Phi Beta Cons

Juan Cole and Yale History Department

The Yale History Department has voted to extend Juan Cole an offer, although the sociology department and the Yale Center for International and Area Studies have yet to hold their votes (it’s a joint appointment).

It will be interesting to see what happens next. When the Yale Corporation hosted a member who had violated U.S. laws regarding the boycott of Israel, an alumni revolt ultimately forced his resignation.

Many alumni are already raising questions about what this means for the reputation of the Yale History Department which had once prided itself on an emphasis on traditional research and fieldwork—Cole has never been to Iraq—but which seems to have cast it aside because of sympathy to Professor Cole’s politics.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

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