Middle East studies in the News
Furor at Oberlin Over Diversity Officer's 'Inability to Recognize Antisemitism, Let Alone Address It' [incl. Joseph Massad and Jasbir Puar.]
by Andrew Pessin
The furor over Oberlin College's response last week to a professor's antisemitic Facebook rants continues to grow. Allegations were made today about the Ohio school's diversity officer, one of the chief people tasked with handling the situation, suggesting she was poorly suited for the role.
A member of the Oberlin community who asked to remain anonymous referred The Algemeiner on Tuesday to Meredith Raimondo — Oberlin's Special Assistant to the President for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity — who also has taught at the college. The source pointed to an online listing where syllabi of several of Raimondo's courses may be found.
"For example, you'll see anti-Israel professors .... with no balancing positions on the other side," the source said.
Professors listed include Lisa Duggan, Joseph Massad, Judith Butler and Jasbir Puar.
Duggan teaches Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. She was very much in the news in 2014, as reported by The Algemeiner, for leading the American Studies Association boycott movement against Israel.
Massad, who teaches Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University, was mentioned in The Algemeiner this week for his anti-Israel scholarship, including a 2013 essay published by Al Jazeera, titled "The Last of the Semites," which journalist Jeffrey Goldberg described as "one of the most anti-Jewish screeds in recent history."
Butler, professor of Comparative Literature at Berkeley, is widely known for her anti-Israel views, as reported by The Algemeiner here.
Puar, who teaches Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, caused her own major controversy several weeks ago after delivering a lecture at Vassar University, in which she accused Israel of deliberately stunting the growth of Palestinians and harvesting the organs of dead Palestinians.
"Raimondo is the person who is supposed to be handling the issues that [are now being] raised," the source told The Algemeiner. But in light of the clear anti-Israel and possibly antisemitic bias displayed by many of the professors on Raimondo's syllabi, the source complained, "How can she be fit to address claims of antisemitism when she is obviously incapable of recognizing it?"
Requests for comment to both Raimondo and Oberlin President Marvin Krislov were not answered by press time.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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