Sunday, January 29, 2017

From our neighbor on the southside--the real world and the ivory tower

Please see the correspondence below. The recent action against Muslims coming into the U.S.  by President Trump is having immediate repercussions on the academic community. I can only imagine what might become of some of our students and faculty in the next few months. I know we have been so concerned with the future of CSU and we still need to be vigilant about that, but it is important to be aware of how fragile the academic life is becoming. I hope we won't be reporting these stories from CSU.

From: on behalf of Will Levine []
Sent: Sunday, January 29, 2017 1:28 PM
Cc:; Tara Zahra
Subject: [Ptnet] Important! Please Read: Workshop Discussion of Trump Executive Order & Abizadeh Cancellation

Dear All,
I'm writing to you today to let you know that our scheduled presenter for tomorrow, Arash Abizadeh, will unfortunately not be able to make it due to the Executive Order that Trump issued this Friday. With his permission, I have included his email to the workshop below.

However, in lieu of our scheduled presentation, we will be hosting a discussion on Trump's executive order during our regular time and location (Pick Hall, Room 506, 12:00pm-1:20pm). Joining us will be Aziz Huq of the Law School and Tara Zahra of the History Department. (Prof. Zahra will be arriving slightly later in the session because of a prior engagement.) We are also awaiting word from other guests.

Prof. Huq will be discussing how this order directly and indirects students of the University of Chicago. We encourage anyone interested in this topic or who knows anyone interested in this topic attend our session or contact Prof. Huq. Please circulate this message widely.

If you believe you may need assistance, please contact me at

All our welcome!
The Political Theory Workshop

From: Arash Abizadeh, Prof. []

Dear Friends and Colleagues:
As you know, I am in Frankfurt, scheduled to fly tomorrow directly to Chicago, to present a paper at your wonderful political theory workshop.

I write with great sadness to say that I have had to change my travel plans and will not be able to join you for Monday. I have purchased a ticket from Frankfurt to return home to Montreal.

The media is reporting that, as a consequence of the US president's recent directives, US border official have, as of today, refused entry to Canadians of Iranian origin. My city of birth is Shiraz, and all the evidence suggests I would be detained on arrival in Chicago and refused entry on the basis of my birthplace.

I apologize profusely for the great inconvenience my cancellation will cause you. I am sorry for the wasted organizational time, the restaurant booking, the hotel booking, and your purchase of my Chicago to Montreal flight. I hope you will be able to cancel my flight and hotel and obtain some amount of refund. But most of all, I am of course very sorry that I will not be able to enjoy the your wonderful political theory group, to see old friends, and to make new ones.

I hope you understand. I simply do not have the stomach to deal with being held and interrogated for hours after a transatlantic flight only to be refused entry based on directives imposed by a government where neo-Nazis are pulling the strings.

I cannot tell you how sad I am with this turn of events in your country. I think I speak for my Canadian colleagues when I say that we stand with you as you face this difficult hour. Please let us know what you need from us.

In solidarity,


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this. There are lots of protests at airports out here. Trump's fascism is more blatant, more up-front. It is good that people are fighting back. La lutte continue.