Academic Capitalism and the Shame of It All

The Professor and Family are skiing this week in the Cascades (Hoodoo for anyone interested). In place of my usual Thursday post I am posting a link to one of the best pieces I’ve read in a long time about the crisis and the shame of the academic job market. It is by Ann Larson. I don’t know Ann Larson, although I’m profoundly impressed by her blog. But apparently she has a Ph.D. in Composition and Rhetoric.

And she’s pissed. Pissed as hell at the hypocrisy and indifference of the tenured (de facto 1%) vis-a-vis the gruesome conditions of adjunct labor and the fate of their Ph.D.s students.

“Let’s face it, many of our field’s eminent scholars ignore the shameful low-wage teaching trap that ensnares many bright and deserving graduates because Comp and Rhet needs those teachers to sustain itself and to reproduce the game for the next round of players. Established faculty who have the power to get their words in the field’s top journals and win places on popular conference panels can no longer be let off the hook for declining to advocate for workers in the academic basement. “

I highly recommend this post, and her blog. Please read and share widely.

“Rhetoric and Composition: Academic Capitalism and Cheap Teachers”

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About Karen Kelsky

I am a former tenured professor at two institutions--University of Oregon and University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. I have trained numerous Ph.D. students, now gainfully employed in academia, and handled a number of successful tenure cases as Department Head. I've created this business, The Professor Is In, to guide graduate students and junior faculty through grad school, the job search, and tenure. I am the advisor they should already have, but probably don't.

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