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American Studies Association

Why is the American elite scared of BDS?

Anonymous Contributor on

Since the American Studies Association (ASA) voted overwhelmingly to boycott Israeli academic institutions in December, more than one hundred and fifty U.S. University Presidents have come out in support of Israel and condemned the ASA’s vote. Some of these administrators, such as the Presidents of IU and Kenyon College, have withdrawn their institutional membership from […]

Congress is next battleground over boycott of Israel

Annie Robbins on

Migrating from the halls of state power to the federal level, the backlash against the American Studies Association’s (ASA) decision to boycott Israel continues. Legislation against the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement was introduced in the House of Representatives yesterday under this Orwellian name: the Protect Academic Freedom Act.  It seeks to bar federal funds from going […]

New York Senate passes bill punishing ASA over Israel boycott

Alex Kane on

Legislation that targets the American Studies Association over its decision to boycott Israel passed its first test today: a vote in the New York Senate. The bill, introduced by Democratic Senator Jeff Klein, the co-leader of the body, passed by a vote of 56-4. The measure prohibits colleges and universities from spending taxpayer funds on […]

New York bill to punish ASA over Israel boycott picks up 48 supporters

Alex Kane on

A New York bill to cut off state funding to the American Studies Association over its Israel boycott has the support of 48 lawmakers.  That means that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who authored the bill, is just 28 members short of garnering a majority of the state assembly to back the legislation targeting the ASA. The […]

Legislative efforts to punish ASA over boycott of Israel pick up steam

Alex Kane on

The backlash against the American Studies Association’s (ASA) decision to boycott Israel has started to migrate from the ivory tower to the halls of state power. The most powerful state legislator in Albany, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, announced Friday that he plans to introduce a bill that would target the ASA. His bill would seek […]

Defending Zionism under the cloak of academic freedom

Robin D. G. Kelley on

In a widely circulated Los Angeles Times op ed piece, Wesleyan University president Michael S. Roth denounced the American Studies Association’s (ASA) resolution to support a boycott of Israeli academic institutions as “a repugnant attack on academic freedom.” Parroting near-identical responses by other American university presidents, Roth’s ill-informed, grossly distorted polemic took me by surprise. While […]

Indiana scholars say their school presidents are wrong on boycott

Philip Weiss on

This collective response by eight faculty from three Indiana campuses to attacks by the Indiana University and Purdue presidents on the American Studies Association vote for boycott went up yesterday on a Gannett site. We received permission to republish from a representative of the authors. Mitch Daniels, speaking as president of Purdue University, and Michael […]

The Turning Tide: The ASA, scholarly responsibility and the call for academic boycott of Israel

Sarah T. Roberts on

I have followed with great interest the events of the past several weeks, as the American Studies Association put forward its historic resolution to honor calls from Palestinian civil society for an academic boycott of Israel. The process underwent more democratic engagement of membership than any other in that body’s history; while the resolution passed […]

Haunting throwaways

Marc H. Ellis on

This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page. Throwaways, like Edward Snowden, so proclaimed some months ago by our progressive President, sometimes come back to haunt the powerful. Such is the meaning of the decision by the Federal judge, Richard Leon, […]

ASA members vote 2-1 for academic boycott of Israel

Philip Weiss on

Update: There’s been a ton of response to the vote today. The New York Times has a thorough story on the vote that says boycott is catching on– “a growing movement to isolate Israel over its treatment of Palestinians”– even though some allege anti-Semitism. The Times actually mentions the BDS movement (usually marginalized) and notes […]

Stop the Nonsense: Nobody is proposing a boycott of ‘the Jews’

Steven Salaita on

On December 4, the National Council of the American Studies Association (ASA) unanimously approved a resolution to honor the call from Palestinian civil society to boycott Israeli academic institutions. This decision has engendered intense debate. The majority of those opposed to the resolution (and to academic boycott in general) have avoided engaging substantive questions, instead deploying […]

American Studies Association national council endorses academic boycott of Israel

Alex Kane on

The American Studies Association National Council has called for an academic boycott of Israel. The council made the unanimous decision after the group’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., where the academic boycott call was debated.  The vast majority of speakers at an ASA forum on the academic boycott resolution were in favor of the call, […]

‘What happened there was historic’: A report from the American Studies Association boycott debate

Lena Ibrahim on
Full room at the American Studies Association Conference's Town Hall Meeting on #Palestine. (Photo: Lena Ibrahim)

The American Studies Association held their 2013 Annual Conference at the Washington Hilton in Washington, DC November 21-24. Among the many sessions were two landmark events — a “Town Hall Meeting on Palestine” and an “Open Discussion on Palestine.”These forums where to discuss and debate a boycott resolution proposed by the “ASA Activism Caucus” urging the American […]