After studying for a BSc in Computation at UMIST and an MSc in Artificial Intelligence at the University of Essex, Simon Mayers spent twelve years as a business intelligence specialist. He was initially employed as a development analyst at Nestlé UK, before becoming a data warehouse consultant working on projects for various companies including Pall Corporation, Nestec, Boots Healthcare International, Saudi Aramco, Deutsche Bank, L’Oreal and Linklaters. Simon then decided to return to academia, first to pursue a theology diploma at Heythrop College (a college specialising in theology and philosophy with a modern Catholic ethos), followed by an MA in Jewish Studies and then a PhD in Religions and Theology at the University of Manchester.
Simon’s PhD, which was funded by an AHRC grant and supervised by Professor Daniel Langton at the University of Manchester, examined how Jews were mythologised and stereotyped in a variety of English Catholic discourses during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Simon is currently preparing a book about the persistence of the “mythic Jew” in English Catholic discourses during the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth centuries.
The following are some of the projects Simon has worked on since completing his PhD:
- An examination of Jewish stereotypes in the literature and journalism of the English author G.K. Chesterton. The results of this study can be found in Simon’s short book: Chesterton’s Jews.
- An examination of theological anti-Judaism in the bible commentaries and sermons of Adam Clarke (1762-1832), a prominent Methodist theologian from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This project was funded by a Seed Corn Fellowship from the John Rylands Research Institute. An article based on this research into Adam Clarke’s discourse has recently been published in the Bulletin of the John Rylands Library.
- An examination of Jewish stereotypes in English Catholic newspapers during the nineteenth century. This project was funded by research grants from the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism.
- Transcribing and summarising life story interviews as a volunteer for the “Rainbow Jews” LGBT Anglo-Jewish oral history project.
- A study of the life and protean discourse of the esoteric author, journalist and Freemason Dudley Wright.
Simon Mayers is now the principal administrator for the European Association for Jewish Studies (EAJS), reporting directly to the board of trustees, and responsible for the day-to-day management and administration of the Association. The EAJS is the sole umbrella organisation for Europe representing the academic field of Jewish Studies. Its primary aims include providing encouragement and support for the research and teaching of Jewish Studies at university level in Europe, and other places of higher education and learning.