Conference Jewish/non-Jewish Relations from Antiquity to the Present

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Parkes Library at the University of Southampton, the catalyst for the establishment of the unique Parkes Institute for the study of Jewish/non-Jewish relations. The Institute is based on the life work of the Reverend Dr James Parkes (1896-1981), one of the most remarkable figures within twentieth century Christianity. A tireless fighter against antisemitism in all forms, including from within Christianity, he helped rescue Jewish refugees during the 1930s and campaigned for the Jews of Europe during the Holocaust. During the Second World War he helped found the Council of Christians and Jews and worked throughout his career in promoting religious tolerance and mutual respect. As part of his international campaigning, he built up the Parkes Library and associated archive which transferred to the University of Southampton in 1964 and opened in 1965. It is now one of the largest Jewish documentation centres in Europe and the only one in the world devoted specifically to Jewish/non-Jewish relations.

This anniversary conference will examine the subject of Jewish/non-Jewish relations by looking at the history of research over the last 50 years, presenting the latest research in this area, and determining future directions in the field. We welcome proposals covering any subject related to Jewish/non-Jewish relations from antiquity to the present day, with proposals for papers (and panels) in the following areas especially welcome:

  • The legacy of James Parkes
  • Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Muslim relations
  • Jewish/non-Jewish relations in the Hellenistic and Roman periods
  • Rabbinic literature and the representation of the ‘other’
  • Medieval and Early Modern Jewish/non-Jewish relations
  • History of antisemitism
  • Comparative migration and identity
  • The Holocaust and Jewish/non-Jewish relations
  • Jewish/non-Jewish relations in literature and philosophy
  • Representation and constructions of the image of ‘the Jew’
  • Jews and non-Jews in the Visual and Performing Arts
  • The role and representation of Jews in the heritage world, including museums, libraries and archives.


Todd Endelman, Professor Emeritus of Modern Jewish History, University of Michigan

Sander Gilman, Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University

Martin Goodman, Professor of Jewish Studies, Oxford University, and President of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies

Tony Kushner, Marcus Sieff Professor of the History of Jewish/non Jewish Relations, University of Southampton and the Parkes Institute

Miri Rubin, Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History, Queen Mary University of London

Greg Walker, Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature, University of Edinburgh


7-9 September 2015, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK.


Please submit proposals by 1 March 2015 to Dr Helen Spurling (, including the following information:

  • Author’s full name
  • Postal and email address
  • Institutional affiliation
  • Abstract of the paper to be presented (no more than 250 words)
  • Biographical information (no more than 50 words)
  • Panel proposals should not exceed one page in length
  • A limited number of bursaries will be available on a competitive basis for postgraduates and early career researchers. Please indicate if you would like to be considered for a bursary.

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7 September 2015 - 9 September 2015