Prominent Scholars Threaten to Boycott Colleges That Don’t Support Contingent Faculty During PandemicHistorians in the News
tags: labor, adjunct faculty, COVID-19, Academe, contingent faculty
More than 70 scholars are among the initial signatories to an academic-solidarity statement that promises not to accept invitations — for speaking engagements, conferences, and workshops — at institutions that do not “include non-tenure-track faculty and graduate workers in extensions of fixed-term contracts.”
“All academic workers deserve the relief of knowing that they have job security and the opportunity to complete their projects in more favorable conditions,” the statement reads.
Joining the boycott, which will last at least through the 2020-21 academic year, are the novelist and creative-writing professor Zadie Smith, the philosophers Judith Butler and Seyla Benhabib, the race-studies scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw, the cultural theorists Donna Haraway and Naomi Klein, the historians Nell Irvin Painter and Samuel Moyn, and the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Harold E. Varmus.
Premilla Nadasen, a professor of history at Barnard College, is among the signatories. A scholar whose work focuses on labor policy and organizing, Nadasen hopes the statement will raise awareness of the inequities in the academic labor force.
“As with so much of what's happened around this pandemic, the fallout has impacted different communities to different degrees. And those who are precarious workers, those without economic security, are the ones who have been hardest hit. We have to acknowledge that,” Nadasen said.
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