The required reading was at the bookstore, the students had the course syllabus, and space in Political Science 235, "Equality in Social Justice," was standing-room only when DePaul University pulled the plug Friday on what was to have been Norman Finkelstein's final year at the school.More on Finkelstein's site.
A controversial scholar—accused by critics of fomenting anti-Semitism and lauded by supporters as a forthright critic of Israel—Finkelstein attracted wide attention across the academic world when he was denied tenure in the spring.
By Monday, the books for his course had been pulled from the DePaul bookstore's shelves, while his case was restarting a firestorm of protest. The American Association of University Professors was preparing a letter to the university, protesting Finkelstein's treatment as a serious violation of academic ethics.
Finkelstein vowed not to take the rebuff lying down—or, perhaps more correctly, to do something just like that. In addition to canceling his course, the university informed him that his office was no longer his.
"I intend to go to my office on the first day of classes and, if my way is barred, to engage in civil disobedience," Finkelstein, 53, said in a telephone interview. "If arrested, I'll go on a hunger strike. If released, I'll do it all over again. I'll fast in jail for as long as it takes."