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Academic Freedom and Political Dissent: A Conversation with Katherine Franke and the Community

CONSTITUTIONAL SCHOLAR TO SPEAK ON ACADEMIC FREEDOM, SALAITA:  Columbia Law Professor Katherine Franke joins off-campus panel discussion

What’s next, now that the University of Illinois Board of Trustees has voted down Steven Salaita’s job? This Thursday, September 18th, Katherine Franke, a top national scholar of law, religion, and human rights, will speak at a community conversation focused on academic freedom, political dissent, and particular legal issues involved in political action on Israel-Palestine as well as the firing of Salaita from a tenured faculty position.

Franke, the Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia University, is paying her own way to speak at the Independent Media Center in Urbana. Joining more than 5000 other faculty who are boycotting the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she announced her decision to cancel a previously scheduled speaking engagement at UIUC in a September 2 letter to Chancellor Phyllis Wise.

Joining Franke at the Independent Media Center in Urbana will be Michael Rothberg, professor and head of the UIUC English Department and director of the Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies Initiative on campus; Robert Warrior, director of the American Indian Studies Program, which offered Salaita the tenured position in comparative indigenous studies nearly a year ago; Chantal Nadeau, professor and former chair of the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies; and UIUC graduate students Brenda Sanya (Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership) and Eman Genayam (Department of English).

WHAT: “Academic Freedom & Political Dissent: A Conversation with Katherine Franke and the Community”

WHEN: Thursday, September 18, 7-9 p.m.

WHERE: Independent Media Center, 202 S. Broadway, Urbana (Elm and Broadway)

SPONSORS: Independent Media Center and Illinois Faculty for Academic Freedom and Justice

For more information on Katherine Franke, see

For Franke’s recent interview on the Salaita case, see

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