Contingency, Exploitation, and Solidarity: Labor and Action in English Composition
Co-editors: Karen Fitts (West Chester University), Seth Kahn (West Chester University), William Lalicker (West Chester University), Amy Lynch-Biniek (Kutztown University)
Contingency, Exploitation, and Solidarity [working title] will be an edited collection with a threefold purpose, motivated by the editors’ sense that most discussions addressing contingency tend towards one of three sorts: well-intentioned but hollow exhortations; depictions of abusive exploitation and occasional victory; or expressions of anger and despair. Each has its place, but obviously they have not “worked” in any curative sense. First, with the aim of transitioning from affect to action, this project begins by clarifying and specifying the means and effects of exploitation across institutional contexts. Second, the collection compiles and presents efforts that have led concretely and effectively towards improved adjunct faculty working conditions and those that have invited backlash. In the years we’ve been thinking about labor issues, and more recently contingent labor issues in the field, we have in fact seen some positive changes, but not enough. We still struggle to do our jobs without compromising ourselves ethically, economically, and/or professionally. Therefore, the final aim of this collection is to posit a new framework within 21st-century labor conditions that can bring both progress and justice, not just for adjunct faculty but for all of us, our departments, and larger professional communities.
To fulfill these purposes, we invite 500-word proposals addressing contingent labor conditions in the fields of Composition and/or English Studies. A list of possible topics and approaches:
*Analyses (feminist, working-class, post-structuralist, etc)
*Case studies of successful ethical labor efforts
*Narratives of efforts-in-process
*Structural issues such as differences between free-standing writing programs, English departments, WAC/WID programs, and writing centers
*The impacts (or lack thereof) of unions/collective bargaining agreements
*Backlashes against previous successes
*The roles of professional organizations in propagating/alleviating contingent labor inequity
*Stakes of adjunct labor exploitation for adjunct faculty
*Stakes of adjunct labor exploitation for tenured/tenure-track faculty, programs, and departments
*Communication within and among contingent faculty, permanent faculty and management
Proposals should describe the primary topic or issue that the chapter will cover, along with a brief description of your approach and purpose(s) for writing it. Final submissions should be chapters of approximately 15 to 20 pages, although we will also consider brief texts of one to three pages profiling singular moments or exchanges. In order to support contributors who may feel threatened by participating in such a project, we are willing to publish pseudonymously and work to strip identifying information in order to protect you.
Anticipated Timeline: Due date for proposals: April 19, 2013 [All of us will be at CCCC and available for consultations/conversations]Decisions: May 10, 2013First drafts of chapters due: September 1, 2013Feedback/revision instructions: October 18, 2013Revised drafts due: Feb 4, 2014
You can submit your proposal one of two ways: (1) email it to Seth Kahn at ; or (2) share a Google Doc to Seth Kahn at . Send inquiries/questions to Seth at that address as well, or any member of the editorial team.