After “A Refuge for Jae-in Doe”: A Social Media Chronology* / Seo-Young Chu

Image courtesy of Seo-Young Chu

After “A Refuge for Jae-in Doe”: A Social Media Chronology*
*(not including private correspondence)


November 3, 2017 • Entropy

“A Refuge for Jae-in Doe” is published.

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November 6, 2017 • Facebook

For so many years I carried the weight—the guilt—the thought: that the problem had started with me.

I shouldn’t have been so naive. I shouldn’t have “wanted to work with him.” I shouldn’t have gone to his office hours. I shouldn’t have shown my face around the department. I shouldn’t have let him say those things to me.

I shouldn’t have been a young woman genuinely excited by books, by art, and by ideas. I shouldn’t have been the kind of person who would say “I’m in love with this poem!” I shouldn’t have found the material so exciting. I shouldn’t have existed as an intellectual with a remotely desirable body.

I shouldn’t have trusted him to be intelligent and imaginative enough to understand the notion of consent.

Or maybe I should have been intelligent and imaginative enough to understand that his psyche might be thrilled by the prospect of violating another.

After the disaster of Stanford, I found solace in science fiction. I had always loved science fiction, but in the wake of Stanford it became my universe. Its lyricism sustained me. Through it I found ways of dealing with trauma. I found agency. I found my bodies and my voices, new bodies and new voices. I rediscovered reality.

I still have nightmares and anxiety. I struggle with post-traumatic stress. But I’m trying to be better. And I’m getting even better at trying, thanks to Janice Lee and Entropy and all of you who have read “A Refuge for Jae-in Doe” and responded with sensitivity and compassion.

The messages I’ve gotten over the past several days confirm that the problem never started with me. It preceded me. I was not his only victim. He is not the only predator. Stanford is not the only place where sexual violence takes place.

At the same time: My rapist is not the only kind of person in the world. There are good and thoughtful people too. There are people like you.

I’m so sorry that this happened—happens—to me and to all of us. I’m sorry for the pain. I’m thankful for the love.


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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

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November 11, 2017 • Instagram

I used to think my guest lecture for JF’s course (winter 2000) was a dream. #senecafalls #womensrights @stanford @stanfordenglish #humanrights

Image courtesy of Seo-Young Chu

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November 12, 2017 • Facebook

I am deeply sorry to any and all Asian Americans who were mistreated by Jay Fliegelman (in some cases viciously) after his return to Stanford following his two-year suspension without pay. The messages I’ve received are sickening. I am furious that he got away with it. I cannot help but feel responsible for it. I wish that I could do something about it.

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November 13, 2017 • Facebook

Q. The story I heard was that you were failing your classes and that’s why you left

A. Here’s my Stanford transcript. (Zoom in for course grades.)

Image courtesy of Seo-Young Chu

I did fail the Quals Exam.

As I have written elsewhere, I spent that summer studying—from BEOWULF to WHITE NOISE. I also tried to escape my rapist professor by living in Oakland, among other places. I pretended that everything was fine. I was not in contact with my rapist.

The day and night before the exam, language and literature disappeared from my brain. I could not sleep. I could not stay awake. I could not face the prospect of returning to Margaret Jacks Hall. I could not face —it sickened me; my flesh revolted—I could not face the man who had done those things to my body and mind. To my sense of dignity.

(Or maybe I understood the literature too deeply. Maybe CLARISSA, which I had been assigned to read during my first year at Stanford, felt too real for me to bear.)

On the morning of my exam, I contacted the department and said I was quitting the program. In response, they asked another grad student to pick me up at my apartment and drive me to campus.

Inside the exam room I felt cornered. Although JF was not among my examiners, there were two faculty members whom I did not trust due to things I had heard about them from JF himself. I don’t remember the questions. I do remember feeling as if suddenly I was trapped in a war where the only options I had were to fight or to die.

How did I get home? I’m not sure. But my body was wrong. It was numb, all of it. Literally. Frozen.

After I learned that I had failed the exam, the phone rang again. Back then I had no caller ID. With a numb hand and with numb fingers I picked up the phone. The voice on the other end: my rapist offering cheerful condolences.

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November 13, 2017 • Facebook

Jay was a human being. Why tarnish the academic reputation of a brilliant scholar who happened to be a flawed character?

His abuse of me was not just a sign of “flawed character.” It was an instance of scholarly irresponsibility. It was an intellectual failure.

His mind could not grasp that a female student might wish to work with him without being propositioned by him repeatedly.

His inability to understand the word “no” —his inability to understand consent—revealed a vast emptiness in him, a disappointing lack of imagination.

He was indeed a human being.

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November 15, 2017 • Facebook

Dear Professor A— W—,

In the year 2000, you directly witnessed Professor Jay Fliegelman’s mistreatment of me.

The three of us were in his living room. I had been late to the gathering. I had not wanted to be there.

(I used to be the kind of person who eagerly looked forward to academic events.)

He was the William Robertson Coe Professor of American Literature in the English Department at Stanford University.

You were an assistant professor in the English Department at Stanford University.

I was a first-year graduate student in the English Department at Stanford University.

You saw and heard the abuse.

How did you respond? Did you try to intervene? No. You laughed and played along.

At the time I forgave you. What else could you have done, right? You did not yet have tenure.

Today, you are Richard W. Lyman Professor of the Humanities and Chair of the English Department at Stanford University.

In an article online, you exuberantly praise the man who sexually harassed me before your eyes.

You befriended him even after he was punished by Stanford University for what he did to me.

Now that you are chair of the English Department at Stanford University, you have considerable power and responsibility. How will you use your privilege?

Note: I am not interested in suing you.

I am not asking for an apology. (People tell me that to ask you for an apology would be asking for too much.)

All I ask, then, is for you to explain why you chose to befriend a man who unapologetically committed sexual violence. (What you saw, by the way, was not the worst of it.)

Again: I am not suing you.

I am too tired to seek an apology.

I am seeking a thoughtful explanation written in the English language.

Thank you.
Seo-Young J. Chu

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November 16, 2017 • Facebook

Q. Shouldn’t you be doing your job?

A. This year I am on sabbatical leave. I’m supposed to be completing my book on North Korea. Instead (or in addition) I am answering questions about sexual violence and the abuse of power in academia. I am trying to make sense of what happened to me at Stanford. I am learning that the fallout from sexual violence is toxic and far-reaching in ways most people don’t understand.

Dealing with the aftermath of sexual violence is hard work. The labor is emotional, intellectual, scholarly, and sometimes physical. Such work is often unacknowledged; moreover, it is in many ways unacknowledgeable. (I can’t exactly put “Played a part in renaming an award originally named after my rapist” on my cv.)

One reason why such work goes unacknowledged: sexual violence—so sickening, so vile—is itself difficult to acknowledge as part of our reality. The work of thinking and writing about it is then sometimes misperceived as dirty, “salacious,” toxic, dangerous, undignified, and unreal.

(There are individuals who do not wish to be associated with me. I understand their reluctance— perhaps more than they know.)

In truth the toxicity inheres in the original acts of violence. I didn’t ask to be violated. But as someone who was near the blast and who somehow survived, I can offer evidence of injury and injustice. As a survivor who is lucky and privileged to have tenure, I feel an obligation to stay actively involved in my own case and to keep bearing witness—even if it means losing friends.

You may not be able to see the invisible work in which I’ve been engaging, but I have in fact been doing my job. I am doing it right now.

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November 18, 2017 • Facebook

Dear Professor A— W—:

In a tribute to Jay Fliegelman in the 2007 English Department Newsletter, you write:

“How do you remember spontaneity? This is a paradox—and a challenge—that will stay with the friends and family, students and colleagues who loved Jay for a long time. We will try to repeat or remember or imitate Jay’s intelligent, rebellious, and deeply generous spontaneity—but improvisation, of course, doesn’t lend itself to repetition. This is not merely a new question, however—it’s one that has always struck friends of Jay with particular force.”

Spontaneity. I remember Jay’s spontaneity. I was “struck” by it—literally and figuratively—with “particular force.”

He was indeed skilled at “improvisation.” In my experience with him I never knew which to expect: the brilliant teacher, the man who gossiped crudely about others in the department, the lewd braggart, the Stanford insider, the collector of rare objects, the man to whom I was more puppet than human.

I don’t doubt your characterization of Jay. I believe you. I believe you when you describe Jay’s spontaneity as “deeply generous.” You are fortunate to have enjoyed that side of him.

Is it too much for me to ask you to believe me when I say that Jay’s “spontaneity” could be ungenerous too? Is it beyond the limits of your imagination to believe that his “spontaneity” broke me, shocked me, shamed me, left me deformed and hollow? To this day I wonder if I count as a whole person. I doubt my intelligence constantly, even as I struggle to forgive a man whose inability to grasp the word “no” constituted a remarkable failure of the intellect. I feel guilty for having been, and still being, a queer woman, an Asian American woman, a mentally ill woman—a woman. I feel guilty for having dared to try to get a PhD at Stanford University.

You also write: “As with one of Jay’s brilliant off-the-cuff monologues, ‘you had to be there.’ Jay’s spontaneity was always, in fact, connected to his life-affirming refusal of illness—his intellectual power always played out both against, and in relation to, his aware-ness of frailty and vulnerability.”

Yes, Professor Fliegelman’s institutional power played out against and in relation to his awareness of my frailty and vulnerability. He abused his power. He exploited my vulnerability. Many people were hurt in the aftermath. It did not have to be that way. It should not have to be that way.

“You had to be there,” you write. Maybe that’s why the Stanford English Department can’t seem to believe that Jay Fliegelman raped me. *You had to be there.*

What I don’t understand is why you can’t seem to believe that Jay Fliegelman sexually harassed and intimidated me. You didn’t have to be there. You were there.

All I seek: An explanation. Answers. In order to be a better professor myself, I need to understand how my professional life began. In order to be able to speak on behalf of anyone else, I need first to speak openly and fluently on my own behalf.

Thank you for reading this letter.
Seo-Young Chu

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November 19, 2017 • Facebook

According to my emails, Professor Jay Fliegelman raped me on/around Saturday 2/5/2000.

To keep him from continuing to assault me, I told him that I was a lesbian. The truth: I was attracted to women and men. I had just turned 22, was sexually inexperienced, and felt thoroughly confused about my sexuality. But because my dissertation adviser’s ego was so fragile, and because he controlled my professional future, I felt I had no choice but to let his institutional power determine my sexual orientation before I could make an honest decision for myself.

He continued to harass me. For weeks. For months.

I was hospitalized (psychiatry) from 2/19 to 2/21. After I was discharged, my rapist paid a visit to the ward where I had stayed. He visited not as a patient, but as a professor concerned about a student. How do I know about this visit? He told me about it himself.

When I sought information about the English Department sexual harassment liaison, I was referred to Jay Fliegelman’s dissertation adviser, friend, and mentor:  Professor George Dekker. I could not trust George Dekker. He would have sided with his protege.

The department chair at the time was Professor Terry Castle. Knowing that I was attracted to women, Jay enjoyed taunting me with explicit fantasies about the Department Chair. Later, he let me know that he told her I had a crush on her. How was I supposed to respond? I never knew exactly how to interact with Professor Castle when I took her class during the spring. Did she know that I was being abused and gaslit? Did she know about the rape? How could she know–and yet how could she not? We were reading and analyzing CLARISSA.

I still blame myself for not leaving as soon as the abuse began. All I had to do: walk away. Pack my belongings in a car. Drive. Into the open future: drive. I know it’s just a fantasy. But in some alternative universe, it is what happened. She has a daughter now. She has a house full of plants. She has a cog (part dog, part cat). And she is not an agoraphobe. For a living, she teaches others how to fly–without the aid of airplanes. The first step is to shut one’s eyes and imagine floating.

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Sent: Monday, November 20, 2017 6:42:32 PM
To: Seo-Young J Chu
Subject: Letter from the Stanford Graduate Community

Dear Professor Chu,

We are writing to you today to respond to your lyric essay, “A Refuge for Jae-in Doe: Fugues in the Key of English Major.” As current and former PhD students at Stanford, we are familiar with your story’s setting, and the communities there: Margaret Jacks Hall, graduate student housing, the Stanford campus and greater Bay Area. As such, we read your words with a mixture of horror, sadness, and recognition. We write to say that we believe you, and we stand with you.

We are committed to fighting misconduct and abuse and supporting survivors. We will also follow your lead in seeing literary studies as a site of both pain and renewal. As we work towards material change, we are grateful for your bravery, your clarity, and your honesty.

In solidarity,

The Graduate Students of the Stanford Department of English

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November 21, 2017 • Facebook

I couldn’t sleep last night. I have a radio interview this afternoon—recorded, not live. These interviews are like exams to me. I need to be prepared for questions about Stanford, questions about what happened to my body and my psyche on that campus. Meanwhile I have yet to receive any answers from Stanford in response to my own questions. Such silence is loud, especially at 5am. I realized this morning that maybe I need to modify my strategy. My words aren’t working, but something else might. I now plan to donate money to the Stanford English Department specifically for the purposes of getting them to talk about sexual violence in academia. My question: How much money does an honest and open dialogue cost? I’m being completely serious.

Image courtesy of Seo-Young Chu

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November 21, 2017 • Facebook

Interview was fine, but I stammered here and there and may not have used the English language correctly. Also at one point I started to shake involuntarily and then was crying a bit. Finished interview okay. Left studio, wandered, dissociated, am now in a CVS. Everything smells like cinnamon. Everything sounds like my voice saying: “To stop my professor from raping me again, I had to lie about my sexuality.” What I realized during the interview—what I forgot to say out loud—is that no student should feel trapped into lying about her sexual orientation just in order to avoid being raped by a man who threatens to control her career. And no survivor should be told that being attracted to individuals of all genders means that one was “asking for it.”

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November 21, 2017 • Twitter

He harassed & raped me. He never apologized. He was suspended for two years without pay. He returned to campus, enjoyed a “Jayfest,” has a library named after him, & is celebrated by the current @StanfordEnglish chair. @Stanford your silence is toxic. How much does dialogue cost?

Image courtesy of Seo-Young Chu

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November 27, 2017 • Facebook

Many thanks for your comments and messages. Reading through them, I see so much conflicting advice. All of it comes from a place of generosity and friendship. Such dissonance confirms what we already know. Addressing sexual violence is an infinitely complicated matter that requires thoughtful, patient, ingenious dialogue.

I’m grateful for your voices.

I have numerous thoughts and questions about the letter I received yesterday. For example:

  • I have no memory of being compelled to watch a “porno video.” (Was I drugged?) I do remember being compelled by Professor Fliegelman to stroke the pages of a pornographic book, a book that happened to be rare and antique. Why would Stanford omit that detail?
  • The “contact” between his body and mine was more extensive than what the letter describes. Why isn’t the word “rape” mentioned?
  • Why doesn’t the letter mention my hospitalization?

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November 28, 2017 • Facebook

Dear Stanford,

Thank you for your letter. Thank you for apologizing for what you allowed Professor Jay Fliegelman to do to me in the year 2000. Your condolences are helpful.

Thank you for your summary of the report. The summary answered some questions. Yet it left other questions unanswered. Moreover, the summary raised new questions.

For these reasons, and given that Jay Fliegelman is no longer alive, I hereby request a copy of the investigation report itself and a copy of the censure letter Jay Fliegelman received.

If there are other victims or individuals whose privacy rights are implicated, please redact that information and send me the redacted version of the report.

I am also writing to request your responses to the following concerns.

Is there a reason why I was not given a copy of the report in 2000/2001?

Why doesn’t the summary mention my hospitalization?

Was Jay Fliegelman ever reported by anyone other than me?

I have no memory of being compelled to watch a “porno video.” (Was I drugged?) I do remember being compelled by Professor Fliegelman to “stroke” the pages of a pornographic book, a book that happened to be rare and antique. Why would Stanford mention the “porno video” and omit the rare antique pornographic book? Might such a book have been part of the “Fliegelman Library” that Stanford now possesses?

Why did the investigation find Jay Fliegelman responsible for harassment and not assault? The “contact” between his body and mine was more extensive than what the summary describes. Why isn’t the word “rape” mentioned? He violated the place between my thighs with both his mouth and his genitalia. I unfortunately remember him shoving his body into mine. (I hate the fact that I had to type those words.)

I hope and trust that the Stanford English Department is using my (small) donation to promote honest, patient, thoughtful, revelatory, productive dialogue about sexual violence at Stanford and in academia.

Thank you again for your humanity and your care.

Seo-Young Chu

Seo-Young J. Chu • Associate Professor • Department of English • Queens College, CUNY

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November 29, 2017 • Facebook

Journalist: “Are you sure it happened? Are you sure you weren’t imagining it?”

“Yes, I’m sure,” I answered. In the hectic charge of the moment, I didn’t think to ask why she would ask me such questions. Now I wonder if the fact that I was—am—bipolar made her doubt my veracity.

Of course it did. And I understand that her questions were rigorous, that she was doing her job and doing it well. I just wonder: Do journalists ask those accused of sexual assault, “Are you sure you weren’t imagining that she was sexually attracted to you? Are you sure she was a willing partner? Are you sure the consent was not a figment of your imagination?”

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December 3, 2017 • Facebook

What should his punishment have been?

All of my answers are science-fictional. A virtual reality program allowing him to feel exactly how I felt. Time travel to a future where righteous women rule the universe. Being forced to re-live, from my point of view, over and over again, the violation of consent.

But none of these answers are realistic.

I used to think that his punishment was severe. Now that I know what I know, I’m stunned and appalled.

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December 14, 2017 • Twitter

To the cat in the photo and to all other readers: “thank you” feels inadequate, but all I have is *thank you*—for bearing witness, for sharing the pain, for recognizing me as a sentient creature. I recognize you too.

@diddioz @sarafinn @EntropyMag
Best of 2017: Most Popular Articles on Entropy –

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December 27, 2017 • Facebook

Q. What do you want?

A. Right now I want (1) to receive a copy of the report, and (2) to be included in honest and respectful dialogue about sexual violence in the Stanford English department.

I need to understand what happened to my body and my psyche in the year 2000.

Am I asking for too much? A friend of mine says that I should forget Stanford— just let it go. He can’t bear to see me waste my energy and time on the past. He says I should let myself enjoy life, move forward, and feel comfortable.

Of course I want to enjoy life and move forward, etc. But there is a hole in the year 2000 where my life keeps disappearing like sand into an alien hourglass. And there are two concrete steps that Stanford University can take to help repair the injury. (See above.) Step 1 alone would require minimal effort.

For me simply to ignore such facts and feel like a comfortable human being would be impossible. Or perhaps it would be possible with the aid of extreme drugs. Both because and although I often fantasize about blissful oblivion, consuming extreme drugs is not an option that I can pursue.

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January 10, 2018 • Facebook

Dear Provost P— D—:

Thank you for your 11/28/17 blog post. I am glad that Stanford University now welcomes the “#spotlight on #sexual_assault and #sexual #misconduct perpetrated by individuals #abusing their positions of authority and influence.”

I hope to engage in open and constructive dialogue with you. For now I have a few questions and comments. If there are any errors below, I want you to let me know. I trust that you are as devoted to correcting mistakes as I am.

You write: “In 2013, consensual sexual or romantic relationships were prohibited between faculty members and undergraduate students as well as between faculty and graduate students for whom the faculty member has or may in the future have academic responsibility.”

Thank you for mentioning this detail. Your post would be even stronger, I think, if you included a clearer explanation of the ways in which #Stanford can prevent *non-consensual* “relationships.”

Let me give you an example of how one such “relationship” began.

In 1999, a 21-year-old #KoreanAmerican woman named Jennie Chu arrived on Stanford campus. Why was she at Stanford? She was there to receive an education. She was there to be trained at a school that had been characterized to her as one of the best in the world. She was there to write a dissertation and to earn a degree. If she was lucky, she might eventually find a tenure-track job.

She did not go to Stanford to be invited by her #dissertation #adviser to a one-on-one dinner where his questions about her work would be oddly juxtaposed with his questions about her sexuality. She did not go to Stanford to be “mentored” with the line “All men have #rape #fantasies, including your father.” (Her “#mentor” said this after Jennie shared with him the fact that her father had been #orphaned by the #KoreanWar.) She did not go to Stanford imagining that the William Robertson #Coe Professor of American Literature would see the scars on her wrists, ask about them, learn that she had recently been diagnosed with a #disability called bipolar disorder, and nevertheless proceed to violate her mind and her body.

(Or did he target her *because of* rather than despite her disability?)

Remember, too: Jennie was new to California, new to Stanford, and new to the profession. Professor Jay #Fliegelman had been at Stanford University and in the profession for decades. His own Stanford dissertation adviser, Professor #GeorgeDekker, was still teaching when Jennie started the PhD program. In fact, Professor Dekker was the department sexual #harassment liaison—or so Jennie was informed when at one point she tried to seek help.

Jennie was harassed and raped by more than just a man. According to Professor Ramon Saldivar #RamónSaldívar, Professor Fliegelman was “an institution unto himself” (“Jay Fliegelman, leading figure in American studies, dies at 58,” by Cynthia Haven, Stanford News Service, 8/17/07).

Jennie was violated by an #institution. A Stanford institution.

The “education”—the brutal #hazing—Jennie received at the hands of Stanford University was so devastating that she could not bear to continue being “Jennie.” Right after Stanford molested me, I started to go by my Korean name: Seo-Young.

I have been accused of being naïve and trusting. These accusations are true. I was naïve to trust Stanford. I was naïve to trust Professor Fliegelman. I was naïve to trust that the #WilliamRobertsonCoe Professor of American Literature would know how to use his power responsibly and with intelligence.

(Scenario: you are a vulnerable graduate student. Your adviser—the William Robertson Coe Professor; a man so powerful that he is known as an “institution unto himself”—asks you if you are a virgin. How do you respond? Startled, I told him, honestly, yes. Was that the wrong answer? Was that where I began to give “#consent”? Was I supposed to lie? Was I supposed to tell this powerful man—a man who had the ability to ruin my career—that he had crossed a line? I have replayed that moment countless times in my head. Tell me, #Provost #PersisDrell, what should I have done?)

I may seem to remain naïve in many ways. For example: I have never hired a lawyer. I have never sued Professor Fliegelman or Stanford University. I am not interested in suing Stanford University. I don’t want your money. Although I am far from rich, I am lucky to be able to afford existing on this planet without financial assistance from a school that still gives me nightmares about having no future worth living.

What do I want? As I wrote above, I want #dialogue. I want #answerability. I want Stanford to take my questions seriously.

Why does Stanford let academic “stars” get away with sexual violence? #DonaldTrump: “when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” Is this how Stanford wishes to be known—as a #Trump university?

Does the naïveté of a vulnerable student make her culpable of “consenting to rape”? Is that the message you hope to communicate to the world?

When #prospective Stanford #students and #parents and Stanford #alumni ask me, “Can we #trust Stanford?” how should I honestly respond?

Thank you again for welcoming the spotlight.

I look forward to productive #dialogue with you and with other members of the Stanford community.

Seo-Young Chu

A few relevant links:

A Refuge for Jae-in Doe: Fugues in the Key of English Major

Former students of Jay Fliegelman describe inappropriate relationships, sexual misconduct in 1980s, 1990s

What Happens When Sex Harassment Disrupts Victims’ Academic Careers

Ghost From the Past

“A Professor Is Kind of Like a Priest”

Open Letter from Alumni to Stanford: Not in Our Name

Stanford: Sexual misconduct revelation exposes storied professor’s secret

Behind the Fliegelman sexual misconduct investigation

Former Grad Students: Our Professors Raped Us

SEA Executive Committee statement regarding Prof. Jay Fliegelman

Spotlight on sexual misconduct


Seo-Young Chu
Associate Professor
Department of English
Queens College, CUNY

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January 12, 2018 • Facebook

As soon as I opened the “List of Titles in the Jay #Fliegelman #Library” (emailed to me by a librarian at #Stanford), I started to cry. I had no power over my body. I wept. It sounded like laughter, but it was not laughter. Perhaps it was not even crying. I don’t know what it was. All I know is that water was streaming from two holes in my face and my body was shaking and my lungs were full of pleas.

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January 12, 2018 • Facebook (comment in response to a question)

I needed to find out which books JF used as “weapons” of rape. I found one of the books and am hoping Stanford doesn’t decide to sell or destroy it before I visit next month:

“107. Barbarities of the Enemy, Exposed in a Report. Worcester, 1814.
[Waste sheets from Fanny Hill on cover; a remarkable survival]”

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January 25, 2018 • Twitter

Dear @Stanford: Here is my reply to your silence. I will give up access to the report on the investigation of my rape if you do the following: Donate one million dollars to @rainn on behalf, in honor, in the name of all survivors of sexual violence. This would help heal wounds.

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Editors’ note: This contribution is part of a featured grouping on toxic masculinities and new solidarities in academic and artistic institutions. The other contributions include:

The Passion of Contra Diabolum by Sarah Heston
What is Academia? by Kim Calder and Evan Kleekamp
What Does an Artist Look Like? by Jennifer Dalton