AEN National Speakers Bureau 2017-18
Under the AEN Speakers Bureau program, the speakers listed below will be available in the 2017-18 academic year for individual subsidized visits to campuses through AEN member invitations. Each speaker will receive a $1000 honorarium from AEN for a public talk, followed by a participatory sessions with students and/or faculty in a class or a small group setting. We encourage you to draw on the expertise of these AEN members.
AEN members who seek to sponsor panels of speakers – that is, two or more speakers – should contact Ken Waltzer, Executive Director. AEN will sponsor a few such panels, contingent on considerations of costs and approval by the invited speakers.
In keeping with a grant the AEN has received from the Natan Fund through its “Confronting Antisemitism” initiative, one new emphasis this year is consideration of rising antisemitism on campus and in society as a whole. Several specialists on the list can address this concern.
Yael Aronoff, Michigan State University
Yaron Ayalon, Ball State University
Corinne Blackmer, Southern Connecticut State University
Alan Dowty, Notre Dame University
Miriam Elman, Syracuse University
Janet Freedman, Brandeis University
Chad Goldberg, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ron Hassner, University of California-Berkeley
Jeffrey Herf, University of Maryland
Susannah Heschel, Dartmouth College
Neil Kressel, William Paterson College
Jonathan Marks, Ursinus College
Cary Nelson, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
Elie Rekhess, Northwestern University
Alvin Rosenfeld, University of Indiana or Gunther Jikeli, University of Indiana
Jonathan Skolnik, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Kenneth Waltzer, Michigan State University
Yael Aronoff is the Michael and Elaine Serling Professor of Israel Studies and Director of Jewish Studies at Michigan State University. She is an award-winning political scientist, author of The Political Psychology of Israeli Prime Ministers: When Hard-Liners Opt for Peace, and is at work on The Challenges of Asymmetric Conflict, which will include information about the U.S. and Israel.
“Political Psychology of Israeli Prime Ministers: When Hard-Liners Opt for Peace”
“Prospects: Progress and Setbacks in Negotiating Israeli-Palestinian Peace”
“The Challenges of Asymmetric Conflict: Continuing Questions from Israeli Experience”
“Shifting Sands in the Middle East: Opportunities and Challenges for Israel”
Yaron Ayalon is Assistant Professor of History and Associate Director of the Jewish Studies Program at Ball State University in Indiana. He is a historian of the Middle East, Ottoman Empire, and Sephardi/Mizrahi Jews. He is the author of Natural Disasters in the Ottoman Empire: Plague, Famine, and Other Misfortunes (2014) and is completing another book on The Jews of the Ottoman Empire. He has taught the history and politics of the Middle East, Israel, and the Arab-Israeli conflict for more than a decade.
“The Arab-Israeli Conflict and the BDS Movement”
“History and Politics of Israel”
“Sephardic Jews in the Diaspora and Israel”
Corinne E. Blackmer
Corinne Blackmer is Associate Professor of English and Judaic Studies at Southern Connecticut State University, where she also directs the Jewish Studies Program. She is currently preparing a manuscript, Queering Anti-Zionism: LGBT Academic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Activism.
“Pinkwashing and Antisemitism in the LGBT Movement”
“Antisemitism and LGBT Intersectionality Theory”
“How the Jewish Queer Left Becomes Anti-Zionist: The Example of Judith Butler”
Alan Dowty is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, former President of the Israel Studies Association, and an expert on Israel, Arab-Israeli issues, and Middle East politics. He is the author of The Jewish State: A Century Later and Israel/Palestine, now in its third edition. He is in the process of finishing a new volume titled, The Origins of the Arab Israeli Conflict.
“The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict”
“The Fourth Stage of the Arab Israel Conflict: Since the Turn of the Century”
“The Iran Nuclear Deal and Israel”
Miriam Elman is Associate Professor of Political Science and Research Director for the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC) in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. She is the author of Paths to Peace and Progress in International Relations Theory, and with Madelaine Adelman, has edited Jerusalem: Conflict and Cooperation in a Contested City.
“Academic Freedom, Free Speech and BDS: Advancing Viewpoint Diversity on Campus”
“Antisemitism/Anti-Zionism: When Does Criticism of Israel Become Hate Speech?”
“Combatting the Anti-Israel BDS Movement”
“Dilemmas of Israeli-Palestinian Peacemaking”
“The Future of the U.S.-Israel Relationship”
“Jerusalem: Secular/Sacred Contestation”
Janet Freedman is a Resident Scholar at the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center. She previously served as Dean of Library Services and Professor of Education and Women’s Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, where she was also an active participant in and volunteer co-director of the Center for Jewish Culture.
“Feminism and Zionism: Incompatible? Says Who?
“Talking About Israel: The Words to Say It, The Ways to Do It”
Chad Alan Goldberg
Chad Alan Goldberg is Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of Modernity and the Jews in Western Social Thought. Reflecting on the centrality of Jews and Judaism in Western European and American social thought in the early 20th century, Goldberg suggests a rethinking of previous scholarship on Orientalism and Occidentalism, and reflects on the continued centrality of the Jews, and now the Jewish state, 21st century social thought.
“Marginal Man Revisited: Jews and Modernity in the Chicago School of Sociology”
“Capitalism and the Jews in German Social Thought”
“New Jews and Old in the 21st Century” (Are Muslims the “new Jews”?)
Ron Hassner is Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of California at Berkeley, and a scholar of religion and international conflict. He is a distinguished teacher, recognized by UC-Berkeley, the American Political Science Association, and students for teaching excellence. Hassner is the author of War on Sacred Grounds and Religion on the Battlefield, and, with Isaac Svenson, edited the four-volume collection Religion and International Relations.
“History of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount”
“Antisemitism: Roots and Current Trends”
“Religion and War”
Jeffrey Herf is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Maryland and author of Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture, and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich; Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys; The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust; Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World; and Undeclared Wars with Israel: East Germany and the West German Far Left, 1967-1989. His work has won the Charles Frankel award, the AHA George Luis Beer Prize, the National Jewish Book Award, and many other honors. Herf focuses on the multiple linkages between Cold War Soviet bloc politics and contemporary anti-Zionism, as well as Nazi influences in Middle East thought. In Fall 2017, he will be teaching a course on antisemitism in historical perspective.
“Countering BDS Efforts on Campus and in Professional Organizations: Historical Arguments and Practical Experiences”
“The Soviet Bloc and Anti-Zionism during the Cold War”
“”Varieties of Anti-Zionism: Nazism, Communism, Islamism, and the Western Far Left”
Susannah Heschel is Professor and Director of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College and the author of Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus, which won a National Jewish Book Award, and of The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany. She has also edited a collection of writings on Judaism and feminism called On Being a Jewish Feminist, as well as the essays of Abraham Joshua Heschel in a collection titled Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity. Together with David Biale and Michael Galchinsky, she co-edited the provocative Insider/Outsider: American Jews and Multiculturalism.
“What is Zionism?”
“Judaism in Israel: Spiritual Inspirations and Religious Conflicts”
“Zionism and Feminism”
Neil J. Kressel, a social psychologist, has spent more than three decades studying antisemitism, religious extremism, and political psychology. He heads the Honors Program in the Social Sciences at William Paterson University. Kressel’s published books include The Sons of Pigs and Apes: Muslim Antisemitism and the Conspiracy of Silence, and Mass Hate: The Global Rise of Genocide and Terror.
“Why Well-Intentioned Westerners Fail to Grasp the Dangers Associated with Muslim Antisemitism”
“The Failure of the Anti-Racist Community: The Neglect of Antisemitism in Courses, Textbooks, and Research”
“What do Empirical Studies Tell Us about Contemporary Jew Hatred around the Globe”
Jonathan Marks is Professor of Political Philosophy in the Department of Politics at Ursinus College, where he is a leading scholar on the thought of Jean Jacques Rousseau. He writes regularly on BDS on campus and in academic associations for Commentary magazine.
“Socrates at the Center: Liberal Education Confronts BDS” (What means can one deploy in dealing with BDS and related phenomena consistent with the missions of colleges and universities devoted to liberal education?)
“A Torrent of Angry and Malignant Passions Will Be Let Loose: Political Controversy in the Academy” (The tension between the needs of activists and needs of teachers and students).
Cary Nelson is the Jubilee Professor Emeritus of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Active in opposing BDS since 2007, he is the author or editor of more than 30 books, including No University is an Island: Saving Academic Freedom; The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel (with Gabriel Brahm); and Dreams Deferred: A Concise Guide to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and the Movement to Boycott Israel. He is the former president of the American Association of University Professors and an authority on academic freedom.
“Is there Still Hope for a Two-State Solution?”
“How Does the BDS Movement Undermine the Search for Peace?”
“The BDS Threat to Academic Freedom, Civility, and Peace”
“Poetry and the Development of Antisemitism”
Elie Rekhess is the Crown Visiting Chair in Middle East Studies in the Department of History, and in the Crown Family Jewish Studies Center at Northwestern University. He is a leading authority on Arabs in Israel. His books includeArabs in Israel: Between Communism and Arab Nationalism, and (forthcoming) The Islamic Movement in Israel. His article “Arab Minority in Israel: Reconsidering the 1948 Paradigm” will soon appear in Israel Studies. Rekhess had earlier served as advisor to Israeli Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak.
“Israel’s Arab Minority”
“Israel’s Arab Christian Community”
“Political Islam: Hamas and Islamic Jihad”
Alvin Rosenfeld occupies the Irving M. Glazer Chair in Jewish Studies and is Director of the Institute for the Study of Antisemitism at Indiana University. He was the founding director of the Borns Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University. A prolific writer on the Holocaust and Holocaust literature and, in recent years, on antisemitism in international perspective, Rosenfeld has published or recently edited The End of the Holocaust; Resurgent Antisemitism: Global Perspectives; and Deciphering the New Antisemitism. His edited volume, Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism, will appear next year.
Gunther Jikeli is Associate Professor and the Justin Druck Family Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Antisemitism at Indiana University. He is the author of European Muslim Antisemitism.
Alvin Rosenfeld is on sabbatical for part of 2017-18; Gunther Jikeli will be available throughout the year.
Topics: (Alvin Rosenfeld)
“The Longest Hatred Renewed: Reflections on Today’s Antisemitism”
“What Is the ‘New’ Antisemitism, and What Can We Do About It?”
Topics: (Gunther Jikeli)
“Muslim Antisemitism in Europe”
Jonathan Skolnik is Associate Professor of German at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; a member of the faculty in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, History, and Film Studies; and interim Director of the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies. He is a scholar of German Jewish writings and in Jewish Pasts, German Fictions, argued that Jews embraced German culture as a reinvention of Jewish identity and historical memory. Skolnick also teaches about Zionism and Modern Nationalism and works on Terrorism Narratives. He will speak about teaching Jewish Studies in the era of BDS, and about dealing with support for BDS in graduate student unions.
“Teaching Jewish Studies in the Era of BDS”
“Faculty Organizing against BDS: Responses to BDS in Unions”
Kenneth Waltzer is Professor Emeritus of History at Michigan State University, where he helped build the university’s highly reputed James Madison College in public affairs, and led the growth of the Jewish Studies program. His work on the rescue of children at Buchenwald is well-known and is the basis for an award-winning film, “Kinderblock 66: Return to Buchenwald.” Waltzer will speak based on his experience leading the Academic Engagement Network, and on four decades of teaching about antisemitism, the Holocaust, and modern ethnic and racial group relations.
“BDS on Campus: Enlisting Faculty and University Leaders”
“Two Antisemitisms: Comprehending Antisemitisms on Left and Right”
“When is Anti-Zionism Antisemitic?”