Friday, January 12, 2018

‘The interest is in sex, not writing,’ says one Concordia creative writing grad

abuse education misconduct
The late Concordia professor Robert Allen helped author Heather O'Neill,
above, publish her first manuscript of poems in 1998. But to this day, she
does not include it in her list of published work.
MONTREAL—Concordia University launched an investigation this week into the toxic and abusive culture that allegedly flourished in a creative writing program that has churned out many top Canadian authors.

Specific allegations of inappropriate relationships, groping, harassment and assault have been around for several years, discussed in tones ranging from hushed to strident, according to interviews the Star conducted this week with 11 former students.

On Friday, the Concordia Association for Students in English, a student association, said in a statement that professors who have been named online have had their courses reassigned and books written by the faculty members were removed from a display window in the library.

A university spokesperson would not confirm that information, but did say that an external investigator had been assigned to conduct a probe into the allegations.

The problems became known to a wider public audience in an online essay by Concordia graduate Mike Spry, who said he was part of a “culture of cronyism, bullying, abuse, sexual harassment, and sexual assault,” can be traced back to the mid-1980s.  (more...)


In Toronto, it goes back at least to the early 1970s. Men could be targeted as much as women.

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