Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Petition for Steven Salaita


The revocation of an already accepted offer to Steven Salaita to teach in the American Indian Studies Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign solely due to his expressed political opinions about the events in Gaza has gathered a lot of protest. One form of  protest has been petitions by academics pledging not to visit the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign for any conferences or other events until they reverse this decision. The petitions have been organized by discipline. So far there has not been any for history. So I am taking the task upon myself. If you wish to sign the statement you can leave a comment here or email me at jopohl@ug.edu.gh.
Dear Chancellor Wise:
As members of history departments from around the world we are deeply concerned by the recent decision to prevent Steven Salaita from assuming his appointment to the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. We believe that the university's revocation of an already accepted offer due to the tone and content of political statements on social media about recent events in Gaza is a violation of academic freedom and sets a very negative precedent for intellectual diversity in academia. Until such time as the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign decides to allow Dr. Salaita to take the position he was offered and accepted we refuse to participate in any events on its campus including academic conferences. Listed institutions are for identification purposes. The individual scholars signing this petition represent only their own personal views and not those of their employers. 


48 comments:

misrmonitor said...

I'd like to sign: Paul Sedra, Simon Fraser University. Thanks.

Marc said...

I would like to sign this petition.

Marc Becker
Professor of History
Truman State University

Jay Driskell said...

Please add my name.

Jay Driskell
Department of History
Hood College

Seth Ackerman said...

I'd like to sign.

Seth Ackerman
Ph.D. candidate
Cornell University

jorge canizares-esguerra said...

Please, add me to the petition:
Jorge Canizares-Esguerra
Alice Drysdale Scheffield Professor of History
University of Texas at Austin

jen said...

I'd like to sign.

Jennifer Seltz
Western Washington University

Rosalyn Baxandall said...

I would like to sign Rosalyn Baxandall SUNY Old Westbury

Indrani Chatterjee said...

Sign me on

Indrani Chatterjee
Department of History
University of Texas at Austin
TX 78712.

Margaret Power said...

I would like to sign:

Margaret Power
Illinois Institute of Technology
Chicago, Illinois

Rosalyn Baxandall said...

I'm trying to sign but can't. Rosalyn Baxandall, SUNY Old Westbury

jorge canizares-esguerra said...

add me to the petition:
Jorge Canizares-Esguerra
Alice Drysdale Sheffield Professor of History
University of Texas-Austin.

I would add to the petition that we also refuse to evaluate tenure or promotion cases until the order is reversed.

lafayettehistorian said...

I sign!

Rachel Goshgarian
Asst Prof of History
Lafayette College

Andrew Hartman said...

I am signing this petition:

Andrew Hartman
Illinois State University

Sherifa Zuhur said...

Please add my name

Sherifa Zuhur, SSI, U.S. Army War College (retired)

michaelmarten said...

I would like to sign this: Dr Michael Marten, University of Stirling, Scotland

Samer Ali said...

Prof. Samer Ali, U of Texas at Austin

Mona Russell said...

Consider this signed. Mona L. Russell, Associate Professor of History, East Carolina University

Genny said...

I fully agree.

Genevieve McCoy
History and Humanities Depts.
University of Maryland, University College

Jonathan Dresner said...

[Signed]

Jonathan Dresner
Assoc. Prof. of East Asian History
Pittsburg State University
Kansas

David Bensman said...

I'd like to sign.
David Bensman, Professor
Rutgers University

Steven Pierce said...

I'd like to sign too. Steven Pierce, Lecturer in Modern African History, University of Manchester

Derek Elliott said...

I wholly endorse and support this petition.

Derek L. Elliott
PhD Candidate
Peterhouse
University of Cambridge

the sad billionaire said...

Please add me, too.

Kurt Newman
Ph.D. Candidate
Dept of History
UC Santa Barbara

Doug Rossinow said...

Sign me up.

Doug Rossinow
Metropolitan State University
St. Paul, MN

Derek Sayer said...

I would like to sign this petition. Derek Sayer (FRSC), Professor of Cultural History, Lancaster University, and Professor Emeritus (Canada Research Chair), University of Alberta.

Larry Goldsmith said...

I support this petition.

Larry Goldsmith
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

David and Sarah said...

Please include my support.

David Gutman
Assistant Professor
History Department
Manhattanville College

OutHistoryBlogger said...

Please add my name:
Karen Miller
LaGuardia Community College, CUNY

Prof. Karush said...

Please add my name.

Matt Karush
Professor of History
George Mason University

Neil Schipper said...

To get perspective on Salaita, make a few simple substitutions to his public statements:

“At this point, if Cheney appeared on TV with a necklace made from the teeth of Iraqi children, would anybody be surprised?"

“Hamas, take responsibility: if your dream of a theocratic Palestine is worth the murder of children, just fucking own it already.”

"Note how the Germanic soul was pure and uncorrupted until it encountered Poles. Same old colonial discourse, different geography."

What do these all demonstrate? Deep complacency about reducing complex human affairs to cartoons; embracing a single narrative whole-hog; hipsterish, sanctimonious showboating.

These are not desirable qualities for the university classroom.

Amazingly, here's part of his actual, verbatim "Pinned Tweet": "it's better to teach than to berate or shame."

That's a fine slogan, but I don't see much evidence that Salaita has the slightest notion of what it means to engage with someone who doesn't already share his deeply held biases.

CGE said...

Please add my name:

C. G. Estabrook
Ph.D., History, Harvard
Visiting Professor, UIUC (retired)

Ramon D. said...

Please add my name to the petition:

Ramon E. Duarte
PhD Student
University of Arizona

Steve Tamari said...

Please sign me up:
Steve Tamari, Associate Prof. of History, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

naltikriti said...

I can sign this:

Nabil Al-Tikriti
Associate Professor
Department of History
University of Mary Washington
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Matthew Payne said...

Please add my name to support this petition
Matthew Payne
Associate Professor of History
Emory University

Mark Lause said...

I wish to sign as well.
Mark A. Lause
Professor of History,
University of Cincinnati

Mark Lause said...

Please add my name
Mark A. Lause
Professor of History,
University of Cincinnati

As an alumni of the Chicago campus of the U of I, I am horrified by this action, which expresses utter contempt for academe itself and for every worker in the field. I am forced to advise any of my students that ask that the U of I simply cannot be institutionally trusted to meet any of its agreements.

G Anderson said...

Please add my name.

Grey Anderson
Ph.D. candidate
Yale University

Andrew Needham said...

Please include my name

Andrew Needham
Associate Professor
History Department
New York University

James Gustafson said...

Please add my name.

Prof. James M. Gustafson
Department of History
Indiana State University

Matthew Countryman said...

Please add my name:

Matthew Countryman
Associate Professor
Depts of History and American Culture
University of Michigan

Karen said...

Please add my name. Karen Graubart, University of Notre Dame

Unknown said...

Please add my name. Elizabeth Bishop, Texas State. Thanks!

Unknown said...

I'd like to sign, please. Thanks!

Elizabeth Bishop
Texas State

heathervrana said...

please add my signature:

Heather Vrana
Assistant Professor of History
Southern Connecticut State University

Jeff Wasserstrom said...

Please add my name to the list.
Jeffrey Wasserstrom, UC Irvine

Todd Shepard said...

I'd like to sign: Todd Shepard, the Johns Hopkins University

Dawn P said...

I'd like to add my name to this petition:

Dawn Peterson
Assistant Professor of History
Emory University