A Tufts University professor threatened to call the cops on campus news site the College Fix after the site asked him for an interview about his class about how Israel “illegally occupies Palestine.”
Tufts University Professor Thomas Abowd, who teaches a course called “Colonizing Palestine,” threatened to call the cops this week on a journalist from the College Fix who was asking for an interview.
In the course description, Abowd writes that Israel “illegally occupies Palestine.” Students in the course will be introduced to a variety of writers who will guide them in their study of the conflict.
Students will examine the region in which Palestine is embedded through a range of path breaking writers, filmmakers, and thinkers. These include novels by Anton Shammas and Emile Habiby, the creative non-fiction of Edward Said and Suad 4 Amiry, the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish and Naomi Nye, and the spoken word artistry of Suheir Hammad and others. We will examine these writers in relation to the burgeoning work of Palestinian filmmakers such as Elia Suleiman, Mia Masri, Emad Burnat, Michel Khleifi, to name but a few. By doing so students will address crucial questions relating to this embattled nation, the Israeli state which illegally occupies Palestine, and the broader global forces that impinge on Palestinians and Israelis.
The course is listed as a fall selection for two different programs: “colonialism studies” and “women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.”
The College Fix, a news outlet that covers campus news, reached out to Abowd for comment on his “Colonizing Palestine” course. It is unclear how many times The College Fix contacted Abowd for comment before he snapped. “Do not contact me again or I will call the police,” he wrote in an email.
It is also unclear what Abowd intended to tell the police. It doesn’t seem like The College Fix committed a crime. It would be hard to prove that he was being harassed just because he received a few emails from a journalist about a course he was teaching at a major American university.