I value Gypsy Academics and Mother-Teachers for the compassionate way in which Schell combines a feminist and materialist analysis of the historical and economic conditions that have led to the exploitation of adjunct faculty, the majority of whom are women.
- College English
Fully two-thirds of all part-time teachers in English studies are women, many with no permanent faculty standing, no benefits, no job security, and little or no chance for promotion. How does the "feminization" of writing programs affect the newly formed discipline of rhetoric and composition?
Gypsy Academics and Mother-Teachers illuminates the complex gendered ideologies that surround writing instructiondrawing on feminist theories of women's work, Marxist theories of class and labor, sociological and economic studies of part-time academic employment, and personal interviews with part-time women writing faculty. Eileen Schell contends that part-time faculty members' interests and contributions have been underrepresented in our research narratives and professional histories in rhetoric and composition. Her book attempts to revalue practitioner knowledge and to reclaim the voices and perspectives of part-time women writing instructors as a vital part of the history and growth of rhetoric and composition as a discipline.
Both a theoretical and practical study, Gypsy Academics and Mother-Teachers not only theorizes the structures of gender and labor in writing programs; it also offers administrators, theorists, and practitioners ideas for improving the working conditions and professional status of part-time writing instructors.