USC Shoah Foundation Launches Lecture Series to Address Antisemitism

Wed, 05/17/2023 - 11:55am

USC Shoah Foundation this fall launches a new Antisemitism Lecture Series to showcase to wider audiences the latest scholarly research on the topic and convene some of the leading scholars in the field.  

The first of the four-part lecture series will feature Dr. Dov Waxman, Professor of Political Science and Director of UCLA’s Nazarian Center, who will address the contentious issue of what constitutes antisemitism. Dr. Waxman’s lecture will be based on his recent co-authored article, Arguing about antisemitism: why we disagree about antisemitism, which contends that one reason why antisemitism has become increasingly contested in recent years is that there are different ways of thinking about and identifying it. 

The Antisemitism Lecture Series Program emerges from USC Shoah Foundation's Scholar Lab on Antisemitism Program, whose recent virtual lecture series demonstrated the growing public demand for access to new research insights about antisemitism.

Dr. Badema Pitic, Acting Head of Research Services at USC Shoah Foundation, said the new lecture series will address critical questions connected to rising rates of antisemitism in the U.S. and around the world.

"We recognize that in order to tackle antisemitism, it's necessary to better understand its definition, causes, and manifestations," she said. "The conversations that will stem from this new lecture series will do exactly that."

The second lecture in the series will feature USC Shoah Foundation Finci-Viterbi Executive Director Dr. Robert Williams, who will discuss his upcoming co-edited book, The History of Antisemitism, which is set to be released this summer.

Last week at the "Terminating Hate" event co-hosted with the Schwarzenegger Institute on the USC campus, Dr. Williams told the audience that the need for scholarly work and rigorous, respectful dialogue on antisemitism is needed now more than ever.

“Where we see antisemitism and other forms of extremist rhetoric, we must recognize it as a threat to democracy,” Dr. Williams said.

Philip Wood
Pip Wood has worked as a journalist for outlets including ABC and CNN and in communications for the United Nations, multinational development banks, and non-governmental organizations.