ASECS Executive Board Statement on Harassment and Abuse

Google doc link

10 November 2017

 

Along with fellow members of ASECS, the Executive Board read with horror Professor Seo-Young Chu’s essay “A Refuge for Jae-in Doe: Fugues in the Key of English Major,” published in Entropy on November 3, 2017, which detailed her rape and abuse at the hands of  the late Stanford University Professor and ASECS member Jay Fliegelman. Last year, when this incident was brought to the Society’s attention, we contacted Professor Chu, and with her permission brought to the ASECS Board and the Graduate Student Caucus, which confers our Graduate Mentorship Award, a proposal to remove his name from this award. The letter Professor Chu addressed to the Board, and which she has now published, moved us deeply. The proposal was accepted unanimously and the name immediately removed from the award. The Board deeply regrets the pain caused to Professor Chu, and perhaps to others, with the initial naming of the award. Professor Chu’s extraordinary courage in bringing the details of her experience to public attention now allows us to make clear the reasons for the name change, and we are grateful that she has called upon our Society more fully to address the problem of harassment and other forms of predatory behavior.

The ASECS Board unequivocally condemns all forms of harassment, discrimination, and abuse, including mistreatment based on sex, race or status. In the months ahead we will be developing policies for incorporation into our bylaws that make clear that harassment and discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated. This process will require the commitment of our entire membership to join together in a firm endorsement of our standards and values.  On behalf of our Society, we accept this charge, and we thank Professor Chu and our colleagues for their eloquence and passion in urging us forward.

Executive Board of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

Susan S. Lanser, President

Dena Goodman, Past President

Melissa Hyde, First Vice President

Jeffrey S. Ravel, Second Vice President

Jill Bradbury, Treasurer

Lisa Berglund, Executive Director

Jenna M. Gibbs, Member at Large

Julia Simon, Member at Large

Lisa Freeman, Member at Large

Tony C. Brown, Member at Large

Mary Terrall, Member at Large

Misty G. Anderson, Member at Large

asecsoffice@gmail.com

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