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:

Comparative Studies of Islamist Movements

Programme:

BA Contemporary History and Politics (full-time)

BA Contemporary History and Politics (part-time)

BA Politics (full-time)

BA Politics (part-time)

BA Politics, Philosophy and History (full-time)

BA Politics, Philosophy and History (part-time)

Tutor:

Barbara Zollner and Matthijs van den Bos

Year:

2016-2017

Description:

The course will help you understand a selection of contemporary Islamist movements. The emphasis is on comparing these political-religious actors in terms of their ideologies, their strategies and their organisational structures. As well as dealing with the views of Islamist movements of competing ideologies such as liberalism, socialism, nationalism and fascism, the course will study the historical development of the relationship to states in the Middle East and of friction with the West. Looking at the range of movements, it allows for an informed debate about choice of political strategies, which range from accommodationist policies and non-violent opposition to then violence and militancy.

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

 

Tutor:

Dr Jan Rueger
Associate, Pears Institute

 

Year:

2016-2017

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:

Imprisonment and Justice

Programme:

Law (LLB)

Tutor:

Sarah Lamble

Year:

2016-2017

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:

Racism and Antisemitism

Programme:

BA Psychosocial Studies

Tutor:

Brendan McGeever

Year:

2016-2017

Description:

This new module explores the relationship between racism and antisemitism. We begin the course with a problem: if, in the mid-twentieth century, racism and antisemitism could be examined in conjunction without too much difficulty, today they tend to be tackled in isolation, or even opposition to each other. This course invites students to take on the challenge of thinking about racism and antisemitism together. We will explore a range of theoretical literatures, including Marxism, critical theory, post-structuralism, de-colonial perspectives and whiteness studies. In doing so we will also think concretely about how these theoretical perspectives might help or hinder us in making sense of the historical development of racism and antisemitism within particular regions of the world (UK, France, Russia, the United States, Germany, Israel/Palestine and others). 

Module:

War and Modern Society

Programme:

BA Politics

BA History and International Relations

BA Contemporary History and Politics

Tutor:

Dr Antoine Bousquet

Year:

2016-2017

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:

Urban Multiculture

Programme:

BA Psychosocial Studies (full-time)

BA Psychosocial Studies (part-time)

Tutor:

Ben Gidley

Year:

2016-2017

Description:

This course explores ways of living with difference in the city from a psychosocial perspective. It will introduce students to literatures from a range of disciplines, including psychosocial studies, anthropology, geography and sociology, as well as feminist and queer theory. Key topics of consideration will include: How urban space and place shape our identities and subjectivities and create different possibilities for conflict or conviviality; How different affects are produced in city spaces; What emotional strategies city dwellers develop for living with difference.