When "The Research" is Me: Women's Experiences as Contingent Instructors in the Contemporary Academy


  • Lucy E. Bailey Ohio State University


feminist narratives, adjunct instructors, contingent instructors, sessional instructors, working conditions in academia


This paper is a small auto/biographical slice from a long-term qualitative project on the experiences of female adjunct instructors and graduate teaching assistants in the contemporary academy. The author, a contingent faculty member, juxtaposes contextual information about female contingent instructors with her own experiences and reflections on the teaching/research process, as well as personal narratives from women who have taught in varied college and University settings in a mid west state, to contribute to the continued expansion of feminist work on narrative forms. These women, with varying degrees of elation and despair, have helped to constitute the category of ââ¬Åcontingent workerââ¬Â imperative to the machinations of the contemporary University.

Author Biography

Lucy E. Bailey, Ohio State University

Lucy E. Bailey has been, simultaneously and/or consecutively, a graduate student, teaching assistant, managing editor, academic advisor, activist, and visiting professor, for the last 12 years. Her interdisciplinary work addresses feminist pedagogy, methodology and theory, critical race studies, cultural studies, and educational history.