Blood Libels: From the Middle Ages to the Modern World

The Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London, invites you to a one day workshop exploring Blood Libels: from the Middle Ages to the Modern World.


Date: Monday 27 June 2016

Time: 10.30am – 5.45pm

Venue: Birkbeck University of London, Room 101, 30 Russell Square, WC1B 5DT


The workshop explores how blood, in its regulation and its representation, has been interpreted and traded as a symbol between Jews and non-Jews, and in particular between Christians and Jews, through the centuries – from the biblical past to the present day. The blood libel is a challenging subject in many ways. It raises the question of how we understand continuity (and discontinuity) in anti-Judaism. It also raises the problem of how we approach similar narratives that arise in widely different temporal and spatial contexts.

The workshop will address the following questions among others: how does blood libel change over time and between places? How should we approach blood libel methodologically? How were blood libels proven and disproven? Did this change over time and place? Why do blood libels cease to be propagated?

This workshop is one of a series of events around the exhibition, Blood – Uniting and Dividing which ran at the Jewish Museum London from November 2015 to the end of February 2016 which was jointly conceived by the Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism

We very much hope you will be able to come along and participate in what promises to be a stimulating day.

 Please note, places are limited – please register on Eventbrite:


10.30 – 10.45 Registration and coffee

10.45 – 12.30

  • Blood Libel: Themes and Variations in Spain from c.1250-1492, Julian Weiss, King’s College London
  • The Libel and the Lamb: Violence and Metaphor in Fourteenth century Crete, Susan L. Einbinder, University of Connecticut

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch

13.30 – 15.15

  • Jan Serafinowicz and the Unique Dynamics of Blood Libels in Poland-Lithuania, Pawel Maciejko, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Learning the Language of Science: Disciplining the Modern Ritual Murder Trial, Hillel J. Kieval, Washington University in St. Louis

15.15 – 15.45 Tea

15.45 – 16.45

Cautionary Tales: How Ottoman Muslims Imagined Jews Marc David Baer, London School of Economics and Political Science

16.45 – 17.45 Round table

Anthony Bale, Birkbeck, University of London

Miri Rubin, Queen Mary, University of London

17.45 Close

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