Bibliography: Research on Contract Faculty

In light of the recent strikes at York University and University of Toronto, linked below is a list of some of the sources I’ve tracked down relating to PhD ‘demand’, the academic job market, contract faculty, and labour unions. The focus is on Canada – and it’s by no means exhaustive – but there are some references here from other countries as well. I’ve also tried to include a range of perspectives on the issues. Here’s the link:
Sources on contract faculty and academic unions in Canada.

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Speculative Diction: Cracking the code for employment [January 13, 2012]

I wrote this post after reading one too many articles about how coding is the skill that leads to a job. It’s a skill all right, and a useful one, but will it definitely lead to a job? We come back again to the “purpose” of learning, or of education – and because of context so many people are fixated on the magic formula for employment, that other factors are diminished. Not only that, but we lose sight of the process by which people actually do end up with meaningful employment.

Speculative Diction: On the Up and Up – Socioeconomic Class and Inter-Generational Change [September 19, 2011]

I wrote this post after watching the Up Series, a group of documentaries begun in 1964 and continued for every 7 years after. The series traces the personal histories of a group of children through their adulthood. I was struck by how much people’s life trajectories seem to have changed within less than 2 generations, particularly with regards to education and employment.

The latest instalment of the Up Series56 Up – was released last year (2012).

Speculative Diction: Myths and Mismatches [January, 2011]

This series of posts was written as a response to – and a means of thinking through issues raised by – an e-course by Jo VanEvery and Julie Clarenbach called “Myths and Mismatches“. According to Jo and Julie, the “goal with this series is to help you understand your experience [in academe] as both personal and structural.” This was a helpful series for me, since I was in the process of thinking through the implications of seeking a tenure-track job (hence the in-depth blog responses).

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Time, place, and opportunity
Part 3: Assessing your qualifications
Part 4: Structural faults?
Part 5: The myth of academic meritocracy
Part 6: Getting priorities straight
Part 7: How to apply yourself
Part 8: Are you at home?
Part 9: Finding your place
Part 10: What it takes, for what it’s worth
Conclusion: Where from here?