One of the great paradoxes that besets any intellectual attempting to disentangle the wider significance of contemporaneous events from the hegemonic discourses within which they would otherwise remain trapped is that such an effort necessitates a historical appraisal of the present moment. One is tasked not so much with putting the present in conversation with the past, but rather, thinking of the present as the past, thereby taking seriously Walter Benjamin's imperative to “brush history against the grain.” This is precisely what Sunaina Maira does with her latest volume, Boycott! The Academy and Justice for Palestine, one of the first intellectual histories of the growing scholarly movement advocating...

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