Humanities departments are guilty of adjunct exploitation, writes Chronicle contributor

February 14, 2017

“[The] profession of literary criticism depends upon exploitation,” writes Kevin Birmingham for the Chronicle of Higher Ed. The author contends that humanities departments' increasing dependence on part-time faculty has led these departments to intentionally produce more PhDs in order to maintain a constant stream of new graduates who are willing to work for little pay and no job security. “The abysmal conditions of adjuncts are not the inevitable byproducts of an economy with limited space for literature,” the author adds. “They are intentional. … If you are a tenured (or tenure-track) faculty member teaching in a humanities department with Ph.D. candidates, you are both the instrument and the direct beneficiary of exploitation.” Chronicle