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ISA Statement Regarding Academic Freedom of Dr. Simona Sharoni

The International Studies Association (ISA) has issued a public statement in support of Dr. Simona Sharoni as a result of recent challenges to her academic freedom. The letter of support, sent to John Ettling, President of SUNY Plattsburg, can be found below:


John Ettling, President
State University of New York - Plattsburgh


Dear President Ettling,

This letter is being sent by the Executive Committee of the International Studies Association (ISA, in support of Dr. Simona Sharoni, who is a professor in your Gender and Women’s Studies Department. Dr. Sharoni and other ISA colleagues contacted our Academic Freedom Committee last week concerning threats to her academic freedom. Following an interview she gave on April 20, 2016 concerning the Middle East, Dr. Sharoni has been subject to threats through social media and other means. Dr. Sharoni has indicated to ISA that these threats, and the university’s failure to issue a statement in support of her academic freedom, have rendered it difficult for her to pursue scholarship on these contentious issues.

The ISA, the largest such professional association in the world, believes strongly that attacks on academic freedom in any country, including the United States, must not be allowed to stand. Based on consultation with members of our Academic Freedom Committee, we believe that Dr. Sharoni’s academic freedom has been compromised in this instance. We therefore urge you to support her by issuing a public statement condemning threats against her and stating her right to conduct research and public engagement on these issues in an environment free from fear.

If you have any questions about this statement or ISA’s support of academic freedom, please do not hesitate to contact us.


T.V. Paul, ISA President
Mark A. Boyer, ISA Executive Director
Anthony Lang, Chair, ISA Academic Freedom Committee

Posted in: Headquarters


Meredith Reid Sarkees
Saturday, October 1, 2016 12:15 PM
Thanks to ISA for supporting Dr.Sharoni and the principle of academic freedom.

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The International Studies Association

Representing 100 countries, ISA has over 6,500 members worldwide and is the most respected and widely known scholarly association in this field. Endeavoring to create communities of scholars dedicated to international studies, ISA is divided into 7 geographic subdivisions of ISA (Regions), 29 thematic groups (Sections) and 4 Caucuses which provide opportunities to exchange ideas and research with local colleagues and within specific subject areas.
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