The faculty of the Department of American Studies convened to discuss the American Studies Association Resolution on the Academic Boycott of Israel. The spirit of our discussion was open and generous. At the conclusion of our conversation, we came together around the following statement:
UNC Department of American Studies Statement Regarding the
American Studies Association Resolution on the Academic Boycott of Israel
The Department of American Studies at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill will continue our departmental affiliation with the American Studies Association. We are committed to the object of the association as stated in its constitution, “the promotion of the study of American culture through the encouragement of research, teaching, publication, the strengthening of relations among persons and institutions in this country and abroad devoted to such studies, and the broadening of knowledge among the general public about American culture in all its diversity and complexity.” (http://www.theasa.net/about/page/constitution_and_bylaws/)
- The department reiterates its support for academic freedom, including the right of scholars and students to study, discuss, assemble, collaborate, travel, and publish freely.
- The department as a whole does not take a position on the recent resolution of the American Studies Association to support a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The department does affirm the right of individual faculty and students to speak and act on political and ethical issues according to the dictates of their own conscience.
- The department plans to engage critical issues raised by the ASA resolution (the “call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions,” “academic freedom for Palestinian students and scholars,” and academic freedom in a global context) in future departmental colloquia open to the larger university community.
Further information on the American Studies Association Resolution may be found at: http://www.theasa.net/american_studies_association_resolution_on_academic_boycott_of_israel
UNC-CH Chancellor Folt’s statement regarding the American Studies Association resolution may be found at: http://uncnews.unc.edu/2013/12/31/unc-chapel-hill-issues-statement-rejecting-boycott-israeli-academic-institutions/