Abigail Bakan


1954 –

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Who is Abigail Bakan?

Abigail "Abbie" B. Bakan was Professor of Political Studies at at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada from 1998 to 2013 and was an associate and then assistant professor at the university from 1985 until 1998. From 2011 to 2013 she served as Head of the Department of Gender Studies at the university. In the summer of 2013, Bakan was appointed Chair of the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences and Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on employment equity, Marxist theory and "anti-oppression politics".

In a protest held in Toronto on July 29, 2006, Bakan criticized the Government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper for supporting "Israel's illegal action against the Lebanese and Palestinian people." In a debate held at York University on May 11, 2009, Bakan and Ryerson University professor Alan Sears spoke in support of a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The York's Excalibur newspaper reported that Bakan's comments were interpreted by some as calling for a boycott of individual Israeli academics. Bakan argues that condemning academic sanctions on the grounds that it politicizes a free and objective learning space is futile because institutions are inherently political. Bakan also argued that there is no other option but to boycott on an academic platform because boycotts allow us to “hear a voice that has been almost completely suppressed in Western world democracies. In the tradition of civil rights, we have to hear that call."

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  • Canada
  • Queen's University

on July 23, 2013


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