University PhD student quits in protest after non-black lecturer was allowed to read the N-word aloud in class

Indiana Seresin (pictured above) quit her PhD due at what she said was an 'accumulation' of racist incidents at Cambridge University

A Cambridge University PhD student has quit after a non-black lecturer was permitted to read the N-word aloud in class.
Indiana Seresin criticised the 800-year-old institution and said that as a white student she had 'benefitted from the structural racism' of the university.
The 26-year-old had been working on a government funded doctorate about contemporary writers and since quitting in protest has penned a statement online explaining why.
In the statement, she said it had been 'imperative to leave' due to an 'accumulation' of racist incidents during her time at the institution.
Ms Seresin recalled one particular incident which happened in a seminar, where a lecturer repeatedly read out the N-word during class discussions.
She added: 'A friend (one of the few black students in the faculty) in the same lecturer's undergraduate lecture noted that she did the same thing there, and wrote a very polite email to the lecturer explaining that she did not feel comfortable hearing non-black lecturers say this word aloud.
'Instead of receiving an apology, my friend was patronisingly told that she did not understand the context in which the word was being used.'
From then Ms Seresin said that the situation escalated and that she and other students had 'multiple meetings' with the chair of the English faculty.
They also raised the issue at the Teaching Forum which is where both students and academics meet to exchange views. Despite this Ms Seresin claimed she and her peers found the experience 'intimidating', and that they faced 'hostility'.
'Many of those present seemed simply unable to comprehend the difference between a black writer reclaiming the n-word and a non-black Cambridge lecturer or student saying it aloud in class.
'We also faced hostility regarding the idea that different rules applied to black and non-black lecturers, even though beyond Cambridge this is a widely accepted principle and for obvious reasons does not constitute a double standard.'
Following this she said she had been left convinced of the racism at the institution and the lack of effort to 'decolonise' the curriculum.
She also highlighted one case last year where one Cambridge academic went on strike after claiming a porter not calling her 'doctor' was racist.
She claimed the final straw for her had been when Ghanaian scholar, Akosua Adomako Ampofo was invited to deliver a lecture.
'The talk Prof. Ampofo gave was a lucid and straightforward analysis of the way racism — and particularly anti-blackness and anti-African prejudice — function in academia. Yet in his introduction and moderation, the director of the department kept calling her talk controversial and provocative, adding that he couldn't quite wrap his head around it.
'This method of veiling racism through a performance of faux humility and bumbling foolishness, which is something of a tradition among the British elite classes, served to undermine the simple and important point Prof. Ampofo was making. It was yet another example of the university appearing to take one step forward only to take two steps back'.
She admitted that being able to leave her PhD course was privilege.
'My decision to leave comes from a position of privilege, including racial privilege. Although I have been demoralised and infuriated by the racism at Cambridge, I do not feel personally undermined by it.
'I also do not want to suggest that those who remain at the university should necessarily be condemned for their complicity.
Ms Seresin had previously attended a former grammar school in north London, Camden School for Girls, which boasts Emma Thompson and Geri Horner as alumni.
After this she read Comparative Literature and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University, before completing an MA at Cambridge before starting her doctorate.
A Cambridge University spokesman said: 'The Teaching Forum, which included students, met and following a well-informed exchange of views it was decided that there should be no prescriptive rules on what language is appropriate to reference when reading from texts, but that academics should consider the contemporary and political discourse around particular words or terms.'
They also said that they have introduced a number of prevention initiatives and anonymous reporting options to make it easier for people to report their issues.
Adding it tries to create a culture 'free from racism, discrimination, prejudice and harassment'.
In addition, the University today told MailOnline that a University-wide action plan on race and equality is being implemented which will include training on awareness and implicit bias.
It also stated that academic courses are being reviewed to ensure a diverse curriculum is offered. 

University PhD student quits in protest after non-black lecturer was allowed to read the N-word aloud in class University PhD student quits in protest after non-black lecturer was allowed to read the N-word aloud in class Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 11:18 Rating: 5

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