MADISON, NJ — American adjuncts are in the news, and not for good reason, but it’s a promising sign that we’ve reached a tipping point when journalists unite to cover issues of importance, such as the plight and marginal work conditions of many higher ed instructors who are paid such stunningly low wages, it is no wonder our entire education system is in dire straits.
Why, you ask, would a literary press like Atticus Books care about the pay of college educators? For starters, our sole purpose is not about merely entertaining readers, but also enlightening them.
As an independent publishing house, Atticus Books embraces a far-reaching, civic-minded mission to increase public awareness about societal ills and injustices, and to incrementally advance thought and encourage discussion surrounding sensible cures and solutions.
Our editors may mostly live in the land of make-believe and they usually steer clear of hitting the streets with protest signs, thank goodness. However, that didn’t stop our publisher, Dan Cafaro from attending Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity which he says he found illuminating. Dan’s political rally nostalgia notwithstanding, we know that our greatest chance to have an impact is by partnering with wildly talented writers whose unconventional works deliver moral messages to smart, savvy readers who hunger for a between-the-lines reading experience.
Atticus writers do not preach but they know how to dim the lights, lower the music, and then cold-cock you in the chin with wake-up sentences of sheer and brutal beauty. These writers’ eloquent, seering prose and seriocomic, debut novels speak volumes. One such writer is Alex Kudera, the creator of fictional adjunct instructor Cyrus Duffleman. “Duffy” is the protagonist of Kudera’s debut novel, Fight for Your Long Day, an award-winning, day-in-the-life satire that has helped raise the visibility of the adjunct’s sorry state of affairs.
Given that this is Campus Equity Week, it’s your civic duty to get involved. One way would be to further educate yourself by reading all the terrific reviews that Alex’s book received and then buy the novel to get better acquainted with Duffy who awkwardly and painstakingly carries the torch for all miserable adjuncts.
Really, he does.
But if that’s not enough to whet your appetite and motivate you to take a stand for fairly compensating university faculty, following is a sample list of recent articles and activist sites dedicated to exposing the issue.
On the Trending Topic of Adjunct Hell
ABOUT THE SERIES
Six Degrees Left of Literature dismantles the walls of literary elitism through topical essays, and open and frank dialogue between leading writers, critics, and thinkers on topics that matter. Six Degrees Left keeps its fingers on the pulse and beat of everyday culture by exploring tipping point topics in a refreshingly authentic manner. Send in your questions, comments, and topic suggestions to danc [at] atticusbooks [dot] net.