As the Adjunctiverse Turns

cheeky, no respect for academia

The Adjunct Crisis: A Reading List


“When Mary Margaret Vojtko died last September—penniless and virtually homeless and eighty-three years old, having been referred to Adult Protective Services because the effects of living in poverty made it seem to some that she was incapable of caring for herself—it made the news because she was a professor.” So begins the dark tale of what it means to be an adjunct professor in the United States today, further explored in these essays and articles.

1. “The Teaching Class.” (Rachel Riederer, Guernica, June 2014)

In this excellent essay, Riederer, an adjunct professor herself, discusses the lack of support her peers face in the classroom, a lack of healthcare benefits, substandard pay, administrative hostility and more. With teachers this stressed, students should be concerned about the quality of their education. Riederer gives the dictionary definition for adjunct, but I would like to point out its synonyms: Subordinate. Auxiliary. Assistant. These terms…

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Dispatches from Ferguson.

When marginalized = dispoable


A makeshift memorial for another black boy felled by a policeman's gun. A makeshift memorial for another black boy felled by a policeman’s gun.

You don’t know how to write this story. It’s difficult, due mostly to the emotional proximity of it all. You feel everything, and at once. The heaviness of the air, the apathy of the authorities, the grief and frustration of the residents who deserve answers and not nightly tear gassing. When you arrive Friday evening, you note the feeling of relief at the Qwik Trip, where ash and rubble has given way to an outdoor community center. Messages etched in sidewalk chalk conveying support from far-flung places, people healing through laughter and dance. Despite being so blatantly lied to earlier, there is a glimmer of hope that justice will be served. Somehow. Someway. 

Later that night, you watch helplessly and in horror, as local law enforcement attack residents again. Friends and family caution you against going back out…

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