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Three years after Steven Salaita lost a promised tenured position in American Indian studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign over the tone of his anti-Israel tweets, he’s leaving academe. Salaita, who had most recently been a visiting professor at American University of Beirut, said in a widely shared Facebook post that he’s been recruited by colleagues and applied to academic jobs on four continents, but “management” inevitably blocks his hire. “I often feel like I’m reliving the [Illinois] fiasco,” he wrote, “ which isn’t conducive to the kind of mood I prefer to inhabit. I’m easygoing, but I refuse to tolerate the indignities of a blacklist.”
Salaita said his immediate plans, in the Washington area, involving writing and giving talks, and that he feels no regret for condemning a “brutal ethnocratic state.” Nor does he intend to “slosh around in self-pity,” he wrote. “Whatever I end up doing, I will maintain the spirit of noncompliance that defined my time in academe. If you take any lesson from my ouster, please don’t let it be fear or caution. Docility is a gift to those who profit from oppression. Academe can no longer afford this luxury.”