[csaa-forum] Academic Labor in Communication Studies -- Call for Papers, Commentary and Multimedia (deadline: 1 June 2011)

Melissa Gregg mgregg at usyd.edu.au
Wed Apr 6 11:16:50 CST 2011

(apologies for cross-posting; please distribute widely)

International Journal of Communication Feature Special Section on Academic
and Administration in Communication Studies

Edited by Jonathan Sterne

Academic labor today is characterized by a series of disconcerting trends:
increasingly casualized professoriate; universities that increasingly depend
chronically undercompensated part-time and graduate student labor to support
their course offerings; a top-down managerial style and erosion of faculty
governance; increasing economic exploitation of staff and undergraduates;
student debt; governments that attack public education; shrinking endowments
(for the schools that had them) and heighted expectations for sponsored
research; wooden research assessment exercises; and the acute uncertainty of
academic job market for recent PhD graduates.   Against these, there is a
growing academic labor movement, with its own intellectual organs like
and Edufactory and a wide range of activist manifestations, from labor
unions to 
non-commercial alternative universities.  Academic journals have also
debate in this area, from Social Text¹s foray into the Yale Strike to
announced special issue on the anniversary of Bill Readings¹ The University

This special forum of the International Journal of Communication aims to
two contributions to the ongoing discussion of academic labor.

1.            To encourage university administrators ­ current and former ­
are sympathetic to the academic labor movement and the new student activism
reflect on their experiences in administration and thereby provide useful
knowledge for activists, organizers, and others.   Much of the existing
literature on academic labor treats university administrations as a fairly
monolithic ³management,² yet university administrations are riddled with
conflict, contradiction and constraint.    In most instances, administrators
used to be faculty members, and in many they will be again, once their
administrative terms are over.  A better understanding of the politics and
conflicts of administration may be useful in the struggle for better
within universities as places to work and study.

2.            To encourage people in Communication Studies ­ at all levels
the field ­ to reflect directly on the state of academic labor in our field.
Much of the academic labor literature has come from fields with considerably
worse job markets than Communication Studies, like English and History.
Communication Studies does not conform to so well to models of those other
fields, either academically or institutionally.  More importantly, it is
possible that within professional organizations and within departments we
begin to address some of these issues. But first, we need to confront them.

Submissions should be 500-4000 words in length and may come in any form of
critical commentary piece, ranging from academic analysis of some aspect of
current crisis; to personal/political reflection; to recommendations for
activism, policy, or best practices; or any other style of critical
We are particularly interested in pieces that not only identify problems but
offer potential solutions or new perspectives.

Multimedia submissions are also welcome.

Although the section will be edited and reviewed, it will not be subject to
blind peer review.

For the purposes of this forum, ³Communication Studies² will be interpreted
broadly to include all related fields and subfields, theoretical and

We welcome commentary from any and all parts of the world, though
should be made in English.  Submissions by current or former administrators
fields outside Communication Studies are most welcome.

Send queries, proposals or essays to
al at sterneworks.org<mailto:al at sterneworks.org>  .

Deadline for submissions: 1 June 2011

Decisions, and comments on accepted submissions will be returned by 1 July

Expected date of publication will be September 2011.

All submissions must follow IJOC style.  Author guidelines for the IJOC are
available at: 

This CFP is also available here:

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