EXCLUSIVE: Here are The Insane Emails Between a Rogue Yale T.A. and the Professor Who Fired Her

Around noon on Wednesday, the Assistant Dean of Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences removed a fifth-year comparative literature graduate student named Margherita Viggiano (pictured) from her teaching duties in Professor Alexander Nemerov’s crazy-popular art history course. Apparently Viggiano wasn’t getting along with other teaching fellows, whom Viggiano told in an email on Monday that she “[has] been mobbed and discriminated against in spite of the paradoxical fact that [she] was the only critic to share the artists’ inner frame of reference: Catholicism.”

In response, Viggiano fired off several essay-length emails in which she calls Edward Barnaby, the Assistant Dean and English professor, a “corrupted hypocrite”; “the opposite of professionalism”; “an accomplice of academic dishonesty”; and accuses Barnaby of discriminating against her for being a Catholic woman. (Among many, many other things.)

Some time after sending her last email at 3:49 PM, Viggiano posted her exchange with Barnaby on one of her blogs. Around 9:30 PM, Viggiano mysteriously deleted it—but not before IvyGate saved the whole thing.

Called “A warning to future generations of students,” Viggiano’s exchange with Barnaby reveals the professional antagonism, bitter jealousy, and religious tension—real or imagined—between a devout Catholic and the rest of Yale University. Eat your heart out, William F. Buckley, Jr.

Full text of the emails, after the jump:


From: Barnaby, Edward

Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 2:02 PM

To: Viggiano, Margherita

Subject: Teaching Fellow Appointment

Dear Margherita,

Dean Pollard has asked that I continue trying to resolve your problem working with Bradley Bailey. In a large lecture course, it is critical that the teaching fellows cooperate with the person assigned to organize the sections, and it is always important to communicate professionally. If you wish to continue as a teaching fellow in Professor Nemerov’s course, please confirm with me by 5 p.m. today that you are

If issues arise that go beyond the day-to-day organization of the sections, and you are unable to resolve them yourself, please direct your concerns to me, not to Dean Pollard or to anyone else in the Graduate School Dean’s Office.
I hope to receive a positive response from you soon.


Edward Barnaby
Assistant Dean

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Yale University


From: Viggiano, Margherita

Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 4:22 PM

To: Barnaby, Edward

Cc: Nemerov, Alexander

Subject: List of functions required pertaining to the position of head TF

Mr. Barnaby:

You are invited to address me by my name, Ms. Viggiano.

I am “willing to cooperate with Mr. Bailey and communicate in a professional manner,” as I have always done in spite of his outrageous emails, as long as Bradley Bailey is also willing to      “cooperate” and “communicate professionally.”

I formally complain about the fact that Bailey invited me to send my academic materials to his male partner. This is the opposite of professional practice and professional communication.

Bailey admitted that he is not knowledgeable on the Renaissance. In spite of this, he wanted me to email my research to one of his family members, let’s say, who he claims is a “specialist.”

How do you classify this sort of childish, ridiculous and outrageous behavior? This is highly offensive and a shame for Yale. People who behave in this way — without social intelligence — rarely find a job, let alone being a head tf.

I require your written acknowledgment of this serious  matter, as well as written apologies from Bailey.

Such instances of childishness and blatant lack of professionalism must not happen anymore in his behavior toward me or the other TFs.

Furthermore, it is necessary to have a list of      functions pertaining to Bailey, so that the professional boundaries of  each participant may be clear.

The functions of a head TF are organizational and bureaucratic. A head TF has no academic responsibility over other section leaders: I am personally responsible for my pedagogy and academic materials.

I also require that Bailey “communicate in a professional manner” on the sensible topic of religion, which is essential in a class of 280.

Bailey stated that the Mother of God “is” a “symbol” and an “allegory.” That is not true. The Mother of God “is” the Mother of God, as YHWH “is” YHWH, and Allah “is” Allah.

Bailey also referred to the Mother of God in terms of the “boobs” of the Blessed Virgin. How do you classify that sort of speech, Barnaby? Once again, people can be dismissed for this sort of outrageous language.

I require written apologies and the guarantee that this      sort of disrespectful language will not be used anymore in connection with Christianity or with any other religion.

Now it is 4:20 pm. I have replied in a much more professional and intellectually honest manner than you have addressed the student who had been bullied, abused and threatened.

I am not going to remain online today: if you wish to continue this conversation we will have to arrange a meeting in person.

Ms. Viggiano

Margherita Maleti Viggiano
Doctoral candidate
School of Arts and Sciences
Comparative literature

From: Barnaby, Edward
Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 12:53 PM
To: Viggiano, Margherita
Subject: RE: List of functions required pertaining to the position of head TF

Dear Ms. Viggiano:

In my e-mail messages Monday and Tuesday, I requested that you confirm your willingness to cooperate with Mr. Bailey and communicate in a professional manner, but your e-mail below indicates that you have not understood the inappropriateness of your behavior. Mr. Bailey’s e-mail messages to you were not “outrageous,” and, if you continue to believe that they were, then you are not capable of the cooperation and communication required by your position as a teaching fellow. In fact, your e-mail includes the very same inappropriate invective that I raised with you in my e-mail Monday. There is no reason for Mr. Bailey to apologize to you, and it is unacceptable for you to condition your willingness to cooperate with him on an apology.

Since my last e-mail to you, I have learned that you are also having difficulty maintaining boundaries in your communications with other colleagues. Your letter to the other teaching fellows Monday included inappropriate personal references: “Sometimes I would like to convert to Judaism or Islam, so that people would feel terrorized at the thought of losing their job, if they even tried to mob or discriminate against me because of my religion as proscribed by the First Amendment. . . . Many times – by pseudo-professors and insipient administrators alike – I have been mobbed and discriminated against in spite of the paradoxical fact that I was the only critic to share the artists’ inner frame of reference: Catholicism.” It is unprofessional and unacceptable to introduce your personal feelings of grievance into your professional communications with colleagues about course materials.

Because you have shown no understanding of the inappropriateness of your behavior, you will not be able to continue in your role as a teaching fellow. However, the University will provide you with the standard stipend for a University Fellowship this term. Because you no longer have a role in the course, please do not attend any lectures, sections, or teaching fellow preparation sessions.


Edward Barnaby


From: Viggiano, Margherita
Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 3:49 PM
To: Barnaby, Edward
Cc: Alexander.Nemerov@yale.edu
Subject: RE: Complaint Barnaby


Mr. Barnaby:

Your email confirms our common understanding — and I am speaking here of Prof. Mazzotta and Prof. Viggiano — that you are a hypocrite and a corrupted individual. Try to develop some understanding of academics and legal obligations:

If you ask someone to agree to a contract, you must specify the terms of that contract. But you refused to provide a list of the functions of a head tf, not least because there is no such list. Howard El-Yasin pointed out that there is no written regulation describing the functions of a head tf. A head tf cannot interfere with the academics and the pedagogy of other tfs.

I have always behaved extremely professionally with Bailey as well as everyone else: in reply to your email, I said that I will always do so. It is my right to have the guarantee that my honesty will be reciprocated, but you refused to offer me that guarantee.

You claim that the random statements of Bailey were not inappropriate?

He said that he does not know the historical period in question, and invited me to send my academic material to his boyfriend who is a specialist. If you don’t see that this is not appropriate, you are either incompetent or corrupted. Which one is it?

You say that there is no need for Bailey to apologize?

He referred to the Mother of God as a “symbol” that is not really true. In class, he talked about the “boobs” of the Vigin Mary. What is your field, Barnaby, administration or academics? Do you not know that people can be dismissed for saying this sort of nonsense against other people’s faith?

Bailey also falsely alleged that I attended someone else’s section: who disciplined him for slandering others and creating a non-existent problem impeding the work of one of his colleagues?

By supporting Nemerov and his Phi Beta Kappa connection, you make yourself an accomplice of academic dishonesty. You have “difficulties maintaing the boundaries” between the duties of your work, which is to promote the wellbeing of students, and your personal profit.

Indeed, my behavior was not “inappropriate” as you falsely claim to protect yourself, but I was the only person, in this exchange, to behave both honestly and professionally.

You do not email students at 9:30 pm; you do not send students ultimatums at 2 pm that must be replied by 5 pm.

The truth is that Nemerov, who states on his CV his membership and allegiance with the Phi Beta Kappa of Haun Saussy, wanted to take away my job before tomorrow’s section. And you just carried out his orders.

How much do you get paid to do this sort of work on commission, Barnaby? You should know what my advisor told me about you.

You do not fool anyone with your pretence of professionalism: what are your academic qualifications to be a lecturer in the English department? What do you know about “visual culture” and cinema? You may have an MBA from NYU: is this professional, Barnaby?

Since we know that you are a corrupted hypocrite, you try to make other people look bad because they denounce your corruption. Because you are the opposite of professionalism, you try to make others look unprofessional. But people around here smarter than at NYU.

My communication with the other TF is perfectly professional and truthful: I state that you would never have the courage to discriminate against me if I were a Jewish or Islamic man. Denmark is under terrorist threat for a simple joke against the Prophet published on a magazine. But you think you can discriminate against me because I am a Catholic woman. And in fact you think that you can take away my job. Study Isaiah 46: God always accomplishes his aims, in this life and for eternity. If He wants people to be educators, writers, and to have political roles in this country, He will fulfill his Will anyway, regardless of what corrupted individuals like you may say, do or don’t do.

Shame on you, Barnaby: “you have shown no understanding” of your duties and responsibilities. Study the Bible: every evil deed is visited upon the head of the criminal who commits it.

Study the Bible very carefully: do you think that a masters in business & administration makes you wiser than two thousand years of truth and wisdom?

God comes like a thief in the night for all the corrupted hypocrites of this world. He says so both in the Old and in the New Testament: do you also think that the Word of God is “unprofessional and unacceptable”?

Why don’t you tell Him so when you appear before His Throne, and see how He reacts to that.

Who will save you from your “feeling of grievance” then?

Good luck,


59 Responses to “EXCLUSIVE: Here are The Insane Emails Between a Rogue Yale T.A. and the Professor Who Fired Her”

  1. cc13 Says:

    haha wow

  2. Shwax Says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous.

  3. y12 Says:

    she’s literally crazy. seriously, find someone in her section for that class and get them to show you the emails she’s been sending them. masonic conspiracies, Satanic symbolism, etc. 

  4. kman Says:

    she does have a point about one thing: this school is run like the inside of an asshole. not to mention its sole aim is to enrich and rich and promote that gay dude and his boyfriend

  5. tolerance Says:

    Your bigotry isn’t adding anything productive to this discussion.  Your claim that Yale’s sole aim is to “enrich and [the?] rich” and promote these two specific people is a poorly thought through and unconvincing claim. 

  6. tolerance Says:

    Your bigotry isn’t adding anything productive to this discussion.  Your claim that Yale’s sole aim is to “enrich and [the?] rich” and promote these two specific people is a poorly thought through and unconvincing claim. 

  7. Anonymous Says:

    “He said that he does not know the historical period in question, and invited me to send my academic material to his boyfriend who is a specialist. If you don’t see that this is not appropriate, you are either incompetent or corrupted.”

    Wait, what exactly is the problem with that? Sounds like he was offering a helpful resource.

    Word of advice: if you’re afraid of gays, you’re not gonna get very far at this school, Margie!

  8. jackie Says:

    I think MV is referring to the fact that the suggestion sounds a lot like nepotism. That she has no way of knowing whether or not this person actually *is* a specialist, because she has no way of checking his credentials.
    Considering how much the undergraduates pay to be at Yale, and what a big name Yale has, I think she’s only right in at least *trying* to keep the quality of instruction up to standard. 

  9. andrew Says:

    She is obviously an undiscovered genius. 

  10. jackie Says:

    she is, you know! i met her years ago. she has always been very unconventional and unusual as a character, but omg how much talking to this person gets you thinking and dreaming! she’s got that special something.

  11. spqr Says:

    she is absolutely spot on with two things: academics are corrupt by nature, and if the professor had called Allah an “allegory”, he would be fired

  12. internment Says:

    obvious troll is obvious

  13. Barnaby655321 Says:

    She IS literally crazy, to the point that it is kind of sad.  I was a Ph.D. student at Yale and had one class that she was also taking.  Every day the seminar was subjected to her long rambling thoughts on some spiritual connection between the body of Christ and random incoherent snippets of Hegel, Vico, and the Masons.   One day she broke down crying about how no one understood James Joyce like her schizophrenic mother.  The department asked her to take a leave of absence, but then let her back.  Yay?!? 

  14. A Joycean Says:

    “One day she broke down crying about how no one understood James Joyce like her schizophrenic mother.” Well, that one actually makes sense–especially if we’re talking Finnegans Wake.

  15. Guest Says:

    I knew her there, too. Heaven knows why everyone thought it their business to make sure this lady doesn’t speak her mind. She was just different, a little alternative, maybe a touch eccentric – that’s all. Don’t people have better things to do with their time than to bully people just because they are different. I have always, always, admired Margherita. Despite her eccentricities and sometimes turbulent temper, still I thought there were more amazing sides to her, more to be gained from listening to her, more to learn from talking with her, than it ever disturbed me that she was somewhat going against the flow. Literally, people. The world needs diversity. Stop getting so cross just because someone’s not the same.

  16. Guest Says:

    Without commenting on her claims, let’s look at the facts.

    (1) TA complains about harassment (bad claims, admittedly).
    (2) TA gets fired for her claims.  

    Imagine if a woman made (bad) sexual harassment claims and was fired for complaining about it.

  17. tolerant Says:

    Your facts are wrong/incomplete. 

    It appears that she was fired for refusing to do her job (in a professional manner) as required by the structure and content of the course, not for her claims. It appears that she was uncooperative and was harassing others.I am sympathetic to her feelings and don’t doubt she feels strongly that she has been wronged and treated unfairly, but to an extent her comments and behavior were harassing in nature and led to a hostile environment for others. Her claims also create damage to the reputations of others (by means of negative associations with her false claims), who are themselves blameless. Andrea Yates thought her children were being possessed by the devil and killed them. Did her children deserve to be punished because she believed some absurd nonrealistic delusional belief? I agree that sexual harassment is a serious societal problem, and yes, we live in a society where the burden in reporting is often unfairly placed on the person being sexually harassed — woman or man. And, yes, Yale has had a disgraceful track record in the past dealing with sexual harassment cases… But, I believe the proper analog here would be accusing innocent people of being sexual predators (when in fact they are not). (Slander is a crime for a reason.)It’s not that she made bad claims; she made false claims that were wrong (even if she believes they are true). It would seem that she was fired because she was not able to do her job as required. As a TF myself, I like to look at the course content, duties and responsibilities before I agree to anything — making sure it is all something I’m comfortable with. If what she wants to teach are her dogmatic beliefs, while proselytizing and harassing others, she has no place helping teach an Art History course at Yale. That is (was) NOT her job at Yale.  That sort of behavior undermines the professor and the rest of the teaching staff, not to mention it can lead to a situation where students do not feel comfortable or safe expressing their thoughts and ideas. Does that mean that she isn’t entitled to her options and beliefs or that the Yale community shouldn’t be tolerant of those beliefs? Certainly not, but there is course material that needs to be covered as outlined by the course and she has an agenda that is inconsistent with it. 

  18. Guest Says:

    I don’t know why she kept harping on the MBA thing.   Barnaby has a PhD in English Literature from NYU (2001).  Somebody show Margie how to use ProQuest.

  19. yalie11 Says:

    the mention of prof. nemerov was such a bait switch in this article. i was hoping this would conjure up images of the ultra sexy nemerov and one very fine ta in glorious copulation. but alas. 

  20. MrBundren Says:

    God often makes conflicting statements in the Pentateuch, which makes such moments as the quotation from Isaiah down right infantile, and which translation does she refer to? Or perhaps she is an expert in Koine Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic languages? And if so, if indeed the bible’s word is golden, then it makes perfect sense to marginalize her for the mere fact of being a woman, created by god (apparently) in subordination to man (Genesis 2:18-24), whose sole purpose is to keep man from getting lonely, “It is not good that the man should be alone,” so god takes one of Adam’s ribs and turns it into a woman (King James Bible). This is an absurd stretch but no more absurd than insinuating that Barnaby will burn in hell or be smitten by god’s vengeance. 

    The remarks about NYU are also unwarranted, an unnecessary elitism and waste of thought. There are plenty of bright students and professors at NYU. There may be some corruption and bureaucratic nonsense in the English department, but no more so than what is evident in this inflamed fanatic’s fundamentally disturbing responses. 

  21. Guest Says:

    OMG! I love her! She is super-wacko!

  22. Djmarker Says:

    Who else has read “A Confederacy of Dunces” and agrees that this woman reminds you of Ignatius J. Reilly?

  23. Corban Anderson Says:

    Love the comparison. I wonder what her mother is like?

  24. Jackspratt Says:

    OK, she has mental problems.

    But it is definitely true at Yale that you can be disrespectful of Christians, especially Catholics, in a way that does not go for Jews or Muslims. And that if you point this out, people just think you are an idiot.

  25. Guest Says:

    This woman is clearly struggling with some serious mental health issues.  I hope she’s able to get the help she needs. Enough Schadenfreude–after everyone is done laughing, she’ll still be struggling. Probably for a long time. And that’s sad.

  26. Guest Says:


  27. Guest Says:

    dismissing it all as “insane” is the lamest way of dodging an argument

  28. Guest Says:

    You’re totally right. There IS a nefarious Phi Beta Kappa [dark-sided Freemasons!] plot to destroy Ms. Viggiano because she is uniquely friendly with Jesus.

  29. Amlabsk Says:

    I have to admit, though I think she is nuts, I was not impressed with Assistant Dean’s Barnaby’s correspondence. First, he takes the liberty of addressing her by her first name in a professional correspondence, only to then remind her in that same letter that *she* needs to “communicate professionally” with others. Had I been on the receiving end of an email like that, I would have been pissed.

  30. An Academic Says:

    Addressing people by first name is fairly standard within academia and thus is perfectly well with the realm of the professional in context.

  31. Arle Lommel Says:

    It is quite standard for faculty to address students by first name and students to address faculty with a title and family name. Some faculty may use Mr./Miss/Ms. + the family name and, given the formal setting of the communication, perhaps Barnaby should have done so, but his mode of address is not generally perceived to be as rude as you feel it to be.

    At the same time, the use of e-mail to communicate important information about her career with a three-hour deadline is problematic. Issues like this warrant a phone call at the very least, and more likely an invitation to a face-to-face meeting. I realize Barnaby may not have wanted that level of engagement, but email is still not a reliable way to ensure that the recipient is aware of contents. In a professional setting I find that I regularly miss important information in emails due to the volume and nature of them and the fact that others may not highlight important information in them. And that does not account for those emails that are eaten by spam filters or otherwise fail to make it through.

  32. Been there, done that Says:

    At Yale, Dean Barnaby’s use of MV’s first name would not have been a “liberty” but the norm.  Grad student TAs at Yale are conventionally addressed by their students, their profs and administrators by first name.  In turn, many profs encourage grad students to address them by first name, to promote a sense of collegiality.  Indeed, use of the honorific ‘Ms. Viggiano’ strikes me not as professional but as distinctly chilly.  A lot depends on what’s the norm at a given insitution.

  33. Guest Says:

    I am really horrified at how this girl is being treated by her superiors at Yale and by the internet masses.  She obviously has a mental health issue, and it looks like the professor and dean are only concerned with firing her instead of finding a way to make her get help.  And on top of that, this blog and Gawker are just exploiting her issues to get web hits and subject her to more humiliation.  I hope that someone in her life actually holds some form of human decency and makes her get help before she does harm to herself.  

  34. yimuaili Says:

    To be fair, we don’t know how this story ended.  All we have are the e-mails that she chose to post on her blog.  We don’t have a response to the second e-mail, and her first e-mail comes across as rude rather than crazy, so Dean Barnaby’s response actually seems quite professional and appropriate.  My point is that for all we know, the dean and/or the professor did follow up after the second e-mail, and she may already be getting help.  I hope that she is.  That said, I think they did the right thing in being primarily concerned with firing her–the most important action that needed to be taken was to remove her from a position of authority over students.

  35. Corban Anderson Says:

    They aren’t obligated to “get her help”. Think of all the tools you may have worked with, would you want to “get them help” or just get rid of them?

    As we therapists sometimes say: some can neither be cured with all the therapy or medications of the world, only a good old fashioned whuppin’ does the trick. Not saying she deserves to get a beat-down, but that’s generally the first thing that happens when people like her flaunt their attitude in public.

  36. Guest Says:

    In what way does she “obviously” have mental health issues? I don’t think so! She’s just outspoken, articulate, and most of all, bold and uncompromising. You’d think that you find a few of this type in a place like Yale. You may not agree with her, or you may not like her. But please don’t start judging and diagnosing at random!

  37. Yale Student Says:

    If anyone knows this student, please give her the name of Yale Mental Health and Counseling: 203-432-0290. They will take her seriously and treat her with respect.

  38. kid Says:

    she can just call her friends. maybe you have nothing but the DMH, though !

  39. Charlotte Says:

    She is certainly mentally confused and needs professional help. However, I is also necessary to inquire this case. Yale graduate school is known to treat graduate students badly, and institutional measures against abusive professors do not exist.

    For example, the history department produced a professor with a dreadful track record (graduated only 2 PhD students in 20 years, more than twice as many left), who is known to abuse professorial power and disrespect academic freedom like the choice of dissertation topics.
    Or, professors luring prospective graduate students with lies and deceit on Campus visit day, making promises which never materialize after arrival at Yale.

    Don’t get me wrong: professors like that are at every university. BUT: in contrast to Yale, most other universities provide graduate students with security measure against such persons. There are various commissions, and multiple forms of institutional help. Additionally, when more people leave, than graduate with a professor, than person might not get graduate students in the future (it’s also costly, providing all these students with stipends, and have them leave after 1,2, or latest 3 years.)

    All that might not be the case with Viggiano. However, given that power abuse IS a topic in Yale graduate school, is will be necessary to investigate this case further. And, yes, she sounds nuts. But maybe she was driven nuts.

  40. Guest Says:

    She has her reasons. There is a reason for literally every behaviour, however weird. Don’t just say she has got mental health issues. That’s rash and unhelpful. You are right Charlotte Yale grad school is not exactly heaven for grad students. If I were Maggie, I’d have left a long time ago. 

  41. Der Naar Says:

    Cool.  And I like the Wicca look.

  42. Doug Says:

    CompLit. Whaddya expect?

  43. well... Says:

    I think the end of her referring him to read the bible was unnecessary, but I agree with some of what she said, though not how she said it. She is pointing to differences in how religion is handled in today’s academia, as well as between professionals. I think it follows it would b harder to prove being fired for being christian or catholic than for being muslim, mostly because of the differing societal viewpoints towards these religions. To me, students should not b fired for their religion, but it should also be a personal matter & choice unless relevant to the discussed material, which according what I know from this alone, may or may not have been relevant. At the time the head TF had said those things, if he had also allowed her to speak what she thought in relation to the religion of the time period (versus only our possible perspectives looking back on it), I doubt any of this would have happened. Her speaking those things would not have hurt students, but provided a counterweight perspective on which to base ideas regarding the material. I am not religious in any way, but as a student, I believe hearing perspectives from those other than my own is beneficial to my learning. I think the head TF apologizing for this error in judgement is not unreasonable. Teachers emailing at 9pm is not unreasonable, although requiring an answer back when the student may not even have gotten to his/her email by 5pm is. That being said, she expressed herself more professionally in the first email than the 2nd, where I think she was just like ‘fuck this and fuck you’

  44. Gypsycat Says:

    Asking for a list of requirements for the job is not unreasonable… the rest…overboard.

  45. Guest Says:

    Asking for a list of one’s own requirements is reasonable, and she likely received that as part of her annual fellow’s contract. Asking for this information for another graduate fellow is inappropriate. Should I be able to see anyone else’s contract on whim? This strikes me as fishing for ammo with with to continue harassing her colleagues.

  46. Liltomato79 Says:

    Grad students– Teaching Fellows and otherwise–don’t have contracts here. It’s the beautiful world of in between, where Yale avoids calling us workers. Why? Because then we could unionize. No workers, no contracts, no job descriptions. This is how they make sure they can exploit us and get away with it. Always classy, this Yale.

  47. 1624 Says:

    What are you guys talking about sexual harassment? The boobs thing? I don’t think it being sexual is the core problem here. it says nothing of that in the emails that I read above. Glad I didn’t read the comments first! I think the title of this gets you thinking in a certain way before you’ve even read and thought about the content in the emails.

  48. Corban Anderson Says:

    I don’t get how she thinks she was disrespected as a Christian Woman when she’s the one acting as though she can scream “blasphemy” and have a mob carry away the person she’s pointing at. If she wants people using religion as grounds to be dismissed, she wrote her own pink slip. Anyone using quotes from scripture towards me in an accusing manner would offend the hell out of me. She can use whatever megalomaniac words she chooses but she’s pretty much shown that she can’t communicate in a professional manner with her verbiage. Leave it to a Christian to act victimized if they can’t get away with throwing their religion in the face of another.

    I’ve worked around arrogant women in the past who act like they can be the “Mad Men” of the work place and anyone who doesn’t let them do as the will somehow has issues with women. Unless you are one of them, they are some of the most horrible people to try and work with. Only reason I say “unless” is because they automatically dismiss any argument they exist. She seems like she fits in with that click quite well. 

  49. Spelling Says:


  50. jarid Says:

    Nah. She doesn’t. You’ve never met her. Why judge her? First of all, have you considered that she may have her reasons. Second of all, if you knew her, you’d see that she’s the most soft spoken, empathic, vivacious, and personable lady. Marherita is full of surprises. She has a blazing temper and brilliant intellect. A full fledged character. You’ll never get bored with her around. Writing funky e-mails (in which, if I may say so, she’s not at all wrong on a number of facts) is not all she does with her time. There’s a lot to her and arrogant is the last thing I’d call her. Margherita is one in a million. Stop judging and badmouthing her just because she’s an easy target. Try a hard target for once. Have you ever heard of the emperor’s new clothes?

  51. Crazy Says:

    Don’t put your dick in that!

  52. Davimett Says:

    this is a hot mess

  53. MY Says:

    I got my BA in English at Yale. It’s good to see that the department hasn’t lost its particular charm. 

  54. yalesmakaveli Says:


  55. Guest Says:


  56. Guest Says:

    in my eyes she is a hero too. Not so much for the exact content of her theories, but for her incredible courage to stand up for herself and the guts to defend what she thinks and believes in despite having many opponents. and not to let other people force her to shut up. There should be more like her.

  57. Guest Says:

    I really enjoyed reading these e-mails. Easy way out to say she was insane. She’s one in a million, she has a flamboyant style, is massively articulate and she’s got guts. That’s a long way away from being insane. Why does everyone need to get medieval on her. What’s she done to anyone? Anyone know this quote…..
    I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Why not?

  58. John N Says:

    Amusing. As a professor of 20+, I have met my share of bit players on the stage of life. First, email is not a forum for public discourse. Second, a part of learning the business of academia is the business of collegiality. You can certainly feed your genius through writing, but berating colleagues? Not the path to tenure I venture. I would have fired her, and I would not have maintained this corruptable email correspondence.

  59. Viva Attorney Says:

    That is one narrow-minded department!  I find the comments made too consistent to have been thrown out there in a forum  as a devil’s advocate in order to stimulate “thinking”. No thought-stimulation here. Seriously, the words sent to her have no scholarly honor that I can tell.  Perhaps Barnaby or Bailey could show me otherwise?

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