AEN National Speakers Bureau 2018-19
In connection with the AEN Speakers Bureau program, the speakers below will be available during the 2018-19 academic year for individual subsidized visits to campuses if AEN faculty members seek funding to invite them. Each speaker will receive a $1000 honorarium from AEN with the expectation he/she will provide a public talk plus speak to a seminar or in a class or in a small group setting. We encourage AEN members 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 is willing to sponsor a few such panels, contingent on costs and speaker availability and consent.
In support of a renewed grant from the Natan Fund through its “Confronting Antisemitism” initiative, we at AEN will continue as well to emphasize as part of this initiative rising antisemitism on campuses and in society. Several specialists listed can address this disturbing topic in creative ways.
Yael Aronoff, Israel Studies and Jewish Studies, Michigan State University
Yaron Ayalon, History, Ball State University
Corinne Blackmer, English, Southern Connecticut State University
Gabriel Brahm, English, Northern Michigan University
Donna R. Divine, Jewish Studies and Government, Smith College
Alan Dowty, Government and Israel Studies, Notre Dame University
Miriam Elman, International Relations, Syracuse University
Rachel Fish, Senior Advisor and Resident Scholar, the Singer Foundation, NYC
Janet Freedman, Resident Scholar, Brandeis Women’s Studies
Chad Goldberg, Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Oren Gross, Law, University of Minnesota Law School
Joel Hass, Mathematics, University of California-Davis
Ron Hassner, Religion and Politics, University of California-Berkeley
Gunther Jikeli, Sociology, Center for Antisemitism Studies, Indiana University
Neil Kressel, Social Psychology, William Paterson College
Jonathan Marks, Political Philosophy, Ursinus College
Cary Nelson, English, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
Andrew Pessin, Philosophy/Jewish Studies, Connecticut College
Elie Rekhess, Middle Eastern Studies/Jewish Studies, Northwestern University
Michael Rockland, American Studies, Rutgers University
Jonathan Skolnik, German Studies, Jewish Studies, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Kevin Wagner, Political Science, Florida Atlantic University
Yael Aronoff, Professor of Israel Studies and Director of Jewish Studies, 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 completing The Challenges of Asymmetric Conflict, with focus on the U.S. and Israel.
“Political Psychology of Israeli Prime Ministers: When Hard-Liners Opt for Peace”
“Prospects: Progress and Setbacks in Negotiating Peace”
“The Challenges of Asymmetric Conflict: Questions from Israeli Experience”
“Shifting Sands in the Middle East: Opportunities and Challenges for Israel”
Yaron Ayalon, Professor of History and Jewish Studies, Ball State University
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 a 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, Director of Jewish Studies, Southern Connecticut University
Corinne Blackmer is Associate Professor of English and Judaic Studies at Southern Connecticut State University, where she also directs the Jewish Studies Program. She recently completed a manuscript, Queering Anti-Zionism: LGBT Academic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Activism, and is now editing (with Andy Pessin), Poisoning the Wells: Antisemitism in Contemporary Culture, Politics, and Education.
“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”
Gabriel Noah Brahm is currently Professor of English at Northern Michigan University and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Haifa’s Herzl Institute. He is coeditor (with Cary Nelson) of The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel and has been a Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Visiting Researcher at Tel Aviv’s Institute for National Security Studies. In the summer 2018, he was an eye-witness to the robust debates about Israel’s new “nation-state law” as these unfolded in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv after the controversial bill’s passage.
“Understanding Israel’s New Nation-State Law: How Significant is It Really?”
“Jew-Hatred and the Jewish State: Is the Movement to Boycott Israel Antisemitic?”
“The Theory of Antisemitism: Postmodernism, Intersectionality, and the Jews”
Donna Robinson Divine, Morningstar Family Professor Emerita of Jewish Studies, Professor Emerita of Government, Smith College
Donna Robinson Divine is Professor Emerita of Jewish Studies and of Government at Smith College. She is author of Politics and Society in Ottoman Palestine: The Arab Struggle for Survival and Power; Postcolonial Theory and The Arab-Israeli Conflict, and most recently Exiled in the Homeland: Zionism and the Return to Mandate Palestine. She is a Smith honored teacher for her excellence in teaching and is President of the Israel Studies Association.
“Israel at 70: Blessing or Curse?”
“Religion and Politics in Israel”
“Israel in a Changing Middle East”
Alan Dowty, Professor Emeritus of PLS, University of Notre Dame
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 author of The Jewish State: A Century Later and of Israel/Palestine, now in its third edition. He has recently finished a volume on Jews and Arabs in Ottoman Palestine.
“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, Professor of Political Science, Maxwell School, Syracuse University
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”
“Jerusalem: Secular/Sacred Contestation”
Rachel Fish, Senior Advisor & Resident Scholar, Singer Foundation
Rachel Fish is Senior Advisor and Resident Scholar of Jewish/Israel Philanthropy at the Paul E. Singer Foundation in New York City. Most recently she was the Executive Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University. She completed her doctoral degree in 2013 in the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies department at Brandeis University, where she researched the history of the idea of bi-nationalism and alternative visions for constructing the State of Israel. She has taught at Brandeis, Harvard, UMass Amherst and Tzion and Me’ah, Adult Jewish Education programs. In 2015 she held the Rohr Visiting Professorship at Harvard University, where she lectured on modern Israel and received the Derek Bok Certificate of Teaching Excellence. She is co-editor, with Ilan Troen, of the book Essential Israel: Essays for the Twenty-First Century.
“Imagining Possibilities for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: One State, Two State, Bi-national State?”
“The Two-State Paradigm: Israel in the Context of the Middle East”
“The Cacophany of Zionisms”
“Higher Education and the Discourse about Israel”
Janet Freedman, Resident Scholar, Brandeis Women’s Studies
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, Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
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, in 21st century social thought.
“Against the Wheel of History’: From Bruno Bauer to Contemporary Antizionism” (about the theological roots of modern depictions of Jews as a “reactionary people”)
“New Jews and Old in the Twenty-First Century” (about whether Muslims are the “new Jews”)
“The Jewish Touchstone in the German Critique of Capitalism”
Oren Gross, Irving Younger Professor of Law, University of Minnesota
Oren Gross is professor of law at the University of Minnesota and an internationally recognized expert in international law and national security law as well as on the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli conflict. He has taught in law schools in several countries, published in top law journals, published prize-winning books, esp. Law and Emergency Powers in Times of Crisis (2006) and earned teaching excellence awards. He has expertise in the economic aspects of Israel-Palestine relations and served as legal adviser to an Israeli delegation that negotiated an agreement with the Palestinian Authority concerning an economic component of a permanent status agreement.
“Free Speech on Campus: A View from the Trenches”
“Legal Aspects of Israel’s War on Terror”
“BDS on Campus and in Professional Associations”
“The Legal Status of Jerusalem”
“Is There a Right of Return?”
Joel Hass, Professor of Mathematics, University of California-Davis
Joel Hass is Professor and Chair of Mathematics at UC-Davis, a member of UC Davis Faculty for Israel, in which he has advised changing leadership at Davis on issues of BDS and antisemitism, and the leader of the Davis Faculty Cooperative Israeli Research Project, an initiative aimed at supporting start-up American-Israel research cooperation. Joel is available to speak in science and math settings on the variety of ways STEM faculty can get more involved with joint research partnerships and similar initiatives, and the ways these can get funded, working with a number of organizations supporting Israeli-American cooperation.
Ron Hassner, Professor of International Relations, UC-Berkeley
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”
Gunther Jikeli, Justin M. Druck Family Scholar at the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism, Indiana University
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 and is a leading authority on antisemitism in Europe.
“Muslim Antisemitism in Europe”
Neil Kressel, Professor of Social Psychology, William Paterson University
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 the Anti-Racist Community Downplays and Ignores Contemporary Antisemitism”
“America, the Jews, Israel, and Antisemitism: What the Polls Tell Us”
“Does Islam Fuel Antisemitism? Sorting Out the Complexities”
Jonathan Marks, Professor of Political Philosophy, Ursinus College
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 professional 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 the needs of teachers and students)
Cary Nelson, Jubilee Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
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. A remarkable new book is in manuscript and focuses on the scholarly layer of BDS and professors and others who engage in Israel Denial. He is the former president of the American Association of University Professors and a recognized 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”
“Israel Denial: The Uses of Scholarship to Delegitimize Israel”
Andrew Pessin, Professor of Philosophy, Connecticut College
Andrew Pessin is Professor of Philosophy and director of Jewish Studies at Connecticut College. He also writes as Campus Bureau Editor for Algemeiner. He is co-editor (with Doron S. Ben-Atar) of Anti-Zionism on Campus: The University, Free Speech, and BDS (2018) and has had his own formative experience of being isolated on campus by an anti-Zionist smear campaign.
Anti-Zionism on American Campuses”
“Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism”
“The Meanings of Zionism”
Elie Rekhess, Crown Visiting Chair in Middle East Studies, Northwestern University
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 include Arabs in Israel: Between Communism and Arab Nationalism, and (forthcoming) The Islamic Movement in Israel. His article “Arab Minority in Israel: Reconsidering the 1948 Paradigm” appears in Israel Studies 19:2 (Summer 2014). Rekhess 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”
Michael Rockland, Professor of American Studies, Rutgers University
Michael Rockland is Professor of American Studies at Rutgers, a department he founded, and one of four faculty who brought action against the American Studies Association after it was manipulated to vote for BDS. Earlier, before his academic career, Rockland was in the diplomatic service in Argentina and Spain. He is the author of many books, including the distinctive Looking for America on the New Jersey Turnpike, and has won a number of Rutgers and American Studies teaching excellence awards, including the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching (1991); The Warren Susman Memorial Award (1997); the Mary C. Turpie National American Studies Association Award for Teaching Excellence (1997); Rutgers College Teacher of the Year (1978); and the Rutgers University Scholar-Teacher Award (2003).
“Fighting the Conspiracy Behind the American Studies Association B.D.S. Resolution”
“Why It’s Become Fashionable in Left Wing Circles To Denounce Israel”
“Why is the New Antisemitism something Coming from the Left, and what is its Content?”
Jonathan Skolnick, Director of Jewish Studies, University Massachusetts-Amherst
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 student unions.
“Zionism and Modern Nationalism”
“Responding to BDS on Campus”
Kevin Wagner, Professor of Political Science, Florida Atlantic University
Kevin Wagner is the chair and director of graduate studies in political science at Florida Atlantic University. He is the author of Rebooting American Politics: The Internet Revolution (2011), and of Tweeting: The Social Media Revolution in American Politics (2013) and has done work on the internet and the Arab Spring in the Middle East.
“Election Demographics: Understanding the Importance of the Jewish Vote”
“Technology and Uprisings: How the Internet is Remaking the Middle East”