Precarious Pedagogy: Teaching "Critical Race Theory" as Contingent Workers
Session type: 

What is it like teaching Critical Race Theory (or what might be construed as "CRT" by mainstream political discourse as framed by right-wing talking points) as contingent workers in the academy without the promise of continued employment after the semester ends? 

The purpose of this session would be to gather higher ed teachers working off the tenure track (e.g. adjunct instructors, graduate workers, full- and/or part-time lecturers or instructors, visiting teachers) to discuss experiences of and strategies for teaching topics and methodologies that lawmakers are currently literally attempting to censor via legislation in multiple states in the US. While teaching such topics and methodologies are certainly difficult for all college instructors, this session focuses on contingent workers to highlight how questions of pedagogy and politics are inseparable from questions of labor precarity. To ask one pointed question, what does it mean to be an adjunct instructor working semester-to-semester whose entire income could be cut off by an administrator deciding not to renew a contract in response to pressure from a small group of students, alumni, or state politicians? How does asking that question (and those like it), rather than focusing primarily or in the first instance on the experiences of tenured teachers, help us analyze our current moment for pedagogical and political possibilities for engagement and solidarity?

Related to the focus on contingent workers, our discussion will also hopefully interrogate differences across different kinds of institutions. What, for example, is the difference between teaching "CRT" in a private university with a large endowment versus a public university serving a majority working-class or first-generation student population? Or an institution in a right-to-work state versus a state with relatively stronger labor protections?

There is an abundance of related questions under the umbrella of precarious labor and critical race pedagogy which are invited to be part of this conversation. Feel free to reach out informally with interest -- no need for formal abstracts right now. 

Current contributors: 
Jesse A. Goldberg
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