Antisemitism and Jewish Diversity: When Celebration Becomes Dangerous

Thursday, March 2 2023 - Thursday, March 2 2023 7:00pm

4th Floor Conference Center,

Hybrid Event: In person and also streaming via Zoom (register via Zoom here.)


A lecture by Keith Kahn-Harris, author of Strange Hate: Antisemitism, Racism, and the Limits of Diversity

In his 2019 book Strange Hate: Antisemitism, Racism and the Limits of Diversity, Keith Kahn-Harris argued that we are seeing the emergence of a “selective” antisemitism, in which non-Jews combine a philosemitic attraction to some sorts of Jews with an antisemitic rejection of others. In this context, drawing attention to – and celebrating – the diversity of the Jewish people can have the unintended consequence of providing a ‘catalogue’ for those who wish to ‘choose’ their preferred Jew. In this lecture, Dr. Kahn-Harris will explore how it might be possible to engage with Jewish diversity in ways that do not unwittingly reinforce selective antisemitism. He will discuss how he dealt with this challenge in working on an educational book of portraits of British Jews, What Does a Jew Look Like (2022)?

Dr. Keith Kahn-Harris is a sociologist and writer, based in London. He is a senior lecturer at Leo Baeck College, an associate lecturer and honorary fellow at Birkbeck College, and the project director of the European Jewish Research Archive at the Institute for Jewish Policy Research. The author or co-author of eight books and editor of several collections and many articles and reviews, his career bridges academia and multiple other worlds. His most recent books are The Babel Message: A Love Letter to Language (Icon) and What Does a Jew Look Like? (in collaboration with Rob Stothard).

Co-sponsored by UWM’s Departments of History and Sociology and Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and by Marquette University’s Department of History and Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity Studies

To download the PDF flyer click here.