So, how is everyone enjoying the first day of school?
The Closing of American Academia is still burning up the internet. It has been republished on Alternet, ZNet and discussed on dozens of blogs and websites. It has inspired a national conversation on the plight of adjuncts and the role of privilege in higher education. I will have more to say on that topic in the future. But for now, some highlights:
- Reddit has eight different threads on the article. This one, on True Reddit, has over 400 comments.
- On Daily Kos, a theology PhD describes how he ended up on welfare within a year of his graduation.
- Peter Enns breaks down the economics of adjunct labor.
- Feminine Voices in Archaeology argues that adjuncthood is an assault on academic freedom: “I also want those in the protected tenured positions to wake up and fight back against what I see as an attack against higher education. Adjunct faculty do not have the same rights and securities as their tenured counterparts. We are not able to speak out against injustice. We are less able to pursue or publish research that might be considered controversial or political. We are virtually powerless.”
- Savage Minds discusses the American Anthropological Association conference: “As far as I can tell, our annual conference is a regressive tax on some of the most financially vulnerable members of our discipline.”
- At Less Than Zero Anthropology, an anthropologist discusses why she quit the game when she couldn’t pay to play.
- Eric Garland writes on how I exposed the “the Ponzi scheme of academic jobs”
- The American Anthropological Association rounds up a series of anthro adjunct horror stories and pretends that there are “two camps”.
- Inside Higher Ed releases a comprehensive report on adjunct working conditions. Spoiler alert: they’re not good.
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What seems absent from the conversation is the potential to organize academic labor… http://www.anthropology-news.org/index.php/2012/04/19/challenges-to-organizing-academic-labor/
That’s a good point. At the blog Savage Minds (http://www.savageminds.org), there is a discussion about what to do next. I encourage you to go there and share the link and other views you have.
Also, great article, Amy. This passage should be required reading for incoming students: “…Accepting the culture of academia makes contingent faculty complicit in the system. Graduate students and recent PhDs hold on to the promise that professionalism, hard work and talent will eventually be rewarded with membership in the guild. The graduate teaching assistant, adjunct or visiting assistant professor believes, at least initially, that the position is a stepping-stone when, in reality, it may be no more than an administrative convenience.”
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