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Dr Brendan McGeever

Lecturer in the Sociology of Racialization and Antisemitism
BA (Hons) Sociology and Politics, PgDip Russian, MSc Sociology, PhD (University of Glasgow).


Academic background

  • Dr Brendan McGeever is a Lecturer in the Sociology of Racialization and Antisemitism.
  • For the academic year 2017-2018, he will be Acting Associate Director of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism.
  • Brendan first joined Birkbeck in April 2015 as an Early Career Research Fellow, before then taking up a lectureship in the Department of Psychosocial Studies in April 2016.
  • Brendan is currently completing a monograph on the Bolshevik response to antisemitism during the Russian Revolution of 1917 (contracted to Cambridge University Press). 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 racism, antisemitism 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 racism and antisemitism, and another on racism and anti-racism in the contemporary Russian Federation.

Research and teaching


  • Brendan’s work focuses on 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

  • ‘Race’ and racism; antisemitism; 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



  • McGeever, B. (2018). The Bolsheviks and Antisemitism in the Russian Revolution. Cambridge University Press.

Book chapters

  • McGeever, B. (2017). ‘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

Professional memberships and awards

Professional memberships


Contact Details

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