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Prof David Feldman

  • Overview



    David Feldman is Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism and a Professor of History. He joined Birkbeck in 1994 having previously held lectureships at Christ's College, Cambridge and the University of Bristol.

    David specialises in the history of antisemitism, Jewish history, the history of racialization and the history of migration in modern Britain.

    In addition to his work as a historian, David is actively engaged in research which addresses public policy. He led a pan-European project exploring contemporary antisemitism in Western Europe. He has advised international institutions on policy issues connected with antisemitism including the United Nations, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Human Rights Watch, and in the UK, the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, the Labour Party and the Football Association.

    David provides expertise and advice on antisemitism to a wide range of political, philanthropic and cultural organisations as well as giving briefings and interviews to the media. His writing on the politics of antisemitism has appeared in The Guardian, Financial Times, Haaretz, History Workshop Online and The Independent.  His most recent book, edited with Marc Volovici, is Antisemitism, Islamophobia and the Politics of Definition (Palgrave: 2023).


    • MA
    • PhD

    Professional activities

    David Feldman is a founder member of the International Consortium for the Study of Antisemitism and Racism [ICRAR]

    Professional memberships

    • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society of England

    • Member of the Association for Jewish Studies 

  • Research


    Research interests

    • Modern Jewish history
    • Antisemitism
    • Racialization
    • Migration, immigration and emigration in modern British history

    Research overview

    David Feldman is currently writing a book titled "The Meanings of Antisemitism". Here he traces the meanings of the term ‘antisemitism’ – how it was used in political debate and what it was understood to be – from the nineteenth century to the present. Essays emerging from this project have appeared in the American Historical Review and Zion.

    In the last decade or so David's work in Jewish history has followed four overlapping paths. First, he has been a pioneer of the imperial turn in Jewish historiography. Second, he has explored the place of Jews in the nineteenth century ‘culture wars’ and, in particular, the alliance of Jews and evangelical Protestants in their struggles with nineteenth-century Catholicism. Third, he has examined nineteenth-century debates on the extent and nature of the Jews’ difference from non-Jews. Fourth, he addresses historical and contemporary political concerns in his research and writing on the history of boycotts and history of the concept of antisemitism.

    Research Centres and Institutes

    Research clusters and groups

    • Difference, race and inequality
    • Mobility and migration
    • Global history and internationalismn
  • Supervision and teaching

    Supervision and teaching


    David welcomes research students interested in the history of antisemitism, Jewish history, the idea of race and the practice of racialization, and the history of immigrants and ethnic minorities.

    Current doctoral researchers


    Doctoral alumni since 2013-14



    David Feldman contributes to teaching in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology on BA and MA programmes and teaches the MA module on ‘Jews and Antisemitism in Europe since 1848’. He convenes Birkbeck’s non-credit, short course ‘Facing Antisemitism: Politics, Culture, History‘.


    Teaching modules

    • Cultures of Hate and Oppression. Connecting the Conversations about Antisemitism, Holocaust, Gender, Colonialism (SSHC543S7)
  • Publications




    Book Section


    • Bale, Anthony and Volovici, M. and Feldman, David (2019) Jews, money, myth.
    • Bale, Anthony and Feldman, David (2015) Blood.
  • Business and community

    Business and community


    I am happy to receive enquiries from the media on the following topics:

    • Antisemitism
    • Racism


      David Feldman provides expertise and advice on antisemitism to a wide range of political, philanthropic and cultural organisations. His writing on the Labour Party and antisemitism has appeared in The Guardian, Financial Times, Haaretz, History Workshop Online and The Independent. Together with Ben Gidley and Brendan McGeever his assessment and analysis of the crisis appeared in The Political Quarterly. He has appeared on radio and television in the UK and internationally and his opinion is sought regularly  by journalists both for quotation and background.