AAUP Calls Off Boycott Conference

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The American Association of University Professors in February postponed an international conference on academic boycotts that was scheduled to take place that month in Italy. Both the participant list for the invitation-only session and the materials distributed for the session had come under fire. AAUP officials defended the invite list (which was criticized as anti-Israel by some) and apologized for including in conference packets an anti-Semitic article published in a magazine affiliated with Holocaust deniers.

With AAUP board members and the foundations that were paying for the conference all urging postponement, the association announced it would do just that, but vowed to regroup and hold the session.

But in a letter sent last week to conference participants, association leaders said that they could not go ahead with the conference.

The organizers wanted to hold the conference with the original invitees, but realized, the letter said, that such a course of action would “reactivate opposition that has proved too severe to enable us to go forward.” So instead, no conference will be held, but written comments prepared by the invitees for the meeting will be published by the AAUP in Academe, its magazine.

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