During the 2019 Diversity, Decolonization, and the German Curriculum Conference, a working group on contingent labor in German studies convened. The working group compiled a set of notes outlining guidelines for DDGC as it plans its programming, which are listed below. These guidelines also have implications beyond DDGC. If you would like to share thoughts on individual components and/or add ideas to the notes below, please be in touch.
Primary principle: The aim is not to make contingency more sustainable but to reduce contingency: number of people in contingent positions, ways in which positions are contingent.
--Visibility is important: contingent faculty should neither be swept under the rug nor be obliged to blend in with non-contingent members of the profession
Our thoughts were grouped into three overlapping areas:
Programming for/work at DDGC events/conferences/workshops:
--finance presence of contingent faculty at DDGC events
--include panels on alt-ac/non-academic positions and on making the decision to leave academia by individuals who have made this decision and are in these work environments
--gather information: who are contingent faculty, where are they, and what demographics (disproportionately BIPOC, women) do they belong to? (Perhaps a task for the "Personalia" section of Monatshefte)
--discuss institutions, policies, contracts that contingent faculty can use for leverage
Activities for DDGC/its members outside conferences
--gather information (see above): important that those NOT contingent take on this labor
--collect and post contracts and policies (redacted as necessary) as well as resources re governance, representation, and power structures at different kinds of institutions for shared learning; bring disciplinary training in careful reading and critique to bear on them
--share knowledge about what decisions happen at the state level, department/school/college level, university level; strategies for how to work with each
At other institutions/conferences:
--organize, promote, and attend panels for, by, and about contingent labor and labor practices within the academy (also a visibility issue)
--reflect on ways of interacting with structures such as unions; discuss options for collective action; state-level lobbying or activism, Committees on Political Education
--discuss how (for example) AATG can advocate for contingent faculty members using its existing status in the profession. Other organizations (GSA, ACTFL, AFT?)
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