TO SIGN THIS PETITION

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NEWS:  Monique Canto-Sperber has replied to the petition.  Her reply, and our response, can be found
here.





A PETITION TO MONIQUE CANTO-SPERBER, DIRECTOR,

ECOLE NORMALE SUPÉRIEURE, PARIS


We, the undersigned U.S., Canadian and British academics, many of us with long connections to France, and who have long admired the historic role of the École Normale supérieure in the critical and intellectual life of the country, are dismayed at recent events at the school. The actions of the Director, Monique Canto-Sperber, first banning a talk by Stéphane Hessel and then refusing to allow the Colléctif Palestine ENS to hold a meeting on campus, is a denial of the rights of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. Hessel is 93, a former ENS student, member of the Resistance, survivor of Buchenwald, one of the authors of the UN Declaration of Human Rights and of the recent best-selling Indignezvous!/Time for Outrage, in which he (among other things) criticizes Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

We are not persuaded by the reasoning of the Director or of the Conseil d’État, that these meetings constitute a threat to public order or that they exceed the responsibility of the ENS to guarantee all students’ rights to speech and assembly.

The action of the Director is an exception to the school’s customary toleration of political action by students and it is a recurring exception, aimed at silencing one side in a needed debate about the Israel/Palestine conflict. We believe that the Director’s action contravenes a long history of free speech and political expression at the ENS as described in its own publicity : “For decades, the ENS has been the most prestigious site of French intellectual and scientific life. It participated in all the great intellectual debates of modern France, from the Dreyfus Affair to the movements of the 1930’s, and from the foundation of the human sciences to the avant-garde movements of the 1970’s.”

We call upon the Director to reverse her decision and to restore academic freedom, a practice long associated with this distinguished institution.


Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor of Comparative Literature and Rhetoric, University of California at Berkeley

Michael Harris, Professor of Mathematics, Université Paris-Diderot

Natalie Zemon Davis, Professor of History, University of Toronto

Joan Wallach Scott, Harold F. Linder Professor, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study

 

Yve-Alain Bois, Professor, School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study

Edmund Burke III, Professor of History, University of California at Santa Cruz

Noam Chomsky, Professor (retired), MIT

Edwin E. Daniel, F. R.S.C., Professor Emeritus of Health Sciences, McMaster University and University of Alberta

Laurence Dreyfus, Professor of Music, Magdalen College, Oxford

Freeman Dyson, Professor Emeritus, School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study

Morris Halle, Institute Professor, MIT

Malcolm Levitt, FRS, Professor of Chemistry, University of Southampton

David Mumford, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, Brown and Harvard Universities

Jacqueline Rose, Professor of English, Queen Mary University of London

Graeme Segal, FRS, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, All Souls College, Oxford

Ben-Z. Shek, F.R.S.C., Professor Emeritus of French, University of Toronto

Avi Shlaim, Professor of International Relations,  St. Anthony's College, Oxford

Richard Taylor, Professor of Mathematics, Harvard University

James L. Turk, Executive Director, Canadian Association of University Teachers

Marina Warner, Professor of Literature, University of Essex


Andrew Aisenberg, Associate Professor of History, Scripps College

Gil Anidjar, Associate Professor of Religion, Columbia University

Sara Beam, Associate Professor of History, University of Victoria

Robert Boyce, Senior Lecturer in International History, London School of Economics and Political Science

Kenneth Brown, Retired professor of Social Anthropology, University of Manchester, Editor-in-Chief, Mediterraneans/Méditéranneennes

Wendy Brown, Professor of Political Science, University of California at Berkeley

Edouard Bustin, Director, Groupe de Recherches sur l'Afrique Francophone, Boston University

Terence Cave, Emeritus Professor of French Literature, Oxford

Paul Cohen, Associate Professor, Department of History, Director, Centre for the Study of France and the Francophone World,
University of Toronto

Catherine Desbarats, Professeure agrégée, Département d'histoire, Université McGill

Jonathan Dewald, Distinguished Professor of History, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

Mayanthi L. Fernando, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz

Peter Fitting, Professor emeritus, French and Cinema Studies, University of Toronto

Carla Freccero, Professor of Literature, Director, Center for Cultural Studies, University of California at Santa Cruz

Irene Gendzier, Professor, Dept of Political Science, Boston University

Harvey Goldman, Professor, Department of Sociology, Adjunct Professor, Department of Political Science, University of California, San
Diego

Michael Hardt, Professor of Literature, Duke University

David Heap, Associate Professor of French and Linguistics, University of Western Ontario

Ann Jefferson, Professor of French, Oxford

Andrew M. Johnston, Associate Professor of History, Carleton University

Katherine Callen King, Professor, Comparative Literature and Classics, University of California at Los Angeles

Martin Klein, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Toronto

Cecile Laborde, Professor of Political Theory, University College London

Conrad Leyser, Fellow and Tutor in History, Worcester College, Oxford

Brian Massumi, Professor of Communication, Université de Montréal

Yakov M Rabkin, Professeur titulaire, Département d'histoire, Université de Montréal

Peter Sahlins, Professor of History, Executive Director of the France-Berkeley Fund,  University of California at Berkeley

Steven Sperber, Professor of Mathematics, University of Minnesota

Lisa Tiersten, Professor of History, Columbia University

Kate Tunstall, University Lecturer (CUF) in French, Worcester College, Oxford

Wes Williams, University Lecturer, Fellow and Tutor in French, St. Edmund Hall, Oxford

Robert J.Young, Professor Emeritus, University of Winnipeg
 


Rabab Abdulhadi, Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies, College of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University

Mary Louise Adams, Associate Professor, Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen's University, Kingston

Sylvat Aziz, Professor of Fine Arts, Queen's University, Kingston

Feyzi Baban, Associate Professor, Political Studies Department, Trent University

Paola Bacchetta, Associate Professor of Gender and Women's Studies, University of California at Berkeley

Ian Barnard, Associate Professor of English, Affiliated Faculty, Queer Studies, California State University at Northridge

Amy Bartholomew, Associate Professor of Law, Carleton University

Micheline Beaudry, Professeure retraitée (nutrition publique), Université Laval

Roger Beck, Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto

Dr G. K. Bhambra, Director of the Social Theory Centre, University of Warwick

Mario Biagoli, Professor of Law & Science and Technology Studies, University of California at Davis

Hagit Borer, Professor of Linguistics, University of Southern California

Eileen Boris, Hull Professor and Chair, Department of Feminist Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara

Martha Bragin, Associate Professor of Social Work, Hunter College

Haim Bresheeth, Professor of Media and Cultural Studies, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of East London

Stephen Eric Bronner, Distinguished Professor (PII) of Political Science, Rutgers University

Anne Clement, Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, Harvard University

Lynne Cohen, Former Professor of Photography, University of Ottawa

Rebecca Comay, Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto

Rebecca Coulter, Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Western Ontario

Stephen D'Arcy, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Huron University College

Miriam David, Professor Emerita of Education, Institute of Education, University of London

Howard Davidson, Interim Director, Aboriginal Focus Programs, University of Manitoba

Chandler Davis, Professor of Mathematics, University of Toronto

Mary Ellen Davis, Part time faculty, School of Cinema, Concordia University

Eleanor Duckworth, Professor of Education, Harvard University

Geneviève A. Dumas, Professor, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston

Peter Eglin, Professor of Sociology, Wilfred Laurier University

Christo El Morr, Adjunct Professor of Information Technology, York University

Nada Elia, Professor of Global Studies, Antioch University, Seattle

Randa Farah, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Western Ontario

Gordon Fellman, Professor of Sociology, Brandeis University

L. M. Findlay, Professor of English, University of Saskatchewan

Norman Finkelstein, Independent Scholar

Gavin Fridell, Associate Professor & Chair, Department of Politics, Trent University

Mark Gabbert, Associate Professor of History, University of Manitoba

Paul Garrett, Professor of Mathematics, University of Minnesota

Jack Gegenberg, Professor of Mathematics, University of New Brunswick

Marvin E. Gettleman, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn

John Gilmore, Member of The Writers' Union of Canada, and former instructor, Education department, Concordia University

Harry Glasbeek, Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University

Sherna Berger Gluck, Professor Emerita of History, California State University at Long Beach

Mark Golden, Professor of Classics, University of Winnipeg

Bluma Goldstein, Professor Emerita of German, University of California at Berkeley

Peter Gose, Chair of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University

Allan Greer, Canada Research Chair in Colonial North America, Department of History, McGill University

Julie Guard, Associate Professor and Coordinator, Labour Studies Program, University of Manitoba

Nadia Habib, Department of Humanities, York University

Christian Haesemeyer, Associate Professor of Mathematics, University of California at Los Angeles

Lisa Hajjar, Associate Professor of Sociology, Chair, Law and Society Program, University of California at Santa Barbara

Sondra Hale, Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies, University of California           
            at Los Angeles

Robert M. Hamm, Professor, Dept. of Family and Preventive Medicine, Director, Clinical  Decision Making Program, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Paul Handford, Professor Emeritus of Biology, University of Western Ontario

Jens Hanssen, Associate Professor of History, University of Toronto

Gillian Hart, Professor of Geography, University of California at Berkeley

Amir Hassanpour, Associate Professor, Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations (ret.), University of Toronto

Sudhir Hazareesingh, Fellow in Politics, Balliol College, Oxford

Henry Heller, Professor of History, University of Manitoba

Sami Hermez, Visiting Fellow, Centre for Lebanese Studies, St. Anthony's College, Oxford

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Northwestern University

Viqar Husain, Professor of Mathematics, University of New Brunswick

Radha Jhappan, Professor of Political Science, Carleton University

Suad Joseph, Professor of Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies, University of  California at Davis

Donald Kahn, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, University of Minnesota

Louis Kampf, Professor Emeritus of English, MIT

Ilan Kapoor, Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

Michael Keefer, Professor of English Literature, School of English and Theatre Studies, University of Guelph

Assaf Kfoury, Professor of Computer Science, Boston University

Rashid Khalidi, Professor of History, Columbia University

Muhammed Ali Khalidi, Associate Professor of Philosophy, York University

David Klein, Professor of Mathematics, California State University at Northridge

Ann Hibner Koblitz, Professor of Women and Gender Studies, Arizona State University

Neal Koblitz, Professor of Mathematics, University of Washington

Dennis Kortheuer, Department of History, California State University at Long Beach

Clarice Kuhling, Lecturer, Department of Sociology & Department of Contemporary Studies, Wilfred Laurier University

Ailsa Land, Emeritus Professor of Operational Research, London School of Economics

Joan B. Landes, Walter L. and Helen Ferree Professor of Early Modern History and Women's Studies, Pennsylvania State University

Robert V. Lange, Professor Emeritus of Physics, Brandeis University

Paul Lauter, Allan K. and Gwendolyn Miles Smith Professor of Literature, Trinity College

Richard Borshay Lee, Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto

Winnie Lem, International Development Studies, Trent University

Margaret Little, Professor of Gender Studies and Political Studies, Queen's University, Kingston

David Lloyd, Professor of English, University of Southern California

Yosefa Loshitzky, Professor of Film and Cultural Studies, University of East London

Andrew Lugg, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, University of Ottawa

Rashmi Luther, Lecturer, School of Social Work, Carleton University

Arthur MacEwan, Professor Emeritus of Economics and Senior Fellow, Center for Social Policy, University of Massachusetts Boston

Moshe Machover, Professor Emeritus of philosophy, King's College, London

David McNally, Professor of Political Science, York University

Dr. John McTague, English Faculty, Oxford

William Messing, Professor of Mathematics, University of Minnesota

Haynes Miller, Professor of Mathematics, MIT

Kevin Moloney, Faculty, Dept of Languages, Linguistics & Literatures, York University

Joy Moore, Faculty, Dawson College, Montréal

Karen Bridget Murray, Associate Professor of Political Science, York University

Karma Nabulsi, Fellow in Politics, St. Edmund Hall, Oxford

Mary-Jo Nadeau, Lecturer, Dept. of Sociology, University of Toronto Mississauga

Joanne Naiman, Professor Emerita of Sociology, Ryerson University, Toronto

Maire Noonan, Assistant Professor of Linguistics, McGill University

Ingmar Nyman, Associate Professor of Economics, Hunter College

Richard Ohmann, Benjamin Waite Professor of English, Emeritus, Wesleyan University

Patricia Palulis, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa

David E Pegg, Professor of Biology,  University of York

Fabrice Picon, Department of French and Francophone Studies, Penn State University

Charles Posner, Institute of Education, University of London

Garry Potter, Associate Professor of Sociology, Wilfred Laurier University

Trevor Purvis, Assistant Profesor of Law and Political Economy, Carleton University

Aneil Rallin, Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing Studies, Soka University of America

Denis G. Rancourt, Former Professor of Physics, University of Ottawa

Rush Rehm, Professor of Drama and Classics, Stanford University

Frank Reynolds, Emeritus Professor of History of Religions and Buddhist Studies, University of Chicago

Steven Rose, Emeritus Professor of Biology, The Open University

Jonathan Rosenhead, Emeritus Professor of Operational Research, London School of Economics

Marty Roth, Emeritus Professor of English, University of Minnesota

E. Natalie Rothman, Assistant Professor of History, University of Toronto

Leila Rupp, Professor of Feminist Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara

Samir Saul, Associate Professor of History, Université de Montréal

Claire Schub, Lecturer in French, Tufts University

Victoria H. F. Scott, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Fine Arts

Philip Shashko, Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Alan Sears, Professor of Sociology, Ryerson University, Toronto

Lynne Segal, Anniversary Professor of Psychology & Gender Studies, Birkbeck College, University of London

Eric Smoodin, Professor of American Studies and Film Studies, University of California at  Davis

Metta Spencer, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Toronto

Brian Stock, Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature, University of Toronto

Bernard Sufrin, Fellow Emeritus in Computation, Worcester College, Oxford

Abdel Razzaq Takriti, Junior Research Fellow in Political History, St. Edmund Hall, Oxford

Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, Director of the Law and Religion Program, University at Buffalo,  The State University of New York

Oliver Taplin, Emeritus Professor of Classics, Oxford

Vladimir Tasic, Professor of Mathematics, University of New Brunswick

Andrea Teti, Co-Director, Interdisciplinary Approaches to Violence, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Aberdeen

Barrie Thorne, Professor of Sociology, and Gender and Women's Studies, University of California at Berkeley

Eric Urban, Professor of Mathematics, Columbia University

Richard A. Walker, Professor of Geography, Co-director, Global Metropolitan Studies,  University of California at Berkeley

Seth Wigderson, Professor of History, University of Maine, Augusta

Trevor Williams, Professor Emeritus, Department of English, University of Victoria

Howard Winant, Professor of Sociology, Director, UC Center for New Racial Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara

Rita Wong, Associate Professor, Emily Carr University of Art and Design