Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Universities begin dropping American Studies Association membership after Israel boycott

Penn State Harrisburg has become the first school to drop its American Social Studies Association membership, following the ASA's decision to boycott Israeli institutions.

Dr. Simon J. Bronner,  Chair of the American Studies Department and a prominent member of the ASA, is Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of American Studies, a publication sponsored by the ASA. He provided the Blog Legal Insurrection  with the following statement

In the wake of the passage of the resolution by the ASA to boycott Israeli institutions, which programs and departments such as Penn State Harrisburg’s program in American Studies consider to curtail academic freedom and undermine the reputation of American Studies as a scholarly enterprise, the chair of the American Studies program at Penn State Harrisburg plans to drop its institutional membership and will encourage others to do so.
 Dr. Bronner has asked that the following statement also be posted on his behalf:
As a prominent program in American Studies concerned for the welfare of its students and faculty, Penn State Harrisburg is worried that the recent actions by the National Council of the American Studies Association (ASA) do not reflect the longstanding scholarly enterprise American Studies stands for. The withdrawal of institutional membership by our program and others allows us to be independent of the political and ideological resolutions issued by the ASA and concentrate on building American Studies scholarship with our faculty, students, and staff. There might be alternative organizations forming in the future that better represent the field of American Studies. When and if that occurs, we will re-examine our independent position. In the meantime we view this move as one intended to protect students and faculty from opprobrium as a result of the ASA’s claim to represent scholars of American studies.
Brandeis University has also withdrawn from the American Studies Association, following the organization’s decision to boycott Israel. 
From a post on their website
 It is a with deep regret that we in the American Studies Program at Brandeis University have decided to discontinue our institutional affiliation with the American Studies Association.  We view the recent vote by the membership to affirm an academic boycott of Israel as a politicization of the discipline and a rebuke to the kind of open inquiry that a scholarly association should foster.  We remain committed to the discipline of American Studies but we can no longer support an organization that has rejected two of the core principles of American culture-- freedom of association and expression. 
 Legal Insurrection has published a list of all Universities that maintain membership in the American Studies Association.

Alberta Institute for American Studies
Bard Graduate Center
Boston College
Boston University
Brandeis University
Brigham Young University
Brown University
California State University, Fullerton
California State University, Long Beach
Carnegie-Mellon University
Centre for the Study of the United States
College of Staten Island, CUNY
College of William and Mary
Cornell University
Crystal Bridge Museum of American Art
CUNY Graduate Center, American Studies Certificate Program
DePaul University
Dickinson College
Eccles Centre for American Studies, The British Library
Emory University
Fordham University
Franklin College of Indiana
George Washington University
Georgetown University
Hamilton College
Harvard University
Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
Indiana University
Kennesaw State University
Kenyon College
Lehigh University
The Long Island Museum
Michigan State University, English Department
Middlebury College
New York University
Northwestern University
Penn State University, Harrisburg
Princeton University
Ramapo College
Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Rider University
Roger Williams University
Rowan College of New Jersey
Rutgers University, New Brunswick
Saint John Fisher College
Saint Louis University
Saint Olaf College
Skidmore College
Smith College
Sophia University
St. Francis College
Stanford University, American Studies Program
Stanford University, Green Library
Stetson University
Students At The Center
Temple University
Trinity College, Hartford, CT.
Tufts University
University of Alabama
University of California, San Diego
University of Delaware
University of Hawaii
University of Iowa
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
University of Minnesota
University of Mississippi
University of New Mexico
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
University of Notre Dame
University of Oklahoma Honors College
University of Southern California
University of Southern Mississippi
University of Texas, Austin
University of Texas, Dallas
University of Utah
University of Western Ontario
University of Wyoming
Vanderbilt University
Washington State University
Washington University, St. Louis
Western Connecticut State University
Willamette University
Winterthur Program in Early American
Culture Youngstown State University
Many of these universities, or their affiliated printers, also provide financial support for ASA through advertising and exhibiting at Annual Meetings.

ASA has made its decision.  These institutions should decide whether they will become accomplices.

You can help. Are you affiliated with any of these schools, as a student, alumni or faculty?  Make your feelings known- and ask them to withdraw their institutional support.


Gary Fouse said...

I note that the only UC campus to have a chapter is UCSD. What a coincidence considering UCSD professor of Chicano Music and Media Curtis Marez is president of ASA. Marez, when asked why Israel and not Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan etc, reportedly replied, "We have to start somewhere."

Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

i'm hoping to see this list grow shorter in 2014.

Gary Fouse said...

From the AMCHA Initiative, here is a list of US professors who have signed academic boycott petitions.