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Dear Dr. Brown

20 September, 2017

Just stop.

Stop punching down.

Stop your incessant attention-seeking.

Stop dog-whistling to your alt-right fan club.

Stop using racist and anti-Semitic references that you think are clever. They aren’t. 

Stop posting screenshots from private Facebook pages,  even if people have chosen to break faith with the individual or community owners of those pages. 

Stop bringing my profession into disrepute. 

Stop twisting and misrepresenting other people’s words.

Stop. Just. Stop.
Seriously, this summer has been hard enough without having to put up with your shit. It’s not about you, or it wasn’t until you decided to hijack a conversation and make it about you. That post of Dorothy Kim’s at In The Middle? It was about Charlottesville, and Leeds, and any number of other things that aren’t you. And even, even if it were about you, what you are doing is just wrong. It’s wrong to go after a junior colleague, especially one without tenure. Period. 

Beyond that, I just don’t get how you can consistently refer to your conversion to Catholicism, and yet behave in ways that are about as far from Christ-like as possible — or at least not in any way I learnt in catechism. 

So please… just stop. 
Another Damned Medievalist

Professor of History

Carolingianist, diplomaticist, translator, gender historian, fan of Fulda, member of SMFS and the Medieval Academy,

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Eliza permalink
    21 September, 2017 1:28 am

    Thank you for this.

    I was raised a Catholic and I see none of it in practice in Dr Brown’s posts. No sense of kindness towards Dr Kim as she finds her footing as a professor– only spite bristling beneath what she thinks is amusing.

    It’s been awful. It continues to be awful.

  2. Barbara Bradley permalink
    19 July, 2018 8:08 pm

    Enough with your shaming and silencing! Your accusations are hysterical and ludicrous. Professor Brown puts her name to her words. You cower in darkness and spit venom, too ashamed to take responsibility for yours even when you are surrounded by like-minded group-thinkers eager to appear morally superior. If you think she is wrong, why don’t you face her and talk to her? I promise she won’t bite you. In fact, she will treat you far better than you deserve because that’s the kind of person she is.

    • 20 July, 2018 4:21 pm

      Oh dear.
      It’s curious that no one noticed this when it was written, and unsurprising that you are not reading this in the context and timeline of last year’s events. The accusations (and I hesitate at characterizing them in that way) are neither hysterical — by the way, a classically misogynist characterisation — nor ludicrous. Dr. Brown, a tenured faculty member at a prestigious research university, punched down. In other words, she hit from a position of relatively greater power than Dr. Kim’s. And she did so by employing tactics that most longtime bloggers and internet users agree are potentially dangerous. My comm

      When I wrote this, it was clear to me that Professor Brown was either unaware of, or willing to disregard, longtime norms of academic blogging. Speaking of which, a considered look at this blog and its history shows that I have been writing pseudonymously for almost twenty years. When I began this blog, that was the convention, unless one was a man in a safely tenured position. Back then, many universities looked askance at blogging, and faculty who blogged were at risk of being accused of time-wasting. It is because of my generation of bloggers that scholars like Dr. Kim and Dr. Brown have the freedom to blog as they do.

      Finally, as you may not have realized, this is a public space. Dr. Brown has had almost a year to respond, and has chosen not to. She has instead, I understand, started up a related conversation on her Facebook page. Facebook and blogs are not the same sort of space, and I choose not to engage in more meaningful, public conversations in that forum. Perhaps, instead of coming to this blog on her behalf and assuming all sorts of things about me based on a clearly very cursory overview of a single post, you should let people fight their own battles — if that’s what this is.

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