Statement from the faculty of the

UCI Department of Global and International Studies


UC Irvine is a settler institution–one situated upon the ancestral and unceded territories of the Acjachemen, Tongva, and Kizh peoples (inclusively), and founded upon the displacement and dispossession of the original stewards of the land. Thinking globally, we acknowledge that we write in place: a sacred place referred to as Tovaangar–the world–in the language of the Tongva people.

Writing from our vantage points as Indigenous, Black, Latinx, Third World/Global South, and allied faculty members at UC Irvine, we view global, state-sanctioned projects of settler colonialism, imperialism, and racism as inherently interconnected. From these vantage points, we stand firmly in solidarity with Palestinians struggling to protect and reclaim their illegally occupied territories while confronting an ongoing genocide.

On May 15th, UCI’s administration mobilized 22 militarized police departments to its campus–one that claims to be a Minority Serving Institution–to discipline and dispel dissenters from Israel’s apartheid policies and the US government’s support for them. This carceral and reckless response to protest underscores the university’s complicity in the very systems of subjugation to which protestors have called attention. As experts on issues of settler colonialism, neocolonialism, slavery, racial capitalism, patriarchy, dispossession, carceral states, human rights, abolition, militarism, authoritarianism, and liberation movements, we express our deep outrage at the violent, brutal crackdown on protestors on our campus and the arrests and persecution of our colleagues, staff, and students who were exercising their right to free speech and expression. We also unequivocally support and wish to amplify the demands that emerged from our campus intifada , including divestment from Israel’s war machine, the abolition of cops on campus, and the resignation of Chancellor Gillman.

Enough is enough.

This moment requires decisive and transformative action. More than seven months into Israel’s genocidal war, US-made bombs continue to kill Palestinians, and innocent civilians continue to suffer. Similarly, settler-national governments continue to condone the purposeful eradication of Gaza: its people, its culture, and its institutions, including its universities. The proliferation of encampments on college campuses nationally and worldwide, including here at UCI, comes amid a youth-led awakening about the Palestinian Liberation cause in the aftermath of October 7th and the dismal failure to bring a permanent end to the violence. The student intifadas seek to hold the university accountable for its complicity in the colonial occupation of Palestine and the ongoing
genocide unfolding before our eyes, conducted under an authoritarian, racist, and far-right Israeli administration in Gaza, which has resulted in over 35,000 casualities. Demonstrating moral clarity–and drawing on a long tradition of student protest and social movements–students demanded their universities disentangle from the state of Israel in every way possible and called for the complete re-investment of university resources in brighter futures, not deracinated ones. Some of us have never felt more at home on this campus than when we were submerged in the beautiful space created by the student encampment, nor did we feel more unsafe than when militarized police forces were called to descend upon our academic community. We stand in firm and unequivocal support of the student-led intifada speaking truth to power, and strongly condemn the university’s response.

As a department comprised of scholars whose research and community activism engages human rights violations, grassroots movements, and the coarticulation of incarceration and settler colonialism, we feel–and history tells us–that we have been here before. The over-policing of Black populations and other communities of color has a well-documented history. In a related vein, Indigenous peoples know all too well what it means to be displaced and disappeared, targeted by the genocidal campaigns of the settler-colonial nation state. As scholars who are well-versed in the tactics used by colonial regimes to eradicate and stamp out opposition to territorial incursion, we stand in solidarity with all those who have been part of the resistance. As such, we do not support administrations–whether they are led by Chancellor Howard Gillman or U.S. President Joe Biden–that are complicit in genocide. Similarly, we object to regimes that claim to “confront extremism” while cozying up to it, or those who celebrate “free speech” while arresting and maligning students, faculty, and community members whose central objective is to end the mass killing, land dispossession, and rights violations of the Palestinian people.

Chancellor Gillman is not fit to serve. In response to his unjustifiable, uncalled for, and unconscionable deployment of police action against a peaceful protest, we demand his resignation and offer our collective vote of no confidence in his administration. We demand UC divestment from Israeli settler colonialism and genocide. And we echo Faculty and Staff for Justice In Palestine's support for our students and the necessity of their call, which you can find here.

We believe that there shall be a Free Palestine. But this is unlikely to happen until the United States recognizes and offers repair for its paradigm-setting, ongoing settler colonialism here at home, and its complicity in Israel’s settler colonial and genocidal regime. As the students have been reminding us, our struggles for a better world are interconnected, from Tovaangar and Turtle Island, to the Philippines and Palestine.

And what job do we have, if our students don’t have a future?

Department of Global and International Studies
University of California, Irvine

(Statement approved by department vote on May 24, 2024: 16 Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain, 0 did not vote)




The department of Global and International Studies embraces critical interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the most pressing global issues of our times such as racial capitalism & inequality; war, militarism & conflict; migration & refugees; indigeneity; climate crisis; environmental justice; human rights; gender & sexual rights; global social movements; democracy & authoritarianism.

Welcome to the new 2023 academic year which promises to be a very exciting one. We welcome our fourth cohort of doctoral students as well as three new faculty with wide-ranging expertise in issues of comparative racial politics, Black political thought, diaspora, political sociology, urban studies, global environmental justice, and US militarism. These outstanding scholars have deep field experience in Africa and Latin America and will help the department’s mission in broadening inclusive scholarship and decolonizing knowledge production within the academy. They also underscore the leadership role our department is taking in the field of Global Studies as we build out our interdisciplinary curriculum that engages with the pressing issues of the 21st century. I am thrilled to welcome everyone to the new academic year and embrace the opportunities ahead.   Learn more . . . 
Eve Darian-Smith
Department Chair




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