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Identity Politics and Antisemitism at SFSU

AMCHA Co-founder Publishes Article about San Fransisco State University in New Book Investigating Global Antisemitism

"Identity Politics, the Pursuit of Social Justice and the Rise of Campus Antisemitism:
A Case Study"


On November 6, 1968, students from the Black Student Union and the Third World Liberation Front at San Francisco State College (later San Francisco State University) initiated a five-month strike -- the longest campus strike in U.S. history -- which set in motion a chain of events that changed the face of American higher education.  One of the earliest and most significant results of the strike was that acting college president S. I. Hayakawa agreed to the immediate establishment of the nation’s first departments of black and ethnic studies, to be housed in a separate school of ethnic studies.  These had been the key demands of the strikers themselves, who believed such programs would revolutionize the “white racist” institution and provide students of color with the necessary tools for combating oppression and pursuing social justice within their respective communities.

The establishment of the nation’s first departments of black and ethnic studies marked the first time in the history of the modern American research university that identity politics and the pursuit of social justice played a significant role in the core mission of an academic discipline.

In a bold new essay, AMCHA Initiative co-founder Tammi Rossman-Benjamin argues that among its many profound consequences, this radical break with long-standing scholarly tradition paved the way for the dramatic increase in campus antisemitism that has been witnessed in recent years.  This idea is examined where the rupture first occurred -- at San Francisco State University.

Tammi’s essay, entitled “Identity Politics, the Pursuit of Social Justice, and the Rise of Campus Antisemitism: A Case Study,” appears as a chapter in a new book published by Indiana University Press, Resurgent Antisemitism: Global Perspectives, edited by Professor Alvin H. Rosenfeld.

By permission of the publisher, you can download a copy of Tammi's full article:
Chapter 18 Manuscript

For an abridged version of the article:
Chapter 18 Abridged

To order a copy of Resurgent Antisemitism: Global Perspectives:

Click on image for Table of Contents:
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