Charles Small of Yale Responds To Kuentzel Cancellation At Leeds

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From: Charles Small <>
Subject: Academic Freedon

Dear Vice Chancellor Arthur,

I am writing to you with regard to the cancellation of Dr. Matthias Kuentzel’s seminar that was schedualed to take place at the University of Leeds. I understand that it was called off by your Offices due to security concerns. I would like to take this opportunity to express shock and objection to this action. Academic freedom and freedom of speech are basic pillars of democratic societies. They are fragile and must be protected in a conscious and deliberate manner. It is incumbent upon your Offices to ensure that Dr. Kuentzel has the right to give his lecture, and the Leeds academic community are able to listen to and engage Dr. Kuentzel’s ideas.

Dr. Kuentzel presented a paper at our seminar series at Yale University in November. It was of a high scholarly level and was well received. There was an excellent discussion and debate which followed. At the very least Dr. Kuentzel examines important issues that must be explored, debated and researched.

I must say that I find some of the discourse in the British academy troubling. Some of your colleagues in the UK are calling for and organising an academic boycott of Israeli scholars and universities – the only nation in the region that is democratic and practices academic freedom and freedom of speech. There is an odd alliance of radical Islamists and some so-called western progressives behind these efforts to isolate Israel. Now it seems that these forces have carried the day in the heart of democracy – an illustrious university in England. I hope that those who cherish democratic values will have the courage to protect it.

Charles Small

Charles Asher Small (D.Phil)
Director, Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism
Institution for Social and Policy Studies
Yale University
77 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT., 06520
United States
Office Telephone – 203 436 8189

Charles Small of Yale Responds To Kuentzel Cancellation At Leeds

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Charles Asher Small

Dr. Charles Asher Small is the Director of the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP). He is also the Koret Distinguished Scholar at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Charles received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, McGill University, Montreal; a M.Sc. in Urban Development Planning in Economics, Development Planning Unit (DPU), University College London; and a Doctorate of Philosophy (D.Phil), St. Antony's College, Oxford University.

Charles completed post-doctorate research at the Groupement de recherche ethnicité et société, Université de Montréal. He was the VATAT Research Fellow (Ministry of Higher Education) at Ben Gurion University, Beersheva, and taught in departments of sociology and geography at Goldsmiths' College, University of London; Tel Aviv University; and the Institute of Urban Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Charles was the founding Director of the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA), the first interdisciplinary research center on antisemitism at a North American university. At Yale he taught in the Political Science Department and the Program on Ethics, Politics and Economics, and ran a post-doctorate and graduate studies fellowship program at YIISA. He was also an Associate Professor and the Director of Urban Studies at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). He has lectured internationally and worked as a consultant and policy advisor in North America, Europe, Southern Africa, and the Middle East. Charles specializes in social and cultural theory, globalization and national identity, socio-cultural policy, and racism(s) – including antisemitism.

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