Thursday, March 15, 2012

These Horrid Little People

Rustication refers to the process of expelling someone from Oxbridge. It features prominently in 19th century British fiction usually associated with some nerdowell or another. Recently, one of Britain's neoliberal twits came to Cambridge to announce the destruction of higher education in the service of expansionary austerity. The students and professors were not pleased and so they
as he came to the lectern, a number of audience members (both students and academics) stood up and read, or performed, collectively, a poem articulating opposition to the policies he was advocating. They continued to read and repeat the poem until after a few minutes Willetts was ushered away and the lecture and question and answer session cancelled.
In response, 
one PhD student was singled out for reprisal by the university authorities, and made subject to the university’s disciplinary procedures.
This singling out despite
a letter signed by sixty dons and students advertising their own actual or implicit part in the protest was drafted and sent. This had no effect on the proceedings, and the hearing went ahead.
The result? The student was given
a sentence of seven terms rustication which, as earlymodernjohn points out, is almost the whole period of PhD study.
From gambling and drink to protesting the absurd idea that the best way to respond to years of neoliberalism more neoliberalism.


  1. If you can't beat up on a PHd student who can you beat up on. All grad students should form unions!

  2. Sort of like Reagan invading Grenada. Or the Globetrotters beating the Generals.

  3. What's really odd to me about the way some professors treat grad students is that somehow the really bad professors make themselves the victim in the whole thing.

  4. Try unionizing sometime and see how the Admin and faculty join hands and insist that you are not a worker and beside the relation between grad student and faculty is to special to be mediated by a piece of paper. Really horrific stuff.