Yale University Creates Center to Study Antisemitism

Yale has just established the first university-based institute in North America dedicated to the study of antisemitism.

The new center, the Yale Initiative for Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism, will be directed by Charles Small and based at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies (ISPS), 77 Prospect St.

“As an institute that has a long-standing commitment to the scholarly exploration of inter-group conflict, ISPS takes special pride in hosting the first center in North America devoted to the study of antisemitism,” says Donald Green, director of ISPS and the A. Whitney Griswold Professor of Political Science at Yale. “The interdisciplinary scope of the topic and magnitude of the policy questions it raises are sure to attract top scholars and generate valuable discussion and research.”

Small, a Research Affiliate at ISPS, is also the founding director of the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP). He earned his Doctorate of Philosophy from Oxford University, completed post-doctorate research at the Université de Montréal and taught at the University of London, Ben Gurion University, Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He was an associate professor and Director of Urban Studies at Southern Connecticut State University. His research specializes in social and cultural theory, globalization and national identity, socio-cultural policy and racisms—including antisemitism.

“Antisemitism has reemerged internationally in a manner that many leading scholars and policy makers take seriously,” Small says. “This unfortunate contemporary development is happening at socio-economic and cultural levels in a rapidly changing world. Because of this, there is a need to establish a high caliber, interdisciplinary, non-partisan, scholarly institute, so that students and faculty can engage these issues fully.”

The Yale Initiative for Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism will run a seminar series, “Antisemitism in Comparative Perspective,” on Thursday afternoons at 4:15 p.m. in room A002 of ISPS. The first speaker, on September 28, will be James Carroll, Boston Globe columnist and prize-winning author. His topic is “The Church and the Jews: A Lesson in History.”

Carroll’s 10 novels include New York Times bestsellers “Mortal Friends,” “Family Trade” and “Prince of Peace” as well as New York Times Notable Books of the Year “The City Below” and “Secret Father.” His memoir, “An American Requiem: God, My Father, and the War that Came Between Us,” won the National Book Award in nonfiction, and his best-selling “Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews: A History,” published in 2001, won the Melcher Book Award, the James Parks Morton Interfaith Award and National Jewish Book Award in History. His essays and articles have appeared in The New Yorker, Daedalus, and other publications. His op-ed column has run weekly in the Boston Globe since 1992.

Carroll lectures widely on Jewish-Christian reconciliation. He is a regular participant in Jewish-Christian-Muslim encounters at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. He has been a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Fellow at the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at the Harvard Divinity School.

For further information, visit the Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies online or contact Tory Bilski, the coordinator of the Yale Initiative for Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism, (203) 432-3829 or YIISA@yale.edu.

Fall Semester Seminar Schedule
All sessions are free and open to the public.

September 28: James Carroll, Fellow at Harvard University and best-selling author. This seminar is being filmed by PBS as the last installment of a 12- part series on his book “Constantine’s Sword.”

October 12: Irwin Cotler, professor of law, McGill University; former Minister of Justice of Canada and Member of Canadian Parliament.  This talk will be held in Room 102, Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 61 High St.

October 19: Jonathan Brent, associate director, Yale University Press

November 2: Roya Hakakian, Fellow at the Yale Whitney Humanities Center and founding member of Iran Human Rights Documentation Center

November 9: Milton Shain, professor and director, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University of Cape Town

November 30: Matthias Kuntzel, Technical College, Hamburg/Germany and Research Fellow at the Vidal Sassoon Institute, Hebrew University

December 7: Guy Raz, NPR correspondent, former senior reporter for CNN, Jerusalem

Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325