Conference: Boycotts – Past and Present

6508182453_20f92247e5_b Date: 19-21 June 2013
Venue: Birkbeck, University of London
Register: Delegate fee £90.00; Birkbeck  staff £45.00; postgrad students £30 – book here
Programme: Download the conference programme here

This three-day international conference will examine boycotts in the longue durée, seeking to gain deeper understanding of the development of these movements and their efforts to weaken, ostracize and delegitimize specific institutions, polities and states.

Topics under consideration include: activism against slavery; the bus boycotts of America; marketplace nationalism; anti-Jewish and anti-Nazi boycotts; modern consumer boycotts; anti-apartheid campaigns; localism and global activism; the legal and ethical perspectives on boycotts; as well as the current Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

This wide-ranging conference will explore the history of boycott movements in their own right and at the same time examine the two quite different narratives put forward by proponents and opponents of the BDS movement directed against Israel: one which places the movement within a long history of struggles for ‘human rights’; the other which views BDS as the latest iteration of an antisemitic tradition.

This unique and timely conference brings together over 25 speakers from various disciplines: political scientists, sociologists, historians and legal scholars (including John Chalcraft, London School of Economics; Saul Dubow, Queen Mary, University of London; Jeremy Krikler, University of Essex; Kenneth L. Marcus, Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law; Derek Penslar, University of Toronto and University of Oxford; Frank Trentmann, Birkbeck, University of London and University of Manchester). In so doing, the conference seeks to create an academic forum to better comprehend the causes and content of boycott movements and to advance understanding of whether and how BDS sits within the debate on contemporary antisemitism.

The conference opens at 3.00pm, Wednesday 19 June 2013 and concludes at 5.00pm, Friday 21 June.

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