Comments on: Sarah Weddington to be fired from adjunct position at U. Texas http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/28/sarah-weddington-to-be-fired-from-adjunct-position-at-u-texas/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sun, 21 Sep 2014 09:59:39 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Jeremy C. Young http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/28/sarah-weddington-to-be-fired-from-adjunct-position-at-u-texas/comment-page-1/#comment-820558 Mon, 02 May 2011 02:46:04 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15022#comment-820558 I hadn’t heard about this, and it’s terrible news. I hope Weddington 1) gets a cushy job at a liberal think tank, 2) writes a bunch of scathing books and op-eds about how the attack on the tenure system is an attack on minorities/women/people with controversial views, and 3) ends up in a good situation after all of this. But I’m not holding my breath.

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By: Rebecca http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/28/sarah-weddington-to-be-fired-from-adjunct-position-at-u-texas/comment-page-1/#comment-820399 Sun, 01 May 2011 18:18:14 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15022#comment-820399 @Feminist Avatar: you’re right, assuming (a) I were qualifeid for non-academic work, (I’m not. All of my pre-academic work was in the restaurant industry) and (b) that I and my cohort can afford to return down to entry-level salaries. Again, I cannot. And of course, I’m in no financial position to return to school.

As for how I advise my students to “market” their English degrees, the simple answer is I do not. In fact, I advise them to not major in English, and if they must do so out of some misguided idealism, I implore them to either double major in some field that has some professional applications, or short of that, take some paralegal courses.

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By: Wonk’s Saturday Reads: Sailboats at Sunset « Liberal Rapture http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/28/sarah-weddington-to-be-fired-from-adjunct-position-at-u-texas/comment-page-1/#comment-819962 Sat, 30 Apr 2011 10:55:30 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15022#comment-819962 [...] Historiann, Roe v. Wade lawyer Sarah Weddington to be fired from adjunct position at U. Texas. Way to not Hook ‘em, [...]

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By: Saturday: Sailboats at Sunset « Sky Dancing http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/28/sarah-weddington-to-be-fired-from-adjunct-position-at-u-texas/comment-page-1/#comment-819946 Sat, 30 Apr 2011 09:55:16 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15022#comment-819946 [...] Historiann, Roe v. Wade lawyer Sarah Weddington to be fired from adjunct position at U. Texas. Way to not Hook ‘em, [...]

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By: Hattie http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/28/sarah-weddington-to-be-fired-from-adjunct-position-at-u-texas/comment-page-1/#comment-819918 Sat, 30 Apr 2011 05:25:59 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15022#comment-819918 When my daughter got her PhD she had to decide whether to go the academic route or take a job with Microsoft. She made the right decision. Microsoft gave her the kind of perks that make it possible for a woman to have a full on career and a family too without working herself to death. However, it’s too bad that academia lost her, because she was a first rate scholar.

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By: John S. http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/28/sarah-weddington-to-be-fired-from-adjunct-position-at-u-texas/comment-page-1/#comment-819852 Sat, 30 Apr 2011 00:27:47 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15022#comment-819852 I hope this isn’t hijacking the thread too much, but I think that Weddington’s case reveals something else structurally wrong in the university system. I did a quick scan of the “Department of Government,” which is listed as one of her adjunct departments. (As to whether or not that is her “primary” appointment as an adjunct, I can’t say.) I noticed that she’s the only person listed who has a J.D. as a terminal degree; everyone else either appears to be en route (ABD getting a Ph.D.) or a Ph.D.–with the exception of a couple of Ph.D./J.D folks. So: Weddington doesn’t necessarily fit the traditional “get a Ph.D., turn your dissertation into a monograph, get tenure” mold that academia tries to push people into.

This is not to denigrate her accomplishments or say that she’s not worthy of a tenured position. I think the opposite is true, in fact. But I would suggest that universities often hide behind particular notions of “fair standards” that can work against scholars like Weddington whose accomplishments are huge but cannot be quantified.

I think that her case reveals that academia can and should be more willing to bringing in public intellectuals who have had exceptional careers–both in the sense of being extraordinary but also in the sense of being outside of the norm.

And, of course, Historiann is correct that if Weddington where a conservative dude, she’d already have something like an AEI gig lined up. But then, conservatives can count on the Koch brothers ponying up that kind of money. Until there’s a left/liberal/feminist/radical (basically anything other than the conservative line) version of the American Enterprise, Hoover, or Manhattan Institutes, there isn’t going to be a backstop to protect public intellectuals and activists like Weddington if the university system can’t find space.

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By: Feminist Avatar http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/28/sarah-weddington-to-be-fired-from-adjunct-position-at-u-texas/comment-page-1/#comment-819820 Fri, 29 Apr 2011 22:15:36 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15022#comment-819820 I find the whole humanities PhDs are not marketable a bit suspect. One of the reasons for the legitimacy of our field is that training people in these areas is economically useful, and we ask undergrads to believe that and take degrees in our subjects because we believe they can and will get jobs. A person with a PhD is just a bit more qualified- you can apply for all the jobs your students can, plus a few more that your additional skills bring. So if you can’t see how to market your English PhD, how do you help your students do the same with their degrees?

And, it’s not like academia pays that well that hanging on in there is going to make up for the loss of earnings over the last decade that you spent training. There is no golden goose at the end of this ride. Many middle-class jobs pay what your average academic will earn and have similar, if not better, progressions in terms of money.

On a different note: I do agree that setting up a union can be risky for individuals and some people may be sacrificed- but that’s why it needs us all to get involved. That’s why it’s collective action. Institutions rely on our fear to exploit us.

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By: Rebecca http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/28/sarah-weddington-to-be-fired-from-adjunct-position-at-u-texas/comment-page-1/#comment-819792 Fri, 29 Apr 2011 19:54:47 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15022#comment-819792 There are many reasons not to leave. One is simply where would one go? Ph.D.s in English are not really very marketable. More importantly, though, leaving won’t solve the problem of adjunctification. In fact, it may make it worse because it will open the adjunct ranks to ever less qualified or engaged instructors, and that erodes the profession as a whole. It may not always be pleasant, but at least those of us who speak out care about what we do.

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By: Z http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/28/sarah-weddington-to-be-fired-from-adjunct-position-at-u-texas/comment-page-1/#comment-819764 Fri, 29 Apr 2011 17:57:03 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15022#comment-819764 Well I hate to say it but if you’re that scared and also that upset about the situation, you should go into another line of work. Not that I disagree with Rebecca; faculty at my own university had serious difficulty voting to support pay equity for women, even, and even most tenured would be scared to unionize. So it’s an attitude problem that not only the adjuncts have. I think it’s deplorable, but real.

Once again: if you’re an adjunct and dissatisfied and terrified then I really do recommend getting into another line of business. Why insist upon suffering?

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By: Ruviana http://www.historiann.com/2011/04/28/sarah-weddington-to-be-fired-from-adjunct-position-at-u-texas/comment-page-1/#comment-819761 Fri, 29 Apr 2011 17:50:21 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=15022#comment-819761 Also Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, now Professor Emerita at Cal State U East Bay. She founded the ethnic studies department there.

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