At some point during the conference I’d gotten a little flack on twitter for the perceived triviality of a post of mine, and so I responded by asking for suggestions of meatier topics. I got this response:
While I’m a gal who generally tries to draw attention to the elephant in the room, this is a topic I didn’t really feel I could speak to, at least experientially. I’m still a student in graduate school, not really intending to look for a full-time faculty position upon graduating and simply eyeing adjunct teaching as one of several future possibilities, as an artist without a family to support and a high tolerance for financial instability. When I worked as a university administrator elsewhere, it was in an academic department with relatively few adjuncts (considering graduate student teaching a separate though related issue). I’m woefully undereducated on the topic, knowing little beyond that it’s a bad scene, an exploitative system that hurts students and faculty. However, I could not in good conscience let this solicitation go ignored.
I do stand by the statement that writing something ostensibly frivolous, or something more logistically-minded, does not take the place of potential more rigorous writing on a different, “more important” topic; they are different kinds of writing, serving different purposes and requiring different resources. But I do think this is a valid topic, worthy of more attention in the field. And, due to my aforementioned ignorance, I am deferring to others–with the hope that you, readers, may add some more resources in the comments. Here’s a collection of links dealing with this topic:
the UIC union’s site (United Faculty Local 6456)
http://www.mla.org/blog?topic=148 (This is a couple of years old–but it’s telling that this MLA piece from 2012 could largely have been written today.)
Please consider this a tip of one iceberg of this issue, the results of some google searching and newsfeed-scouring. It’s a jumping-off point and by no means an overview. While I imagine this is very close to many of you, I simply wanted to be sure it is on everyone’s radar. I would love it if interested readers would comment with other articles on this, as I’d like to educate myself more on the subject, as well as fostering the opportunity for others to do the same.
At some point during the conference I’d gotten a little flack on twitter for the perceived triviality of a post of mine, and so I responded by asking for suggestions …