CUNY postpones entire conference after scrapping controversial 'Globalize the Intifada!' panel: EXCLUSIVE
Campus Reform obtained an email sent to faculty and staff on Thursday afternoon from the Lehmen College provost's office stating that the entire conference is postponed until fall 2024
Campus Reform had filed a public records request to the college on just hours before, seeking more information about the conference.
After media attention over a conference that originally featured a panel titled “Globalize the Intifada! Mapping Struggles for Palestine between the Streets and our Classrooms, the City University of New York has now postponed the entire conference– after originally scrapping just the controversial panel.
The panel was part of an “Engagement, Equity & Antiracism: Teaching Writing at our HSIs, Then & Now” conference on Feb. 16.
Campus Reform obtained an email sent to faculty and staff on Thursday afternoon from the Lehmen College provost’s office stating that the entire conference is postponed until fall 2024. Lehmen College is operated within CUNY.
”The Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) at Lehman College is grounded in the belief that writing enhances learning and that learning to write is an essential component of a rich and rigorous curriculum,” the email stated. “Unfortunately, we do not believe that the conference we had planned will be able to focus on this grounding belief on February 16th, 2024. For this reason, we have made the very difficult decision to postpone the conference until the fall of 2024.”
Campus Reform had filed a public records request to the college on just hours before, seeking more information about the conference. At that point, the conference was set to take place on Feb. 16, but wouldn’t include the “Globalize the Intifada!” panel, as Campus Reform reported.
The panel was first reported on by Jonathan Harounoff, Middle East journalist & communications director at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America.
Speaking previously on the decision to cancel the panel, Jane Kehoe Higgins, Director of the Lehman College Institute for Literacy Studies and sponsor of the conference, told Campus Reform it wasn’t compatible with the conference’s overall goal.
“The Writing Across the Curriculum program is dedicated to bringing love to the classroom, a more human approach to teaching and learning. The Engagement, Equity and Antiracism conference is meant to support professors in teaching students who are struggling, with pedagogy at the center. The goal is to bring people together, not to cause harm or make students feel unsafe. It is not a podium for protest. After discussion with the panelists, I do not believe we share the same goal. There are appropriate venues for them to share their views, but this conference is not one of them and the panel has been cancelled,” said Higgins.
According to an agenda for the conference, it was being hosted by Lehman College Writing Across the Curriculum program, Hostos Community College Writing Across the Curriculum, Lehman College Institute of Literacy Studies and the New York City Writing Project.
Lehman College’s Writing Across the Curriculum program “takes an antiracist and decolonial approach to writing pedagogy,” according to its description.