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Professor Tony R.J. Kushner BSc, MA, PhD

James Parkes Professor of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations

Professor Tony R.J. Kushner's photo

Professor Tony Kushner is a James Parkes Professor of the history of Jewish/non-Jewish relations at the University of Southampton.

Tony Kushner is Professor in the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations and History Department at the University of Southampton. Educated at the University of Sheffield (BA and PhD) and the University of Connecticut (MA), he was formerly historian for the Manchester Jewish Museum. He then moved to Southampton to be director of the Parkes Institute in 1986, developing it to be one of the largest centres for Jewish studies in Europe.

He is the author of eight monographs, including The Holocaust and the Liberal Imagination: A Social and Cultural History (Blackwell, 1994); The Holocaust: Critical Historical Responses (with Donald Bloxham, Manchester University Press, 2005); Remembering Refugees: Then and Now (Manchester University Press, 2006); Anglo-Jewry since 1066: Place, Locality and Memory (Manchester University Press, 2009) and The Battle of Britishness.

His most recent book is Journeys from the Abyss: The Holocaust and Forced Migration (Liverpool University Press, 2018) and he is currently working on a study of Jacob Harris, a Jewish triple murderer in Sussex, 1734 and, with Dr Aimee Bunting, Co-Presents to the Holocaust. He is co-editor of the journal Patterns of Prejudice and deputy editor of Jewish Culture and History.


Appointments held:

Research interests

My main research area is British Jewish history in the late 19th and 20th centuries covering the social history of British Jewry, immigration issues and responses to the Jews. I also have strong interests in the Holocaust (especially liberal democratic responses and post-war representation), refugee movements, immigration and ethnicity in modern British history and general issues of history, representation and the heritage industry.

PhD supervision

Recently completed PhDs

  • Carolyn Sanzenbacher, 'The International Committee on the Christian Approach to the Jews and Its Role in Ecumenical Protestant Understanding of Antisemitism and the Jewish Problem During the Hitler Years (Vice-Chancellor's Award and Humanities Archival Scholarship PhD, 2016))
  • Jeremy Smilg, ‘Anglo-Jewry and the French Revolution’ (self-funded PhD, 2019)
  • Chad McDonald, ‘The Holocaust in Post-War British Memory’ (AHRC funded PhD, 2020)
  • Alex Sessa, ‘Jane Haining and British Rescuers of Jews’ (self-funding PhD, 2021)

Ongoing PhDs

  • Michael Nelles, ‘British Conservation Organisations in the Twentieth Century’ (Burgess PhD studentship)
  • Nicola Woodhead ‘The Memory of Transmigrancy in the Kindertransport’ (Self-Funding PhD)
  • Verity Steele, ‘An Intellectual History of Bachad and Its Refugee Activities’ (self-funded PhD)
  • Joseph Finlay ‘British Jewry and Race Relations’ (Vice-Chancellor’s Award PhD)

Research projects

Jacob Harris: an alternative global history of Jewish pedlars from the eighteenth century onwards

Co-Presents to the Holocaust. A Study of British POW’s at Auschwitz and British liberators of Belsen

Ethnicity and the British Armed Forces

Research project(s)

Britain and the Holocaust: A History of a Relationship, 1933 to the Present

Tony Kushner, a Marcus Sieff Professor in the History of Jewish/non Jewish Relations, has been invited to join the recently-formed Academic Advisory Board of the United Kingdom Holocaust Memorial Foundation, the national establishment for the remembrance of the Holocaust. This is a considerable honour and will give Professor Kushner an important role in shaping the displays and activities of the United Kingdom Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, which, as Professor Kushner notes, 'will mark the largest and most prominent forms of Holocaust commemoration in Britain.'

Major administrative role within Parkes Institute including fundraising and liaison with outside bodies; Imperial War Museum Holocaust Exhibition Advisory Board; Manchester Jewish Museum Advisory Board; Jewish Historical Society Executive Committee; Jewish Heritage UK, Trustee

Co-editor of Patterns of Prejudice, the world’s oldest journal devoted to the study of racisms

Deputy editor, Jewish Culture and History

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Book Chapters

History of refugees; Holocaust studies; Study of migration and history of racism; Heritage and history

Professor Tony R.J. Kushner
Building 65, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton, Avenue Campus, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BF, United Kingdom

Room Number : 65/2053

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