Keith Kahn-Harris

Sociologist, freelance writer, editor

A sociologist by training, I am senior lecturer at Leo Baeck College, London, director of the European Jewish Research Archive at the Institute for Jewish Policy Research and associate lecturer at Birkbeck College.

I've published widely, including four books (with a fifth one currently under contract). I have written non-academic articles and reviews for many years for a range of publications

This portfolio highlights some of the work I am most proud of, the diversity of my interests and my ability to write for a wide range of audiences.

Portfolio

Books

David Paul Books | Uncivil War: The Israel Conflict in the Jewish Community
Uncivil War: The Israel Conflict in the Jewish Community by Keith Kahn-Harris "The relationship between Anglo-Jewry and Israel is perilous, complex terrain - and there are few...
Judaism: All That Matters
For a group of people so limited in number, the Jewish community has had a huge impact on both global events and local politics. In this vibrant new look at Judaism, sociologist...
Turbulent Times
The first book-length study of contemporary British Jewry , Turbulent Times: The British Jewish Community Today examines the changing nature of the British Jewish community and...
Extreme Metal
Extreme metal--one step beyond heavy metal--can appear bizarre or terrifying to the uninitiated. Extreme metal musicians have developed an often impenetrable sound that teeters...

Essays, articles and opinion pieces

Searching for the real jews
If you walk past me in the street, if you find a picture of me online, what do you see? Some days you might see a middle-age man whose look tends towards hipsterdom, but without...
Listening to the devil's sounds
Last summer, the family in the house whose garden backs on to mine held a party for their son's 18th birthday party. In what is normally a quiet neighbourhood, the joyous sounds...
A crack in history? - a conversation between two recent UK Labour party recruits
Like many of the political events of recent years, the surge in support for Labour under Jeremy Corbyn at the UK general election was supposed to be 'impossible' until it happened.
Is Split Over Israel a Luxury Restricted to Countries With No Anti-Semitism? – The Forward
Being Civil Doesn't Have to Mean Remaining Silent
Well over a year since the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign withdrew its job offer to Steven Salaita, citing intemperate tweets and statements he made about the 2014...
The politics of ME, ME, ME
The conflict in Gaza has dominated world headlines since the closing days of 2008. The war there is an exceptional event yet it also contains many elements of the familiar - in...
It's time to put the point back into the pen of scholarly writing
A few weeks ago I had a review of an edited book of middling quality published in a reasonably widely read academic journal. I actually submitted the review in 2008. The book...
Unreasonable doubt
It wasn't supposed to be like this. We were supposed to be living in a world in which the methodical, rational, scientific accretion of knowledge would lead us down a path to a...
Naming the movement
The early 21st century is marked by a profusion of initiatives that bring people together to discuss and explore big questions. It amounts to a great river of change - but to...
What it really means to be healthy
For the past 15 years, I have suffered from myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as ME or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). I contracted ME following a bout of glandular fever at...

Jewish issues and antisemitism

Why banning David Irving books from university libraries would achieve little | Keith Kahn-Harris
The effort to get the University of Manchester to remove David Irving's books from open display, now backed by Rowan Williams, reminded me of my own experiences browsing through...
In The Trump Era Jews Are Being Used As Pawns
On the strangeness of contemporary antisemitism
It seems that antisemitism is everywhere these days. Violent attacks on Jews in Copenhagen and Paris come on top of surveys and monitoring exercises that suggest that...
If British Jews are attacked, respect our dignity - and keep your agendas to yourself | Keith...
It can happen here, nobody can be sure that it won't. One day my phone will ring or I'll glance at the news only to find out the almost inevitable has happened: an attack on a...
Stop the pretense: There's no consensus among Diaspora Jews on Israel - Opinion
There is a growing recognition that Diaspora Jewish communities are becoming increasingly divided over the question of Israel. In my recent book Uncivil War: The Israel Conflict...

Book reviews

KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps by Nikolaus Wachsmann,
For most of us, the Nazi concentration camp, the Konzentrationslager (or 'KL') is a place that is both incredibly familiar and completely alien. Dachau, Buchenwald, Bergen...
Does the left have an anti-Semitism problem?
This article is a preview from the Winter 2016 edition of New Humanist. You can find out more and subscribe here. The Left's Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and...
Does civility in politics matter?
This article is a preview from the Summer 2016 edition of New Humanist. You can find out more and subscribe here. Uncivil Rites: Palestine and the Limits of Academic Freedom...

Music

Slayer and Me
It wasn't the first time I've seen Slayer live. As a metal fan for over twenty years it's been hard to avoid seeing them, given the frequency with which they tour. Nor would I...
Metal Beyond Metal
What would it look like if metal culture abandoned music? How necessary in fact is music to metal? This might seem absurd, but there are precedents of a sort. Both goth and punk...
Faster for the master
For most people - believers or not - the idea of Christian heavy metal is a non sequitur. Isn't heavy metal all about black leather, power chords and Satan? Yet Christian metal...

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