other.

Further information on this module will be available in due course.

Module:

Multilingualism and Multiculturalism

Programme:

BA Linguistics and Culture

BA Linguistics and Language

Tutor:

Dr Penelope Gardner-Chloros

Year:

2012-2013

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.