Dr Eliane Glaser
BA, MA, PhD (London)
Honorary Research Fellow
- My research interests are diverse, but all involve the identifying and decoding of vested interests, hidden agendas, and concealed polemical and rhetorical strageies. They include the meanings and manifestations of ideology; false consciousness; and political and cultural theory. I'm interested in the way in which overt ideologies have become taboo in contemporary political culture, and how covert forms of ideology have become silently dominant.
- I'm also interested in the revisionist history of British tolerance; the polemical and historically contingent uses of Judaism in early modern England; and early modern prose non-fiction, particularly polemic and controversy.
- My other interests include contemporary Jewish identity, particularly the emphasis on ‘roots’ and the ‘new antisemitism’; the representation and uses of the Holocaust; religious diversity in Britain and the relationship between church and state; the futile battle between science and religion; the history of natural childbirth; and contemporary feminism, particularly in relation to work and modern motherhood.
- I have taught courses in Renaissance Literature and Critical Theory at Birkbeck, and Renaissance Literature at Royal Holloway.
- My new book, Get Real: How to Tell it Like it is in a World of Illusions will be published by Fourth Estate on 15 March 2012.
Multinational oil corporations trumpet their green credentials. Shadowy billionaires orchestrate ‘grassroots’ political movements. Public-spending cuts that target the poor are billed as ‘giving power to the people’. Casually dressed employees play table football in airy open-plan offices, but work longer hours than ever before. These are just a few examples of the growing gap between appearance and reality in modern life. With the melting away of the conflicts between East and West and Right and Left, the old ideologies were supposedly consigned to history. But this book argues that they never really went away – they just went undercover, creating a looking-glass world in which reality is spun and crude vested interests appear in seductive new disguises. Get Real is a passionate and entertaining guide to spotting and decoding the delusions we live under – from ‘revolutionary’ plus-size models to ‘world-saving’ organic vegetables; from heavily scripted and edited ‘reality’ TV to ‘life-changing’ iPhone apps. Only by telling it like it is can we improve – and maybe even save – our world for real.
- I am editing a collection of essays, provisionally entitled Religious Tolerance in Early Modern England: Historical and Contemporary Reflections, which will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013. The collection seeks to refine historiographical approaches to early modern toleration and to draw out continuities and discontinuities between early modern and contemporary debates about religious diversity.
- My book Judaism without Jews: Philosemitism and Christian Polemic in Early Modern England was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2007. It explores the various ways in which Judaism was employed pragmatically as an argumentative token in the context of religious and political debates in 16th and 17th century England. The book questions the teleological narrative still present in Anglo-Jewish history, which posits Christian interest in Judaism as a precursor for Cromwell’s ‘readmission’ of the Jews to England in 1656. Judaism without Jews was one of the Jewish Chronicle’s ‘Books of the Year’.
- ‘“A parallel made with the Jewish Sanhedrin”: Tolerating Judaism in the Early Modern Church and State’ in Matthew Dimmock and Andrew Hadfield, eds, Religions of the Book: Co-existence and Conflict, 1400-1660 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)
- ‘“Reasons ... theological, political, and mixt of both”: A Reconsideration of the “Readmission” of the Jews to England’, Reformation 9 (2004)
- ‘Hebrew as Myth and Reality in Renaissance England’ in Robert Rabinowitz, ed., New Voices in Jewish Thought (Cambridge University Press, 1998)
- Academic book reviews: Renaissance Studies; Notes and Queries; James Joyce Broadsheet
- I write comment pieces and book reviews for a variety of newspapers and magazines, including the Guardian, the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, The New Humanist, the Financial Times, History Today, BBC History Magazine, Forward magazine in the US, the Jewish Chronicle and the Jewish Quarterly.
- I am organising a conference at Birkbeck on Saturday, 28 April 2012 on the subject of 'Ideology Now'. The conference will expore the strange disappearance of overt ideology in our political culture and the stealthy rise of covert forms of ideology. Where and how does ideology operate today? And is the narrative of the death of ideology itself an ideological move?
- I have organised two London Renaissance Seminars at Birkbeck: one in October 2007 on ‘Toleration and Intolerance’, and one in November 2008 on ‘Church, State and Toleration’. I am planning a collection of essays on religious tolerance past and present, including the papers presented at these seminars; the collection is provisionally titled From Toleration to Tolerance?
- I speak regularly at academic conferences and seminars: at the conference on ‘Antisemitism and English Culture’ at Birkbeck in July 2007, the Birkbeck Early Modern Society, the London Renaissance Seminar, the University of Sussex, the University of Cambridge, and Queen Mary. I am chairing a panel on ‘Jests in Early Modern England’ at the Renaissance Society of America in Venice, 2010.
- I have given talks on Jewish history at the Museum of London, at a conference in Whitehall organised by Leo Baeck College, and at the London Jewish Cultural Centre. I was an academic consultant for the ‘Shakespeare and the Jews Season’ at the Globe Theatre in 1998, and a judge for the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize in 2006. I have taken part in a number of radio discussion programmes about my ideas and research.