On October 3-6, 2021, AEN convened 13 faculty members primarily from Midwestern colleges and universities for an intensive educational seminar at the University of Minnesota. The three-and-a-half-day gathering attracted social science and humanities instructors of various ranks from public and private campuses across the region.
The program featured a keynote address on the Abraham Accords by Ambassador Dennis Ross (watch below), education on contemporary antisemitism and anti-Zionism, discussion of academic freedom and campus free speech as they relate to recent academic departments’ one-sided statements on the May 2021 Israel-Gaza conflict, and training on successful strategies for countering academic BDS and Israel delegitimization on campus. Session topics also included how to meaningfully and productively engage across differences, prospects for peace in the Middle East from Israeli and Palestinian perspectives, and antisemitism and anti-Zionism in modern social movements.
Over the course of the conference, the faculty members exchanged best practices and networked with colleagues confronting similar challenges while also brainstorming how to tackle new campus realities. Participants left the Short Course better informed about campus issues related to AEN’s mission, better connected to their peers, and better prepared to serve as AEN Fellows and change agents on their campuses.