The contributors in this collection argue neoliberal discourses are prevalent in higher education and seek to undermine, commodify, and co-opt the radical, transformative work that many gender and women's studies departments, programs, and centers are doing. The contributors discuss the ways in which they respond to these challenges in and out of the classrooms: from mentorship and activism to active allyship, experimental pedagogies, and applying feminist theory. The contributors propose a new wave of feminist consciousness raising, new tools for engaged teaching and activism, new visions of self-care models, slow research and scholarship, unionization, and new advice for leaving tenured or tenure-track positions that serves as doorways to new understandings of productivity and creativity.
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Abby Palko is director of the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women's Center at the University of Virginia.
Sonalini Sapra is engaged teaching specialist in the Center for Principled Problem Solving at Guilford College and adjunct assistant professor of political science.
Jamie Wagman is associate professor and chair of gender and women's studies and history at Saint Mary's College.
Chapter One: Lavender Carharts: Queer Work within and outside the Academy
Chapter Two: Neoliberalism in Higher Education and its Effects on Marginalized Students
Chapter Three: Promoting Feminist Labor in Academe's Culture of Compliance
Chapter Four: Neutral Student Grievance Processes in White Supremacist Institutions of Higher Education
Chapter Five: Planting Seeds of Trans Inclusion: A Conversation with Meghan Buell of TREES, Inc.
Meghan Buell and Pam Butler
Chapter Six: Laboring in Line with Our Values: Lessons Learned in the Struggle to Unionize
Sonia De La Cruz, Nini Hayes, and Sonalini Sapra
Chapter Seven: Feminist Future Making and Nomadic Subjectivity in the Academy
Lauren J. Lacey
Chapter Eight: Sovereignty as an Indigenous Feminist Intervention
Amanda Griffin Linsenmeyer
Chapter Nine: There is No Surviving without Thriving
Chapter Ten: Compadradzco & the Wild Woman: An Argument for the Creative Collective as Radical Support for Women in the Academy
Leslie Contreras Schwartz
Chapter Eleven: Fighting Shanda: A Jewish Mother Academic's Positionality and Practice at a Catholic Women's College
With intersectional feminist ferocity, this powerful, impassioned collection asks what a university would look like if it actually cared about the marginalized, while it unsparingly displays higher education's race to the bottom by a thousand neoliberal cuts. Foregrounding WOC, LGBTQ+, first-generation, working-class, Jewish, and indigenous voices and experiences, the chapters unflinchingly confront what it means to attempt social justice research and pedagogy amidst literally ceaseless budget "crises". Seamlessly weaving the sublimity of our longings for a more just world with a clear-eyed stare at the ridiculous corporate logic that has swamped university functions, this collection is essential reading for students, faculty, administrators, and anybody who cares about higher education. -- Karen Kelsky, Founder and CEO of The Professor Is In