Call for papers

MLA Committee: Committee on the Status of Graduate Students in the Profession
How do graduate students engage precarity and activism? How do these issues impact research and teaching? This panel seeks submissions on unionization, sexual harassment, Black Lives Matter, etc. Abstracts by 15 March 2017; Christine Yao (


Call for Papers. Academic Labor: Research and Artistry

From NFM colleague Sue Doe:

Please consider submitting your work for our new peer-reviewed journal–Academic Labor: Research and Artistry. This online journal will be published twice a year from the Center for the Study of Academic Labor at Colorado State University. See our nascent web site for more information. We invite a variety of genres, including art and photography, archival histories and personal narratives, creative writing and traditional academic writing. We invite submissions across all ranks of faculty and interested observers. The deadline for submissions to our inaugural issue is March 10, 2017.

CFP: Unbundling Academic Work

When institutional policy treats teaching and research as disconnected, and learning technology divides course development from instruction, what are the consequences for contingent faculty? 300-word abstracts by 21 March 2016; Veronica Popp ( MLA Committee: Committee on Contingent Labor in the Profession

Semester Slow-Down

What doesn't kill youThe new semester is starting and that means that your fearless editor will find her time consumed with students in her classes and at the writing center where I work as a professional tutor. What this means for Majority Rule is that you’re going to be seeing a lot less content here, unless you help provide it. I know you all have a lot to say about working conditions, organizing, adjunct life, recruiting new union members, making the public aware of our what we do and how we put up with #badmin. Adjuncts are smart, funny, talented people. Share how you cope with and overcome the struggle, or how it’s dragging you under. Share your exit strategies, your survival tools, your weapons against badmin. Share what keeps you going, or what broke the camel’s back. Share your big pictures. Share your everyday frustrations.

This is your forum for your voice. If you want great content here, help us provide it. Submit here.

-Lee Kottner

CFP: 13th Annual Teaching Professors Conference

If you’re serious about teaching and want to learn how to stay sharp, effective, and confident, you’ll be joining the ranks at The Teaching Professor Conference.

This three-day conference, June 3-5, 2016, offers hands-on workshops, plenary sessions with captivating keynotes, dozens of concurrent sessions, and emerging research poster presentations.

More than that, this conference gives you the opportunity to interact with your peers from around the country (and world) who are facing the same challenges and wrestling with the same issues that you know well.

It brings like-minded, teaching-focused instructors and academic staff members together in a positive, supportive environment that generates optimism and enthusiasm.

It doesn’t matter what you teach. It doesn’t matter if your classroom is on campus or online. It doesn’t matter if you just wrapped up your first year on the faculty or if you’ve been a fixture for decades.

The Teaching Professor Conference generates insights and spurs inspiration that can invigorate your teaching and generate greater learning for your students.

Each year, The Teaching Professor Conference features sessions around these even topical areas:

  • Instructional Design
  • Activities that Engage Students
  • Teaching Specific Types of Students
  • Instructional Vitality: Ways to Keep Teaching Fresh and Invigorated
  • Teaching and Learning with Technology
  • Creating Climates for Learning
  • Faculty Development

If you’d like to discover tools, strategies, and ideas that will make your teaching better, more relevant, and more fun, then join us at The Teaching Professor Conference.

John McLaughlin is also looking for papers for a panel at this conference:

Adjunction Function: The Effect of Adjunct Reliance Upon the University.
Teaching Professor Conference, May 2016, Washington DC.

Deadline for Submission: October 31, 2015

I’m hoping to turn this into a panel or roundtable session, rather than just my paper on the topic; I’m looking for different views. I have a page or so of links to share with anyone interested enough to contact me via email.

COCAL Updates

COCAL logo smallby Joe Berry

COCAL is the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor, a nearly 20 year old network of contingent activists and their organizations that does a conference (now tri national – USA, CAN, MEX) every other year, usually in August. It also sponsors a listserv, called ADJ-L, and has an International Advisory Committee and a website and Facebook page.


1. Teachers resisting education and labor “reforms” in Oaxaca, Mexico.


1. Interesting slide show from TX used for National Adjunct Walkout Day.

2. Working poor (us in higher ed) are the real philanthropists in higher ed.

[I might also note that one of the first novels written by a worker in English was called, using the same insight, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell, a socialist house painter in England in the very early 1900s, still in print by Monthly Review Press and well worth reading.]

3. Chicago City Colleges’ part-time (credit) faculty and librarians protest for a pay raise and a new contract. [I am prejudiced because I was one of the founders of this local, City Colleges Contingent Labor Organizing Committee, CCCLOC, IEA/NEA. I am, needless to say, very proud of them.]

4. Chicago court orders Chicago State U admin to stop trying to shut down Faculty Voice blog and here.

5. Full report of doing in Colorado from our colleague Don Eron:

Hi All,

This past Monday the Colorado AAUP staged its first “Mini-Innie” for Colorado community college activists, The “Mini-Innie” was held on the heels of the AAUP Summer Institute (the “Full-Innie,” so to speak), which took place last week at Denver University.

Here’s an account by Suzanne Hudson, posted on the Colorado AAUP blog, that should make you wish you were there.

Hank Reichman, the First Vice President of the AAUP, participated in the Mini-Innie and posted his take on the Academe Blog.

Hank also posted on the AB this intriguing account of the session that Caprice Lawless conducted at the Summer Institute (the Full-Innie) last week, on organizing community college faculty. In the post, Hank publishes Caprice’s extensive session notes.

Finally, for the past several months I’ve intended to post the following clip to this list. It is of the contingent faculty panel presentation at a shared governance conference that the Colorado AAUP sponsored/conducted last fall in Durango.

Scroll down to panel three (“Strengthening Contingent Faculty”). Beginning at the nine minute mark are, in my estimation, terrific back-to-back-to-back presentations by Caprice, Suzanne, and Miranda Merklein.

I hope you agree.


6. Can migrant academics learn something from migrant farmworkers? [I think so.]

7. Call for papers for sessions at the NE MLA convention in March.

I’ll be moderating the below sessions at the above convention; please submit an abstract, and/ or pass on this email to anyone else who may be interested:

Composition Pedagogy: Is Love all You Need? (roundtable)
Much has been written and said, in recent years, about the role of love and passion in instruction/enquiry more generally, incl. in writing/composition studies. Choosing a topic or project one is “passionate” about is believed to foster a better outcome all around; passion/ love is also believed to be the driving force behind bold, successful career and academic trajectories.This raises the question of the downside of such passion/love – not only, as some have already pointed out, that it may not last or be enough, but others. For ex., is love, in this context, blind or blinding, causing us not to see the flaws in our own or others’ projects, ideas, and larger constructs?Can it also, as in relationships, make us tolerate abusive treatment or other unethical behaviour?Papers addressing this question, and its relevance to all constituencies,whether students, faculty, or administrators, are sought, as are those proposing solutions or successful compromises – for ex., methods of identifying and pursuing passions whilst also doing quality work, meeting the needs of readers and others, as well as, of course, sustaining passion, even channeling same toward more constructive or lasting/ stable purposes. Presenters may focus on, for ex., successful and less successful student projects; instructional strategies; and larger implications, whether personal, pedagogical, professional,even social/ ethical.

Please use this link to submit your abstract.

Detective Fiction: How Dead Is The Past? (panel)
Recent examinations of the functioning of the past within detective fiction– whether going back in time to reconstruct a crime or examine a larger criminal pattern/ trend in a past period – raise the question of how “dead,” to borrow Faulkner’s famous line, the past is. Whether considered from the standpoint of physics (time as a function of space and the expansion of the universe) or, as may seem more obvious, history, time is clearly neither dead/finished nor objective, even indifferent, or perceived as such.Papers are sought which examine the functioning and role of the past/ time perception in works of detective fiction, exploring the perspectives of individuals or whole groups (everyone involved in detection and pertaining to historical events/ memory) as well as more basic reconstruction of crimes. In particular, papers applying various disciplines, such as the sciences, psychology or history, to this question are welcome. For example, to what extent does past trauma, such as of a victim of murder or another crime, persist into the present and motivate the action of detective fiction, as has often been considered the case with fictional detectives? How does the victimization of a larger group, such as through genocide, serve to rationalize future crimes, such as those driven by vengeance? How authentic, and helpful, is going back in time to reconstruct not only criminal acts, but even motives and memories? To what extent do changes,whether in police practices, even entire regimes, serve to bury or even undo or compensate for the past?

The link for submitting abstracts.

Couple of other procedural notes:
You can view the full CFP.

The deadline for submitting abstracts is 30 Sept., though some deadlines may be earlier (check the session description). Contact the chair/s with any questions, but abstracts may only be submitted to the links above.

Finally, you may present on only one panel/ seminar, though you may also participate in a roundtable or creative session.

Maria L. Plochocki (plo-hots-kee)
“Better to be the poor servant of a poor master …” Homer, Odyssey

8. Kaplan and Lincoln Tech settle with MA Attorney General.

9. Upcoming UASAS student labor movement gala. Wash, DC, August 7.

Dear Joe,

We know what you’re thinking — how can I have a great time AND celebrate student labor solidarity next weekend?! Never fear, USAS has exactly what you need!

In just one week, our Second Annual Student Labor Movement Gala will bring together students, USAS alumni, allies from other social justice movements . . . and whether or not you fit one of those categories, we hope to see YOU.

Quick, buy your tickets here, and organizations interested in sponsorship (and a special shoutout) can get more info here. The event will take place in the Teamsters’ penthouse, located at 25 Louisiana Ave NW, from 5:30-8:00 on August 7th.

Then if you still haven’t gotten enough of USAS, email for more information about the Alumni and Allies Retreat taking place from 9:30am to 6pm the next day.

And if you’re a student, remember that the most important days for you are August 8th and 9th, when we’ll scheme together at our Summer Convention. Keep an eye out for a separate email with more info.

Can’t be around DC for any of these events? You can always show your support for student and worker power by donating what you can today, and stay tuned for more opportunities in your zip code.


Deanna Nagle

Coordinating Committee Rep – International Solidarity Campaigns

Penn State USAS Local 123

10. One in 8 Americans burdened by student loan debt including 700,000 seniors.

11. Advice for new students from older ones: forget the admin and seek supporters among profs.

12. Whittier College (Orange Country, CA) win first union contract, SEIU 721.

13. Badass Teachers Assoc. news on fighting corporate education “reform.”

14. New writing by our colleague Alex Kudera.

Hi Friends,

Please pardon this direct solicitation, but I’m desperate to sell my blood as well as a new e-single, “Frade Killed Ellen.” I promise I’ll only e-mail you twenty or thirty more times between now and August 31.

Sorry, all of the above was an extended typo. The blood ain’t for sale, and I won’t bother you again until a novel arrives in the fall. Here’s a pitch for the e-book:

If anyone is looking for an hour or two of accessible fiction, I have a new e-single from fledgling Dutch Kills Press in Brooklyn. This tale has everything we look for in writing, from stalking to chess to Chinatown, but if you need death, liquor, and library basements, don’t worry, because it has all that, too, and more. Did I mention the story takes place in Philly, North Carolina, New Orleans, and Cambridge, Massachusetts? Yes, indeed. Human Trafficking? Hunting Elk? Gambling on fiction? Let’s let the readers decide if they’re in there.

Anyway, I’m always grateful for a sale, read, or review. It’s available at Amazon, iTunes, and can be read off the screen of any computer at Atavist.

Thank you, sincerely, for considering and enjoy the second half of summer.


Alex Kudera

The United States of Kudera.

When Falls the Coliseum.

15. Organizing is key to defeating Friedrichs case (anti-agency fee).

16. UCONN grads get first contract (UAW).

17. Upcoming Labor Notes Troublemakers Schools:

Save the Date

Saturday September 12, 2015: Puget Sound Troublemakers School – Registration now open!

Saturday, October 17, 2015: Bay Area Troublemakers School

April 1-3, 2016: Join us for the biennial, international Labor Notes Conference in Chicago.

18. Fort Hays (KS) Online college adjuncts get raise (can’t have anything to do with organizing, can it?).

19. Bergen CC (NJ) to eliminate 150 FT lecturer positions.

20. Cuts at UAS Fairbanks. More on Alaska cuts.

21. Court backs labor board (NLRB) on speedy election decision

22. Excellent universities begin with excellent faculties.

23. Adjunct Sudoku by Kevin Temple.

24. More of U of Phoenix FTC investigation.

25. Stats and trends in Pell Grants (fewer getting them and they are worth less).

NOTE: As noted previously, your COCAL UPDATES editor (Joe Berry) and his spouse/partner/colleague Helena Worthen, are going to teach labor studies in Viet Nam for the fall 2015 Semester. We would like to take some gifts related to the union/workers movement in the US to give to folks there. We are leaving from CA August 14. If any of you would like to have us take union or other movement hats, T-shirts or similar union gifts to VN from your organization as a gesture of solidarity for their labor movement and as a gesture of support for us, please send them to us at 21 San Mateo Road, Berkeley, CA 94707 so that we receive it by August 13, 2015. Unions in Viet Nam are grappling with how to deal with the influx of foreign (capitalist) direct investment there and the need to build local unions that can effectively fight for workers in this new context. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Call for Submissions: Teaching Poor–Last Call

What doesn't kill youCall for Submissions

Teaching Poor: Voices of the Academic Precariat

Graduate students, TAs, undergrads and adjunct voices all welcome.

The career of college professor, giving back to the society that provided for them through education, was once a respectable path to the middle class. That class position is now slipping through the hands of the very people who helped create it, thanks to the erosion of tenured and tenure-track positions in favor of short-term contract positions without security. What should be rags to riches stories about the power of education to lift people out of poverty by providing a pathway to better jobs have become, for many academics, stories of stagnation, downward mobility, and outright impoverishment under the burden of massive debt uncompensated for by the very academy that helped contract faculty incur it.

Teaching Poor: Voices of the Academic Precariat will be a collection of voices from the world of so-called adjunct or contract college instructors who now teach 60-75% of all college courses in the United States and are paid wages equivalent to Walmart workers. In the tradition of Studs Terkel’s Working, Teaching Poor will honor both the difficulties and the triumphs of this new class of impoverished white collar laborers in the academic trenches, detailing personal struggles with the resultant poverty produced by low wages, crushing student loan debt, lack of healthcare and retirement provisions, and the professional and cultural costs this system levies on individuals and the students they teach.

I welcome creative non-fiction, biographical essay, short stories, poems, comics and, in the spirit of hacking the academy through digital humanities, may eventually expand to multimedia and a permanent archive of work similar to Story Corps. Length can vary wildly, to as much as 7500 words for prose. Longer pieces will probably be reserved for the online archive. Please do not feel constrained to use your real name. Anonymity is guaranteed should you request it.

Here’s how it’s shaping up, roughly:

Part 1: What We Do—The Adjunct Life on the Road

Part 2: How We Do It—Lessons in the Classroom and Out

Part 3: Why We Do It—What Keeps Us Going Back

Part 4: Tenuresplaining and Other Humiliations Small and Large

Part 5: Exit Strategies: Why We Quit

Part 6: Student Voices/Experiences

Part 7: Stories of Radicalization

If what you have doesn’t seem to fit these sections, send it anyway. This project already has a good number of submissions and I will be sending out proposals shortly.

Send your submissions to Lee Kottner at by July 31, 2015, please. Editing and proposal writing commences in August.