MLA-BDS Aftermath: A Star Is Born

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Just as political careers are often launched from electoral defeats, so too do academic careers blossom when Left wing movements fail.

Examples of the former abound, from Ronald Reagan’s rise in the wake of the Goldwater defeat of 1964 to Barack Obama’s in the wake of John Kerry’s loss in 2004. For illustrations of the latter trend, one need look no further than the Modern Language Association’s recent meeting in Philadelphia this month.

Though the vote to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel went down by about two to one, one graduate student from the University of California gave a thesis in a panel promoting BDS that, from what we’ve seen of academe, may not only land her a job but launch a whole new field of study.

In a presentation entitled “Gendered Death and Political Discourse at the United States—Mexico Border and the Israeli-Palestine Border (s),” Cinthya Martinez Perez described for an attentive audience how women’s bodies were analogous to land borders.

She relayed that both the U. S. and Israel had a “dread of having their borders penetrated” by “missiles, rockets and tunnels.” With this “feminine land” went the “construction of the nation-state as the good masculine patriarch.”

Truly, this kid is going places in academe!