2017
Description: 
This critical discussion will focus on the intersections of academic freedom, campus repression, labor rights, Islamophobia, and justice for/in Palestine in the context of a neo-liberal corporate university. Zionist and Islamophobic attacks on college campuses have attempted to censure, silence, and discredit campus advocates who are engaged in politically conscious intellectual work. Well-funded interest groups, with tacit support from neo-liberal public university administrations, have organized campaigns to silence any critical and justice-centered scholarship and pedagogy on Islamophobia, Palestine, and Israeli settler-colonialism. Such groups include AMCHA, Horowitz Freedom Center, Campus Watch/Middle East Forum, Zionist Organization of America, the Canary Mission and the Anti-Defamation League. These groups target college campuses as sites of critical engagement. Some campus administrations, motivated by a neoliberal model of corporate university have reinforced and emboldened these Zionist and Islamophobic McCarthyist groups by imposing punitive measures on campus activists, suppressing their academic freedom and combining that with heightened surveillance and policing of faculty, students, and staff. In the wake of these attacks, professors have been fired or denied tenure; courses were retracted; programs were defunded and students were suspended, expelled or disciplined. In response, campus coalitions, along with academic (and non-academic rank and file) labor activists and organizers, and US and international communities, have mobilized against Zionist, Islamophobic and neoliberal assaults as part of continued legacies of justice-centered campus activism that is organically connected to anti-imperialism and settler colonialism. This roundtable will discuss the Zionist and Islamophobic attacks, connect them to the current political environment and the history of repression of political dissent in the US, and campus activism generally and at SFSU in particular.