Invented Victimhood

And of course, we experiencethe usual indignities of being a person of color: explaining for the umpteenth time why we are not teaching Chinese/Japanese/Korean or answering the variously inflected “How did you get into Italian?”

I get this question absolutely every single time I mention to absolutely anybody whatsoever that I teach Spanish. And I’m obviously not a person of color.

It is, indeed, quite unusual for a Ukrainian to teach Spanish or for an Asian person like the linked author to teach Italian. It is very boring to answer the same question thousands of times but I fail to see an evil intention behind it. Moreover, I’d also assume there is an interesting story behind, say, a Honduran or a Nigerian scholar teaching Ukrainian and I would be interested in hearing it.

5 thoughts on “Invented Victimhood”

  1. I saw this silly article too. You have to be completely out of touch to be a professor at one of the best research universities, UVA, and to have a tenured or tenure-track position in Italian, of all disciplines, to complain about so-called microagressions like this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely. It’s a dying field, unfortunately, and this sort of situation is the last problem on the planet scholars in Italian should worry about.


  2. In other words, it’s the extreme privilege of this type of person complaining, in contrast to the situation of all the adjuncts and unemployed academics out there, that drives me crazy.


    1. It’s also very passive aggressive. Now every colleague who ever asked this question will feel accused of racism and won’t know how to respond.

      I always tell people to their face if I feel a comment is icky. I do it in a way that is not aggressive and leaves them a chance to respond. But to walk around stewing in resentment for years and then to write a complaint online is plain infantile.


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