To bring any of these speakers to your event, please use the contact information specified for each speaker below.

Nada Elia

nadaNada Elia is a diaspora Palestinian, born in Baghdad, Iraq, and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, where she grew up and worked as a journalist during the (un)Civil War, before coming to the US for her PhD. Nada currently teaches Global and Gender Studies at Antioch University- Seattle, where she coordinates the Global Studies area of concentration. Nada is a member of the Organizing Committee of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, and has spoken around the country about academic boycott as a means to achieve the currently non-existent academic freedom in the US, Israel, and Palestine.


Contact info:

Region:  Pacific Northwest, but willing to travel

Expertise:  Intersectionality, gendered aspects of conflict, race and gender dynamics in organizing communities.

Jess Ghannam

jessDr. Jess Ghannam is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Global Health Sciences in the School of Medicine at UCSF. His research areas include evaluating the long-term health consequences of war on displaced communities and the psychological and psychiatric effects of armed conflict on children. Dr. Ghannam has developed community health clinics in the Middle East that focus on developing community-based treatment programs for families in crisis.

Contact info:

Region: Western Region

Expertise: issues related to health effects of occupation, especially in Gaza.

Annemarie Jacir

A pioneer filmmaker in the region and part of Variety’s “Arab New Wave”, Annemarie Jacir has had two of her films premiere as Official Selections at the Cannes Film Festival, one in Venice and most recently in Berlin where her last film When I Saw You won Best Asian Film. When I Saw You garnered a nomination at the Asian Pacific Screen Awards, and was also Palestine’s 2013 Oscar Entry for Best Foreign Language Film. When I Saw You‘s production was noted for being entirely Palestinian financed and all Palestinian producers, marking a new trend for independent cinema.Annemarie has written, directed and produced over fourteen films. Her like twenty impossibles (2003) was the first Arab short film to be selected to Cannes and continued to break ground when it went on to be a finalist for the Academy Awards.

With a commitment to teaching, training and hiring locally, Annemarie also curates, actively promoting independent cinema in the region. She is co-founder and chief curator of the groundbreaking Dreams of a Nation cinema project dedicated to the promotion of Palestinian cinema. In 2003, she organized and curated the largest traveling film festival in Palestine, which included the historic first screening of several archival Palestinian films from the revolution screening for the first time in Palestine.

Founder of Philistine Films, an independent production house, she collaborates regularly with fellow filmmakers. She also teaches screenwriting and works as a freelance editor as well as screenwriter. Currently she is completing a screenplay for Mira Nair and is in development on her next film.

Areas of expertise: Cultural boycott

Contact info:

Geographic region: Palestine & Jordan

David Lloyd

David Lloyd is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Davis, and a founding member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Palestine and his most recent articles are: “In the Long Shadow of the Settler: On Israeli and US Colonialisms”, written with Laura Pulido, in Audrea Lim, ed. The Case for Sanctions Against Israel (London: Verso Press, 2012) and “Settler Colonialism and the State of Exception: The Example of Israel/Palestine” in The Journal of Settler Colonial Studies 2.1 (2012).

Lloyd works primarily on Irish culture and on postcolonial and cultural theory. His most recent book is Irish Culture and Colonial Modernity: The Transformation of Oral Space (Cambridge University Press, 2011). His Arc & Sill: Poems 1979-2009 was published by Shearsman Books in the UK and New Writers’ Press, Dublin, 2012. He has co-published several other books, including The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital (1997), with Lisa Lowe; and The Black and Green Atlantic: Cross-Currents of the African and Irish Diasporas (2008), edited with Peter D. O’Neill.

Contact info:

Region: California

Michael Letwin

Michael Letwin is a public defender in Brooklyn, New York; and a veteran Vietnam anti-war, South Africa anti-apartheid, and racial justice activist since the 1960s.

He is former president of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325 (1990-2002); and a co-founder of New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW) (2001), Labor for Palestine (2004) and Jews for Palestinian Right of Return (2013). He is affiliated with Al-Awda NY, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, and MENA Solidarity Network US; and a member of the Organizing Collective of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel.

Letwin was a member of an attorney/activist delegation to the West Bank and 1948 Palestine (2007), a featured speaker at a Palestine solidarity conference of the Irish Confederation of Trade Unions (2010), and on a National Lawyers Guild delegation to investigate U.S. support of military repression against the Egyptian revolution (2012).

He helped launch the successful campaign for Stevie Wonder to withdraw from a Los Angeles fundraiser for the Israeli military (2012), and was active in both UAW 2865’s adoption of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and Block the Boat’s campaign to prevent Israeli Zim Line ships from docking at U.S. ports (2014).

His writing on Palestine includes “Labor Zionism and the Histadrut” (2010) and “The Jewish Labor Committee and Apartheid Israel” (2010).

He has also been active in Occupy Wall Street and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Contact info:

Region: New York

Sunaina Maira

sunainaSunaina Maira is Professor of Asian American Studies at UC Davis and is affiliated with the Middle East/South Asia Studies and Cultural Studies programs. She is a founding organizer of USACBI and a cofounder of Faculty for Justice in Palestine (FJP) at UC Davis. Maira has lived in Palestine and written a book about the Palestinian youth movement and hip-hop, titled Jil [Generation] Oslo: Palestinian Hip Hop, Youth Culture, and the Youth Movement. She has also co-edited a book, The Imperial University: Academic Repression and Scholarly Dissent, about the battles over academic freedom. This collection includes discussion of the backlash against faculty who advocate for BDS and Palestinian/Arab scholars in the US academy and it addresses ways that scholars and students can challenge repression. She has worked with various antiwar, youth, and Palestine solidarity groups, and on organizing focused on the academic boycott, including the American Studies Association (ASA) campaign. She has also been involved with Palestine solidarity activism in other countries; for example, she helped found Pakistanis For Palestine.

Contact info:

Region: California

Heike Schotten

heikeHeike Schotten is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where she teaches political theory, feminist theory, and queer theory.  She is available to speak on the subjects of academic boycott; BDS; the various political, rhetorical, and philosophical stakes of the Zionist/Palestinian conflict; homonationalism and pinkwashing; the relationship between academia and activism; and the question of “objective” or non-partisan scholarship, among other things.  She is open to working with organizers to develop a speaker topic that works best for their event; please contact her with specific ideas and requests regarding your event and the needs of your community.


Region:  Boston and greater New England area