Academic Freedom, Anti-Left Witchhunts, and the Palestine Exception

August 15, 2017
Talk by Ty Briggs and Sumaya A

There has been an ongoing attack on the rights of professors who express left-wing or progressive views, particularly around the question of Palestine. Steven Salaita, for example, was denied a promised tenured position at the University of Illinois for issuing angry Tweets condemning Israel’s bombing of Gaza. If statements like these can be cause for dismissal, no professor is safe. And indeed, the repressive net is cast wider than professors who advocate for Palestinian rights. In fall 2015, Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) adjunct English professor Divya Nair was suspended for participating in a speak-out against police brutality and racism on the CCP campus. And recently, left-wing Drexel University professor George Ciccariello-Maher has come under fire from the right for a satirical tweet about “white genocide.” This panel will discuss the witchunts and what can be done not only to defend professors under attack, but how to connect the fight for academic freedom to other campus-related struggles and other social issues.

Click here to listen to the audio recording of this talk.