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Institutional collaboration in difficult times

Collaboration amid turmoil

A letter from the director

Amsterdam, October 16th, 2023

Dear NIAS community,

The escalating disaster in Israel-Palestine is having its effects on our community. Relations between fellows and partners are under pressure. Sadly, the current moment is one in which we can hardly be expected to productively talk through our differences. And yet I feel we urgently need to come together. I call upon you to jointly assess the impact that sharply opposing viewpoints have on our community – a community of scholarly inspiration and of institutional collaboration. I request that we jointly identify and design ways of maintaining a sound and mutually accountable space – a space in which no catastrophe is ignored, in which all trauma is acknowledged, and in which, at the same time, listening is our primary reaction. I feel it should be possible for all of us to continue to be and to work together. I hope that as academics we are at all times able to remain in touch, despite profound differences of opinion between us.

On behalf of all NIAS staff,

Jan Willem Duyvendak, NIAS Director

This letter is a shortened version of an invitation to all fellows currently at NIAS, upon which a meeting with them and NIAS staff took place today. You can find our Standing Statement of Concern here.