BOOK TALK AND DISCUSSION WITH STEVEN SALAITA AND ROBERT WARRIOR
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13 AT 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM, URBANA-CHAMPAIGN INDEPENDENT MEDIA CENTER
In the summer of 2014, American Indian studies scholar Steven Salaita’s appointment to a tenured professorship was revoked by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.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 to shed 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.
The event is co-sponsored by Haymarket Books, the Campus Faculty Association of UIUC, Illinois Faculty for Academic Freedom and Justice, and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP-UIUC).
SALAITA REFERENCE FILE AT UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS ARCHIVES
A searchable index of publicly available materials regarding the Steven Salaita hiring controversy is now available from the University of Illinois Archives.
The Steven Salaita Reference File and Index is comprised of preservation copies of documents, news stories, blog posts, social media traffic, and other materials, providing the most comprehensive source for material concerning the decision by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2014 to rescind a job offer to Steven Salaita and the subsequent controversy and lawsuit regarding this decision.
This project was designed and launched in August 2014, with the goal of capturing in real time not only web-available news reports and institutional releases, but especially social media content from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the like. Controversies create not only internal strife but a flood of reports, counter-reports, news stories, editorials, and blog posts not to mention social media postings. Early on, the Archives realized that if we didn’t capture everything we could about the Salaita affair in real time, we would lose the ability to create an enduring, authoritative record of the controversy.
As of September 6, 2015 the resultant Salaita “clipping file” contains direct links to approximately 2,249 distinct documents from 653 sources in 14 separate categories, including news stories, responses to Freedom of Information Act requests, social media postings, videos, etc. The materials are intended for use in private research, teaching, and study. For all other uses, including but not limited to publication, broadcast, and distribution, users must obtain written permission in advance from the original author, creator, or copyright owner.
The Steven Salaita Reference File and Index can be found at http://archives.library.illinois.edu/social-media-archives/salaita-reference-index/.