The Adjunct Crisis: A Reading List

by VanessaVaile


“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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