This forum has been created to enable full discussion of a resolution calling on the MLA to honor the Palestinian civil society call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions until Israel respects its obligations towards the Palestinian people under international law and norms of human rights. The resolution will be debated publicly at the MLA conferences in 2015 and 2016 and is scheduled for a Delegate Assembly vote in 2017. This will enable members to inform themselves on the issues and arguments and to engage in exhaustive deliberation on the issue. We encourage free and open discussion on this forum, though expect that the normal rules of etiquette will be respected by all contributors, despite the controversial nature of the topic.
The discussion in the group is open to all readers, but only logged-in MLA members may contribute. Please see also the discussion taking place in the group Scholarship, Censorship, Exclusion.
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In his seminal study, Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation, Eyal Weizman argues how the Israeli occupation has forced a new imagined space to emerge, which is at once confining to the Palestinians and increases their sense of marginalization and loss. Changing the landscape through imposing architecture construction is a way to…[Read more]
The Nakba not only resulted in the loss of the homeland, but also caused the dispersal and ruin of entire Palestinian communities. Even though the term Nakba refers to a singular historic event, the consequence of 1948 has symptomatically become part of Palestinian identity, and the element that demarcates who the Palestinian is. Palestinian exile…[Read more]
Hania A.M. Nashef deposited A dialogue beyond the nation-state: Darwish’s Mural and Shehadeh’s A Rift in Time: Travels with my Ottoman Uncle in the group MLA Members for Justice in Palestine on MLA Commons 2 years, 6 months ago
Even though postcolonial theory has helped in the critique of non-western texts, it has for the most part failed to engage with the Arab region and its literatures in spite of Edward Said’s seminal book, Orientalism. Robert Young argues that postcolonial theory since its inception has been concerned with the politics of invisibility, striving to m…[Read more]
Submitted by faculty members in MLA-related fields at Israeli universities
This statement, at MLABoycott’s website, is presented anonymously by Israeli academics who support the boycott of Israeli universities. The faculty are forced to sign anonymously because of a 2011 law passed by the Israeli parliament that prohibits support for BDS among I…[Read more]
David C. Lloyd started the topic Judith Butler and Ariella Azoulay on the logic of the academic boycott in the discussion MLA Members for Justice in Palestine on MLA Commons 3 years, 7 months ago
Both Judith Butler and Ariella Azoulay have recently posted at MLABoycott’s site, articulating their rationale for supporting the boycott of Israeli academic institutions at this time.
“The boycott targets the Israeli regime, not Israeli citizens, unless they act as representatives of the regime. What, then, is the position of…[Read more]
This open letter by Jeff Sacks, in response to Anthony Apia’s recent blog on the Commons, appeared in the online journal Jadaliyya: http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/25811/an-open-letter-to-kwame-anthony-appiah-president-o
With all of the talk about academic freedom, what is this “freedom” that we are talking about, if it is n…[Read more]
Hatem Akil started the topic Invitation to the sessions of the Forum on Global Arab/ Arab American Literature in the discussion MLA Members for Justice in Palestine on MLA Commons 3 years, 7 months ago
We hope you will join us for the following panels organized for the 2017 MLA by the Global Arab and Arab American Literature Forum. They are as follows (sorry for cross-posting)
Session 200: States of In/Security: Global Palestine in Literature, Culture, Art, and Activism<b>
</b>Friday, 6 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., 104B, Pe…[Read more]
David C. Lloyd started the topic John Berger (1926-2017): critic, essayist and BDS advocate in the discussion MLA Members for Justice in Palestine on MLA Commons 3 years, 7 months ago
We have received the sad news that the great essayist and art critic John Berger died today, January 2, at age 90. He was a principled supporter of BDS. In 2006 he wrote what is referred to as The Berger Letter, endorsing the cultural boycott of Israel institutions. It reads in part:
“As Nelson Mandela has pointed out, boycott is not a…[Read more]
David C. Lloyd started the topic Statements from academics and students in Palestinian higher education in the discussion MLA Members for Justice in Palestine on MLA Commons 3 years, 7 months ago
Objections to the MLA Boycott resolution uniformly focus on its supposed abridgement of academic freedom to individual scholars in the US or in Israel without any concern for the educational rights of Palestinians. Purposefully obfuscating the case, critics of the boycott resolution brush past the resolution’s de…[Read more]
David C. Lloyd started the topic Daniel Boyarin on the boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions in the discussion MLA Members for Justice in Palestine on MLA Commons 3 years, 7 months ago
Jewish Studies scholar Daniel Boyarin has issued the following statement about academic boycott:
“I am on record, even on Israeli television, as a supporter of BDS and of a limited academic boycott as well. By limited boycott I mean that I do not countenance boycotts of individuals (Let he who is sinless cast the first stone) but of institutions…[Read more]
David C. Lloyd started the topic Jacques Lezra and Tim Reiss respond to Anthony Appiah in the discussion MLA Members for Justice in Palestine on MLA Commons 3 years, 7 months ago
In a recent blog issues in his capacity as MLA President, Anthony Appiah addressed the current debate around justice and academic freedom for our Palestinian colleagues.
MLA Colleagues Bill Mullen, Jacques Lezra and Tim Reiss respond here:
As a supporter of the MLA resolution to boycott Israeli universities, I would like to make…[Read more]
David C. Lloyd started the topic Cary Nelson's Support for Boycott of Academic Institutions in the discussion MLA Members for Justice in Palestine on MLA Commons 3 years, 7 months ago
The following extracts are from an in-depth report on Cary Nelson’s shifting and often inconsistent pronouncements on academic freedom and boycotts that appeared in Mondoweiss in 2014. It is gratifying to know that Nelson supports and participates in academic boycotts, if under conditions of his own choosing.
Boycotting universities for labor…[Read more]
The Brandeis Center, notorious these days for launching efforts to censor other people’s freedom of speech, has just threatened the MLA with a lawsuit if it passes the boycott resolution. For responses to this clumsy effort at intimidation, see David Lloyd at:
Margaret W. Ferguson started the topic MLA Session with Presidents of Sister Organization on BDS in the discussion MLA Members for Justice in Palestine on MLA Commons 3 years, 7 months ago
<p>MLA Sessions in 2017 Related to BDS–please add to this list and check the first entry out out if you are coming to the Philadelphia MLA Convention! Early and important is Session 53, “Association Presidents’ Perspectives on Boycott,” with speakers from our sister organizations that have strenuously debated and voted in favor of supporting the…[Read more]
This report comes from our Palestinian colleagues at Birzeit University.
In continuation of its barbaric aggression on our people and national institutions, the Israeli occupation forces stormed Birzeit University’s campus in the early morning hours of W…[Read more]
David C. Lloyd started the topic New Items at MLA Boycott site: David Palumbo-Liu and Candice Fujikane in the discussion MLA Members for Justice in Palestine on MLA Commons 3 years, 8 months ago
A new report by MLA members who traveled to Palestine this summer to explore conditions for Palestinian professors and students in universities and colleges is now available at: https://mlaboycott.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/report-on-mla-members-trip-to-the-west-bank-and-israel/
Additionally, there are a number of new items, including these…[Read more]
David C. Lloyd started the topic Responding to the Call (to Endorse the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions) in the discussion MLA Members for Justice in Palestine on MLA Commons 3 years, 8 months ago
Rebecca Comay and David Lloyd explain the importance of the academic boycott resolution that they have submitted to the MLA for a vote at the Delegate Assembly when it meets on January 7 in Philadelphia. The op ed encourages MLA members to “respond to the call” of Palestinian civil society and endorse the boycott of Israeli academic inst…[Read more]
David C. Lloyd started the topic Higher Education in Palestine: A Report by MLA Members in the discussion MLA Members for Justice in Palestine on MLA Commons 3 years, 8 months ago
In June, 2016 a group of six MLA members traveled together to the West Bank and Israel to find out what it was like for Palestinian academics and students trying to study, teach, and research at universities in the occupied territories and within Israel itself. In addition to learning about academic conditions under occupation, the group al…[Read more]
This is an updated document containing evidence for each clause of the resolution, a slightly updated version of which is included in the document.
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