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Indybay Feature
Thu Oct 12 2023
Institute for Study of Zionism to Hold Inaugural Conference
Conference on Speech-Chilling “IHRA definition” of Antisemitism Launches New Institute
The newly-formed Institute for the Critical Study of Zionism (ICSZ) will hold its inaugural bicoastal conference, Battling the “IHRA Definition”: Theory & Activism, on October 13-14. Through the lens of research on structural racism, state violence, and social justice movements, the conference will analyze political campaigns that seek to codify the “IHRA definition” of antisemitism, and efforts to oppose IHRA policies.

This is the first research conference focusing on IHRA campaigns, which have been a feature of conservative strategy since 2016 and are linked to anti-Critical Race Theory campaigns. IHRA campaigns have been widely criticized as efforts to chill academic freedom, and to exclude groups from funding and civic life including human rights, peace, racial justice, and legal advocates, and Palestinian and progressive Jewish organizations. Battling the “IHRA Definition”: Theory & Activism is also the first conference under the banner of Critical Zionism Studies. Critical Zionism Studies studies Zionist politics and ideas in relation to forces including states, capital, race, and culture, and it examines power from the perspective of people experiencing its effects. The Institute supports the “research from below” that is central to Critical Zionism Studies.

The conference is sponsored by numerous academic centers and departments spanning critical race and ethnic studies, Near East studies, Arab and Muslim studies, culture, creative practice, and environment at New York University, the University of California Santa Cruz, and San Francisco State University. It is additionally sponsored by student groups at NYU and CUNY, academic freedom groups in the United States and Europe, and grassroots organizations. Panels and events will take place in New York City (at NYU and The People’s Forum) and Santa Cruz (at the Resource Center for Nonviolence).

Read More: Conference on the “IHRA definition” of antisemitism launches new Institute

See Also: Civil Rights Groups Warn UCSC Attempts to Censor Pro-Palestine Scholarship May Violate Federal Laws
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