Unterstützungserklärungen aus den USA und Mexiko – „Causa Werlhof“ sorgt weltweit für Ruf nach freier und kritischer Wissenschaft

In spontanen Unterstützungserklärungen haben sich WissenschaftlerInnen aus der ganzen Welt hinter Prof. Claudia von Werlhof gestellt, die seit mehreren Wochen Opfer einer medialen Kampagne gegen ihre persönliche und wissenschaftliche Integrität geworden ist. Unter den UnterzeichnerInnen der unterschiedlichen Erklärungen, die ein freies, kritisches und unabhängiges Wissenschaftsverständnis einfordern, befinden sich u. a. Immanuel Wallerstein, Silvia Federici, Michel Chossudovsky und Gustavo Esteva.

Das Forschungsinstitut für Patriarchatskritik stellt die offenen Briefe als PDF-Download zur Verfügung:

1) CARTA COLECTIVA, Universidad de la Tierra en Oaxaca, A. C.:

We have known for a long time the academic work of Claudia von Werlhof, professor in the Institute of Political Science in your university. Some of us have had the honor and the pleasure of knowing her personally. We had recognized in her a solid scholar, a brilliant public intellectual and a radical, innovative thinker. This has been explicitly recognized by some of the most important thinkers of the XX century, like Ivan Illich, who mentioned his conversations with Claudia as a source of inspiration for his research on gender. Claudia’s ideas are discussed today all around the world, in the most diverse settings. Her brilliant and rigorous studies on Latin American campesinos are still a landmark in peasant studies. Claudia’s contributions to our theoretical and historical knowledge in many areas have been explicitly recognized for a long time. Google reports almost a 100 000 quotes/citations…

The current campaign against Claudia, disqualifying her informed opinions and even her mental health or her capacity as a professor, are outrageous and preposterous. However, they should be taken seriously, as the expression of a current mood in certain circles of public opinion, mostly associated with neoliberalism and often conveying a kind of anti-intellectualism.

We want to explicitly side with Claudia and offer her all our support and solidarity.


Gustavo Esteva, Chairman of the Board. With

Fatma Alloo, Tanzania Media Women’s Association (TANZANIA)
Manolo Callahan, University of California (UNITED STATES)
Oliver Fröhling, Universidad de la Tierra en Oaxaca (MEXICO),
Arturo Guerrero, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (MEXICO)
Peter Horsley, Massey University (NEW ZEALAND)
Pat Lauderdale, University of Arizona (UNITED STATES)
Sylvia Marcos (MEXICO)

Michal Osterweil, University of North Carolina (UNITED STATES)
Jean Robert, Universidad de Morelos (MEXICO),
Savysaachi, Jamilia Millia Islamia (Central University) (INDIA)
Derek Shaw, University of British Columbia (CANADA)
Aseem Shrivastava, Nordic College (NORWAY)

Additional signatures: 25.3.2010:

Monty Neill, National Center for Fair & Open Testing (UNITED STATES)
Harry Cleaver, University of Texas (UNITED STATES)
Raymundo Sánchez Barraza, Universidad de la Tierra en Chiapas (MEXICO)
George Caffentzis, University of Southern Maine at Portland, Maine (UNITED STATES)
Immanuel Wallerstein, Yale University (UNITED STATES)
Genevieve Vaughan, http://www.gift-economy.com. (UNITED STATES/ITALY)
Bernedette Muthien, „Engender“, 031-555 NPO, http://www.engender.org.za Cape Town (SOUTH AFRICA)
Danica Borkovich Anderson, Forensic Psychotherapist/CEO, The Kolo: Women’s Cross Cultural Collaboration, International USA Based NGO, http://www.kolocollaboration.org
Edward M. Oberweiser
Elaine Charkowski
Corinne Kumar, World Courts of Women, (INDIA/TUNESIA)

Brief downloaden: [PDF CARTA COLECTIVA: Brief4]

2) Brief aus den USA der Professoren Caffentzis und Federici:

Dear Rektor Töchterle,

We, Profs. George Caffentzis and Silvia Federici and many other concerned people listed below, are writing to you because we are deeply disturbed by the defamatory campaign that has been waged against our esteemed colleague, Prof. Dr. Claudia von Werlhof, ostensibly generated by remarks she made in the course of a published interview with a journalist of „Der Standard“. We are especially appalled by the threats that have been made to her academic position and to her personally. We have been also concerned by the manner in which her comments have been misrepresented in the media. It is difficult for us to understand how a statement she made concerning the status of public debate could be cast as a conspiratorial theory as it has been by the press.

Sadly enough, the response which Prof. Werlhof’s interview has received verifies the central point that she made in it, which has been lost in the verbal blustering her detractors have indulged in. That is, in the growing climate of political intolerance it is increasingly difficult to bring to the public’s attention any view not aligned with the dominant accounts.

As an illustration of her point, Prof. Werlhof noted in her interview that no consideration had been given in the media to the possibility that the Haitian earthquake may have been artificially produced. Such concern is not unjustified, considering that the existence of technologies capable of triggering earthquakes has been widely acknowledged by scientists, for many years now, at least in the United States. [See for example, James Glanz’s June 24, 2009 NY Times article entitled „Deep in Bedrock, Clean Energy and Quake Fears“ on the recognition of the connection between human activities and earthquakes, „Planet Earth: The Latest Weapon of War“ by Alternative Nobel Prize winner Rosalie Bertell which deals with the possible military uses of such technologies].

Like Prof. Werlhof, we are not interested in belaboring this point. Instead, our concern is that a public intellectual of the caliber of Professor Werlhof is being smeared both in the media and in her own institute for deploring the narrowness of publicly sanctioned debate. Such an attack, especially when coming from academic authorities, is not only an act of injustice. It is also an egregious violation of the principle of academic freedom that protects scholars’ search for truth.

As the Rektor of Innsbruck University, we therefore appeal to you to defend Prof. von Werlhof’s right, as an academic and as a citizen, to bring to the public’s attention debates about hypotheses that diverge from the mainstream narrative without fear of reprisals and character assassination. Let us not forget that it is society that suffers when such a right is violated.

In pressing this demand, we also wish to remind you that Prof. von Werlhof is an internationally admired public intellectual who through her writings and lecturing has given a major contribution to feminist theory and to our understanding of the relation between women and the environment. Thus, in our eyes the reaction that has met her interview in „Der Standard“, is simply outrageous and damages the reputation of her detractors not Prof. Werlhof’s.

We look forward to your prompt action on this urgent matter concerning academic freedom.


Prof. George Caffentzis, Department of Philosophy, University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine 04104-9300,
USA (caffentz@usm.maine.edu)

Prof. Emerita Silvia Federici, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY (Silvia. Federici@hofstra.edu)


Christy Amschler, M.A.; Los Angeles, CA (UNITED STATES)
Danica Borkovich Anderson, Forensic Psychotherapist/CEO, The Kolo: Women’s Cross Cultural Collaboration, International USA Based NGO, http://www.kolocollaboration.org
Chhaya Datar, Professor of Women’s Studies at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (INDIA)
Massimo De Angelis (University of East London, UNITED KINGDOM)
Michel Chossudovsky (Centre for Research on Globalization, CANADA)
Patrick Gun Cuninghame (Tenured Profesor, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Mexico City, MEXICO)
Professor Emeritus Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (California State University, UNITED STATES)
Gustavo Esteva (Universidad de la Tierra de Oaxaca, MEXICO)
Nick Faraclas (University of Puerto Rico, PUERTO RICO)
Ferruccio Gambino (Department of Sociology, University of Padova, ITALY)
D’vorah J. Grenn, Ph.D. Co-Director & Core Faculty Women’s Spirituality MA Program Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, California
Andrej Grubacic (San Francisco Art Institute, UNITED STATES)
Kay Keys, Ph.D., Austin, TX, UNITED STATES
Prof. David Laibman (Brooklyn College and Graduate School of the City Univesity of New York, UNITED STATES)
Linda Lancz
Dr. Les Levidow (Senior Research Fellow, Open University, UNITED KINGDOM)
Prof. Peter Linebaugh (University of Toledo, UNITED STATES)
Prof. Dr. Maria Mies, FHS Köln, GERMANY
Neill Monty, Director, Fairtest, UNITED STATES
Andrea Nicki, Department of Women’s Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, CANADA
Viecky Noble, Santa Cruz/California, UNITED STATES
Ph.D. Louise M. Paré, Center for Women’s Spirituality Education and
Empowerment (Ashland, OR) (UNITED STATES)
Lydia Rule, lydiarule@40aol.com (UNITED STATES)
Prof. Kathy Russell, State University of New York at Cortland, UNITED STATES
Nawal el Saadawi (writer, EGYPT)
Devi Sachetto, Department of Sociology, University of Padova, ITALY
Dr. Erella Shadmi, peace and feminist activist, Beit Berl College, ISRAEL
Prof. Annette Kuhn, Historikerin, em. Univ. Bonn mit Schwerpunkt
Frauengeschichte, Vorsitzende des Haus der FrauenGeschichte e.V. und Initiatorin der Annette-Kuhn-Stiftung, GERMANY

Brief downloaden: [PDF WERLHOF SOLIDARITY: Brief 5a]

3) Dr. Renate Klein und Dr. Susan Hawthorne (Spinifex Press) an Rektor Töchterle:

Dear Sir,

We are very disturbed to hear that unwarranted and hysterical attacks are being made against the reputation of Professor Claudia von Werlhof. Her work is regarded highly all around the world, indeed the reputation of your institution of higher learning has gained much from her work. We believe that you will damage the reputation of the University of Innsbruck should you support the attacks on the reputation of one of your finest scholars.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Renate Klein
Associate Professor in Women’s Studies (retired)
Deakin University

Dr Susan Hawthorne
Research Associate, Victoria University
Publisher and Director, Spinifex Press

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