I mostly disagree with Corey Robin, but he is absolutely correct on this issue as is Phyllis Wise, concerning the withdrawal of a job offer to the Palestinian-American academic Steven Salaita
In the midst of a conflict like the Salaita affair, it’s easy for individual voices to get lost. The persons involved, and their fates, get forgotten. Particulars are submerged into principles, the din in the head crowds out the distinctive sights and sounds of the case. That’s why, when I read this letter from political theorist Bonnie Honig to Chancellor Wise and the UIUC community, I knew I was hearing and seeing something different. No one that I know of has written a letter like this, which insists on remembering the specificity of not only Steven Salaita but also Phyllis Wise. Professor Honig has kindly allowed me to reprint it here.
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August 24, 2014
Dear Chancellor Wise, (and Members of the Board of Trustees, and the UIUC community of faculty, staff, and students),
I wrote to you when I heard about the Steven Salaita case a couple…
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