Call for Award Nominations 2017

Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements Mayer N. Zald Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Student Paper Award

Anyone without a PhD in 2016 is considered a student, and any paper (published or unpublished) written in 2016 by a student or students (i.e., no PhD coauthors) is eligible.  A previously submitted paper may be resubmitted only if significantly revised.  Authors may submit their own work, or nominations may be made by section members. No lengthy nominating letters please, and please send all questions to the committee chair.  $500 will be awarded.  Send a copy of the paper electronically to each of the committee members by March 1, 2017.

 

Mayer Zald Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award Committee:  

Jennifer Earl (Chair), jenniferearl@email.arizona.edu

Ziad Munson, munson@lehigh.edu

Lee Ann Banaszak, lab14@psu.edu

Marcos Perez, meperez@colby.edu

Han Zhang, hz2@Princeton.EDU

 

Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Article Award

Articles and chapters from edited books with publication dates of 2016 are eligible. Authors may submit their own work, or nominations may be made by section members.  No lengthy nominating letters please, and please send all questions to the committee chair.  Send a copy of the article electronically to each member of the prize committee by March 1, 2017:

 

Best Published Article Award Committee:

Belinda Robnett (Chair), brobnett@uci.edu

John Krinsky, jkrinsky.ccny@gmail.com

Edward Walker, walker@soc.ucla.edu

Bogdan Vasi, ion-vasi@uiowa.edu

 

Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements Charles Tilly Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award

Section members, authors, or publishers may nominate books with publication dates of 2016. Authors may submit their own work, or nominations may be made by section members or publishers.  No lengthy nominating letters please, and please send all questions to the committee chair.  Send or have publishers send a copy of the book to each member of the prize committee by March 1, 2017:

 

Charles Tilly Award for Best Book Committee: 

Kenneth (Andy) Andrews, (Chair), kta1@email.unc.edu, (Department of Sociology, CB 3210, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599)

Neal Caren, neal.caren@unc.edu; (Department of Sociology, CB 3210, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599)

Elizabeth Borland, borland@tcnj.edu, (Social Sciences Building 317, The College of New Jersey, P.O. Box 7718, 2000 Pennington Rd., Ewing, NJ 08628)

Daniel Schlozman, daniel.schlozman@jhu.edu, (Johns Hopkins University, Mergenthaler Hall 278, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218)

 

Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Dissertation Award

Any doctoral dissertation completed (i.e. successfully submitted, defended, and approved) in calendar year 2016 is eligible. Only nominations from the student’s dissertation chair or co-chair will be accepted. Nomination letters should not exceed two typed pages in length. The nomination letter should be accompanied by the dissertation in electronic form. Please direct all questions to the committee chair. $1,000 will be awarded. Send a copy of the nomination letter and dissertation to each of the committee members by March 1, 2017:

 

Outstanding Dissertation Award:

Lyndi Hewitt (Chair), lhewitt@unca.edu

Soma Chaudhuri, chaudh30@msu.edu

Joshua Bloom, joshuabloom@pitt.edu

Daniel Escher, danielescher@gmail.com

Application Deadline for Young Scholars Conference, January 10!

Event hosted by the Center for the Study of Social Movements, University of Notre Dame March 31, 2017.

In conjunction with the presentation of the John D. McCarthy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Scholarship in Social Movements, The Center for the Study of Social Movements at Notre Dame will be hosting the eighth annual “Young Scholars” Conference the day before the McCarthy Award events. The recipient of the McCarthy Award, David Meyer, will be in attendance and other senior scholars visiting Notre Dame for the award presentation will serve as discussants for the conference.

We would like to invite 12 advanced graduate students and early-career faculty to present a work solidly in-progress at the conference, enjoy an opportunity to discuss their work with some of the leading scholars in the field, and meet others in the new cohort of social movement scholars. Conference attendees will also be invited to the McCarthy Award Lecture and the award banquet on April 1, 2017. The Center will pay for meals, up to three nights lodging, and contribute up to $500 toward travel expenses for each of the conference attendees.

The Center will select invitees from all nominations received by January 10, 2017. Nominations will be accepted for ABD graduate students and those who have held their Ph.D.s less than two years. Nominations must be written by the nominee’s faculty dissertation advisor (or a suitable substitute intimately familiar with the nominee’s research, if the advisor is unavailable). Nominations should include:

A letter of nomination.
2. The CV of the nominee.
3. A one-page abstract of the work to be presented.

Nominations should be sent via email to Rory McVeigh, Director of the Center for the Study of Social Movements, rmcveigh@nd.edu.

2017 McCarthy Award Winner!

The Center for the Study of Social Movements at the University of Notre Dame is very pleased to announce that the winner of the 2017 John D. McCarthy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Scholarship of Social Movements and Collective Behavior is David Meyer of the University of California at Irvine. The award not only recognizes David’s extraordinary achievements in research, but also the role that he has played in mentoring successive generations of scholars.

David has authored or edited six books and published well over 100 articles, book reviews, and reports that have shaped our thinking about social movements and contentious politics for several decades.   Those who nominated him for the award also emphasized his tireless work as a conscientious mentor. Indeed, a group of his current and former students praised him for the attention he has given to their developing work while also characterizing him as a “constant cheerleader” who is “fully invested in supporting young scholars.”

This year’s award ceremony will be held on April 1, 2017 on the Notre Dame campus. David will be giving a public lecture prior to the award banquet. At the banquet, several of his friends, colleagues and former students will be on hand to offer reflections on his work and influence on the field.

In conjunction with the presentation of the McCarthy Award, the Center for the Study of Social Movements will also be hosting the eight annual Young Scholars in Social Movements Conference on March 31, 2017. Advanced graduate students and recently minted PhD’s will be invited to present their work and receive feedback from the McCarthy Award winner and a distinguished panel of senior scholars in the field. A call for nominations for the Young Scholars Conference will be issued in a separate announcement.

We hope that many of you will mark your calendars and plan to join us for these events. Please be on the lookout for more information in the coming days and weeks—including instructions on how to apply for the Young Scholars Conference. We will distribute the news on the CBSM listserv and also post the news on our Center’s website http://nd.edu/~cssm/

CFP: Diversity and Social Justice in Higher Education

Call for Submissions

Spring 2017 Special Issue: Diversity and Social Justice in Higher Education

This special issue of the Humboldt Journal of Social Relations (HJSR) captures work and experiences in higher education as they relate to changes and challenges around diversifying U.S. college campuses. Race, class, gender, sexuality, able-bodiedness and citizenship shape contemporary conversations about campus climate, curricular content, organizational structures, decision making and the disparate impacts of related policy changes or stagnation. These conversations shape the everyday experiences of faculty and staff, and are ultimately linked to student success.

Submissions are due on October 31, 2016.

Manuscript Submission instructions, and more information, available at the HJSR web site.http://www.humboldt.edu/hjsr/

Authorship: All authors are encouraged to collaborate with others inside or outside academia. Interdisciplinary submissions are welcome.

Co-Editors:

Meredith Conover-Williams, Ph.D., Department of Sociology, Humboldt State University

Joshua S. Smith, Department of Sociology, Humboldt State University

Managing Editors:

Jennifer Miles and Heather Clark, Department of Sociology, Humboldt State University

The Humboldt Journal of Social Relations (HJSR) is a peer reviewed free online journal housed in the Department of Sociology at Humboldt State University. This internationally recognized journal produces annual themed spring editions around current issues and topics. While the articles primarily draw authors from the social sciences, we have also facilitated interdisciplinary collaborations among authors from the arts, humanities, natural sciences & the social sciences. For more information about HJSR, see the journal web site: http://www.humboldt.edu/hjsr/

CFP: Foodways and Inequality: Toward a Sociology of Food Culture and Movements

Call for Papers
Humanity & Society Special
Issue: “Foodways and Inequality: Toward a Sociology of Food Culture and Movements”
Guest Editors: Kaitland M. Byrd (Virginia Tech) and W. Carson Byrd (University of Louisville)

Foodways exist as key sources of cultural capital, and the rising quest for distinction within foodways has led to the proliferation of restaurants and chefs claiming authenticity (Johnson and Baumann 2010). Although the cultural dimension of foodways dominates the literature there is also extensive research on the prevalence of hunger and obesity throughout the United States (Poppendieck 1999, 2011). While a definition of foodways can vary between scholars and academic disciplines, we define foodways as the choices and meanings behind what people eat. Using this conceptualization we can gain a better understanding of how sociological perspectives can elucidate connections between people and food such as the formation of varying food movements, differing forms of inequality, the politics that infiltrate foodways and craft the connection between what people eat, and how people identify themselves through the consumption of specific foodways and food products (e.g., southern barbeque). The sociological study of foodways provides insight into broader processes such as how inequality functions around social movements, the connection between identity, memory, and consumption, and the politics behind the production and consumption of cultural products fundamental for survival. While a multitude of studies have examined the role of foodways in creating cultural distinctions and exploring the increasing problem of hunger, there is a lack of research focusing on the sociological implications of foodways and food movements. The extant focus on food insecurity and elite consumption is too narrow of a lens of social inequality – leaving a large portion of society unexamined. This special issue seeks to remedy this scenario.

The underlying goal of this proposed issue is to highlight research on foodways and inequality grounded in sociological theories emphasizing the breadth of food as an important facet of everyday life across multiple research areas. The scholarship we will include examine various relationships among foodways, food movements, and social inequality. These areas will include, but are not limited to the following areas of research:

  • Social inequality in/and food movements
  • The effects of food movements on local/global foodways
  • Comparisons of the prevalence of food movements across place, gender, and race
  • Comparative research on how alternative foodways (e.g. Indigenous) negotiate external pressures from food movements and initiatives
  • Farming efforts to preserve non-GMO seeds and farming practices
  • Theoretical contributions to understanding foodways and food movements sociologically
  • Comparative research on food movements as social movements both locally and globally
  • Farmer’s markets as sites of alternative food movements and perpetuating sites of inequality
  • Identity politics and food

Please submit abstracts (preferably as Microsoft Word documents), no longer than 500 words, to Kaitland M. Byrd (kmp009@vt.edu) or W. Carson Byrd (wcarson.byrd@louisville.edu) by August 1, 2016. Contributors should note that this call is open and competitive. Additionally, submitted papers must be based on original material not under consideration by any other journal or publication outlet. Authors will be notified of the editors’ decisions no later than September 1, 2016. Papers accepted for further consideration for inclusion in this special issue will go through the same review process as normal journal submissions. The invited papers will be due to the editors by November 1, 2016.

An Overview of Social Protest in Mexico

By Sergio Tamayo, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Azcapotzalco

Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, Mexico has become a laboratory of social struggle. The trajectory has followed a galloping pace of multiple struggles, rebellions and protests that look as if they cross paths with similar movements elsewhere in the world. From the student movements in Chile against privatization, the Indignados in Spain, Occupy Wall Street and the resistance of teachers in the United States, the Arab Spring in the Middle East, young people for public space in Turkey, the struggles of workers in South Korea, and the spread of anarchist communes; all seem to cross nations, cultures and similar experiences. With a highly schematic story I would like to show the way the space of Mexican movements has developed, and introduce some Mexican authors who have witnessed these struggles.

Protest in Mexico during the first decade of the current century has been a battle for citizenship and a dispute over the future of the nation (Tamayo, 2010). It has been a cycle in response to the systematic application of unpopular neoliberal policies that have been embedded in society, through critical structural reforms, especially in labor, education and energy (Modonessi, Oliver, Munguía, López de la Vega, 2011; Zermeño, 2009).

Mexican social movements can be classified by the way they relate to state policies. The National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) was aimed at both electoral goals and an anti-neoliberal court, but it is not radically opposed to capitalism. MORENA, which imagines development through a nationalist and popular strategy, has passed from being a social movement to a political movement-party (Combes, 2015).

In contrast, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and the Other Campaign promotes an explicitly anti-capitalist project. During this period, the EZLN has lost social support, engaged with the ever-present threat of military aggression, and consolidated a regional project in indigenous communities (Lutz y Chávez, 2014).

There is also the movement of the working class. There are heteronomous unions such as the UNT (telephone workers), SME (electrician workers), OPT (political workers party) and CNTE (a democratic faction of the teacher’s union). The trade union movement is nevertheless fragmented by unceasing governmental repression strategies. Unions deeply disagree about regional, organizational, mobilization and political strategies. Within union cultures, an older class-consciousness has been replaced by business-oriented and individualistic values that limit the prospects of social change (Bizberg, 2010).

In addition there are regional movements like the APPO in Oaxaca, which allies the teachers union with indigenous and popular communities to influence local governance (Bolos y Estrada, 2013). Also, protests against mining in Wirikuta and the Parota dam have sparked an ethno-environmentalism, which has combined community and regional visions to build integrating schemes of social citizenship, as well as a practical and theoretical sense of autonomy, against penetration by transnational companies. They have connected the defense of territory with religious values, based on traditional customs and practices, which sometimes contradict a universalist vision of citizenship (Landázuri y López Levi, 2011; y Lutz y Chávez, 2014)

A new cycle of protest opened with the federal elections of 2012, as youth mobilized across the country. The movement #YoSoy132 (#Iamthe132) was for democracy and against the imposition of large media networks. It still resonates with social activists in several regions (González Villarreal, 2013). The Ayotzinapa movement emerged in 2014 in the state of Guerrero, one of the poorest and most violent states in the country, after the incursion of drug trafficking violence. Despite ups and downs, this movement continues to demand the live presentation of 43 disappeared students from the Rural Normal School, affecting the legitimacy of judicial institutions, the military and political representation, under the claim: “The crime was by the State.” In association with this social conflict, the movement of community policing appears in several regions of the country that replace the deficient state’s role in public security, combating violence against women and drug trafficking (Albertani y Aguilar Mora, 2015).

The resistance has irritated the system, but the social response is not enough to crack it. To achieve an institutional impact, movements call for unity in action, a difficult goal to achieve. The EZLN has shrunk in its liberated territories.  MORENA, now becoming an institutionalized party, is unable to sustain protest. Unions defend stability rather than the interests of members. And communities that built compact ethnic identities have reinforced them with speeches of exclusion, losing their appeal to a wider audience.

Elections, on the other hand, have become an opportunity for political contestation. Some groups have been able to use the electoral process to articulate and promote movements that may have a decisive impact on politics (Aguilar, 2009; Cadena-Roa y López Leyva, 2013). These groups view the elections as appropriate targets of protest and disqualification. They lead toward more and more active abstentionism, collective actions, boycotts of elections, and de-legitimization of the political elite.

As can be seen, the Mexican protest has reemerged, mainly due to the deepening of structural reforms, which have disrupted the lives of millions of human beings. From the countryside to the city; from frightened groups of middle class and workers; from perished community identities, women and radical students and young people; the looming common struggle is the defense of public space. This project is one of citizenship. It seeks to balance the defense of universal human rights with cultural diversity. A theoretical perspective can explain this paradox by attempting to reach a synthesis between macro structures of opportunity and cultural processes of life experiences.

Bibliography

Aguilar, Martín (2009). Movimientos sociales y democracia en México 1982 y 1998. Una perspectiva regional. México: Editorial Porrúa y Universidad Veracruzana

Albertani, C. and Aguilar Mora, M. (2015). La Noche de Iguala y el despertar de México. México: Juan Pablos.

Bizberg, Ilán (2010). “La democracia vacía. Sociedad civil, movimientos sociales y democracia”. En Bizberg Ilán y Francisco Zapata (2010). Los grandes problemas de México. VI. Movimientos Sociales. México: El COLMEX, capítulo 1.

Bolos Jacob Silvia y Estrada Saavedra Marco (eds.) (2013). Recuperando la palabra. La Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca. México: Universidad Iberoamericana.

Cadena-Roa, Jorge y López Leyva, Miguel Armando (eds.) (2013). El PRD: orígenes, itinerario, retos. México: Editorial Ficticia y UNAM, Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, Centro de Investigaciones Interdisciplinarias en Ciencias y Humanidades

Combes, Hélène (2015). “Repertories de la movilización, estrategias políticas y reclutamiento militante,” in Hélène Combes, Sergio Tamayo, and Michael Voegtli (cords.). Pensar y Mirar la Protesta. México: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana.

González Villarreal, Roberto (2013). El Acontecimiento #YoSoy132. Crónicas de la multitud. México: Editorial Terracota.

Landázuri Benítez Gisela y López Levi Liliana (eds.) (2011). Actores sociales y dinámicas locales. México: UAM Xochimilco.

Lutz Bruno y Chávez Becker Carlos  (eds.) (2014). Acción Colectiva y Organizaciones Rurales en México. México: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, UNAM-FCPyS, y Ediciones del Lirio.

Modonesi, Massimo; Oliver Lucio; Munguía Galeana Fernando: López de la Vega Mariana (2011). “México 2000-2009: Una década de resistencia popular,” in Massimo Modonesi and Julián Rebón (eds.). Una década en movimiento. Luchas populares en América Latina en el amanecer del siglo XXI. Buenos Aires: Promoteo libros, CLACSO, UBA Sociales Publicaciones.

Tamayo, Sergio (2010). Crítica de la Ciudadanía. México: Editorial Siglo XXI y Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana.

Zermeño, Sergio (2009). “Movimiento social y cambio en México y en América Latina,” in Francis Mestries, Geoffrey Pleyer, and Sergio Zermeño (eds.). Los Movimientos sociales: de lo local a lo global. México: Anthropos y UAM Azcapotzalco.

Anger in Politics: The Full Story

Benjamin Lamb-Books (PhD, University of Colorado)

Emotion itself and unpleasant displays of anger in particular are once again becoming causes of alarm in current U.S. politics with the 2016 presidential campaign. Civic questions about the propriety of anger in public and over ‘less-friendly’ forms of civil-society discourse have spread across media channels. The undeniable influence of angry sentiments in American politics has itself become object to those second-order feelings—feelings toward feelings—so well analyzed by sociologist of emotion Arlie Hochschild (who, e.g., in The Second Shift discusses how overburdened women develop coping strategies of affective suppression to deal with gender-bending strong emotions including anger at unfairness).

Prima facie, nothing seems to be more uncivil and unproductive than public outpourings of anger. Sociologists have observed that the acute expression of anger, usually toward subordinates, is a privilege reserved to social elites of higher status in some respect (see Collett and Lizardo’s 2010 article, “Occupational status and the experience of anger” in Social Forces). Anger among subordinates, in contrast, is mostly blocked and contained by more chronic frustrations and diffuse negative moods (with terrible health effects). Yet this is only half of the story. For charismatic leaders in the spotlight—whether politicians, activists, or celebrities—displaying and performing the strong affects of anger is always risky, like playing with fire. There are sociological reasons why Donald Trump can get away with anger-provoking rhetoric and thrive off it, but Hillary Clinton cannot. (Recent headlines indeed blast Clinton whenever she comes even within a mile away from ‘losing her cool.’)

In fact, almost nothing is more difficult than successfully pulling off an eloquent performance of anger in public without it backfiring upon one’s character. Even our wannabe-American-fascist Trump is unable to, he being instead high in anger but low in eloquence. Sensible, wise, and effective expressions of anger continue to be a civil-society rarity. Protestors try to capture this sensibility but more often than not their anger is dismissed as a mark against them. They are deemed too subjective, too emotional, and not rational enough about the more objective origins of their discontents. Anytime anger is expressed too bluntly, the character of the speaker gets impugned for being biased and intemperate. In rhetorical theory the importance of managing such character concerns in speech is known as ‘ethos.’ The need to protect one’s ethos from emotional contamination of the bad kind, given the binaries of civil-society discourse, always confronts the rhetor of the moment with special limitations based upon the social perceptions of others.

As James Jasper might put it, the rhetoric of anger in public poses a “strategic dilemma,” both for people protesting some injustice and for politicians seeking election via the arousal of populist sentiments. Indisputable here is just how eminently emotional all of politics in general is, just as are the protest struggles that sociologists analyze as ‘social movements’ or ‘contentious politics’ (on emotion in politics, see the special issue of the Journal of Political Power, edited by J. Heaney). Verbalized explicitly or not, anger is a “potency emotion” that can operate as a key motivational resource in conflicts over power (as social psychologists like Scott Schieman have shown). Anger is often veiled under more respectable status claims (of ethos) but still easily recognizable as what makes one’s political opponent so damn intractable.

In democracy, the anger of ‘the people’ is deeply threatening to the status quo. A coherent collective articulation of deep anger is unsettling to political incumbents no matter what their party affiliation. Irrespective of practical policy, such an articulation of anger will also inevitably frighten the upper classes who always prefer law and order to chaotic social changes. Meanwhile, the modern intelligentsia (me included) thinks ‘fascism’ when things get collectively too heated or dissects away the anger problem as the last desperate gasp of a dying status group. We are not necessarily wrong about this. All commenting parties though are usually content to ignore the social structure of the strategic dilemma, that is, the cultural and rhetorical dynamics that necessarily accompany anger when it rears its ugly head in public.

Even sociologists could benefit more from a deeper rhetorical and social-psychological understanding of the strategic dilemma of anger as a public political emotion. Without doing so, we are liable, like lay pundits, to dismiss the emotional energy therein without being able to explain the dual operation of collective emotions—as intermittently disruptive and/or “cementing of domination,” so Helena Flam has written. When are angry rhetorics productive and progressive in struggles against injustice, versus, when are they merely loud last gasps of a disintegrating status group? In principle, angry rhetorics can serve both purposes effectively as is plain from current political news. For the activists and politicians then, what makes the strategic dilemma of anger worth choosing? When are the potential costs to character too great and distracting? Beyond the political dichotomy between progressive versus conservative, what distinguishes the zealous prophetic rhetoric of MLK Jr. from the destructive angry rhetoric of DJT Sr.?

In my forthcoming book, Angry Abolitionists and the Rhetoric of Slavery: Moral Emotions in Social Movements (New York: Palgrave Macmillan), I bring together for social analysis exemplars of the so-called ‘eloquence of abuse’ from the antislavery movement in the United States, the radical rhetoric of prophet-like abolitionists from Sojourner Truth to Wendell Phillips to Frederick Douglass. The rhetorical tradition categorizes collective anger as one of the most important species of ‘pathos,’ which Cicero defined as the production of strong or ‘violent’ emotion. What’s sociologically interesting about anger as a type of pathos is the careful ethos work inextricably involved. For the production of pathos to be persuasive and beneficial to one’s purposes, the speaker must manage a precarious balance between emotion and rationality in the right proportions. This is clearly a distinctively affective form of impression management in public. If a speaker comes off as too angry, if he or she ‘loses his or her cool,’ then the credibility and trustworthiness of that speaker also takes a hit.

There appears then to be an Aristotelian golden mean for the expression of anger in political rhetoric, a level of moderation that is necessary in order to avoid triggering distrust and cynicism toward the character of the speaker (ethos). To produce persuasive pathos, one’s ethos cannot be in question. At least this is the case if the aim is the identification and solidarity of the audience (as classical rhetorical theory would have it), less so if the intent is defiance or disruption (as more common in prophetic radical rhetorics). The strategic dilemma of anger in contentious politics is that stimulating pathos may backfire upon the ethos of the cause and hurt the progress of the movement. This is a tricky balance to negotiate. It is a near impossible bind for low-status participants of a protest struggle who instead are compelled to devote nearly all their time on performances of ethos and logos rather than pathos. If they slip-up and irrepressibly express too much strong emotion, as is more inevitable for the most oppressed, it often triggers status backlash by the audience—a different, less desired in-group/out-group kind of pathos—that is, if there even is a watching audience in the first place.

Benjamin Lamb-Books is the author of Angry Abolitionists and the Rhetoric of Slavery: Moral Emotions in Social Movements (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).

Critical Mass — Spring 2016

PDF version of Critical Mass — Spring 2016

Call for Abstracts: Rethinking Working Class Self-Organization Beyond Unions, Parties, NGOs, and the State

Call for Abstracts: Rethinking Working Class Self-Organization Beyond Unions, Parties, NGOs, and the State

IMMANUEL NESS, Brooklyn College CUNY, USA, manny.ness@gmail.com
ROBERT OVETZ, SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY, USA, rfovetz@riseup.net

The Journal of Labor & Society, in it’s 21st year, is issuing a call for
the special issue “Workers Beyond Unions, Parties, NGOs, and the State?”
to rethink how workers organize and struggle. Co-edited by Robert Ovetz,
Ph.D., a political science lecturer San Jose State University, and
Gifford Hartman, an independent San Francisco, USA based scholar, the
issue seeks submissions from scholars, organizers, and activists
critically reexamining the multiplicity of forms of class struggle
outside of and inside unions, parties, NGOs, and the state happening
around the world.

The rapidly declining power and influence of unions are source of great
concern. Their coninuous decline have presented both a threat and an
opportunity. As the number of contingent workers explodes and union
density worldwide remains stagnant or declines, the effort of workers to
self-organize continues to grow. The absence or weakness of unions does
not mean the absence of class struggle. Freed of the contract, workers
are engaging in short, sharp disruptive direct action and strikes to
shift the balance of power on the shopfloor and in the community. But
these actions are often ad hoc, locally focused and unsustainable.
Despite these limitations, workers are finding new ways to self-organize
on the shopfloor and circulate their efforts throughout the social
factory. The composition of capital’s power over the past 40 years has
been a continual effort to respond to the dynamic recomposition of
working class struggle.

This issue would explore what working class recomposition looks like by
examining case studies of efforts to devise new tactics and strategies of
self-organization. Ideally, this issue will include critical analyses of
a diversity of self-organized workers struggles from several critical
regions. Among the struggles that could be potentially covered would be
the following:

Brazilian Landless Workers Movement’s efforts to seize land and build a
parallel social system
Spainish workers blocking evictions and foreclosures
Mexican workers seizure of an entire neighborhood to reorganization of
it into an autonomous community
Bolivian miners, coca growers, and street sellers in El Alto who formed
community councils that shut down the entire country in the early 2000s
and propelled the MAS into power
Latin American women struggling over the Bolsa Família social wage in
Brazil, Bolivia, and Venezuela
Industrial workers and miners in India, China, and South Africa who
bypass established unions to self-organize their own wildcat strikes
Kurdish workers self-organized local governance and militias in Rojava,
Syria during the civil war
Wildcat strikes in Egypt during the Arab Spring
Union backed service workers in the US who have been organizing to
disrupt production, protest contingency, and raise wages without seeking
to collectively bargain
Wildcat strikes by logistics workers (eg, truckers, longshore,
warehouse, etc.) and public employees
European anti-austerity movements

Why This Issue is Important

The focus of this issue of the Journal of Labor & Society will be on
worker organizing beyond unions, parties and NGOs that channel and
constrain organizing over the “contract” and into the state through
advocacy, elections and reform. These examples above are rich with
several vital lessons for worker self-organization we wish to see
explored in this issue. First, workers are contesting the organizational
dominance of unions by bypassing and challenging the traditional model
of unions limited to bargaining over wages, hours, grievances, working
conditions, and labor law. Second, these struggles are also transcending
parties, NGOs, and the state at a time of growing widespread resistance
to the imposition of neo-liberal policy by labor, social democratic and
left leaning parties backed by NGOs, unions, and ruling elites in Europe
and Latin America. Such institutions divert conflict by harnessing
workers to the state and capitalism thus diluting the power of
self-organized workers. (S. Marcos, R. Zibechi, M. Glaberman, G. Esteva,
and G. Rawick)

Drawing on the autonomous marxist, anarchist, and syndicalist critiques
of unions and the self-organization of workers (V. Burgmann, S. Lynd, H.
Cleaver, and P. Linebaugh) this issue would explore how workers are
devising new forms of organizing to confront capital at work and
throughout the social factory (S. Federici, S. James, M. Dalla Costa,
and M. Tronti) signaling a turning point in what it means to organize a
“union.”

The debate over whether unions should follow the “service” or “member
organizing” model or through parties, NGOs or the state is moot. Workers
are transforming their organizing into a global uprising that continues
to disrupt the global accumulation and circulation of capital by
transforming the struggle over work into a struggle to circulate class
power into all spheres of life. As capital seeks to colonize all aspects
of life so has working class struggle expanded to meet this threat. The
question this issue seeks to explore is what is the form of the
currently emerging recomposition of working class power?

Publication Plans
After the solicitation of abstracts we will invite full manuscripts for
publication in the June 2017 issue of the Journal of Labor & Society.
Abstracts (maximum 500 words, attached as .pdf or .docx files) due by
August 1, 2016
Invitation to submit full manuscript will be sent August 21, 2016
Manuscripts (5,000-7,500) due February 21, 2017
Special issue of the Journal of Labor & Society will be published in
June 2017

Call For Papers: The Precariat & The Professor

In the past 25 years, higher education has seen some major transformations. The percentage of college students who are Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Black, and Native American has increased steadily while the percentage of white students declines. Unfortunately, increased enrollment and newfound visibility does not necessarily translate into a seat at the table. University administration and faculty do not reflect the demographic shifts seen in student populations. In 2013, 84 percent of full-time professors were white, and 53% white male. At the same time, tuitions continue to rise, but rarely do those funds trickle down to the classroom. More money is being funneled into administrative positions and away from tenure-line hires. Most teaching positions are now part-time and low-paid adjunct positions. According to a 2012 report from the American Association of University Professors, contingent faculty make up over 75% of all instructional staffing. In 1975 only 25% were in these positions.

The most active individuals addressing these institutional shifts, are the contingent faculty members themselves. Unfortunately, their marginalized positions limit their ability to participate in campus governance. In addition, the culture of insularity and individualism challenges any attempts at solidarity building and delegitimizes the experiences of the precariat when they take their concerns out into the public sphere. Their work, their experiences, and their contributions to scholarship and teaching are often dismissed, mislabeled, misunderstood, or entirely ignored.

The Precariat and The Professor addresses common misconceptions and will serve as a valuable resource for anyone trying to understand the effects of recent transformations in higher education. In order to address the many false premises and beliefs currently circulating about contingent faculty, we welcome submissions from all those affected by the reliance of precious labor in higher education, and especially welcome the work of students and the contingent. We anticipate that the volume will attract a wide readership. It will speak to scholars, activists, parents, students, teachers and laypeople interested in higher education, pedagogy, activism, identity politics, and advocacy.

Committed to presenting a body of work that recognizes the fullest possible range of experiences, The Precariat and The Professor encourages traditional scholarly submissions (historical, demographic, and sociological), as well as more interdisciplinary, creative, and self-reflective contributions. Moreover, we want to look to the future. Can we envision positive change? Is there a way to “fix” the issue of contingency? How can faculty off the tenure-track transition to other jobs that recognize and utilize their talents? What is the role of the public intellectual, and what relationship does that have with precarious faculty? Can we envision a path towards transformation and revolutionary solidarity?

Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • The history of labor and unions in the academy
  • Contingency and the tenure process
  • Interactions between contingent faculty and graduate and undergraduate students
  • Personal memoir and creative writing (short fiction, poetry, flash fiction, creative non-fiction) by and about adjunct or contingent faculty experiences
  • Affect and the neoliberal university
  • Landscapes of power and privilege on campus and in the classroom
  • Organizing, activism, and labor unions
  • Gender, race, and class (or other intersectional perspectives) while contingent
  • Mythologies and ideologies of success, tenure, and advancement
  • Collegiality and departmental politics

The manuscript will be divided into three roughly sketched sections:

  1. The Teacher: Ways that contingency shapes, or changes, your experiences as a classroom teacher. This can broadly cover the literal experience of being inside the classroom space; the experience of working on multiple campuses; teaching online, or hybrid teaching; or the way classroom teaching as contingent faculty shapes, or changes, your day to day life.
  2. The Scholar: The ways that contingency affects scholarship, i.e., being “othered” by the academy, and lacking real institutional support, both fiscally and logistically, or ways outsider status allows for views and scholarly work not traditionally held or practiced by academics.
  3. The Human: Effects of contingency on one’s personal life. Includes but is not limited to finances, mental, physical, and emotional health, family life, professional relationships, and relationship with scholarly or creative work.

Submitted contributions may include full-length academic essays (about 5000 – 7000 words), shorter creative pieces, cultural commentaries, or personal narratives (about 500 – 2500 words), poetry, and photo-essays.

300-word abstract/proposals are due 7/1.

Submit proposals, inquiries, or questions to the editors:

Jillian Powers: jpowers03@gmail.com
Emily Van Duyne: emily.vanduyne@stockton.edu

We look forward to your submissions.

In Solidarity,

J&E

Original CfP: https://theprecariatandtheprofessor.wordpress.com/