A book included on a course syllabus at Princeton University has sparked controversy on and beyond the New Jersey campus. Some Jewish campus community members and onlookers contend that the book peddles antisemitic tropes and false assertions about Israeli policy and should be removed from the course. Others—including some academic freedom advocates and a non-Zionist Jewish student group—say the book raises valid concerns about Israel's treatment of Palestinians and scrubbing the text from the course would infringe on the professor's rights.
The book at the center of the debate is The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability by Jasbir Puar, professor and graduate director of women's and gender studies at Rutgers University. It was included in a sample reading list for a fall course called The Healing Humanities: Decolonizing Trauma Studies From the Global South, taught by Satyel Larson, an assistant professor of Near Eastern studies.
Puar writes in the book's introduction that there's a theme "long present in Israeli tactical calculations of settler colonial rule—that of creating injury and maintaining Palestinian populations as perpetually debilitated, and yet alive, in order to control them."