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Disgruntled ex-lecturer and his muse show stomach for a fight

Sarah Cunnane on the former Kingston employee taking terpsichorean aim at a 'circle of corruption'


Disgruntled ex-lecturer and his muse show stomach for a fight
Belly up: Lori Fredrics on YouTube


For US scholar Howard Fredrics, it was a shock to find out that he was second on a global "most wanted" list released by police in London.

The former music lecturer at Kingston University had been cleared of harassing via a website the institution's vice-chancellor, Sir Peter Scott, in 2010.

However, he is still wanted by the authorities for failing to appear at Kingston Magistrates' Court in July that year to answer public order charges relating to an incident at a bus stop.

The long-running dispute between Kingston and disgruntled former employee Dr Fredrics - who had created a website dedicated to criticising the institution and Sir Peter - took a fresh twist when the ex-lecturer was named in the local press as one of the most wanted individuals being sought by police in Kingston.

There was one obvious response open to Dr Fredrics: post a music video on YouTube.

Titled Circle of Corruption, it interposes stills of press stories about the university with shots of a belly-dancer gambolling through a field and writhing suggestively on a branch in the former Kingston School of Music campus.

Dr Fredrics, who was senior lecturer of music at the institution between 2003 and 2006, enlisted the help of Lori, his wife, for the recording (performing under the name Artressa Phunding).

Since leaving Kingston, Dr Fredrics has used his website to post recordings of lecturers at the university apparently urging students to inflate their National Student Survey scores.

Speaking to Times Higher Education, Dr Fredrics said that the belly-dancing showcased in the video had been chosen deliberately to mirror the themes highlighted in the accompanying song.

He claimed that he had been advised that he would not be allowed to re-enter the UK, even if he did attempt to return to face the charges.

The police wanted notice for Dr Fredrics says: "Current believed location: New Jersey or Texas, US."

Dr Fredrics would not disclose his location to THE.

However, he said: "My whereabouts are 'unknown'. I might even be somewhere rather close by."

sarah.cunnane@tsleducation.com

Circle of Corruption

Readers' comments (1)

  • Kudos to Sarah Cunnane and THE for a well-written and entertaining article. A few minor corrections and clarifications in the interest of artistic and temporal truth are, I believe, in order: The circular and snake-like movements contained in the dance reflect the subject matter of the video, the "circle of corruption" and the neo-reptilian behavior of certain individuals who shall, for the purposes of common decency, remain nameless. Moreover, the theme of circular movement is consistent with a common thread that runs through a number of our previous music videos (e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWoIm3Cq_4g), and which symbolizes the medieval instrument of torture, the Catherine Wheel. Also, I was employed by Kingston University between 2002-2006, not 2003-2006, as stated in the above article. Similarly, my wife and muse, Lori, was also employed at Kingston's School of Music during that period as a part-time Lecturer of Voice. Lastly, I must add that what has saddened me most about this entire debacle is that I am no longer teaching at Kingston University, where I would have continued to share my approach to creating multimedia performance art with an ever widening array of interesting and talented students. Ultimately, that's what this is all about.

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