With the debut of his Web log, Informed Comment, four years ago, Juan R.I. Cole became arguably the most visible commentator writing on the Middle East today. A professor of modern Middle East and South Asian history at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and president of the Middle East Studies Association, Cole has voiced strong opposition to the war in Iraq and to the treatment of the Palestinians, garnering him plaudits from the left and condemnation from supporters of Israel and President Bush's foreign policy. In the words of a colleague, Cole has done something no other scholar of the region has done since Bernard Lewis: "become a household word."
In the spring, Informed Comment took center stage in another arena — Cole's own career. After two departments recommended him for a tenured position at Yale University, a senior committee decided last month not to offer him the job after all. Although Yale has declined to explain its decision, numerous accounts in the news media have speculated that Cole's appointment was shot down because of views he expressed on his blog. We asked seven academic bloggers to weigh in on Cole's case and on the hazards of academic blogging.
- The Lessons of Juan Cole, by Siva Vaidhyanathan
- The Politics of Academic Appointments, by Glenn Reynolds
- The Trouble With Blogs, by Daniel W. Drezner
- Exposed in the Blogosphere, by Ann Althouse
- The Invisible College, by J. Bradford DeLong
- The Attention Blogs Bring, by Michael Bérubé
- The Controversy That Wasn't, by Erin O'Connor
- Juan R.I. Cole Responds