"Gen/Sex Class Investigates Precarity in Professors’ Jobs”
By Paloma Paez-Coombe and Theodora Rodine
Across the country, job stability for professors has become increasingly hard to find. Tenured positions, which arose in the late 1800s as a way to protect faculty’s freedom of speech, are costly to institutions because they provide long-term stability and higher salaries, and so are quickly disappearing. They are being replaced by adjunct or contingent positions, in which faculty are hired and paid either by the course, or just for a year or two at a time. Contingent faculty, which now represent a large majority, often have to travel between multiple institutions for work and are paid much less than their tenured peers. As this national problem increases, understanding the way race, gender, and sexuality impact this increasingly unstable and underpaid workforce is an important way of framing this issue.
COOL CLASSES: “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Gender”
This class aims to give Bi-Co students a chance to explore the intersection of gender, sexuality, race, class, religion, and embodiment in our time. Our focus is principally on the USA, though we make some forays into international conversations. Readings are drawn from a smattering of the most recent developments in academic research and theory, as well as from science fiction, popular culture, and new media. We work to bring the personal into the classroom, and to take what we learn out into the world. For example, we travelled to Bethlehem, Pa., to tour a steel mill museum under the guidance of a retired steelworker...
COOL CLASSES: “Oral History and Activism”
This course weaves together methodological and ethical conversations about oral history, guest speakers, and activist fieldwork. After doing short personal oral histories, the class moved onto a collaborative final project. Since oral history can bring unheard voices and perspectives into the archive, we decided to work as locally as possible, learning about invisible workers that make our own college experience possible. We tossed around various plans about how to accomplish this goal, but since students attended all three Colleges in the Tri-Co, we floundered. Then...