Brendan joined Birkbeck in 2015 as an Early Career Research Fellow at the Institute, before taking up a lectureship in the Department of Psychosocial Studies.
Brendan’s core areas of specialism are the study of racism and anti-racism, historically up to the present day. He is particularly interested in the relationship between racialization and antisemitism and exploring the extent to which these two areas of research can be brought together within the wider sociology of racism and ethnicity studies.
Brendan is the author of Antisemitism and the Russian Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2019). This work of historical sociology explores the articulation between antisemitism and revolutionary politics, focusing, in particular, on the racialization of class politics within the revolutionary left. At the heart of this work is a further exploration of anti-racist agency within the Bolshevik movement. Based on extensive archival fieldwork in Russia, Ukraine and the United States, the book finds that the Soviet response to antisemitism was led not by the Party leadership, as is often assumed, but by a loosely connected group of radicals who mobilized around a Jewish political subjectivity.
As part of his wider interest in antisemitism, racism and class politics, Brendan has collaborated with Professor Satnam Virdee (University of Glasgow) on a project exploring the significance of antisemitism in the socialist movement of fin de siècle Europe. A collection of papers based on this work was published as a Special Issue of the journal Patterns of Prejudice in September 2017.
In 2019, Brendan was selected as a ‘New Generation Thinker‘ by the BBC and AHRC.