The Making of the Graduate Working Class: Perspectives on University Activism and Responsibility

AHA Session 101
Friday, January 4, 2019: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Williford A (Hilton Chicago, Third Floor)
Amanda Scott, United States Naval Academy
Sarah Siegel, Washington University in St. Louis
Jody Noll, Georgia State University
Ruby Oram, Loyola University Chicago
Jeff Schuhrke, University of Illinois at Chicago

Session Abstract

In recent years, graduate students and adjuncts have turned universities into hotbeds of labor-organizing, in the process raising larger issues about fair labor practices, just compensation, and workers’ rights not only within the university but in the broader communities that sustain universities and are sustained by them. What ethical and economic obligations do universities owe to their employees and what role can graduate students, lecturers, and early-career faculty play in pushing for just compensation across worker categories? Should they advocate for improved working conditions in their broader communities or restrict their advocacy for better working conditions for themselves? This panel invites perspectives on student activism and collegiate labor organizing in order to open up a conversation on the responsibilities graduate and assistant professors have in promoting fair labor practices inside and outside the university campus community.
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