Boycott Debate Is Symptom of Broader Shift in American Studies

6020-Mark-Rice

St. John Fisher College

Mark Rice, a professor of American studies at St. John Fisher College, says that small undergraduate programs like his could be hurt by the blowback against some scholars’ political agendas.

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St. John Fisher College

Mark Rice, a professor of American studies at St. John Fisher College, says that small undergraduate programs like his could be hurt by the blowback against some scholars’ political agendas.

The furor over the vote by members of the American Studies Association to boycott Israeli institutions has reawakened questions about the organization, and American studies generally, that run far deeper than a single political stand.

The group’s critics say the incident—which has elicited condemnations by more than 80 college presidents and led many institutions to withdraw from membership—confirms their belief that American studies represents a nadir of academic