The American Studies Association (ASA) infamously endorsed a boycott of Israeli academic institutions at its annual meeting in 2013. It was subsequently condemned by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the American Association of Universities (AAU), the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), and the leaders of some 250 American colleges and universities. Unfortunately, the program for the 2016 annual meeting scheduled November 17-20 in Denver, Colorado shows that the ASA’s obsession with vilifying Israel has, if anything, intensified.
Among the proceedings are ten panels focused at least in part on the perceived evils of Israel and Zionism. This would not be surprising at an academic conference devoted to Middle Eastern and North African Studies but it is unusually high for American Studies. The ideological conformity of the panels also raises serious questions about the ASA’s stated objective to serve as “a network of scholars, teachers, writers, administrators and activists from around the world who hold in common the desire to view US history and culture from multiple perspectives [emphasis added].”