Contingency and Gender

Published on Chronicle Vitae on April 24, 2015.

When critics lament the adjunctification of higher education, gender and race are not necessarily at the forefront of the discussion. While contingent labor is clearly a problem for academia, it is not a problem that affects everyone equally. What does it mean for departments, institutions, and academic disciplines if contingency is a problem that affects more women than men? How does, or should, that fact change our approach to contractual labor? More important, what does it suggest about the gender politics of higher education more broadly?