Talking Back: Resisting Neoliberalization in the Academy through Feminist/Womanist Lenses
Challenging Simon During’s reading of this movement solely in terms of neoliberalism, scholars like Lipton and Fantone also note that while precarity has often been a function of women’s labor, it is only when it effects the worklife of male academics who have become vulnerable to falling into the academic “bourgeois precariat,” that it is highlighted as an issue. Because of the privatized, individualized nature of academic work, it is difficult to trace the ways in which this precarity is happening to academic workers. In this paper, we unpack this dialogue about ways in which current trends in higher education have contributed to an increasing sense of precarity that is intensifying the gender inequality in the modern university. By sharing our own positions as three female academics of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, we draw on the tools of auto-ethnography to map out what has increasingly become an endemic feature of modern university life. From here, we articulate the ways in which our work as feminist knowledge-workers can be used to critically engage other academics in solidarity and incitement to challenge forces of precarity within universities.