Professor Abigail Jacobson seeks to present all views in a volatile discussion

in News and Events
November 18th, 2013

BU Today writer Rich Barlow reports on the dynamic discussion taking place in EWCJS Professor Abigail Jacobson’s classroom.

Whoever said college is an ivory tower isolated from worldly concerns never took Abigail Jacobson’s class on The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

During a recent session on the history of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Jacobson put a 15-minute chunk of discussion off the record for a visiting reporter as she and students exchanged personal views in a conversation so animated that all 17 people in the room seemed to be talking simultaneously at one point. Such are the passions that this real-world tragedy arouses in students around a table on Bay State Road. For Jacobson, creating a free zone for free expression, where students hear and exchange divergent views, is the goal.

“I’m trying really, really hard to expose the students to the different stories and to the different perspectives of this conflict,” Jacobson said in an interview. An Israeli who has worked as a mediator with Israeli and Palestinian youth here and in her home country—invaluable experience during classroom exchanges like the one mentioned above, she noted—Jacobson is a visiting professor from MIT, through BU’s Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies. This is the first time at BU she’s taught the class, which is being offered by the College of Arts & Sciences history department.

Read the full article here at the BU Today website.