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    Towards a history of the term anti-Semitism

    Feldman, David (2018) Towards a history of the term anti-Semitism. American Historical Review 123 (4), pp. 1139-1150. ISSN 0002-8762.

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    This essay traces the changing meanings of the term ‘anti-Semitism’ from the late nineteenth century to the present. Focusing on Britain, it demonstrates that anti-Semitism, like any other concept, has a history: but in this case, one that remains largely uncharted. The essay draws a contrast between early usages of the term which regarded anti-Semitism as a specifically modern phenomenon and later meanings that have conceived anti-Semitism as a continuous and deep-seated malaise. Changes in the history of the concept of anti-Semitism were closely bound up with the history of minority rights and with the changing relationship of Jews to states. The foundation of the State of Israel in 1948 was a revolution in the relationship of Jews to state power that also led to radical changes in the meanings of anti-Semitism. Acknowledging the sedimented layers of meaning that lie within the concept of anti-Semitism will help us understand why the term has become so contentious in the present.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication following peer review. The version of record is available online at the link above.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Anti-Semitism, Minorities, the State, Rights, Israel
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Research Centres and Institutes: The Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism
    Depositing User: David Feldman
    Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2018 13:50
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:42


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