The late Assistant Professor of English Sam See
The New York Times ponders the life and personality of the on-leave assistant English prof, who recently was arrested as the result of a connubial spat and who then proceeded to die in police custody.
Faculty members and students at Yale University, where he was an admired assistant professor of English, were shaken and openly mourned the abrupt, inexplicable conclusion to his life. Investigations are now examining the circumstances of his death, to see if he had been ill or injured and determine whether the authorities bore any blame. He was 34.
In the weeks that have passed, equally puzzling questions have arisen about just who Mr. See was and how many lives he led.
Was he a hip, beloved college professor enmeshed in discord with the man he had recently married? Was he someone battling crippling health and emotional problems? Or was he a gay hustler, brazenly posting explicit pictures of himself on male escort websites in pursuit of sexual encounters?
From the incomplete pieces that have thus far emerged, it seems he was all of those things.
Mr. See’s English Department bio tells us:
My research and teaching focus primarily on British and American modernist literature and sexuality studies. Iâ€™m currently interested in the questions that aesthetic and sexual feeling present for literary historiography. My first book project explores how British and American modernist writers co-opt the evolutionary precepts of degeneration theory to depict queer feeling as natural: material but nonetheless subject to change. My next book project will examine how British and American writers throughout the twentieth century use aesthetics like the mythical method and magic realism to create queer mythologies that depict the construction of transhistorical and transnational queer communities.
Now that’s what Yale really needed: a specialist in Degeneration, teaching the subject with a positive spin.