The Palestinian Exception in the Age of Zoom: A Bellwether for Academic Freedom

By Bill V. Mullen


This essay argues that restrictions on Palestinian free speech in higher education by both universities and corporations present a warning and opportunity for scholars seeking to expand and protect academic freedom and free speech, particularly in the face of corporate censorship. It uses as case studies Zoom’s recent shutdown of a classroom speaking event by Palestinian activist Leila Khaled at San Francisco State University and the first Palestine Writes literature festival recently held online with Zoom support. The essay argues that challenging corporate control over free speech in the university requires resistance to attempts to both privatize and restrict discussions of Palestinian liberation struggle. It also argues that students and faculty should be transgressive in their approach to censorship in order to challenge it.

Download "The Palestinian Exception in the Age of Zoom: A Bellwether for Academic Freedom" or read it below.

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