Why I am cancelling my event at Columbia University today

Update: shortly after I cancelled my event today I learned there is a now wider public call for a Guest Speaker Boycott of Columbia University. Read and sign the statement here.

A few months ago I was pleased to be invited to speak about my research to a group of students at Columbia University today. I have never had the opportunity to speak at Columbia University, so welcomed the opportunity to talk about my work on queering the Women, Peace and Security agenda to a group of students studying conflict resolution. However, given the events that have unfolded on campus this month, I have now cancelled my event. My decision is an act of solidarity with those on Columbia University’s campus who have faced reprisals for protesting the genocide in Palestine, for organizing efforts to Boycott and Divest from Isreal, and for holding educational events about Palestine, including discussions about justice and ending occupation of Palestine.

On November 10th, Columbia University ,suspended the Columbia chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace. This suspension resulted in cutting off the groups’ University funding and eligibility to hold on-campus events. This has not stopped students on campus from organizing Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD), and there are now over 80 student groups ,signing a letter of solidarity with their demands.

Despite this backlash, students and others on Columbia’s campus continue to organize in support of Palestine and bring attention to the ongoing genocide through ongoing campus actions. Just this week, when Columbia University withdrew support for the event ‘Academic Praxis and the Question of Palestine: The Legacies of Edward W Said’ this week, the ,event was held virtually after finding support elsewhere. Yesterday students organized a ,sit-in to protest Hillary Clinton’s teaching on campus because of her contining refusal to let students ask questions about Palestine.

My research and policy work are about understanding and celebrating lesbian and queer leadership in movements for peace and justice. Although I am a Lecturer in International Relations at Queen’s University Belfast, this semester I have been in the United States on sabbatical. During this time I have seen how campuses across the country have been responding to student acts of resistance to the genocide in Gaza. This organizing is deeply related to how we understand peace and justice, how we imagine conflict transformation.


Queer Palestinians have been fighting for liberation for decades. Palestine is a queer issue. There is no pride in genocide.


There are many more actions which you can learn about by ,following Columbia’s student groups on social media, and by joining in their actions where possible. I also support my union, the University College Union (UCU), in ,campaigning in solidarity with the people of Palestine.


I will continue to update this post to share more resources about Palestine as a queer issue, and ongoing efforts to support those organizing for Palestinian liberation at Columbia University.


In Solidarity,


Dr. Jamie J. Hagen


Poster by Micah Bazant

Learn about queers living and organizing in Palestine:



Relevant op-eds/articles by queer activists and theorists:

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