Annual Conference, 10-12 July 2023

Edge Hill University, West Lancashire, UK


Since the explosion of Black Lives Matter in 2020, societies around the world are paying greater attention to the questions of race and racism, including their role in human history. Over the last decade, a growing number of scholars of the ancient, medieval, and modern worlds have argued that race has held a central place in politics, social relations, and culture. These scholars have challenged the received wisdom that ‘race’ simply popped up as an idea in late modern Europe. Significantly, Jews and Judaism have featured as important parts of this story.

The 2023 British and Irish Association for Jewish Studies (BIAJS2023) conference will build on this work. The event will explore how race has affected, and been a part of, Jewish lives and beliefs across Jewish time and space, around the globe. In addition, BIAJS2023 welcomes papers on all aspects of Jewish Studies, and will provide the opportunity for participants to network with peers in Jewish Studies from Ireland, the UK, continental Europe, and the wider world.


Professor Miri Rubin, Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History, Queen Mary, University of London, and President, Jewish Historical Society of England. Author of Cities of Strangers: Making Lives in Medieval Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2020).

Dr Richard Benjamin, Head, International Slavery Museum, and Visiting Professor of Slavery and Public Engagement, University of Liverpool.

Professor David Horrell, Professor of New Testament Studies and the Director of the Center for Biblical Studies, University of Exeter. Author of Ethnicity and Inclusion: Religion, Race, and Whiteness in Constructions of Jewish and Christian Identities (Eerdmans, 2020).

Professor Satnam Virdee, Professor of Sociology, University of Glasgow. Author of Racism, Class and the Racialized Outsider (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).


Alongside keynotes and panels, and a host of exciting networking opportunities, BIAJS2023 will have a special focus on how we can have an impact on wider society with our research and teaching. As the culmination of a year-long campaign, #JewishStudiesMatters, the conference will bring civil society organisations into dialogue with scholars. We welcome papers and panels from museum professionals, artists, musicians, journalists, and campaigners on past, present or future collaborations with Jewish Studies academics.

PhD and Early Career Support

Thanks to funding from the European Association for Jewish Studies, BIAJS2023 is pleased to offer ten bursaries of £250 each for PhD students and ECR scholars to participate in our event. We will also include a dedicated stream of panels and mentoring opportunities in the areas of: funding capture, job applications, publishing, pedagogy, and research impact. To apply for a bursary, please indicate this when you submit a paper or panel proposal, as explained below, and add a two page CV.

Paper and Panel Proposals

To participate in BIAJS2023, please submit a paper or panel proposal by 15 December 2022. Paper proposals should be c. 250 words, accompanied by a biography of no more than 150 words. Panel proposals should include a Chair, and three paper proposals. Please send all proposals to [email protected]


BIAJS2023 is hosted by Edge Hill University’s International Centre on Racism (ICR), Co-Directed by BIAJS President Professor James Renton, and Dr Jenny Barrett. The ICR is part of the Institute for Social Responsibility. We are most grateful to the European Association for Jewish Studies for their support.

Edge Hill University

The host of BIAJS23, Edge Hill University boasts an award-winning 160-acre campus in Lancashire, close to Liverpool and Manchester. Founded in 1885 as the first non-denominational teacher-training institution in the UK, Edge Hill delivers teaching and research across the arts, sciences, health, social care, and education. From the 1960s, Edge Hill has been a pioneer in the fight against racism through higher education, and established the ICR in 2019. In 2021/2022, the University was named ‘Modern University of the Year’ in the The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, and ‘University of the Year’ by Times Higher Education in 2014/2015.

Edge Hill University

Banner: “And these are the generations of the sons of Noah”, Bereshit, ch. 10.