cover of book

Contingency, Exploitation, and Solidarity: Labor and Action in English Composition
edited by Seth Kahn, William Lalicker and Amy Lynch-Biniek
University Press of Colorado, 2017
Paper: 978-1-60732-765-3
Library of Congress Classification LB2331.72.C66 2017
Dewey Decimal Classification 808.0420711


Composition has been a microcosm of the corporatization of higher education for thirty years, with adjuncts often handling the hard work of writing instruction. We've learned enough to know that change is needed. Influenced by the efforts of organizations such as New Faculty Majority, Faculty Forward, PrecariCorps, and national faculty unions, this collection highlights action, describing efforts that have improved adjunct working conditions in English departments. The editors categorize these efforts into five threads: strategies for self-advocacy; organizing within and across ranks; professionalizing in complex contexts; working for local changes to workload, pay, and material conditions; and protecting gains.

Contributors to this collection include contingent and tenure-line faculty from private, public, and community colleges, as well as writing program administrators and writing center faculty. Their voices address contingency, exploitation, and solidarity in activist terms deriving from institutional realities and cases. Collectively, they offer creative and constructive responses that can enact labor justice and champion the disciplinary energies of all members of our collegial community.

Contributors: Janelle Adsit​, ​Jacob Babb​, ​Chris Blankenship​, ​Rebekah Shultz Colby​, ​Richard Colby​, ​Anicca Cox​, ​Sue Doe​, ​Tracy Donhardt​, ​Dawn Fels​, ​Barbara Heiffero​n, ​Desirée M. Holter​, ​Justin Jory​, ​Jeffrey Klausman​, ​Michelle LaFrance​, ​Sarah Layden​, ​Carol Lind​, ​Maria Maist​o, ​Amanda Martin​, ​Mark McBeth​, ​Tim McCormack​, ​Joan Mulli​n, ​Dani Nier-Weber​, ​Glenn Moomau​, ​Michael Murphy​, ​Anna K. Nardo​, ​Rolf Norgaard​, ​Courtney Adams Wooten​, ​Lacey Wootton​, ​Allison Laubach Wright

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