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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: May ::
Urgent: Protest Shakespearean Under Fire
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1094  Friday, 21 May 2004

From:           Charles Whitney <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 20 May 2004 07:07:28 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:        Urgent: Protest Shakespearean Under Fire

Dear Members,

We were shocked and dismayed to learn that Professor Avraham Oz faces
reassignment outside of  the Theater Department at Haifa University, and
four colleagues in the department are to be fired or downgraded, for
inflated disciplinary reasons.  Prof. Oz's book on _The Merchant of
Venice_ (_The Yoke of Love_) and his collections of articles on
Shakespeare and on Marlowe have made valuable and unique contributions
to the study of Renaissance drama. Under his direction or influence his
Theatre Dept. has reached out to involve an extraordinarily diverse
range of local communities. Avi Oz's insights continue to show the
relevance of Shakespeare and of theater to fundamental issues of
contemporary society and experience.

We demand that the administration of Haifa University retain Prof.  Oz
in his post in the Theatre Department.  Avi is an outspoken critic of
the policies of the current administration in Israel. That criticism
expresses a profound humanitarian commitment and, at times, courage.
Like donors to Israeli education such as Daniel Barenboim (_Los Angeles
Times_ May 14, 2004), we recognize that Israel faces difficult
challenges at the present moment that have polarized opinion. We hope
that amid the present flux a tradition of academic freedom will be
cherished as a source of strength.

We also ask interested listserve members to contact the following
administrators--immediately, because of a pending appeal decision to be
made soon.

President: Prof. Yehuda Hayuth  Fax: 972-4-8240281 Email:

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Rector: Prof. Aaron Ben-Ze'ev Fax: 972-4-8342101  Email:

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Dean: Prof. Yossi Ben-Artzi  Fax: 972-4-8240128

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Sincerely,
Prof. Charles Whitney, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Prof. Michael Neill, University of Auckland
Prof. Hugh Grady, Arcadia University

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