Lars Fischer – profile

Photo 3Grounded in a strong interest in historiographical issues and intellectual history, Lars Fischer’s work focuses predominantly on the history of antisemitism and Jewish/non-Jewish relations in the later modern German context. Fischer was educated at Queen Mary and Westfield College (University of London) and UCL. Before returning to UCL as a Teaching Fellow in the Department of History in 2013, he was the Academic Director of the Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations (CJCR) in Cambridge and previously held lectureships in German History at UCL and Modern European History at King’s College London. He is also an Honorary Research Associate of the Hebrew and Jewish Studies Department at UCL. He was the Kurt David Brühl Visiting Professor of Jewish Studies at the Centrum für Jüdische Studien of the Karl Franzens University in Graz in 2015. An Honorary Research Associate of the UCL Department of Hebrew & Jewish Studies, he now lives in Berlin where he runs The History Practice.

He served on the Council of the Royal Historical Society from 2012 to 2014 and was Secretary of the British Association for Jewish Studies (BAJS) from 2010 to 2012.

He is the joint founding editor (with Michael Berkowitz) of H-Music: H-Commons Network Music in History. He has edited the review sections of East European Jewish Affairs and German Quarterly and continues to do so for Jewish Historical Studies (which now comes out with UCL Press). He serves on the Advisory Board of Zutot: Perspectives on Jewish Culture.

Since fully-fledged ideological antisemitism would stand little chance of exerting any sort of influence beyond the lunatic fringe if it depended merely on the ingenuity and stamina of the self-avowed antisemites or those whose attitudes towards Jews are self-evidently pathological, Fischer is primarily interested in its ability to draw, to varying degrees, on a prevalence of rather more low-key susceptibilities to anti-Jewish stereotyping among those who mean well and whose stance vis-à-vis social conventions and prejudices is generally critical. In short: he focuses predominantly on the (problematic) attitudes towards Jews held not by ‘nasty’ but by ‘nice’ people. He is also interested, inter alia, in all things to do with Gertrud Mayer-Jaspers and her family, as well as Margarete Susman and Robert Oboussier.

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