“When I got into grad school, the very act of *getting in* and getting funded seemed like such a huge accomplishment that I barely thought about things like jobs. That was ages away, at least six years down the road! Sure, I’d done some research and looked at the numbers, but the realities of academic job-hunting seemed so distant. All I could think about was the exciting new life I was going to lead, the papers I would publish, the new discoveries I would make.” BOOM. Yes. So good. So, so good.
“The life of the mind is born of fear,” writes Sarah Kendzior, referring to the fact that William Pannapacker and the small number of academics who have spoken out about the crisis in higher education have almost all felt compelled to use pseudonyms. Whatever side of the debate you may be on, I’m at least grateful that more and more people ARE speaking out, that more adjuncts are unionizing, and that potential and current humanities grad students can now make more informed decisions about their futures.
The numbers don’t lie, and they’re worth repeating. 70% of faculty positions are now held by adjuncts. This means that 70% of current humanities grad students, should they seek university jobs, are likely to end up making less than $25,000 a year, living without health insurance or any job security beyond the end of the current semester, and knowing that they…
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