The Female Precariat Panel

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
NeMLA 2018 Conference: Pittsburgh, PA
contact email: 

Beginning June 15, 2017, submit abstract to:

Abstracts will not be accepted via email, but please feel free to contact the panel chair, Rachelann Copland, at the listed contact email with questions, etc...


Coined by economist Guy Standing in The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, the precariat is a neologism combining “precarity” and “proletariat” to describe the increasingly impossible position of low-wage workers in the modern and global economy. In the university system, the precariat is often a synonym for the adjunct: who is subject to the whims of re-hiring, course availability, and a lack of transparency in department re-hiring practices; is often employed by multiple institutions across distances; is unable to contribute to service and other decision-making bodies because of pulls on time; and plans life one semester, or academic year, at a time.

In addition to these circumstances, this panel session focuses on the particular challenges of the female precariat, asking for accounts from and about this subject position and her struggles – and triumphs – in the academy. This panel session endeavors to attract papers that will investigate or narrate the very real effect these conditions impose on the psychological welfare of the precariat.

Rather than attempt to posit alternative-academic careers and a means out of the precariat (although the proposal encourages this), this session ultimately presents how to deal with making life work in this position while avoiding burn out. Specific course planning strategies and digital tools for time management and grading will be solicited in paper presentations.

This session also solicits papers that will provide beacons of light for the precariat: what support for the precariat looks like at various institutions; how to maintain a sense of stability; seeking out true support from a variety of faculty and staff. 



This session is sponsored by the Women's and Gender Studies Caucus, but participation in the panel IS NOT limited to WGSC members!!