Publication Date

December 1, 2007

Perspectives Section

Letters to the Editor

The AHA and Academic Freedom

To the Editor:

Although the boycott of Israeli scholars and academic institutions proposed recently in the United Kingdom has at last been rejected by Great Britain's University and College Union, the concurrent boycott by the country's public employee's union, Unison, has not. Despite the repudiation of these initiatives by many senior British academics and public figures, I believe that damage has been done to the spirit of free inquiry and scholarly exchange that is vital to the enterprise of scholarship everywhere. The American Historical Association should, in my view, forthrightly condemn all efforts to punish or exclude scholars on the basis of their citizenship, whether it be Israeli scholars refused participation in British ventures and conferences or Muslim ones denied visas to enter the United States.

Drexel University (and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society)

Editor's Note: Readers' attention is drawn also to the essay by Barbara Weinstein (in this issue), which focuses upon the theme of academic freedom.

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