Of Sticks and Stones, Words that Wound, and Actions Speaking Louder: When Academic Bullying Becomes Everyday Oppression

Harry Denny


This article takes up Tyler Clementi's suicide and the "It Gets Better" YouTube campaign in response to it as occasions to complicate oppression in the context of academic workplaces.  The article distinguishes "vulgar" oppression as a mass disciplining/disciplinary mechanism (like Clementi's death and the media coverage of it and the subsequent criminal trial) from "everyday" oppression as tactics (like bullying and mobbing) workers use to leverage for power and status. The author uses his own experience with everyday academic mobbing as a cautionary tale for pre-tenure and LGBTQ faculty.


bullying; mobbing; tenure-track faculty; administration; queer theory; LGBTQ studies

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ISSN 1715-0094  Workplace