by Kieran Healy on February 3, 2013

The Political Science Department at Brooklyn College is co-sponsoring a panel discussion about the BDS Movement against Israel, featuring Omar Barghouti and Judith Butler. The other co-sponsors—as is typical of such events—include various student groups. The Department and University as a whole have come under strong and increasingly political pressure to either cancel the event, revoke the department’s co-sponsorship, or add a speaker who is strongly against the BDS movement. I won’t rehearse the details. Glenn Greenwald has a characteristically exhaustive discussion and defense of the BC department’s academic freedom. Crooked Timberite Corey Robin is a member of that Department, but I haven’t spoken to him about this. (In fact, I’ve never spoken to him about anything. We haven’t met.) As for other CT members, as usual I am only representing myself here.

The short version is that I think the pressure the Department is coming under is undeserved, their co-sponsorship of this panel is a simple question of academic freedom, and I invite you to write a polite note to that effect to Brooklyn College President Karen Gould, Provost William Tramontano and Director of Communications and PR Jeremy Thompson.

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