We are grateful to our colleagues in the Department of Historical and Cultural Studies at UTSC, which houses Women’s and Gender Studies, for issuing this principled statement of support for faculty speaking about Palestine/Israel, which we share with you, which we adopt and share, and which will be placed on the WGSI homepage later today or first thing tomorrow:
Women and Gender Studies is resolute in its support for all faculty who speak up about the current war in Palestine/Israel, and who bring their expertise to bear on public conversations. It is not only permissible, but essential for scholars to situate the current war in its broad historical contexts, including those of settler colonialism, US imperialism in the Middle East, and global movements for Indigenous rights. In the wake of the TRC here in Canada, anti-colonial solidarity is not simply a legitimate ethical position, but a critical analytical perspective that has opened up entire bodies of scholarship. This scholarship remains occluded in public debates by nationalist frameworks that present the situation in Palestine, as in other world regions, as one of “national conflict” or primordial enmity. Scholars—and especially those whose research and/or lived experience bear on these issues—have a responsibility to bring their knowledge to the public sphere and question myopic and amnesiac discussions. Their voices cannot be silenced.
For staff, students and faculty, please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you want to check in, and here is a link to resources, that WGSI faculty and students compiled of on-and off-campus services that we know have been helpful.