Tag Archives: Workplace Journal

Marx, Engels and the Critique of Academic Labor

MARX, ENGELS AND THE CRITIQUE OF ACADEMIC LABOR

Special Issue of Workplace
Edited by
Karen Lynn Gregory & Joss Winn

Articles in Workplace have repeatedly called for increased collective organisation in opposition to a disturbing trajectory in the contemporary university… we suggest that there is one response to the transformation of the university that has yet to be adequately explored: A thoroughgoing and reflexive critique of academic labor. 

Table of Contents

  • Marx, Engels and the Critique of Academic Labor
    Karen Lynn Gregory, Joss Winn
  • Towards an Orthodox Marxian Reading of Subsumption(s) of Academic Labour under Capital
    Krystian Szadkowski
  • Re-engineering Higher Education: The Subsumption of Academic Labour and the Exploitation of Anxiety
    Richard Hall, Kate Bowles
  • Taxi Professors: Academic Labour in Chile, a Critical-Practical Response to the Politics of Worker Identity
    Elisabeth Simbürger, Mike Neary
  • Marxism and Open Access in the Humanities: Turning Academic Labor against Itself
    David Golumbia
  • Labour in the Academic Borderlands: Unveiling the Tyranny of Neoliberal Policies
    Antonia Darder, Tom G. Griffiths
  • Jobless Higher Ed: Revisited, An Interview with Stanley Aronowitz
    Stanley Aronowitz, Karen Lynn Gregory

Educate. Agitate. Organize: New and Not-So-New Teacher Movements

Never a dull moment these days in Education activism! Parallel with the fallout from records regarding the governance and management of UBC and calls for accountability by our Faculty Association is the BCTF’s work in holding the government to account for its legislation of bargaining rights

Of course, our Institute for Critical Education Studies has provided extensive analysis and commentary on both cases.

Keeping activism in context, we are thrilled to launch this Special Issue of Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labour:

Educate. Agitate. Organize: New and Not-So-New Teacher Movements

Special Issue Edited by Mark Stern, Amy E. Brown & Khuram Hussain

Table of Contents

Forward: The Systemic Cycle of Brokenness
Tamara Anderson

Introduction to the Special Issue: Educate. Agitate. Organize: New and Not-So-New Teacher Movements
Mark Stern, Amy E. Brown, Khuram Hussain

Articles

Principles to Practice: Philadelphia Educators Putting Social Movement Unionism into Action
Rhiannon M Maton

Teaching amidst Precarity: Philadelphia’s Teachers, Neighborhood Schools and the Public Education Crisis
Julia Ann McWilliams

Inquiry, Policy, and Teacher Communities: Counter Mandates and Teacher Resistance in an Urban School District
Katherine Crawford-Garrett, Kathleen Riley

More than a Score: Neoliberalism, Testing & Teacher Evaluations
Megan E Behrent

Resistance to Indiana’s Neoliberal Education Policies: How Glenda Ritz Won
Jose Ivan Martinez, Jeffery L. Cantrell, Jayne Beilke

“We Need to Grab Power Where We Can”: Teacher Activists’ Responses to Policies of Privatization and the Assault on Teachers in Chicago
Sophia Rodriguez

The Paradoxes, Perils, and Possibilities of Teacher Resistance in a Right-to-Work State
Christina Convertino

Place-Based Education in Detroit: A Critical History of The James & Grace Lee Boggs School
Christina Van Houten

Voices from the Ground

Feeling Like a Movement: Visual Cultures of Educational Resistance
Erica R. Meiners, Therese Quinn

Construir Y No Destruir (Build and Do Not Destroy): Tucson Resisting
Anita Fernández

Existential Philosophy as Attitude and Pedagogy for Self and Student Liberation
Sheryl Joy Lieb

Epilogue

No Sermons in Stone (Bernstein) + Left Behind (Austinxc04)
Richard Bernstein, Austinxc04

Thanks for the continued interest in and support of our journals, Critical Education and Workplace, and our ICES and Workplace blogs. And please keep the manuscripts and ideas rolling in!

Reforming Academic Labor, Resisting Imposition, K12 and Higher Education (Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor, No. 25)

New Workplace Issue #25

Reforming Academic Labor, Resisting Imposition, K12 and Higher Education

Workplace and Critical Education are published by the Institute for Critical Education Studies. Please consider participating as author or reviewer. Thank you.

Academic Bullying and Mobbing (Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor, No. 24)

New Workplace Issue #24

Academic Bullying & Mobbing

Workplace and Critical Education are published by the Institute for Critical Education Studies. Please consider participating as author or reviewer. Thank you.

Workplace CFP: Marx, Engels and the Critique of Academic Labor

Call for Papers
Marx, Engels and the Critique of Academic Labor

Special Issue of Workplace:A Journal for Academic Labor
Guest Editors: Karen Gregory & Joss Winn

Articles in Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor have repeatedly called for increased collective organisation in opposition to a disturbing trajectory: individual autonomy is decreasing, contractual conditions are worsening, individual mental health issues are rising, and academic work is being intensified. Despite our theoretical advances and concerted practical efforts to resist these conditions, the gains of the 20th century labor movement are diminishing and the history of the university appears to be on a determinate course. To date, this course is often spoken of in the language of “crisis.”

While crisis may indeed point us toward the contemporary social experience of work and study within the university, we suggest that there is one response to the transformation of the university that has yet to be adequately explored: A thoroughgoing and reflexive critique of academic labor and its ensuing forms of value. By this, we mean a negative critique of academic labor and its role in the political economy of capitalism; one which focuses on understanding the basic character of ‘labor’ in capitalism as a historically specific social form. Beyond the framework of crisis, what productive, definite social relations are actively resituating the university and its labor within the demands, proliferations, and contradictions of capital?

We aim to produce a negative critique of academic labor that not only makes transparent these social relations, but repositions academic labor within a new conversation of possibility.

We are calling for papers that acknowledge the foundational work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels for labor theory and engage closely and critically with the critique of political economy. Marx regarded his discovery of the dual character of labor in capitalism (i.e. concrete and abstract) as one of his most important achievements and “the pivot on which a clear comprehension of political economy turns.” With this in mind, we seek contributions that employ Marx’s and Engels’ critical categories of labor, value, the commodity, capital, etc. in reflexive ways which illuminate the role and character of academic labor today and how its existing form might be, according to Marx, abolished, transcended and overcome (aufheben).

Contributions:

  1. A variety of forms and approaches, demonstrating a close engagement with Marx’s theory and method: Theoretical critiques, case studies, historical analyses, (auto-)ethnographies, essays, and narratives are all welcome. Contributors from all academic disciplines are encouraged.
  2. Any reasonable length will be considered. Where appropriate they should adopt a consistent style (e.g. Chicago, Harvard, MLA, APA).
  3. Will be Refereed.
  4. Contributions and questions should be sent to:

Joss Winn (jwinn@lincoln.ac.uk) and Karen Gregory (kgregory@ccny.cuny.edu)

Publication Timetable:

● Fully referenced ABSTRACTS by 1st February 2015
● Authors notified by 1st March 2015
● Deadline for full contributions: 1st September 2015
● Authors notified of initial reviews by 1st November 2015
● Revised papers due: 10th January 2016
● Publication date: March 2016.

Possible themes that contributions may address include, but are not limited to:

  • The Promise of Autonomy and The Nature of Academic “Time”
  • The Laboring “Academic” Body
  • Technology and Circuits of Value Production
  • Managerial Labor and Productions of Surplus Markets of Value: Debt, Data, and Student
  • Production
  • The Emotional Labor of Restructuring: Alt-Ac Careers and Contingent Labor
  • The Labor of Solidarity and the Future of Organization
  • Learning to Labor: Structures of Academic Authority and Reproduction
  • Teaching, Learning, and the Commodity-Form
  • The Business of Higher Education and Fictitious Capital
  • The Pedagogical Labor of Anti-Racism
  • Production and Consumption: The Academic Labor of Students
  • The Division of Labor In Higher Education
  • Hidden Abodes of Academic Production
  • The Formal and Real Subsumption of the University
  • Alienation, Abstraction and Labor Inside the University
  • Gender, Race, and Academic Wages
  • New Geographies of Academic Labor and Academic Markets
  • The University, the State and Money: Forms of the Capital Relation
  • New Critical Historical Approaches to the Study of Academic Labor

Issue Guest Editors:

Karen Gregory is lecturer in Sociology at the Center for Worker Education/Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the City College of New York, where she heads the CCNY City Lab. She is an ethnographer and theory-building scholar whose research focuses on the entanglement of contemporary spirituality, labor precarity, and entrepreneurialism, with an emphasis on the role of the laboring body. Karen cofounded the CUNY Digital Labor Working Group and her work has been published in Women’s Studies Quarterly, Women and Performance, The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, and Contexts.

Joss Winn is a senior lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Lincoln, UK. His research extends broadly to a critique of the political economy of higher education. Currently, his writing and teaching is focused on the history and political economy of science and technology in higher education, its affordances for and impact on academic labor, and the way by which academics can control the means of knowledge production through co-operative and ultimately post-capitalist forms of work and democracy. His article, “Writing About Academic Labor,” is published in Workplace 25, 1-15.

Workplace No. 23 (2014) Equity, Governance, Economics and Critical University Studies

New issue launched!

Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor
No 23 (2014): Equity, Governance, Economics and Critical University Studies
Table of Contents
http://ojs.library.ubc.ca/index.php/workplace/issue/view/182428

Commentary
——–
Critical University Studies: Workplace, Milestones, Crossroads, Respect,
Truth
Stephen Petrina, E. Wayne Ross

Articles
——–
Differences in Black Faculty Rank in 4-Year Texas Public Universities: A
Multi-Year Analysis
Brandolyn E Jones, John R Slate

Academic Work Revised: From Dichotomies to a Typology
Elias Pekkola

No Free Set of Steak Knives: One Long, Unfinished Struggle to Build
Education College Faculty Governance
Ishmael Munene, Guy B Senese

Year One as an Education Activist
Shaun Johnson

Rethinking Economics Education: Challenges and Opportunities
Sandra Ximena Delgado-Betancourth

Book Reviews
——–
Review of Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think
C. A. Bowers

CFP: Educate, Agitate, Organize! Teacher Resistance Against Neoliberal Reforms

Educate, Agitate, Organize!
Teacher Resistance Against Neoliberal Reforms

Call for Manuscripts
Special Issue of Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor

Guest Editors:
Mark Stern, Colgate University
Amy Brown, University of Pennsylvania
Khuram Hussain, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

I can tell you with confidence, one year later [from the Measure of Progress test boycott in Seattle schools], I know where our actions will lead: to the formation of a truly mass civil rights movement composed of parents, teachers, educational support staff, students, administrators, and community members who want to end high-stakes standardized testing and reclaim public education from corporate reformers.—Jesse Hagopian, History Teacher and Black Student Union Adviser at Garfield High School, Seattle

As many of us have documented in our scholarly work, the past five years have witnessed a full-fledged attack on public school teachers and their unions. With backing from Wall Street and venture philanthropists, the public imaginary has been saturated with images and rhetoric decrying teachers as the impediments to ‘real’ change in K-12 education. Docu-dramas like Waiting For ‘Superman,’ news stories like Steve Brill’s, “The Teachers’ Unions’ Last Stand,” in The New York Times Magazine and high profile rhetoric like Michelle Rhee’s mantra that students, not adults, need to be “put first” in education reform, all point to this reality: teachers face an orchestrated, billion dollar assault on their professional status, their knowledge, and their abilities to facilitate dialogical spaces in classrooms. This assault has materialized and been compounded by an austerity environment that is characterized by waning federal support and a narrow corporate agenda. Tens of thousands of teachers have suffered job loss, while thousands more fear the same.

Far from being silent, teachers are putting up a fight. From the strike in Chicago, to grassroots mobilizing to wrest control of the United Federation of Teachers in New York, to public messaging campaigns in Philadelphia and boycotts in Seattle, teachers and their local allies are organizing, agitating and confronting school reform in the name of saving public education. In collaboration with parents, community activists, school staff, students, and administrators, teacher are naming various structures of oppression and working to reclaim the conversation and restore a sense of self-determination to their personal, professional, and civic lives.

This special issue of Workplace calls for proposals to document the resistance of teachers in the United States, Canada, and globally. Though much has been written about the plight of teachers under neoliberal draconianism, the reparative scholarship on teachers’ educating, organizing, and agitating is less abundant. This special issue is solely dedicated to mapping instances of resistance in hopes of serving as both resource and inspiration for the growing movement.

This issue will have three sections, with three different formats for scholarship/media. Examples might include:

I. Critical Research Papers (4000-6000 words)

  • Qualitative/ethnographic work documenting the process of teachers coming to critical consciousness.
  • Critical historiographies linking trajectories of political activism of teachers/unions across time and place.
  • Documenting and theorizing teacher praxis—protests, community education campaigns, critical agency in the classroom.
  • Critical examinations of how teachers, in specific locales, are drawing on and enacting critical theories of resistance (Feminist, Politics of Love/Caring/Cariño, Black Radical Traditions, Mother’s Movements, and so on).

II. Portraits of Resistance

  • Autobiographical sketches from the ground. (~2000 words)
  • Alternative/Artistic representations/Documentations of Refusal (poetry, visual art, photography, soundscapes)

III. Analysis and Synthesis of Various Media

  • Critical book, blog, art, periodical, music, movie reviews. (1500-2000 words)

400-word abstracts should be sent to Mark Stern (mstern@colgate.edu) by April 15, 2014. Please include name, affiliation, and a very brief (3-4 sentences) professional biography.

Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by May 15. Final drafts will be due October 1, 2014. Please note that having your proposal accepted does not guarantee publication. All final drafts will go through peer-review process. Authors will be notified of acceptance for publication by November 1.

Please direct all questions to Mark Stern (mstern@colgate.edu).

Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor archive project completed

Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor founding editors—Kent Puckett and Marc Bousquet—published the first issue of the journal in the fall of 1998. Closely connected to activism emerging from the Graduate Student Caucus of the Modern Language Association, the journal’s mission was defined by Bousquet in his Foreword to the first issue, “The Institution as False Horizon”:

Workplace is a … journal that asks you to join with Graduate Student Caucus as the agent of a new dignity in academic work. This means that most of its contributors will try to convince you that becoming a Workplace activist is in your immediate and personal best interest, even by the narrowest construction of careerism.

Let me be clear about this. If you’re a graduate student, I’m saying that becoming an activist today will help you get a job in your interview tomorrow.

If you’re an undergraduate, or parent, or employer, I’m saying that a dignified academic WORKPLACE delivers better education.

By “dignified” I mean very simple things.

I mean a higher-education WORKPLACE in which first-year students—those most at risk for dropping out and those requiring the best-trained and most-expert attention—can expect as a matter of course that they have registered for classes taught by persons with experience, training, and the terminal degree in their field (usually a Ph.D.), an office for conferences, a salary that makes such meetings possible, a workload that enables continuing scholarship, a telephone and answering machine, reasonable access to photocopying, and financial support for professional activities.

Remove any one of these values, and education suffers. Who would ask their accountant to work without an office? Or a telephone? Or training and professional development?

Most of the teachers encountered by students in first-year classes have none of these things. No office. No pay for meetings outside of class. No degree. Little or no training. No experience to speak of.

Little wonder that nobody’s happy with the results.

The good news is that there’s plenty of work in higher education teaching for those who want to do it. The bad news is that all of that work no longer comes in the package of tenure, dignity, scholarship, and a living wage that we call “a job.”

The struggle for dignity in the academic workplace continues and 17 years later Workplace remains a journal focused on critical analysis of and activism within universities, colleges, and schools.

Throughout it’s existence Workplace been an open-access journal. Initially housed on servers at the University of Louisville, the journal moved to the University of British Columbia and transitioned from an html-based journal to the Open Journal Systems (OJS) a journal management and publishing system  developed by the Public Knowledge Project. PKP is a multi-university initiative developing free open source software and conducting research to improve the quality and reach of scholarly publishing.

Workplace is now published by the Institute for Critical Education Studies at UBC and hosted, along with a number of other OJS journals, by the University of British Columbia Library.

The Workplace journal archive project, led by Stephen Petrina (co-director of the Institute for Critical Education Studies and Workplace co-editor), has been underway for several years and is now complete. Back issues #1-#12 are now reformatted and accessible through the journal Archives, bringing the journal up to date under a new unified numbering system and collecting the complete journal contents in one place for the first time since 2005.

This was a monumental task, facilitated by the impeccable editorial work of Graduate Assistants Maya Borhani and Michelle Gautreaux.

We encourage you to explore the very rich archives of the journal and to join us in promoting a new dignity in academic work. We welcome your submissions on issues of workplace activism and dialogue on all issues of academic labor.

The New Academic Labor Market and Graduate Students

The Institute for Critical Education Studies at UBC is very pleased to announce the launch of a new issue of Workplace: Journal for Academic Labor: The New Academic Labor Market and Graduate Students.

Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor
No 22 (2013)

The New Academic Labor Market and Graduate Students
Special Issue Edited by Bradley J. Porfilio, Julie A. Gorlewski , & Shelley Pineo-Jensen

Table of Contents

The New Academic Labor Market and Graduate Students: Introduction to the Special Issue

Brad Porfilio, Julie A. Gorlewski, Shelley Pineo-Jensen

Dismissing Academic Surplus: How Discursive Support for the Neoliberal Self Silences New Faculty
Julie Gorlewski

Academia and the American Worker: Right to Work in an Era of Disaster Capitalism?
Paul L. Thomas

Survival Guide Advice and the Spirit of Academic Entrepreneurship: Why Graduate Students Will Never Just Take Your Word for It
Paul Cook

Standing Against Future Contingency: Activist Mentoring in Composition Studies
Casie Janelle Fedukovich

From the New Deal to the Raw Deal: 21st Century Poetics and Academic Labor
Virginia Ann Konchan

How to Survive a Graduate Career
Roger Todd Whitson

In Every Way I’m Hustlin’: The Post-Graduate School Intersectional Experiences of Activist-Oriented Adjunct and Independent Scholars
Naomi Reed, Amy Brown

Ivory Tower Graduates in the Red: The Role of Debt in Higher Education
Nicholas D. Hartlep, Lucille T. Eckrich

Lines of Flight: the New Ph.D. as Migrant
Alvin Cheng-Hin Lim

Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor republishes back issues #1-5 and #9

Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor, back issues #1-5 and #9 are now reformatted and accessible through the Archives.

Thanks to the outstanding editorial work of ICES GRA Maya Borhani, we’ve been able to work forward and republish these back issues. The balance of back issues will be accessible in due time. We did our best to make this remediation work and apologize for any errors in the transfer. Please inform us if you pick up mistakes here or there. We also thank all of those who contribute/d as editors,reviewers, readers, and authors.

Some may prefer the more anarchic aesthetic of the original online format, wherein access remains at
http://louisville.edu/journal/workplace/issue5/back_issues.html and
http://louisville.edu/journal/workplace/workplace1/wokplace.html and
http://louisville.edu/journal/workplace/workplace2/wokplace2.html and
http://louisville.edu/journal/workplace/workplace2-1/wokplace2-1.html and here at UBC in the future.

Thank you for your interest in ICES, Critical Education, and Workplace.

Please keep the new manuscripts flowing in!

Sandra Mathison, Stephen Petrina & E. Wayne Ross, co-Directors
Institute for Critical Education Studies http://blogs.ubc.ca/ices/
University of British Columbia
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