Friday, July 18, 2008

A Correction from Temple U

I seem to be mentioning my friend and Temple colleague Chip Delany a lot in this venue: it's thanks to him, see, that I ended up connected with this "scientifiction" thing that seems to interest y'all. So, with his permission, I want to share his response to the claims made about him here and in related posts:
"I have never said I am more oppressed (or even marginalized) than you to a graduate student--or to any one else. (Given my family and its social place in black society, that would be absurd. No, we weren't rich by any means--people don't quite get that. [My father probably never made an income comparable to an average doctor's today; though we had doctors in the family.] But socially we were at the top of an admittedly very small heap.) Since 1988 I have been bitterly aware that the most oppressed and exploited group in academia is graduate students [adjuncts are of course suffering at least as much]. Of course I made ten times as much as they did, and I knew it too. From the first year I taught at UMass in 89, I have been telling graduate students that if a tenured faculty member does not buy them dinner at least once a month, they are being actively oppressed by that faculty member. The only way I could have said that to Susan was in the most subjunctive mode ('It's just possible that . . . ') and--in the four days of Clarion--I might well not have realized that she was a graduate student and thought she was a Yale undergraduate."
(Bracketed bits are also Delany's own). This account sounds credible to me; perhaps, in that heated panel exchange, Susan's memory was erroneous.

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