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Academic and Community Activism Caucus

The Caucus on Academic and Community Activism of the American Studies Association seeks to provide a network and resource exchange for scholars within ASA interested in issues of academic activism and social justice specific to American Studies. Realizing that some of this activity already takes place within existing ASA Caucuses and Committees, a central task of the Caucus will be to act as a liaison between many committees and caucuses. Issues to be taken up by the caucus include forms of academic activism within and without the University; work conditions and means of supporting full-time and part-time instructors in American Studies; the extent to which diversity is substantiated by the curricula, agendas, and demographics of institutions and organizations affiliated with the ASA; the relationship between race, gender and sexuality and academic work; prisons, war, imperialism, globalization and their impact on knowledge formation within American Studies. In addition, the Caucus’ mission would foreground issues and concerns relevant to annual meeting host sites.

It is very easy to join the listserve for the Caucus on Academic and Community Activism. First, go to the Caucus website, http://groups.yahoo.com/group

/caucus_activism Once there, click on “Join this Group.”Ě If you already have a Yahoo account, you will simply sign in. If you do not yet have a Yahoo account, you can sign up for free.

Note that you will have the option of forwarding Caucus e-mail to another e-mail account if you do not want to use a Yahoo account. You also have the option of not receiving any e-mail and simply checking messages on the Caucus website.

The caucus coordinators are Sunaina Maira (smaira@ucdavis.edu) and Malini Johar Schueller (malini@ufl.edu)

The ASA Caucus on Academic and Community Activism will present a Resolution to the ASA executive committee to Honor the Call of Palestinian Civil Society for a Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions. We urge all ASA members to sign in support of the resolution. You can read and sign the resolution at http://www.change.org/petitions/members-of-the-asa-support-resolution-to-boycott-of-israeli-academic-institutions-4‚ÄĚ

When you sign the petition, please make sure to include your institution.

To Mary Yu Danico,
President AAAS
May 2, 2013
We the undersigned members of the American Studies Association stand in solidarity with the Association of Asian American Studies (AAAS) membership who on April 20, 2013 passed the first resolution in support of a boycott of Israeli academic institutions by a North American academic organization
†† †† †† †† In its resolution, voted on unanimously at a membership meeting at its annual conference, the Association demonstrated a principled and unflagging commitment to anti-colonial and anti-racist academic activism.† The Association also expressed solidarity with the more than 800 U.S. academics who have already joined a call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
AAAS declared its support for the boycott “in protest of the illegal occupation of Palestine, the infringements of the right to education of Palestinian students, and the academic freedom of Palestinian scholars and students in the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel.”†† The resolution also declared the boycott “an act of solidarity with Arab (West Asian) and Muslim American communities, students, and scholars who have been subjected to profiling, surveillance, and civil rights violations that have circumscribed their freedom of political expression, particularly in relation to the issue of human rights in Palestine-Israel.”
Further, the boycott resolution protested Israeli academic institutions it called “deeply complicit in Israel’s violations of international law and human rights and in its denial of the right to education and academic freedom to Palestinians, in addition to their basic rights as guaranteed by international law. As an organization that supports research and open discussion about these issues without censorship, intimidation, or harassment, and seeks to promote academic exchange, collaboration and opportunities for students and scholars everywhere, AAAS must join in the global movement to protest the rights of students and scholars everywhere to engage in research and public speaking about Israel-Palestine.”
As academics committed to these same goals, and to Palestinian self-determination, we extend our collegial respect, appreciation, and support to AAAS members for their pioneering and principled stance.† As the same time, we urge members of the American Studies Association and other professional academic organizations considering resolutions in support of the academic boycott of Israel to pass them without delay.††
Thomas Abowd, Tufts University
Andrew Ross, NYU
Craig Willse, George Mason University
Gina Velasco, Keene State
David Chang, University of Minnesota
Alex Lubin, American University of Beirut
Aren Z. Aizura Rutgers University
Rachel Afi Quinn, Univ of Houston
Charlotte Karem Albrecht, University of Minnesota
Malini Johar Schueller, University of Florida
Sunaina Maira, University of California, Davis
Curtis Marez, University of California San Diego
David Naguib Pellow,† University of Minnesota
Claudia Sofia Garriga Lopez, New York University

Judy Rohrer, University of Connecticut
Chandan Reddy, University of Washington
Cynthia Franklin, University of Hawai’i
Thomas Chen, Tufts University
Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, San Francisco State
Evelyn Alsultany, University of Michigan

Noelani Goodyear-Kaʻōpua,† University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Charlotte Karem Albrecht, University of Minnesota
Sarita Echavez See, University of California Davis

Francisca James HernŠndez, Pima Community College
Macarena Gomez-Barris, University of Southern California
Yogita Goyal, UCLA
J Kehaulani Kauanui, Wesleyan University
Robin D. G. Kelley, University of Southern California
David Lloyd, University of California Davis
Bill Mullen, Purdue University
Jordana Rosenberg, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Sriya Shrestha from the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at USC.
Nikhil Singh, NYU
Neferti Tadiar, Columbia University
Heather M. Turcotte, University of Connecticut, Storrs



Academic Watch is a Palestinian activist group in Haifa that monitors Israeli universities and which documents the funding and establishment of Hasbara programs in Israeli campuses. Below is is an article about it.




Here is the link.†



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Caucus and Palestine-related events at ASA

Thirteen sessions in the program for the ASA annual meeting have the keyword “Palestine.”

See a full text of Palestine related program listings here (put “Palestine” in the “search” box for the specific listings).

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In His Own Home, a documentary about police racism and militarization

In His Home” is a terrifying film, not merely for its powerful depiction of the near-fatal shooting of Kofi Adu-Brempong by University of Florida police officers, but for unveiling the routine character of racist, militarized violence.  As Malini Schueller so deftly reveals, campus police—armed to the teeth—have become deputies in upholding the “New Jim Crow.”
        Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

I have recently finished In His Own Home, a thirty minute documentary about police racism and campus militarization and hope you will consider using it for your classes.  I was moved to make the documentary after the shooting of Kofi Adu-Brempong, a disabled Ghanaian graduate student who had mental illness issues, by the campus police’s SWAT-like team at the University of Florida in March 2010. The project came out of outrage by a small group of community members committed to seeing social justice happen on a local level. The film asks us to think about the role of race, mental illness, and the militarization of campus and city police forces in contemporary U.S. culture, made highly visible in 2014 and 2015 with police killings of unarmed black men and children in Missouri, New York, and Ohio and large scale grassroots protest.  In His Own Home includes footage from the incident, local news coverage, transcripts of police records, interviews with community activists, as well as coverage of the student protests that led the University to drop fake charges against Adu-Brempong. The film has been made without a voice over so that viewers can draw their own conclusions.

In His Own Home is a useful educational tool in helping students understand questions of systemic racism, racial prejudice, the role of the police, militarization, and grassroots organizing in contemporary U.S. culture. The film is available for streaming at http://www.indiepixfilms.com.  For more information about the film go to http://www.inhisownhome.com

If you would like to use the film in your course please email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and I can send you a study guide designed to ask students to think about the above issues and also to consider them in relation to the long history of movements toward racial justice in the US. Indiepix films will also release a DVD with the study guide, additional footage, and a commentary later this year.

Malini Schueller
Department of English
University of Florida

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USACBI Workshop, November 9, 2014

On the last day of the American Studies Association annual meeting in Los Angeles, USACBI will hold a workshop from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Southern California Library.  to discuss and build the academic and cultural boycott movement.  Click the title link for a provisional agenda for the afternoon workshop.  Additional details will be posted as they develop.  For now, we encourage you to make arrangements to attend.  This is an extremely important moment for ASA members in particular to build on the momentum of last year’s historic vote.  Please RSVP to indicate your attendance by writing to Bill Mullen at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Malini Schueller at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 

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Caucus on Academic and Community Activism: Academic and Cultural Boycott Campaign

The Caucus on Academic and Community Activism is calling for the American Studies Association to support the call for boycott of Israeli universities in protest of the illegal occupation of Palestine, the infringements of the right to education of Palestinian students, and the academic freedom of Palestinian scholars and students in the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel.

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A Time to Break the Silence

I endorse the resolution placing the American Studies Association on record in support of the academic boycott of Israel. I view the resolution as a collective and non-violent way to voice opposition to the unjust, brutal and illegal actions of the Israeli government and to promote a change in policy.

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