You may already know about this, but in case you don’t:
In the meantime, adjuncts at Bentley University have narrowly rejected a union.
As you’ll recall, a couple of SEIU reps ran into us at the Roost this past summer. SEIU is hosting an adjuncts’ forum in Boston on November 1. Anyone want to go?
This comes from a member of the listserv H-Scholar at h-net.msu.edu. She included a list of regional organizations, which you can find at ncis.org. Check the blogroll for other communities of independent scholars and adjunct faculty.
- As the “designated reader” of the surveys that new H-Scholar subscribers
send, I am aware that isolation is a big issue for most independent
scholars. But you need not be alone! In the late 1970s and 80s, many
independent scholar groups were founded in the U.S., mostly (as you will
note) around college and university campuses. Groups were also founded in
Canada and Australia. The aim of these organizations is to bring
independent scholars together on the basis of shared interests. In short,
to overcome isolation. The groups also offer a number of practical benefits
to their members. Check their websites to learn more about activities and
benefits. Or consider starting your own local group. [Editor's note: consider it done!]
Please share your ideas about how independent scholars can connect with
each other.Do let me know if I’ve omitted other independent scholar
groups. [Editor's note: consider that done, too.] We will be including all of this information on the H-Scholar website when we make the transition to the Commons.
Independent scholars, please join us! Thursday, September 12, 7:00- 8:30 p.m., Woodbury Room, Jones Library, Amherst.
Matthew Emerson, a Five College Associate and a department chair at Kaplan University, will give a brief presentation about distance education and online higher education. Discussion will follow. Online learning seems to be the wave of the future; what does it imply for independents and for higher education in general?
Matthew Emerson is chair of the Department of Social Sciences, College of General Education, Kaplan University.
Of course, we’ll have time for conviviality afterward.
The Boston Globe reported yesterday on a growing move toward crowdfunding in the sciences. (You can find a link in the sidebar “The wider conversation” on this page. In hard copy, see the front page for Tuesday, September 3: “Scientists call on the crowd for funding.”) Most often the fund-raising supports pilot projects and smaller grants, but the report mentions one successful proposal with a budget of $1.5 million. Beyond the familar Kickstarter and IndieGogo, science-specific sites like Microryza and #SciFundChallenge are starting to appear. There is some intriguing potential for independent scholars here.
One especially interesting observation is that “the outreach is itself rewarding.” Specialists seeking funding must explain their work – and its significance – to a broad public. Sounds like a creative way to build bridges between academe and everyone else.
We were enjoying our meetup at the Roost last week when some new guests joined us – two union representatives from Service Employees International (SEIU). They’ve been organizing adjunct faculty in eastern Massachusetts, notably at Northeastern and Tufts (who knew that Tufts had a lot of adjuncts?). Although they were here for a different meeting, they had heard of Hidden Scholars and took the opportunity to introduce themselves.
As it happened, those of us who were present had other day jobs, or were concentrating on research, so were not particularly in need of organizing at the moment. But I know you’re out there. Contact Ian Woolverton, (617) 241-3317, email@example.com, or Donald (DJ) Cronin, (617) 241-3363, firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, Ian and DJ.
Need to get away from the computer for a while? The next informal meetup will be on August 22, 5:30 until 7:00, at the Roost in Northampton. Have a coffee or a beer and connect with other independent scholars.
And here is an opportunity:
The next NeMLA (Northeastern Modern Language Association) conference will
take place 3 – 6 Apr. 2014 in Harrisburg, PA. I am seeking a guest speaker
to address the Contingent, Adjunct, Independent, and Two-Year (CAITY)
Caucus and larger membership on issues of relevance to contingent faculty,
esp. in literature/ languages and other humanities.
If you know of any person/ group in that area who may be able to help,
please send me an email and/ or direct them to me at the above email
Our next meetup will be a roundtable discussion – or an open mic – on work in progress. The idea is to give a brief (five minutes or so) presentation on your current project, or some part of it, and to ask for comments or feedback. Since few of us are in the same fields, be prepared for an audience of intelligent generalists rather than fellow specialists. Projects need not be polished – in fact, a conversation like this often works better when they are still in progress.
Tuesday, April 23, 4-5:30 pm., Woodbury Room (the newly refurbished one, with good lighting), Jones Library, Amherst. Light refreshments provided. Opportunity for conviviality afterward.