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The University of Southampton
The Parkes Institute

The Bolsheviks and Antisemitism in the Russian Revolution Seminar

24 October 2019
Lecture Theatre C, Avenue Campus, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BF

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

Event details

Part of The Parkes Institute's Research Seminar Series for 2019/20.

Antisemitism and the Russian Revolution - Brendan McGeever
Antisemitism and the Russian Revolution - Brendan McGeever

When the Bolsheviks came to power in 1917, they announced the overthrow of a world scarred by exploitation and domination. In the very moment of revolution, these sentiments were put to the test as antisemitic pogroms stormed through the former Pale of Settlement. The pogroms posed fundamental questions of the Bolshevik project, revealing the depth of antisemitism within sections of the working class, peasantry and the Red Army. This talk offers an analysis of the Bolshevik response to the antisemitism of the Red Army and the wider revolutionary movement. Contrary to existing understandings, it reveals this campaign was led not by the Party leadership, as is often assumed, but by a loosely connected group of radicals who mobilized around a Jewish political subjectivity. By examining pogroms committed by the Red Army, the talk also uncovers the explosive overlap between revolutionary politics and antisemitism, and the capacity for class to become racialized in a moment of crisis.

Speaker information

Dr Brendan McGeever , Birkbeck, University of London. Brendan McGeever is Lecturer in Sociology at Birkbeck, University of London. His work examines the relationship between antisemitism and racism, historically up to the present day. He is based at the Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism at Birkbeck, University of London, where he teaches in the Department of Psychosocial Studies. He is a 2019 BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker, with his work featuring across television and radio.

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