Fight For Your Long Day — a novel about adjuncts and today’s higher education

Hello Hidden Scholars,

I had meant to inaugurate my coordinatorship (not a word yet, but I’ll use it anyway) with a different type of post, one that focused simply on the Hidden Scholars organization itself, but yesterday I happened upon an article about adjuncts that some may find interesting. I myself have tried to leave the world of adjuncting behind to concentrate on my scholarship, but the issues still are important to me, as they are to many of you.

Most of what the author describes is more than familiar to anyone who has either worked as an adjunct in the past couple of decades or just been around adjuncts. So what’s in the article will not likely read as “news” to you should you decide to read the article. The structure of the work force in higher education is changing along the same lines that it is for other parts of the economy. The effects on higher education, of course, may be more dire than for, say, taxi driving because the nature of teaching changes under these new conditions, while driving pretty much remains the same as it has been, even if now performed under increasingly insecure conditions. Unless driverless cars make driving obsolete…. Maybe someone knows of a good analysis that compares these effects?

But the main reason I’m giving the link is not that the information about adjuncts provided in the article is unfamiliar, but that the author talks about a novel written by an adjunct faculty member about adjuncting and the novel seems to have garnered considerable praise.

The article appeared on alternet.org (a basically left-center news and opinion site): http://www.alternet.org/education/heart-breaking-stories-academia-america-treats-most-faculty-peons-and-results-are-not

The novel is called Fight For Your Long Day and is by Alex Kudera. It has just recently been reissued in a classroom edition, as I understand it, and is praised for its insights into contemporary higher education. I hope to read it soon.