NYU academic confab studies Israel boycott

The annual conference of New York University’s American Studies program will focus on the boycott Israel movement and is dominated by its supporters.

Titled “Circuits of Influence: U.S., Israel and Palestine,” the student-organized conference is scheduled to take place Friday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, March 1.

A flier advertising the conference notes the American Studies Association’s decision in December to boycott Israeli educational institutions.

Lisa Duggan, a professor of social and cultural analysis at NYU and president-elect of the ASA, is moderating a panel on the “History and Efficacy of Boycotts.”

Individuals and organizations identified with the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) are featured throughout the conference. Its three workshop sessions will be led by representatives of Adalah-N.Y., Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace, groups that advocate for Israel-related boycotts.

A pro-Israel blog, Elder of Ziyon, re-posted the conference flier Feb. 23 after Duggan posted it on Facebook. In a comment below her Facebook post, Duggan asked that the flier not be widely distributed, writing, “We are trying to avoid press, protesters and public attention.”

In a statement, NYU said the conference was intended for academics only. — jta