Tenured Bosses and Disposable Teachers: Writing Instruction in the Managed University / Edition 3

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Tenured Bosses and Disposable Teachers: Writing Instruction in the Managed University exposes the poor working conditions of contingent composition faculty and explores practical alternatives to the unfair labor practices that are all too common on campuses today.


Editors Marc Bousquet, Tony Scott, and Leo Parascondola bring together diverse perspectives from pragmatism to historical materialism to provide a perceptive and engaging examination of the nature, extent, and economics of the managed labor problem in composition instruction—a field in which as much as ninety-three percent  of all classes are taught by graduate students, adjuncts, and other “disposable” teachers. These instructors enjoy few benefits, meager wages, little or no participation in departmental governance, and none of the rewards and protections that encourage innovation and research. And it is from this disenfranchised position that literacy workers are expected to provide some of the core instruction in nearly everyone's higher education experience.


Twenty-six contributors explore a range of real-world solutions to managerial domination of the composition workplace, from traditional academic unionism to ensemble movement activism and the pragmatic rhetoric, accommodations, and resistances practiced by teachers in their daily lives. 

Contributors are Leann Bertoncini, Marc Bousquet, Christopher Carter, Christopher Ferry, David Downing, Amanda Godley, Robin Truth Goodman, Bill Hendricks, Walter Jacobsohn, Ruth Kiefson, Paul Lauter, Donald Lazere, Eric Marshall, Randy Martin, Richard Ohmann, Leo Parascondola, Steve Parks, Gary Rhoades, Eileen Schell, Tony Scott, William Thelin, Jennifer Seibel Trainor, Donna Strickland, William Vaughn, Ray Watkins, and Katherine Wills.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Tenured Bosses and Disposable Teachers contributes to a more complete understanding of the problems facing composition faculty particularly and, by extension, all faculty in a managed university. As the authors remind us, faculty is labor, not management, a truth our profession must recognize in order to ensure economic justice.”—Deborah B. Normand, Chair of the CCCC Committee on Contingent, Adjunct, and Part-Time Faculty
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809325443
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/2003
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

The founding editor of Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor, Marc Bousquet is an associate professor of English at the University of Louisville. 

Tony Scott is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a member of the CCCC Committee on Contingent, Adjunct, and Part-Time Faculty. 

CUNY doctoral candidate in English Leo Parascondola coordinates the Bridge to College program at CUNY on the Concourse and is a founding member of the CCCC Working Class Studies Special Interest Group.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Does a "Good Job Market in Composition" Help Composition Labor? 1
Pt. 1 Disciplinarity and Capitalist Ideology
1 Composition as Management Science 11
2 Citizenship and Literacy Work: Thoughts Without a Conclusion 36
3 The Managerial Unconscious of Composition Studies 46
4 Global Capitalism, Scientific Management, and Disciplinary English 57
5 From Adelphi to Enron - and Back 72
Pt. 2 Putting Labor First
6 Making a Place for Labor: Composition and Unions 83
7 Toward a New Labor Movement in Higher Education: Contingent Labor and Organizing for Change 100
8 Teaching Writing in a Managed Environment 111
9 The Role of Writing Programs in Labor Relations 122
10 When Critical Pedagogy Becomes Bad Teaching: Blunders in Adjunct Review 132
11 The Politics and Economics of the Super-Exploitation of Adjuncts 143
Pt. 3 Critiques of Managerialism
12 Managing Labor and Literacy in the Future of Composition Studies 153
13 I Was an Adjunct Administrator 165
14 Embracing the Logic of the Marketplace: New Rhetorics for the Old Problem of Labor in Composition 171
15 Bureaucratic Essentialism and the Corporatization of Composition 186
16 Composition and the Future of Contingency: Labor and Identity in Composition 193
17 The Lure of "Easy" Psychic Income 201
Pt. 4 Pedagogy and Possibility
18 "Write-to-Earn": College Writing and Management Discourse 209
19 The Future of English Departments: Cultural Capital and Professional Writing 220
20 The Righting of Writing 231
21 Knowledge Work, Teaching Work, and Doing Composition 242
22 Composition, Culture Studies, and Critical Pedagogy in the Managed University 250
Afterword: Educating for Literacy, Working for Dignity 256
Works Cited 273
Contributors 287
Index 293
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