As activists shine a spotlight on labor abuses surrounding the Guggenheim and NYU’s expansion to Abu Dhabi, Belabored speaks with Andrew Ross about global labor struggles and the role that the arts and academic communities can play in transnational movements for social justice. Plus: Sheryl Sandberg’s latest “Lean In” fail, Jeff Bezos as the World’s Worst Boss, Uber organizing, and more.
Not so long ago, the social contract between workers, government, and employers made college a calculable bet. We built a university system for the way we worked. What happens to college when that social contract is broken—when we work not just differently but for less? And what if the crisis in higher education is related to the broader failures that have left so many workers struggling?
Earlier this week, members of the GSOC (Graduate Student Organizing Committee) -UAW bargaining unit at New York University voted overwhelmingly (620 to 10) for union recognition. The result means that GSOC is (once again) the first graduate-employee union at a …
The debate over the working conditions for adjunct faculty was recently reignited by the death of Margaret Mary Vojtko, a longtime adjunct professor at Duquesne University who was fired in the last year of her life and died penniless. Moshe Marvit talks to Dan Kovalik, a labor lawyer who knew Votjko and has helped to publicize her story.
Contingent faculty constitute an academic proletariat, where a lack of workplace control, negligible job security, and prevailing low wages define the conditions of employment. In response to these conditions, previously solitary academic laborers are joining together in an attempt to speak with a collective voice.
The initial promise was that Massively Open Online Courses would function as a free educational commons, along the lines of other free internet resources. The new MOOC strategy, however, involves rich universities being paid by poor ones.
Next time you hear a pundit say that to preserve America’s competitiveness or dynamism, we must replace the liberal arts with something more “practical,” take a second to check what they studied.
Lawrence Summers’s celebration of the global reach of English can only be read as an unabashed apology for American empire. By even the most strategically hard-headed criteria, however, cadres drawn from a monolingual American elite are a poor choice as ambassadors of U.S. interests.
If graduate students like myself do not want to come into work one day to find ourselves replaced by video lectures delivered by “information curators,” we will have to learn to take collective action.
It is not just the economic climate in which our colleges and universities find themselves that determines what they charge and how they operate; it is their increasing corporatization.