The BDS Resolution at MESA
Noura Erakat (moderator), Associate Professor, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
Sherene Seikaly, Associate Professor of History, UC Santa Babara
Charles Hirschkind, Associate Professor of Anthropology, UC Berkeley
Maya Wind, PhD candidate, New York University
Kamran Rastegar, Professor of Comparative Literature, Tufts University
In December 2021, 93% of attendees of the Middle East Studies Association 2021 virtual business meeting voted to advance a referendum endorsing the 2005 Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Call against Israel. The MESA resolution emphasizes the Israeli academy’s imbrication in suppressing Palestinian academic freedom as well as the ways that systematic US intervention have undermined meaningful accountability for Israel and resolution for the Palestinian condition of unfreedom. Since late January 2022, the referendum has been put to a member-wide vote, which will close on Tuesday March 22nd. This panel seeks to discuss the resolution, the argument for academic boycott, as well as to elaborate on the direct role and responsibility of the Israeli academy in the state’s racial violence against Palestinians and setter colonial expansion across Palestinian lands. A significant portion of the panel is dedicated to fielding questions from the audience.
Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney and Associate Professor of Africana Studies and the Program of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She is the author of Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine and co-editor of Jadaliyya.
Sherene Seikaly is Associate Professor of History, author of Men of Capital: Scarcity and Economy in Mandate Palestine, co-editor of Journal of Palestine Studies, and co-editor of Jadaliyya.
Charles Hirschkind is Professor of Anthropology at UC Berkeley and author of The Ethical Soundscape: Cassette Sermons and Islamic Counterpublics and The Feeling of History: Islam, Romanticism, and Andalusia.
Kamran Rastegar is Professor of Comparative Literature at Tufts University and the author of Literary Modernity Between Europe and the Middle East: Transactions in Nineteenth-Century Arabic, Persian and English Literatures and Surviving Images: Cinema, War and Cultural Memory in the Middle East.
Maya Wind is a PhD candidate in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University.