Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism : Birkbeck University of London
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Past Research Fellows

Pears Institute Research Fellows

Dr Ludivine Broch (2012-2014) joins the Pears Institute as an Early Career Research Fellow in September 2012. Her work looks to unveil the political, professional, racial and emotional tensions of Vichy France (1940-44), and to understand the Holocaust through new social histories of the period. By examining the largely unknown history of French railwaymen under Vichy, her doctoral thesis intertwines the history of the working-classes with Holocaust history. Her new three-year project ‘Blacks, Jews and Vichy France’ argues that, in order to fully understand its role in the Holocaust, we need to explore Vichy’s attitudes towards other racial minorities. Does a history of blacks intersect with a history of Jews in this period? She will initially carry out a study of race and racism in intellectual thought, legal policy and linguistics in 1940-1944, before examining black (Caribbean and Sub-Saharan) experiences in French military, professional and cultural activities. 

Dr Becky Taylor (2012-2014) joins the Pears Institute as a Wellcome Research Fellow in September 2012. Her work considers the relationship between minority groups and British state and society in the twentieth century, and she has a particular interest in understanding how racism and intolerance are manifested at different levels of the state. Her new three year project, ‘Public health and ‘outsiders': British responses to refugees in the twentieth century’ will use four case study groups - German/Jewish refugees in the 1930s; post-1945 Displaced Persons; Ugandan Asians in the 1970s; and post-1991 refugees/asylum seekers - to explore continuities and differences in public health policy and practice across the century. It takes as its starting point the understanding that while refugees should in law be treated the same as British nationals, fears of ‘disease’ and ‘outsiders’ have meant that this has often been contradicted on the ground.

Visiting & Honorary Research Fellows

Dr Joanna Michlic (2012) funded in part by the Rothschild Foundation, has a four month Fellowship at the Institute in 2012 to explore: 'Untold Histories: Polish-Jewish Children in Britain during and after the Holocaust’. Joanna is Project Director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, Brandeis University, Boston, US. Find Out More » 

Dr David Seymour (2011) is a lecturer on law at The City Law School, City University London. His research interests include law and the arts, critical legal theory, jurisprudence and antisemitism. He has written widely on the subject and is author of Law, Antisemitism and the Holocaust (Routledge-Glasshouse, November 2007). David spent four months at the Institute in Autumn 2011. His current research projects include anti-discrimination law, antisemitism and Holocaust Memory. Find Out More »  

Podcast: Antisemitism and the Law round-table discussion with Dr David Seymour, Professor Didi Herman and Professor Maleiha Malik.

Professor Alessandra Tarquini (2013) is an Italian historian at the University of Rome, 'La Sapienza'. She is an expert on the history of fascism and has written two books: the first published in 2009 on Giovanni Gentile and the second in 2011 on fascist culture. She has also published a long essay on 'Anti-Semitism, Zionism, Hebraism and the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Italian Socialist Press'.  Professor Tarquini’s current research project, which will also be the subject of a book, is on the Italian Left and the Jews between 1948 and 1992. Professor Tarquini will be based at the Pears Institute for the summer of 2013.

Dr Anya Topolski (2013) is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Ethical, Social and Political Philosophy, University of Leuven, Belgium. Her doctoral thesis, ‘Decolonizing the Judeo-Christian Identity of Europe’ was awarded the Auschwitz Foundation Stichting Prize and is being edited for publication. Anya’s current research focuses on the idea of Europe, antisemitism, Islamophobia, and racism. Anya joins the Pears Institute for three months in the summer of 2013 to work on the conceptual history of Judaism’s approach to charity and justice - tzedekah, Baruch Spinoza’s treatise, Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, and the shift from religion to race in the thought of Hannah Arendt and Edward Said.