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:

Borders, Migration and Criminal Justice

Programme:

BSC Criminology and Criminal Justice (full-time)

Tutor:

Sarah Turnbull

Year:

2018-2019

Description:

This module offers an introduction to the emerging field of study known as border criminology, which considers the shifting nature of criminal justice under conditions of mass mobility. It examines the connections between security, migration control, criminal justice, and penality, while paying attention to issues of race, gender and class in how different jurisdictions respond to and govern human mobility

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:

2018-2019

Description:

This 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:

Jan Rueger
Associate, Pears Institute

Year:

2018-2019

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:

Crime, Race and Media

Programme:

BSC Criminology and Criminal Justice (full-time)

Tutor:

Monish Bhatia

Year:

2018-2019

Description:

This module provides a comprehensive introduction to issues of race, media and crime. It examines ways in which images of crime and race are (re)produced by the media, and analyses various ways in which crime is racialised and race is criminalised. The module considers historic portrayal of crimes and victimisation of racial minorities by the media. The social impact of these media representations is also discussed, with particular attention given to the public perceptions and fear of crime and criminal behaviour, and its impact on criminal policy, race relations and treatment of minority groups. The module, while firmly rooted in criminology, cuts across sociology of race and ethnicity, and sociology of media.

Module:

Imprisonment and Justice

Programme:

BSC Criminology and Criminal Justice (full-time)

Tutor:

Sarah Lamble

Year:

2018-2019

Description:

Punishment through imprisonment arguably serves as the lynchpin of modern western criminal justice systems. Despite the limitations of imprisonment as a mechanism for 'crime control' and the high social and economic costs of confinement, prisons remain a core feature within 'advanced liberal democracies'. As prison populations in England, Wales and elsewhere continue to grow at unprecedented levels, the role of penalty continues to expand, raising key questions about the relationship between imprisonment, law, democracy and justice.

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:

2018-2019

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:

Multilingual and Multicultural Individuals

Programme:

BA Linguistics and Language (full-time)

BA Linguistics and Language (part-time)

Tutor:

Jean-Marc Dewaele

Year:

2018-2019

Description:

Growing numbers of people become – or grow up – multilingual. Do they experience any changes as they master new languages? Do they feel they become a slightly different person when switching language?

This module introduces key theoretical and practical issues in the study of multilingualism at the micro (individual) level, dealing with linguistic, cultural, sociological and psychological issues. You will discuss and research issues that typically coincide with your own experiences of multilingualism.

Module:

Racism and Antisemitism

Programme:

BA Psychosocial Studies

Tutor:

Brendan McGeever

Year:

2018-2019

Description:

This 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:

Urban Multiculture

Programme:

BA Psychosocial Studies (full-time)

BA Psychosocial Studies (part-time)

Tutor:

Ben Gidley

Year:

2018-2019

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.