The Academic Engagement Network (AEN) is pleased to announce the release of Academic Freedom, Freedom of Expression, and the BDS Challenge: A Guide and Resource Book for Faculty. This text, written to facilitate faculty engagement with some of the more troubling trends and issues on contemporary college and university campuses, is a companion volume to our earlier work for administrators and university leaders.
The guide addresses the ways the BDS movement and its proponents adversely affect three different areas of academic life: support for the academic boycott on campus and in professional associations, support for divestment campaigns and other initiatives that rile and influence student bodies, and the impact of BDS supported activities, including planned disruptions, on campus environments. Each section offers practical advice and suggested actions that faculty members can consider. Some suggestions are general and informational, while others are based on actions AEN members have embraced in response to situations on their campuses.
The guide also addresses the issue of rising antisemitism on campus, focusing particularly on anti-Jewish animosity that intersects with anti-Zionism and stems largely from the political Left. However, as this project was being readied for print, the white nationalists who marched at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville shattered any notion that antisemitism on the political Right is not a concern. In response to that assault on the order of university life and on cherished values of human dignity and equality, we emphasize that the AEN is committed to combating antisemitism, no matter its political provenance.
We anticipate significant challenges to universities and colleges this year from illiberal forces opposed to freedom of expression and open exchange. The BDS movement is not going away, and new challenges visible at Charlottesville also pose a threat. In the coming year, AEN will work with faculty members in our network to help fashion constructive responses.
If you would like a copy of the Guide, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.