Historian sues University of South Florida, claiming sexual harassment and discrimination by fellow professor

Historians in the News
tags: sexual harassment, University of South Florida, Tamara Zwick

A former history professor at the University of South Florida is suing the university after she reported years of sexual harassment, gender discrimination and disability discrimination by a fellow professor.

Former Associate Professor Tamara Zwick claims, in U.S. District Court, that the chair of the USF Tampa history department, Fraser Ottanelli, repeatedly sexually harassed her, spread false rumors about her to others in the department, disclosed Zwick’s medical condition to students and others and refused her requests for ADA-compliant facilities.

Ottanelli was hired as the department chair in 2007, two years after Zwick was hired to specialize in modern Jewish history and historiography, Germany history, European women’s history, gender history and theory and history of medicine/eugenics.

The lawsuit claims that as soon as USF appointed Ottanelli as chair -- a position that gave him significant control over the terms of Zwick’s employment -- he started to subject Zwick to uncomfortable and inappropriate sexual conversations.

In the lawsuit, Zwick alleges that Ottanelli frequently commented on her appearance and attributed her positive student reviews to her “doll face.” ...

Read entire article at WTSP

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