Steven Salaita, in conversation with Robert Warrior, will discuss academic freedom, free speech on campus, and the movement for justice in Palestine with the Urbana-Champaign community on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 7 p.m. at the Independent Media Center (202 S. Broadway, Urbana).
In the summer of 2014, American Indian studies scholar Steven Salaita’s appointment to a tenured professorship was revoked by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Salaita’s employment was terminated in response to his public tweets criticizing the Israeli government’s summer assault on Gaza.
Salaita’s firing generated a huge public outcry, with thousands petitioning for his reinstatement, more than five thousand scholars pledging to boycott UIUC, and the AAUP censuring the administration of UIUC. His case raises important questions about academic freedom, free speech on campus, and the movement for justice in Palestine.
In his new book Uncivil Rites: Palestine and the Limits of Academic Freedom (Haymarket Books 2015), Salaita combines personal reflection and political critique toshed new light on his controversial termination. He situates his case at the intersection of important issues that affect both higher education and social justice activism.
Steven Salaita currently holds the Edward W. Said Chair of American Studies at the American University of Beirut. The author of six previous books, he is a regular columnist for Electronic Intifada and a member of the Organizing Committee of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI).
Robert Warrior is Director of American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is Professor of American Indian Studies, English, and History. An enrolled member of the Osage Nation, he is the author of The People and the Word: Reading Native Nonfiction, American Indian Literary Nationalism (with Craig Womack and Jace Weaver), Like a Hurricane: The Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee (with Paul Chaat Smith) and Tribal Secrets: Recovering American Indian Intellectual Traditions. He is a member of the Native Critics Collective and, in 2009-10, served as the founding President of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association.