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Dr Brendan McGeever


Academic background

  • Brendan joined Birkbeck in April 2015 as an Early Career Research Fellow, before taking up a lectureship in the Department of Psychosocial Studies in April 2016.
  • Brendan is the author of The Bolsheviks and Antisemitism in the Russian Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2019). Based on extensive archival fieldwork in Russia, Ukraine and the United States, this work of historical sociology explores the articulation between antisemitism and revolutionary politics, focusing, in particular, on the racialization of class politics within the revolutionary left. At the heart of this work is a further exploration of the individual and collective forms of agency responsible for developing a Bolshevik response to such antisemitism and racialization.
  • As part of his wider interest in antisemitism, racism and class politics, Brendan has recently collaborated with Professor Satnam Virdee (University of Glasgow) on a project exploring the significance of antisemitism in the socialist movement of fin de siècle Europe. A collection of papers based on this work was published as a Special Issue of the journal Patterns of Prejudice in September 2017.
  • Brendan is currently working on two projects: one on the sociology of antisemitism and other racisms, and another on race and class in Brexit Britain (with Satnam Virdee).
  • In 2019, Brendan was selected as a 'New Generation Thinker' by the BBC and AHRC.

Research and teaching


  • Brendan’s core areas of specialism are the study of antisemitism, racism and anti-racism, historically up to the present day. He is particularly interested in the relationship between racialization and antisemitism and exploring the extent to which these two areas of research can be brought together within the wider sociology of racism and ethnicity studies.
  • He also has a specialist interest in the study of the former Soviet Union and the history of Marxism and Marxist theory.

Research interests

  • Antisemitism; 'race’ and racism; racialization; the former Soviet Union; Marxism; social theory; historical sociology; ethnographies of the archive.


  • On the BA programme, Brendan teaches 'Power' and a special module ‘Racism and Antisemitism’. He also teaches on the postgraduate modules ‘Masterclass in Social Research’ and ‘Independent Research Methods’.


  • Brendan welcomes students wishing to carry out research on the following areas: racism and racialization; antisemitism; nationalism; class; Marxism; the former Soviet Union; contemporary Russia.

Current PhD Students

  • Anna Shadrina: Single Urban Women in Retirement in the new Russia: Institutionalised Gendered Ageism and Forms of Resistance
  • Ieisha James: Bordering on whiteness: Exploring the racialised subjectivities of Italian women in post-Brexit London
  • Elizaveta Zeldina: The Vicissitudes of Psychoanalysis in Soviet Russia.



  • McGeever, B. (2019). The Bolsheviks and Antisemitism in the Russian Revolution. Cambridge University Press.

Book chapters

  • McGeever, B. (2018). ‘Bolshevik Responses to Antisemitism during the Civil War: Spatiality, Temporality, Agency' in Read, C., Lindenmeyr, A., and Waldron, P. (eds.) Russia’s Home Front in War and Revolution, 1914-1922: Book 4. The Struggle for the State. Bloomington: Slavica Publishers.
  • McGeever, B. (2017). 'Reaktsiia Bol'shevikov na Antisemitizm v 1918 godu' in Kolonitskii, B. I. (ed.) Epokha Voin i Revoliutsii (1914-1922). Nestor-Istoriia, St. Petersburg.

Journal articles





2017 Presenter on BBC 2 Timeline programme 'Scotland's Links to the Russian Revolution'

Academic Advisor: BBC, Who Do You Think You Are?


2017 Interviewed on BBC Radio 4 'Making History' about the London roots of the Russian Revolution.

2017 'In-depth interview on BBC 5 Live on the 100th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution

Editorial Boards and Professional memberships

Editorial Boards and Editorships

Professional memberships

Contact Details

Room G23, 26 Russell Square
Department of Psychosocial Studies
Birkbeck, University of London
London WC1B 5DQ

Phone number: 020 7631 6723