Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Women’s Studies and Contingency


View graph of relations

Women’s Studies and Contingency: Between Exploitation and Resistance

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Feminist Formations
Issue number3
Number of pages33
Pages (from-to)81-113
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We know the numbers: 76 percent of faculty in US universities is contingent. We are captivated by the viral news pieces—“Thesis Hatement,” “Academia’s Indentured Servants,” “Death of a Professor,” and “The PhD Now Comes with Food Stamps”—and we follow hashtags on Twitter—#NotYourAdjunctSidekick. But in what ways does women’s studies’ relatively precarious place within academia fit into these conversations? How do feminists working in a variety of disciplines reconcile their feminist labor politics with the need to grow their programs and departments under the edicts of the corporate university, particularly when relying upon contingent labor to do so? These questions were at the heart of three collectively organized sessions on feminist contingency at the 2014 annual National Women’s Studies Association Conference (NWSA) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the highlights of which are presented here. This article hopes that the lessons learned in this historic event—lessons about silence-breaking and collectivizing, but also about inequity, privilege, shame, and guilt—will be used in women’s studies classrooms, departmental meetings, and beyond, contributing to the growing conversation about this important issue, and perhaps even offering action steps toward solutions.