| |…[UPDATED 4/5/17]
Somewhere along the way I lost my blogging voice. Why? I asked myself that more than once. One factor for sure: I loaned it out too often and for too long at the behest of others -- groups, organizations, campaigns, causes, individuals. My blogger's voice lost track of whose it was. This March I took a leap and committed to the #sol17 March blogging challenge hosted by the Two Writing Teachers
blog and writing community where I wrote 31 days straight, a blog post a day and commented on 9 (or more) other posts every day.
All blogging challenges include a commenting requirement, usually a minimum of three. The additional commenting load was from volunteer to welcome and support a group of new participants because I knew the extra commitment would stay me from dropping out. It worked and was also a lesson about blogging that I had forgotten: the conversation matters as much as content. Authentic exchanges, the sifting of opinion and information, as Jacques Barzun defined conversation, what makes the content matter. Along with regular posts, I want to bring that back to my blogging.
Am I ready? I think so. I know I can but will I?
Here's the plan:
- It's time to hit the restart button.
- A blog post a day, but not everyday here. I have other blogs. Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter posts are part of my network but don't count toward the one post a day. They do, however, add content to the blog (just check out the sidebars)
- I am changing and so is the network: less adjunct more other precarity. Not just higher ed either. I'm retired, not an adjunct anymore and in a place very different from the basement of the Ivory Silo™. I also read, research and curate widely outside traditional adjunct resources.
- Just because the network and I are evolving does not mean I know where we will find ourselves. When I know more, I'll let you know.
- Not to worry...adjuncts and academic labor topics won't be neglected, not with all the content I have. They will, however, hang out and mingle with other topics and issues. Intersectionality isn't just an academic cultural studies topic.
Next time ~ specifics and thoughts on what I won't be doing.
Until then, get your movement news fixes at these links for adjunct, higher ed, academic labor and labor news. Precarious Faculty and National Mobilization for Equity
(both on Facebook), Twitter streams, and Precarity Network Tumblrs, here
and here. Nor should I neglect the original A is for Adjunct
or, now reminded, put off updating the Precarity Network page
When I created and developed social media accounts for NFM, adjunct social media was thin. Now it abounds, especially on the Facebook landscape. Some groups and pages cast a wide net; others have a more local focus. An overview/review of Facebook as an adjunct resource is in order -- Twitter too.
If you haven't been by the blog lately, surf by and check out the changes, mostly updating and rearranging sidebar gadgets. I added Academic Labor to the sidebar. But there are other changes...
Content was not current or updating for Labor News
either, so I changed out the Blogger tool for a more reliable feed widget. The feeds for both are from my InoReader folders. Adjunct News
already has its own page on the blog. All of these and the Reading Room
refresh content automatically when content is added by feed or manually by me. There is always something new here even between posts. The same goes for Adjunct Justice
with an Ayotzinapa Matters
page and Immigration
feed display on the sidebar.
I spend more time curating, organizing and archiving than blogging or chasing social media. All that content is public: distribution, the next stage, takes precedence over blogging. This turn to informationist was how #NAWD
aka National Adjunct Walkout Day
(digital archive here
) changed me. That turn may have contributed the stalled blogging. At least I stuck around and kept on in my own way. Today I sent my last post to the NAWD Tumblr via Scoop.it (another post-NAWD media story) and cut that cord, changing it out for G+. Scoop.it sharing on free accounts is limited to just two social media accounts, not a problem until rss went south not long ago.
That is not the only harbinger of change. Twitterfeed
, my primary syndication tool, announced that it is closing October 31. I have 56 feeds there. Most are active and syndicating to social media accounts. I'm looking at Buffer, Dlvr.it and others. I can also transfer more sharing directly from Tumblrs and WordPress. neither Buffer nor Dlvr.it free accounts have the capacity to hand. My solution will probably be a combination of making sure all are on my reader, performing syndication triage (consider it curation with extreme prejudice) and juggling what's left. Even so I may still need spring for a paid account.
I sincerely hope so....
…Introducing what may or may not become a regular feature. Call it an experiment to jump start stalled blogging with Diigo's "blog this" feature and publish/distribute Precarity Network collections. This article is just as timely now as when it appeared in 2014 ~ perhaps even more so.
Across the nation the calls for greater “civility” in public discourse have been increasing and along with them there are now the voices of concern over the consequences of such calls and the use of such exhortations to chill free speech. In the academy there is concern for academic freedom.
Chancellor of the University of California at Berkley who maintains that free speech requires civility http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/sep/7/uc-berkley-chancellor-free-speech-requires-civilit/#! by Jessica Chasmar - The Washington Times, Sunday, September 7, 2014
- “Universities need less civility and more ‘shit‑kicking’”
"Civility as a conversational virtue has much to recommend it. The enforcement of civility, however, especially among classes like academics particularly inclined to advance challenging ideas, should make us recall how the use of “tone” as a criteria for controlling discussion works."
University presidents who urge civility are not trying to stifle dissent or suppress speech. They are trying to make the campus an oasis of sanity. They are trying to urge faculty and students to showcase productive dialogue. That is part of what higher education owes the country. That is part of the cultural and political difference higher education can make.
It's one thing to encourage civil conduct and reasoned discourse, quite another to regulate expression in the name of such encouragement. But that is precisely what too many college and university administrators and trustees are threatening to do. The threat to free speech rights is real. As Greg Lukianoff of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education noted, in his experience, "campus administrators are most likely to deem as 'uncivil' speech that criticizes them or the university’s sacred cows." Incivility is a difficult problem for Americans, because its underlying issues are social. But restrictive gate keeping just serves to dampen the generative value of diverse voices engaging. The impulse to silence can be just as uncivil as the trolling that inspired it. Salt of the Earth (1954) is an American drama film written by MichaelWilson, directed by Herbert J. Biberman, and produced by Paul Jarrico. All had been blacklisted by the Hollywood establishment due to their alleged involvement in communist politics. (Image: Library of Congress. March 14, 1954 premier at the only theater in the the city that would show it)
The film is one of the first pictures to advance the feminist social and political point of view. Its plot centers on a long and difficult strike, based on the 1951 strike against the Empire Zinc Company in Grant County, New Mexico. In the film, the company is identified as "Delaware Zinc," and the setting is "Zinctown, New Mexico." The film shows how the miners, the company, and the police react during the strike. In neorealist style, the producers and director used actual miners and their families as actors in the film. The film was called subversive and blacklisted because the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers sponsored it and many blacklisted Hollywood professionals helped produce it.
Read the rest of precarious faculty: #LaborDay Movie: "Salt of the Earth" (1954). Links below are from the preliminary draft of an entry for the Precarity Network's Labor feedbundle
…but the hat, red trench coat and high boots are snazzy. As for the blog, with 4 posts in January, missed all of February and today being March 25, even I ask if there is one. There's a tunc et nunquam feel about it all and with it, temptation to throw caution to the winds. So here I am ~ less about throwing anything to the winds just yet: just clearing more space while I consider directions. Just don't expect a blog post day for the rest of the month. Although not much of a blog these days, the network is alive and well. I've even been thinking how to bypass the blog and post directly to the network or some rss manifestation of it. So let's talk about the network, turning informationist and other (in my opinion) adjunct-appropriate interests. My latest PF Network page update covers those:
Now, collections from the above are transformed/remixed from folders and tags into feeds, html clips and bundles on InoReader. Bundles include social justice, immigration (special project for Adjunct Justice), labor, higher education, adjunct/ contingent faculty, education, academic labor, BDS/Palestine Advocacy (special project for Sean Kennedy), Ayotzinapa Matters (special project for Adjunct Justice). These are less networks than news/information/resource collections.
Online databases and their feeds aren't like hard copy: they update constantly. Parameters and tags can be revised without a new press run or edition. They evolve. Here's the 2014 post
accompanying a previous update. Then I dropped the R for rising. Just "Precarity Network" + collections
is the next step -- out not down. Check out the Adjunct News
too and the stand-alone html clip
-- not the most elegant page layout but an in-depth, information one-stop for adjunct and contingent faculty: local to global news, higher education and mainstream media coverage, images, videos, collections, magazine articles, book reviews, adjunct blog posts and more. Clips and bundles can be customized geographically or by topic. I'm working on a an open, public Cal-ed online collection with rss feed for CPFA
All precarity, social justice and human rights issues should matter to contingent faculty. Some will be more interested in -- committed to -- particular areas than others. BDS/Palestine Advocacy, Ayotzinapa, and immigration are cases in point. Education, like social justice, is huge -- overwhelming, too relevant to ignore and the contained topics too interrelated to separate in silos. Both would benefit from looking at aspects (topic areas) as parts of complex ecosystems that include yet more topics -- arts, humanities, social sciences, law, technology, media, natural resources, climate, and more.
Daunting. Irresistibly so.