Pears Institute Events for Scholars: October-November 2016



25 October 2016

Pears Institute Lunchtime Seminar

Keeping the Memory of the Holocaust Alive: Possibilities and Limitations of Performative Practices of Commemoration


Speaker: Diana Popescu, Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London

1.00 – 2.00pm, Dreyfus Room, 26 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DQ

Increasingly, museum curators and artists in various geographical contexts tell stories about the past using elements borrowed from theatre, digital media, religious ritual and performance art. In these diverse mise-en-scenes, members of the public take on not only the role of learners, but also of agents of commemoration – responsible for keeping the past in living memory, and for standing up to intolerance and injustice in their societies. This paper asks: what are the reasons for the rise in performative practices of commemoration? What might these practices inform us about the functions assigned to Holocaust remembrance in today’s societies? This paper will reflect critically on the impact which experiential forms of engaging with this history have upon contemporary audiences, and on the broader challenges of communicating about the Holocaust without it becoming a moral lesson, or a cultural commodity.

Free seminar for scholars. Limited places: book here



24 November 2016


Pears Institute Lunchtime Seminar

Antisemitism and Antiziganism: Jews and Romanies in the Shadow of Genocide

Speaker: Alexander Joskowicz, Vanderbilt University


1.00 – 2.00pm, Dreyfus Room, 26 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DQ

This talk traces the entanglement of Jewish and Romani (Gypsy) history in the twentieth and early twenty-first century, from the killing fields of Hitler’s Europe to the postwar creation of archives, debates over compensation, and contemporary Holocaust memorials. It seeks to understand how Jewish archives became central repositories of Romani narratives of suffering, how Jewish scholarship and the model of the Holocaust have shaped understandings of the Romani Holocaust, and how hostility to Jews and to Romanies relate to each other.

Free seminar for scholars. Limited places: book here






Jewism Museum Berlin

15 – 17 December 2016

This conference, which the Pears Institute is supporting, will explore the multifaceted aspects of the question of Jewish loyalties. Starting with the Dreyfus affair, it will consider the degree to which individual Jews and Jewish communities in Europe, the US and elsewhere engaged with the question of loyalty before, during and after the First World War, in a broad interdisciplinary and transnational context.

For more information and to register contact: Kim Wünschmann ( or Gideon Reuveni ( at the Centre for German-Jewish Studies, University of Sussex.




Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London

24 – 26 May 2017


This timely conference will examine the interaction between Zionism and antisemitism as it has developed from the late nineteenth century through to the present day. It is interested in exploring this interaction as it developed among Zionists and antisemites, and among Jews and non-Jews more broadly. The conference welcomes proposals that consider this theme as it has developed in theory, in practice, and in the manifold domains of cultural representation. Call for papers: deadline 14 November 2016.


For further information click here.


Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism

School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy

Birkbeck, University of London

26 Russell Square

London WC1B 5DQ

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