Being a Black Adjunct Professor

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has pretty much confirmed what the stories about adjuncts on food stamps and dying without health coverage illustrate: A “long-term fiscal crisis” has crushed Ph.D.s into adjunct spackle, to be applied liberally to cracks in university foundations. The report also shows something else: “The proportion of African-Americans in non-tenure-track positions (15.2 percent) is more than 50 percent greater than that of whites (9.6 percent).” In 2009, the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education analyzed data from the Department of Education and projected that if current rates of hiring and promotion of black Ph.D.s remained steady, it would “take nearly a century and a half for the percentage of African-American college faculty to reach parity with the percentage of blacks in the nation’s population.” African-Americans make up just 5 percent of full-time faculty. If you leave out the high proportion of black Ph.D.s working in historically black colleges and universities, black full-time faculty in the U.S. barely clears 4 percent.

You can read more here.

More on temporary staff and adjuncts

The topic of adjuncts is in the air at the moment (or so it seems). There is an Inside Higher Ed post on the topic, which outlines a report from the House Education and the Workforce Committee. The Guardian also has a nice piece on the plight of adjuncts:

[T]he adjunct problem is not about PhDs struggling to find jobs or people being forced to give up their dreams. The adjunct problem is about the continued exploitation of a large, growing and diverse group of highly educated and dedicated college teachers who have been asked to settle for less pay (sometimes as little as $21,000 a year for full-time work) because the institutions they work for have callously calculated that they can get away with it. The adjunct problem is institutional, not personal, and its affects reach deep into our culture and society.

Whilst talk of ‘adjuncts’ tends to be talk of the academic labour market in the US, the UK has its own similar problem with temporary, part-time staff. Such people are often paid by the hour, and contracted for less than a full year. There are people who have been working in the same department for years, but due to the nature of their contracts, do not enjoy the rights conferred by continuous employment (to give just two examples, one is only protected against unfair dismissal after two years of continuous employment; to qualify for maternity pay, one must have been working for one’s employer continuously for at least 26 weeks, up to the 15th week before the child is due to be born). These are not the only worries with temporary academic jobs. The British Philosophical Association produced some documents outlining the problems a few years ago, which are available to download from here (scroll down to ‘Policy on Casual and Temporary Staff’).

What’s the state of your state?

Readers: Does your state/city/municipality have non-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ communities? Is there relevant legislation in place or pending that you know of? Post here on the state of the laws in your place of residence with regard to LBGTQ equality for the sake of our readers on the market, and save some already exhausted candidates some time.

A global Gendered conference campaign?

There Aren’t Enough Women and Minorities at Conferences

The World Economic Forum hosted its annual meeting in Davos this week. The gathering attracts business leaders from across the globe. But if you were to look at the list of speakers, you’d notice that fewer than 18% are women, and even fewer are people of color. Sadly, this is par for the course at most conferences, because organizers tend to look to the same stable of “experts” that are regulars on the speaking circuit. This limited approach is why white men tend to be overrepresented on panels, and why fresh perspectives can be hard to come by. …

Shared from the Harvard Business Review iPad app. 

Abortion: The Unfinished Revolution (CFP)

 Conference: August 7-8, 2014 at the University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
 In recent years, there have been numerous attempts worldwide to limit women’s access to safe abortion. In 2012, an anti-abortion bill in the Canadian parliament that purportedly aimed to open a discussion on “when life begins” was interpreted as an attack on abortion rights and was defeated by Members of Parliament in a vote of 203 to 91. In Ireland that same year, Savita Halappanavar was denied an abortion, even though she was miscarrying the fetus. Her subsequent death sparked international outrage and renewed calls to relax abortion restrictions in that country. In Texas in 2013, despite an inspiring eleven-hour filibuster by Senator Wendy Davis, Democrats ultimately failed to block stringent new restrictions on abortion availability in that state. Meanwhile, the Mexico City Policy continues to affect the abortion experiences of women throughout the world. Thus, in spite of the many gains that have been made in women’s rights since the mid-twentieth century, reproductive autonomy continues to elude women in many countries around the world. Even in Canada, where there is no federal abortion law and abortion is regulated like any other medical procedure, there is tremendous disparity in access to abortion services across the country. For example, Prince Edward Island is touted by the Canadian anti-abortion movement as being a “life sanctuary” since it eliminated access to safe surgical abortions in 1986, a point that was a focus of that movement’s national conference in 2013. Attendees are invited to PEI to reflect on the status of abortion internationally.
 This interdisciplinary conference invites proposals on all aspects of abortion. Topics may include, but are not limited to:
 -Abortion rights activism and reproductive justice
-Barriers to abortion access
-Lived experiences of abortion
-Shifting (historical/political) meanings of abortion
-The place of women in abortion politics/history
-Historical constructions of the fetus
-The role of the state in abortion politics
– The role of the medical profession in abortion politics
-The influence of medical advancements on abortion politics/history
-Abortion and sexuality
-Abortion in the classroom: pedagogy and politics
Those interested in presenting should submit a 250-word abstract, along with a one-page CV, to the conference organizers at: Panel presentations will also be accepted. Proposals are due by January 31, 2014. Attendees invited to present will be notified no later than February 15, 2014.
Conference organizers:
Dr. Colleen MacQuarrie
University of Prince Edward Island
Dr. Tracy Penny Light
University of Waterloo
Dr. Shannon Stettner
York University

Do pro-LGBTQ messages reach Russia?

The editors of the new tumblr, LGBT Po-Russki, which we posted about recently, send us their most recent editorial in English, hoping for your feedback and for sharing, to reach a wider audience. Last weekend, New York hosted PROPAGANDA: A Festival Celebrating Russian Voices. The Sunday session featured the reading of Tess Berry-Hart’s play SOCHI 2014 narrating real […]