We previously made reference to the anti-Israel conference organized for February 28- March 1, 2014 by Lisa Duggan, a professor in NYU’s American Studies Department and incoming President of the American Studies Association. (Full conference poster at bottom of post.)
When Elder of Ziyon blog and others caught wind of Duggan trying to keep the Conference from coming to the attention of those who oppose ASA’s academic boycott of Israel, the Facebook post for the event was taken down.
The Conference is an NYU function, but it’s hardly academic. The panels are stacked with anti-Israel academic boycott movement supporters arguing in favor of the boycott, including Wesleyan University Professor J. Kehaulani Kauanui.
The lunchtime panel is explicitly an anti-Israeli organizing event:
There isn’t even a pretense of academic discussion on that panel.
Such is American Studies at NYU.
“This weekend’s American Studies Program Annual Conference is an annual academic conference that is organized by graduate students in NYU’s American Studies Program and designed for faculty and students in this and related disciplines,” said Philip Lentz, the university’s director of public affairs. “Given the purpose of the conference and space considerations, it is not open to the general public or the press.”
Elder of Ziyon points out:
This is somewhat contradicted by Duggan’s Facebook post about the conference, where she urged like-minded Israel bashers to “Feel free to share [the conference invitation] with friends, colleagues and grad students.” She said nothing about limiting it to faculty and students only.
Likewise, the registration page says nothing about the conference only being intended for academics and students. And neither did the flyer.
It appears that this limitation on who could attend was created after the publicity from my scoop. I am quite certain that if Mondoweiss or Electronic Intifada wanted to send someone to report about the conference, no one there would have objected. In fact, I still expect them to post articles about the conference afterwards.
NYU is simply covering for its American Studies Program and trying to avoid bad publicity.
This is what academia looks like in NYU’s American Studies world — the complete merging of political activism and academics.
I don’t think they’d disagree with that assessment, or be ashamed of it.