Not individuals Israelis, you understand, but the State itself; specially, the universities which are located in that State. But not the people in the universities. As the ASA takes pains to emphasize, “This boycott targets institutions” but “not individual scholars, students, or cultural workers”. Strangely, ASA members can also venture to Israel and collaborate with the academics there. Just not the institutions.
Weak boycott, then. Still, a brave political stance to make. If an Israeli institution makes its way to our shores, they’ll be snubbed by the ASA, of course. Though I’m not too clear on how an Israeli institution can make it the distance. Lot of water between here and there. But hey, these guys all have PhDs so they must know what they’re doing.
Now, I hadn’t heard of the ASA before the boycott so I decided to investigate. Turns out they publish American Quarterly which “represents innovative”—uh oh—“interdisciplinary scholarship” with our “hemispheric neighbors.” Diversity: I forgot diversity; it’s in there, I forget where. What kind of articles can that mean?
How about “‘Oh Hell, May, Why Don’t You People Have a Cookbook?’: Camp Humor and Gay Domesticity“. Goal was to “reconsider the role of domestic space in shaping gay male identity”.
The short story (yes) “Us” by Karen Joy Fowler
It takes our breath away to imagine it. We ourselves have never seen, never eaten these things. Many among us are waiting for a world like that, a world beyond the world.
Sometimes, in these new lands, we found others of our kind. This might mean war. Or sex. Or both.
I don’t. But then there was “Cockfight Nationalism: Blood Sport and the Moral Politics of American Empire and Nation Building.” “This essay explores the symbiotic relationship between animal welfare and ideologies of nation building and exceptionalism during a series of struggles over cockfighting in the new US Empire in the early twentieth century.”
And what has to be my favorite, maybe of all time, Greta Gaard’s “Toward a Feminist Postcolonial Milk Studies.”
Isn’t there a good German word for that which is beyond parody? Email me. Sic on all that follows.
What critical framework is sufficiently inclusive to describe these uses of milk across nations, genders, races, species, and environments? Because milk is produced by female mammals, a feminist perspective seems to offer a logical foundation for such inquiry.
Using standard feminist methodology, twentieth-century vegan feminists and animal ecofeminists challenged animal suffering in its many manifestations…by developing a feminist theoretical perspective on the intersections of species, gender, race, class, sexuality, and nature.
Motivated by an intellectual and experiential understanding of the mutually reinforcing interconnections among diverse forms of oppression, vegan feminists and ecofeminists positioned their own liberation and well-being as variously raced, classed, gendered, and sexual humans to be fundamentally interconnected to the well-being of other nondominant human and animal species, augmenting Patricia Hill Collins’s definition of intersectionality to include species as well.
You’ll be luckier than I if you read that not while having cookies (Fig Newtons) and milk. I’m switching to whiskey and never going back.
Listen, these kinds of articles are fun when the faculty gets together in their conference rooms to pleasure each other with tales of oppression and woe—right before they seek teaching releases to concentrate on penning works like “Orthodox Transgressions: The Ideology of Cross-Species, Cross-Class, and Interracial Queerness in Lucía Puenzoâ€™s Novel El niño pez (The Fish Child)“—but they’re frightening the children.
I want to be kind, but it’s almost as if the people who write this stuff actually believe it. Innocent civilians wandering into university libraries pulling down copies of American Quarterly won’t understand the concept of academic oneupmanship: they’ll think the articles are meant to be taken seriously. These poor individuals might even act on those beliefs with Gods knows what ill effects on civilization. And what about the students! The scholarship of ASA members is thus a menace.
So not only is the Israeli boycott a fine idea, it should be expanded immediately to include the United States. And not just to the institutions but the people, too. Join me in signing this petition which demands that ASA members have positively no contact with anybody in Israel or the United States. They are not to give formal talks, classes, or seminars. They are most certainly not to lend anybody reading material. They are not to write anything.
Let’s get going. Together we can make a difference!