Skip to main navigation Skip to main content
The University of Southampton
The Parkes Institute

'Jewish/non-Jewish Relations' Study Day Event

Lifelong Learning
10:00 - 16:00
22 March 2015
Avenue Campus Highfield Road Southampton SO17 1BF

For more information regarding this event, please email The Parkes Institute at .

Event details

Jewish/non-Jewish relations is at the heart of the work of the Parkes Institute. This study day will look at the great variety in the relationships between Jews and non-Jews at significant moments in history from ancient times to the present day. A series of case studies will be considered that deal with important events and communities in Jewish history from ancient Jewish-Christian relations to the Holocaust to Anglo-Jewry.

The Reverend Dr James Parkes formalised the creation of the Parkes Library and Parkes Centre for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish relations in the 1950s. The Library was transferred to the University of Southampton in 1964 and was formally re-opened in conjunction with the Parkes Centre in 1965. After fifty years of growth and development, including its re-designation as an Institute in 2000 in recognition of its worth by the University, 2014/15 marks the jubilee anniversary of the Parkes Institute. The jubilee is a wonderful opportunity to assess the contribution that the Institute has made locally, nationally and globally. Highlighting the interdisciplinary nature of the work of members of Parkes, this study day is an opportunity to share and discuss the latest research from members of the Institute. As always we welcome the opportunity for questions, discussion and debate!


Dr Helen Spurling –  James Parkes and The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue
This talk will examine the legacy of James Parkes by discussing one of his key works: The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue: a study in the origins of antisemitism. This work was published in 1934, and had a significant impact on the understanding of early Jewish-Christian relations. Following an overview of the work of James Parkes and his field of study, this talk will examine some of the material addressed in his famous book in the light of modern scholarship. In this way, the legacy of his work will be highlighted in comparison with new advances in the field of Jewish-Christian relations today.

Professor Tony Kushner – Remembering and Forgetting The Channel Islands: A Case Study of Jewish/Non-Jewish Relations
The Channel Islands presents itself as a place of sun and quiet: the ideal place to holiday. There are certain parts of its past which are, however, less sleepy. Whilst both inspiring and troubling, they reflect a unique part of the British past with regard to Jewish/non-Jewish relations. On the one hand, there is the Occupation and especially the discrimination and deportation of the Jews. On the other, is the career of Guernseyman, James Parkes. Both have an intimate connection to the Holocaust, but both, it could be argued, are largely forgotten. This presentation will ask why.

Professor Andrea Reiter – The ‘vision of home’: Nostalgia in Anna Mitgutsch’s House of Childhood
Haus der Kindheit focuses on the impossible return of a Jewish refugee to the homeland of his parents which he was forced to leave as a small child. Using the metaphor of the house, the novel explores questions of identity and belonging and demonstrates that both depend on more than an attachment to place. Although old buildings can be restored this does not bring back the people who once lived or the community who worshipped in them. While photographic memory insures accuracy of the building’s physical reconstruction, the nostalgic relationship to the past which photographic memory also promotes, prevents the individual from taking ownership of the new building and of the present. This talk aims to explore the relationship between photography and memory and how they construct the concept of place and community.

Dr Kathrin Pieren – Jewish museums in a non-Jewish society
This session will explore the history and contemporary role of Jewish museums, focusing on Jewish museums in Britain, but taking into account developments elsewhere as well. We will discuss how the representations of Jewish history and heritage have changed over time and the factors that influenced these changes.

Dr James Jordan – Fifty Shades of J: From Alf Garnett to Theresa May
To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Parkes library’s arrival at Southampton, this illustrated talk will consider fifty years of the Jewish image in British television, looking predominantly at moments when an on-screen character or figure declares her or himself to be ‘a Jew’ or Jewish. The aim of this is not to suggest a reductive essentialist reading of Jewishness with connotations of Sartre – one is a Jew if one says one is a Jew - but to question how Jewishness has been suggested, recognised and read, and the implications this has for our understanding of Jewish/non-Jewish relations. The programmes featured will be from a variety of genres, finishing with responses to the recent events in Paris, but the focus will be on comedies, asking why we laugh and at whom.


£40 full rate (please email us for details of our new Loyalty Scheme)

£25 loyalty rate (Harbour Lights Members, Friends of Parkes, English Teachers Network, university staff and alumni)

£12.50 discount rate (students/sixth form & college students and those in receipt of income-based Job Seeker's Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Council Tax or Housing Benefit)

All prices include lunch and refreshments.


To book your place, please log into our secure Online Store to complete the application form and make payment.

Privacy Settings