With commencement over and the campus empty of many students, activists, student newspaper editorial writers, and faculty, Yale University announced that it is shuttering its Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism, (YIISA) (Twitter @yiisa) which is dedicated to the scholarly research of the origins and manifestations associated with antisemitism globally, as well as other forms of prejudice, including racisms, as it relates to policy. It was part of Yale’s Institution for Social and Policy Studies (ISPS).
Over the past few weeks, Yale has been criticized for its decision. Some said it was retribution for YIISA’s conference that hosted speakers critical of Islamic anti-Semitism. A Washington Post Op-Ed by GWU Professor Walter Reich questioned the decision and asked a DC university to snap up the research center. Others said that Yale was correct in closing YIISA, since it had strayed from its mission and was not as academic as it could have been. Some insiders said that the issue was not simple, and that YIISA leaders had been warned and counseled to improve. Was Yiisa involved in too much advocacy instead of research? Others mentioned that perhaps it was a case of “Not Invented Here.”
But guess what? Yale’s Provost, Peter Salovey, announced on Monday that the university would launch a new program for the study of anti-Semitism. The Yale Program for the Study of Anti-Semitism (YPSA). It will be led by Yale faculty members, and it will be sponsored by the Whitney Humanities Center.
So… byebye Yiisa…
and hellooooo Ypsa.