After writing an inflammatory statement on his blog The Spine, Marty Peretz, the editor of The New Republic and former Harvard University professor, has come under fire from a variety of people — including members of the Harvard faculty.
Now, The Harvard Crimson is reporting that Peretz may have been removed as a speaker. The official schedule for the day does not list him as making a speech, and Anya Bernstein, director of studies at the department, confirmed that the website was updated yesterday. (The full schedule can be found here, at the department’s website.)
The New York Times reported last week that university officials have been discussing the possibility of downplaying Peretz’s role in an upcoming 50th anniversary of the social studies department, where the outspoken publisher was to be honored for establishing an undergraduate research fund in his name.
The Times quoted the president of the Harvard Islamic Society as saying that because of Peretz’s statement — which reads “Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims” — the department would “alienate a large segment of the student body” if they did not ask Peretz, a Harvard alumna, to bow out of the ceremony.
The Crimson said the development comes on the heels of yesterday’s interdepartmental meeting that was called to discuss the criticism.
The official statement that was to appear yesterday has not materialized, and a confirmation on exactly how Peretz will participate is still forthcoming. Bernstein did, however, say that he will be “recognized in some fashion at the ceremony.”