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Professor David Feldman

Professor David Feldman is Director of the Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism

Contact details

Department of History, Classics and Archaeology
Birkbeck, University of London
Room 101
28 Russell Square

Tel: + 44 (0)20 7631 6289


  • My research has centred on the history of minorities and their place in British society from 1600 to the present. In particular I have worked on three overlapping groups: Jews, immigrants and internal migrants. This work is, in the first place about the past, but it also addresses controversial issues - antisemitism, racism and immigration – in the present.

Research and teaching

  • Research interests
  • My work on Jews in Britain examines the interaction between the Jewish minority and a liberal state. I have also worked on the social and communal history of English Jews and Jewish immigrants in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; most recently I have explored the ways in which their difference was understood by both Jews and non-Jews. The history of antisemitism is an important focus in both of these contexts. I am especially interested in the relationship of antisemitism to other racisms and exclusions.
  • A different strand of research deals with the interaction of migrants and immigrants with successive welfare systems from 1600 to the present. It investigates how different systems from the parochial poor law to the welfare state deal with newcomers; how inclusive or exclusive they are and how they either promote or inhibit intolerance and integration. I have also written on the history of immigration control. More recently I have turned to focus on the history of multiculturalism in Britain and the ways in which it is connected to older habits of imperial rule and religious toleration as well as to the multinational character of the United Kingdom.
  • Currently, I am interested in the representation of Jews in Victorian culture and the place of Zionism in British political culture in the twentieth century. I am also working on a history of the concept of antisemitism.
  • I am involved in a number of international collaborative research projects which allow me to develop a comparative perspective on all these problems. Inevitably, this work generates policy implications for the present.
  • Teaching interests
  • I teach options on Race and the Victorians and on Jews and Antisemitism in Europe in the 19th and early 20th centuries. I supervise MA and PhD students across a range of topics exploring antisemitism, racism, intolerance and identity, as well as on the histories of liberation, welfare and class relations in modern Britain.
  • Jews and Antisemitism in Modern Europe
  • British history since 1750
  • Social history
  • Victorian religion
  • The history of racial thought
  • Immigration in British history
  • PhD supervision
  • Nineteenth- and twentieth-century social history
  • History of social policy
  • Immigrants and ethnic minorities in Britain; race and racism,
  • London history
  • Antisemitism
  • Anglo-Jewish history
  • If you are interested in pursuing research in any of these areas, you should first read our advice on how to apply for MPhil/PhD research before submitting an application.


  • Books
  • Boycotts Past and Present: From the American Revolution to the Campaign to Boycott Israel (edited volume) Palgrave Macmillan, 2019
  • Blood - Reflections on What Unites and Divides Us, Shire, November 2015 (co-edited with Anthony Bale)
  • 'Sub Report Commissioned to Assist the Parliamentary Committee Inquiry into Antisemitism', published by the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, January 2015. Read the report
  • Integration, Disadvantage and Extremism, Pears Institute/COMPAS, 2014 (co-edited with B. Gidley) Find out more
  • Post-war Reconstruction in Europe: International Perspectives 1945-1949, Past and Present Supplement, 6, 2011, Oxford University Press (co-edited with M.Mazower and J. Reinisch)
  • Structures and Transformations in British History, Cambridge University Press, January 2011 (co-edited with J. Lawrence)
  • Paths of Integration: Migrants in Western Europe (1880-2004), University of Amsterdam Press, 2006 (co-edited with L. Lucassen and J. Oltmer)
  • Jewish Workers in the Modern Diaspora, University of California Press, 1998, edited with Nancy Green and others.
  • Englishmen and Jews: Social Relations and Political Culture, 1840-1914, Yale University Press, 1994
  • Metropolis London: Histories and Representations since 1800, Routledge, 1989 (co-edited with G. Stedman Jones)
  • Reports
  • Antisemitism and Immigration in Western Europe Today: is there a connection? Findings and recommendations from a five-nation study (Final Report) April, 2018 Find out more
  • 'Sub Report Commissioned to Assist the Parliamentary Committee Inquiry into Antisemitism', published by the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, January 2015
  • Essays
  • ‘Jeremy Corbyn, Imperialism and Labour’s antisemitism problem’, History Workshop Online 12 June 2019. Read essay here
  • 'Capitalism, Commerce and Antisemitism’ in Marc Volovici and Joanne Rosenthal (eds.) Jews, Money, Myth, Jewish Museum London and Pears Institute, March 2019
  • ‘Boycotts from the American Revolution to BDS’ in D. Feldman (ed.) Boycotts: From the American Revolution to Israel, Palgrave Macmillan, January, 2019
  • ‘Towards a history of the term “Anti-Semitism”’, AHR Roundtable ‘Rethinking Anti-Semitism’, American Historical Review, October 2018
  • ‘Islamophobia and Antisemitism’ in O. Khan (ed.) Islamophobia Twenty Years On, Runneymede Trust, 2017. Find out more
  • ’Zionism and the British Labour Party’ in Ethan B. Katz, Lisa Moses Leff and Maud S. Mandel (eds.), Colonialism and the Jews, Indiana University Press, 2017), pp. 193-214
  • 'Evangelicals, Jews, and anti-Catholicism in Britain, c.1840–1900' Jewish Historical Studies, Volume 47, Number 1, December 2015, UCL Press, pp. 91-104
  • 'Mutable Citizenship’ in Bridget Anderson and Vanessa Hughes (eds.), Citizenship and its Others, Palgrave Macmillan, November 2015, pp. 28-35
  • 'Modern Blood' in Anthony Bale and David Feldman (eds.), Blood - Reflections on What Unites and Divides Us, Shire, November 2015, pp. 25-29
  • 'How Noble is Europe's Tradition of Welcoming Refugees?', BBC History Magazine, 8 October 2015, p. 14
  • (with Jane Caplan) 'Laughing Out Loud': 'Official Humour' in Three Dictatorships: Introduction', History Workshop Journal, 79.1, pp. 177-181
  • 'Antisemitism in Dangerous Times', After Gaza Special Section, Jewish Quarterly, Autumn/Winter, 2014/15. Read the essay here
  • 'Talking the Talk - Immigration Policy Since 1962' Political Quarterly, November 2014
  • 'The Damascus Affair and the Debate on Ritual Murder in Early Victorian Britain' in S. Gilman (ed.), Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Conflict and Collaboration in the Age of Diaspora, Hong-Kong University Press, November 2014
  • 'Why Immigration Policy Since 1962 Has Had Such A Poor Record of Achievement', published online in LSE British Politics and Policy Blog, November 2014
  • 'Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism in Britain', Antisemitism in Europe Today: the Phenomena, the Conflicts, published online in English and German by Jewish Museum Berlin, November 2014. Read the essay here
  • 'Afterword' in N. Meer ed, Racialization and Religion: Race, Culture and Difference in the Study of Antisemitism and Islamophobia, Routledge, 2013
  • 'Conceiving Difference: Religion, Race and the Jews in Britain, c.1750-1900', History Workshop Journal, August 2013 Read the essay
  • ‘Conservative Pluralism and the Politics of Multiculturalism’ in Nira Yuval-Davis and Philip Marfleet, eds, Secularism, Racism and the Politics of Belonging
  • Runnymede, April 2012, pp10-12 Read the essay
  • 'Jews in the East End, Jews in the Polity, ‘The Jew’ in the Text', 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, ‘Revisiting the Victorian East End’, No 13, 2011 Read the essay
  • 'Why the English like Turbans: A History of Multiculturalism in One Country' in D. Feldman and J..Lawrence eds, Structures and Transformations in British History, forthcoming Cambridge University Press, 2010
  • (with J. Lawrence) 'Transformations and Structures in British Historiography' in D. Feldman and J..Lawrence, eds, Structures and Transformations in British History, forthcoming Cambridge University Press, 2010
  • 'Jews and the British Empire c.1900', History Workshop Journal, 63.1, 2007, pp.70-89
  • (with M. Page Baldwin) 'L'émigration et l'Etat britannique, 1815-1925' in N. Green and F. Weil eds, Citoyenneté et émigration: Les politiques du depart, Editions de l'école des hautes études, Paris, 2006, pp.159-179. Reprinted as "Emigration and the British State, 1815-1925', in N. Green and F. Weil eds, Citizenship and Those who Leave: Emigration and Expatriation, University of Illinois Press, 2007 pp.133-55
  • (with P-A Rosental and C. Douki. ) 'Pour une histoire relationnelle du ministère du Travail en France, en Italie et an Royaume Unis dans l’entre deux guerres: the transnational, le bilatéral et l’interministériel en matière de politique migratoire' in A. Chatriot, O. Join-Lambert and V. Viet eds, Les Politiques du Travail (1906-2006), Presses Universitaire de Rennes, 2006, pp.143-159
  • (with L. Lucassen and J. Oltmer) 'Immigrant integration in Western Europe: then and now', in D. Feldman, L. Lucassen and J. Oltmer, eds, Paths of Integration: Migrants in Western Europe (1880-2004), University of Amsterdam Press, 2006, pp.7-23.
  • Migrants, Immigrants and Welfare from the Old Poor Law to the Welfare State”, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 2003, pp. 79-104
  • 'Was the Nineteenth Century a Golden Age for Immigrants?' in A. Fahrmeier, O. Faron and M. Weil eds., From Europe to North America, Berghahn Books, 2003, pp.167-178
  • 'Class' in P. Burke ed., History and Historians in the Twentieth Century, Oxford University Press, 2002, pp.181-206
  • 'Migration', in M. Daunton ed., The Cambridge Urban History of Britain, III, 1840-1950, Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp.185-206
  • 'Jews and the State in Britain, 1830-1930', in M. Brenner, R. Liedtke and D. Rechter eds., Two Nations. The Historical Experience of British and German Jews in Comparison, J.C.B. Mohr, Tubingen, 1999, pp. 141-161.
  • 'L'immigration, immigrés et l'Etat en Grande Bretagne aux xix et xx siècles', Le mouvement sociale, septembre 1999, 43-60

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