I was going to sit on this, but fuck it:

"You, who are so liberal and so humane, who have such an exaggerated adoration of the academy that it verges on affectation, you pretend to forget that you run departments and that in them precarious faculty are exploited in your name."
This is a modification of one of Sartre's quotes from his preface to Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth, which you can find below:

To be clear, this isn't a subtweet of tenured faculty, though it can be read as such: this is a subtweet of the broad structures of the academy that have become reliant upon contingent and precarious faculty, so much so that I don't think the academy can imagine itself otherwise.
That is, our institutions, all of them, run on precarious labor. If every member of the precariat (a fucked term if I ever heard one) from VAPs to adjucts just stopped taking the scraps we're tossed by administrators and their collaborators, institutions would crumble.
Whole departments would be lost as the labor, the exploited labor, that enables them to provide their "world class education" suddenly vanished. However, the unfortunate reality is that the need to fucking survive means that there will always be someone to take the job.
Further, for all of its protestations, the academy knows this. Administration knows this. Their collaborators know this and they weaponize it in contract negotiations, shared governance (or what's left of it), and hiring priorities. They wield precarity like a scythe.
And they do so while lamenting the state of their budgets, the availability of FT lines, and their commiseration over the faculty they "lose." That is, they pretend to forget that their institutions operate on precarity, and their "world class education" requires exploitation.
I say "pretend to forget," because they pretend that they don't know that the majority of instruction on their campuses is done by precarious faculty. I say "pretend to forget" because they use the VAP to perpetuate the lie that their instruction is done by "full time" faculty.
I say "pretend to forget" because they know their institution runs on exploitation; they simply don't care to do something about it. Rather, they, like the Left in Sartre's preface will scold the precariat for wanting things like raises, job security, a tenure path, healthcare.
The academy says "you ask too much, any more and we won't support you..." And again, Sartre's understanding here is clear: the precariat don't give a damn about conditional support for basic needs: "for all the good it does them they might as well stuff it up their backsides."
Now, there's a crucial difference here: Sartre is writing at a time when "the natives" as he calls them, were in open rebellion: they were waging war in the colonies, spilling the blood of the colonizers in an attempt to reclaim their humanity.
But I say Sartre is prescient in application to the precariat:

"they are ‘traumatized’, for life. But these constantly renewed aggressions, far from bringing them to submission, thrust them into an unbearable contradiction which the academy will pay for sooner or later."
That is, sooner or later, the academy will be made to pay for the way it has created and maintained a permanent underclass, dangling in front of them the promise of happiness in the form of "tenure," while simultaneously denying them basic necessities.
Sooner or later, the academy will have to reckon with how it's claims of freedom through education, of a better life through scholarship, are made out to be a lie of staggering proportions by the maintenance of the precariat.
To conclude, I haven't even BEGUN to talk about what the fuck would happen if students were made aware, TRULY made aware of how their institutions exploit their faculty. Not just when it is convenient for contract negotiations, but as an ongoing practice.
Especially as an ongoing practice that is connected to the very world that institutions are supposed to be "preparing" them for.

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More from @shengokai

27 May
Jokes aside, there is no single actor responsible for the normalization of suffering and cruelty in the academy: it is a result of the collective habits of the academy. While these habits vary across fields and institutions, we cannot and should not look for a single "actor."
It would be easy to blame the administration for controlling the purse strings, or boards of trustees for being assholes, but that would ignore the jackass on your curriculum committee who shoots down anything that challenges their comfort.
Read 6 tweets
27 May
This is a good question and I have something of an answer.

If we're going to reject an applicant, committees might behoove themselves to take the time to write down why they're rejecting the applicant, what their strengths were, and what led them not to consider the applicant.
Now, this runs into some difficulty because many committees couch their rejections in terms of "fit," a nebulous concept which needs to be sent to the dustbin of history for a variety of reasons.
However, one of the things that I would find valuable as an applicant is a clear articulation of why my research, teaching, AOC/AOS, did not align with the department's needs. What were the things that led the committee to pass on the application?
Read 4 tweets
27 May
So much of academia has been justified with "I suffered through this, and I made it. You'll be okay."

No, dear reader, I will not be "okay," and I don't think you're "okay" either despite having "made it."
That is, the very fact that people will argue that their survival is indication that people can "make it" should be take as a sign that something of value was lost in "surviving" academia, that you need to give something up to "make it."
And this isn't one of those "we should be able to have it all in the academy" threads, this is an ask that people who claim to have "made it," to have achieved the academy's promise of happiness, look critically upon what it cost them to do so.
Read 9 tweets
27 May
Most of my posts about the academic job market and the application process have focused on the sheer amount of time it takes to complete an application. That said, I want us to attend to the emotional cost of subjecting ourselves to this hell.
For my part, there’s a growing loss of motivation to do my own work. That is, in many senses, the job application process can be viewed as a retrospective on a candidate’s body of work, a value judgment about what they’re doing.
As such, every rejection, every job that ghosts, every job that goes to someone more “traditional” in their research, can be read as a referendum on your own work. Enough of these and it becomes difficult to keep pushing forwards. To keep “working.”
Read 6 tweets
21 May
Nothing an institution does is ever "by accident." Not a goddamned thing. Institutional outcomes are the result of a series of choices, choices which become habits, that structure the activities of the institution. Here's the thing: you CAN judge an institution by its choices.
If we're going to take Dewey seriously, that the character of an individual is the result of the integration of their habits in conduct, the same is true of institutions. The character of an institution is an outcome of the integration of its habits in conduct. This is important.
So, when someone says an institution is racist, ableist, sexist, transphobic, or oppressive in a broad sense, we're describing the character of the institution as experienced by its members. Again, the character of an institution is the integration of its habits into conduct.
Read 15 tweets
21 May
Here's the thing: educational institutions' failure to provide equitable learning conditions for disabled students during remote learning was a choice. It was an intentional choice. There's nothing "accidental" about it: they could've done more but they chose not to.
Just as they choose to provide the minimum necessary support for disabled students in times of "normal" education. Just as they choose not to take seriously student complaints that faculty aren't honoring their accommodations, or penalizing them for making the request.
These are choices, decisions made by institutions to allow some students to succeed at the expense of others because, put simply, the academy views disability as a burden, as something to be accommodated or overcome, and not as the lived reality of students, faculty, and staff.
Read 4 tweets

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