Another tub for the whales to batter.
From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of John Franklin Crawford
Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2014 6:55 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Cc: John Franklin Crawford
Subject: [radcaucus] ASA increases membership and support
This is very good news. A sustained pushback apparently has demonstrated
that cultural studies programs can successfully resist the efforts of those
have tried to shut them down in recent months. Struggles remain, of course,
in single programs faced with institutional attacks against them.
American Studies Association Increases Membership and Support,
Overcoming Pressure in Wake of Academic Boycott of Israel Endorsement
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 11:13 By Staff
<http://www.truth-out.org/author/itemlist/user/45301> , American Studies
Association <http://truth-out.org/> | Press Release
In the wake of the American Studies Association's December 2013 endorsement
of a Palestinian civil society call for an academic boycott of Israel - and
as two efforts to legislate against academic boycotts fail to move forward
in the Illinois
d-in-illinois-state-senate-committee/> and Maryland
<http://www.freespeechfreestate.org/> state legislatures - the ASA has
gained new members and support. Over the past several months, the ASA has
welcomed more than 700 new members. The ASA has also collected more
membership revenue in the past three months than in any other three-month
period over the past quarter-century and its ongoing "Stand with the ASA
<http://standwiththeasa.org/contribution/> "grassroots fundraising campaign
has exceeded the association's expectations thus far.
Last week, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, winner of the Nobel Peace
Prize, released a statement in support of the ASA's boycott efforts. In it,
he states that: "In South Africa,we could not have achieved our democracy
without the help of people around the world, who through the use of
non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their
governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for
the Apartheid regime. ...The [anti-boycott] legislation being proposed in
the United States would have made participation in a movement like the one
that ended Apartheid in South Africa extremely difficult." The day before
his statement was released, an Illinois State Senate Committee rejected
d-in-illinois-state-senate-committee/> a resolution condemning academic
boycotts. A bill to defund universities that subsidize faculty associations
with organizations supporting boycotts was also scuttled in Maryland, where
non-binding condemnatory language was instead inserted into the budget bill.
ASA President Curtis Marez stated, "Despite the backlash of the last few
months, the ASA is thriving. The boycott vote is consistent with our
longstanding support for human rights and opposition to war and militarism.
Many Americans are now for the first time hearing about their government's
support for the occupation and discriminatory laws against Palestinians. I'm
proud that the ASA helped open up discussion about BDS (Boycott, Divestment,
and Sanctions) and the difference it can make." Commentary by ASA leaders,
members and supporters was published in the Los Angeles Times, Chronicle of
Higher Education, Washington Post, NewYork Times, CNN.com, and the
ChicagoTribune, among other news outlets.
In response to the legislative threats from politicians, threatened legal
action, and physical threats from others, veteran attorneys have stepped
forward to assist the ASA in responding to such legal bullying for taking a
principled stand in support of Palestinian human rights. The ASA is not the
only organization to face such bullying; in 2013 alone, Palestine Solidarity
Legal Support, an initiative built in partnership with the Center for
Constitutional Rights, documented more than 100 cases of legal and other
intimidation against Palestinian rights activists on U.S. campuses.
Incoming ASA president Lisa Duggan noted, "We are looking forward to our
upcoming annual conference in November, which will feature a wealth of
panels and events presenting first-rate American Studies scholarship on
topics ranging from the politics of settler colonialism and transnational
Black studies to popular culture and contemporary performance art. We will
be welcoming Palestinian and Israeli scholars along with large contingents
of other international ASA members poised to continue addressing matters of
global concern affecting all of us."
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