Sunaina Maira and Piya Chatterjee in Jadaliyya
One of the experiences that propelled this book most immediately for us was a letter we co-authored in solidarity with women targeted by the US War on Terror. We circulated this as a petition that garnered national and global support. This generated a conversation between us about how to transform this petition into a project of solidarity, particularly in the context of the growing attacks on scholars critical of US foreign policy and US support for Israel. Many academics who had been targeted by vicious campaigns and were mired in hiring and tenure battles were friends and colleagues of ours, yet we were frustrated by the general distancing from these “radical” scholars and self-censorship among academics. We also wanted to highlight the ways in which these forms of institutional policing were linked to broader, ongoing structures of racism, sexism, and homophobia in the academy, and to elitist practices of gatekeeping and stigmatization.