This was a difficult story to write. My latest on Thea Hunter, a promising, brilliant scholar (and truly remarkable writer) and what academia is doing to scholars like her.
"She was a black woman in academia, and she was flying against a current. Some professors soar; adjuncts flap and dive and flap again—until they can’t flap anymore." Please make time for this necessary, beautiful, heartbreaking piece by
Thea Hunter is someone you may not have ever known about had it not been for , whose education journalism has been superb and essential. This is him at his best, elevating the story of an adjunct whose life and work were sunk by a ruinous system.
Thea Hunter was at the cutting-edge of the field of history—and then the realities of academia took hold, writes
"It is more like the lowest rung in a caste system, the one that underrepresented minorities tend to call home." Read this devastating story from on the death of Thea Hunter & how the job of adjunct professor hurts people of color in particular
Thea Hunter had “the purest desire for learning and teaching.” The tragic death an uninsured adjunct professor, a brilliant black woman whose scholarship asked: what does it mean to be free? RIP. love to her family ⁦
This haunting story about an adjunct is worth a read, by
Thea was killed, in part, by the academic labor system. "Thea was exploited by a system that consumes thoughtful, committed academics like our beloved friend, even as it is reluctant to admit it—color compounding the oppression one-hundredfold.”
"If adjuncts were birds, they would be fighting the drag of the air, exerting bursts of energy again and again and again. " Thea Hunter was on the cutting edge of the field of history—and then the realities of academia took hold, writes
Thanks to for writing this moving story in the about the unexpected death of my beloved friend, . I am relieved to know her name & details of her life have been added to the archive. RIP, Thea. ❤️.
"Now roughly three-quarters of faculty are nontenured. The jobs that are available—as an adjunct, or a visiting professor—rest on shaky foundations, as those who occupy them try to balance work and life, often without benefits."
There is so much in this story, but mostly, I just feel an unbearable sadness—for the teaching and scholarship we all lost with Thea Hunter’s passing, and for all the others like her being chewed up by a brutal system. Thank you, , for this
If you are not following or reading , you are missing out on some incredible education reporting and writing.
The adjunct "position is often inaccurately described as akin to a form of slavery....It is more like the lowest rung in a caste system, the one that underrepresented minorities tend to call home." via
Absolutely heartbreaking story by about the impossible life -- and death -- of an adjunct professor trying to make it in academia. She had a PhD from Columbia and, ironically, studied slavery.
“From 1993 to 2013, the % of underrepresented minorities in non-tenure-track part-time faculty positions in higher ed grew by 230%. By contrast, the % of underrepresented minorities in full-time tenure-track positions grew by just 30%.”[email protected]
Thea Hunter was at the cutting-edge of the field of history—and then the realities of academia took hold, writes
A sobering article from on adjunct professors. "Nearly 80 percent of faculty members were tenured or tenure-track in 1969. Now roughly three-quarters of faculty are nontenured."
Thea Hunter was on the cutting edge of the field of history—and then the realities of academia took hold, writes
"She was on the tenure track, and then she wasn’t. She had a promising job lead, and then it wasn’t so promising." Beautiful piece from on what the adjunct life does to humans
"From 1993 to 2013, the percentage of underrepresented minorities in non-tenure-track PT faculty positions in higher education grew by 230%. By contrast, the percentage of underrepresented minorities in full-time tenure-track positions grew by just 30%."
Thea Hunter was at the cutting-edge of the field of history—and then the realities of academia took hold, writes
Adjunctification is an issue that has a solution: teaching track appointments. Don't let anybody fool you, universities that ignore this are profiting from a system that they can (and should) change.
This is an incredibly poignant story -- painful enough to read it, but so much worse to live it. How can we fix this?
Being an adjunct is like being on the lowest rung of a caste system but if we act collectively we can stop this form of sweatshop labor
This is a devastating and enraging read about the precarity of academic life, and the toll it takes on the health of those subject to it
"Thea was exploited by a system that consumes thoughtful, committed academics like our beloved friend, even as it is reluctant to admit it—color compounding the oppression one-hundredfold.”
“ 'Thea was exploited by a system that consumes thoughtful, committed academics like our beloved friend, even as it is reluctant to admit it—color compounding the oppression one-hundredfold.' ” #adjuncts #highered #employment
As sad and terrible as this story is, even more terrible is the very real idea that there are likely scores of untold stories out there very similar to this one.
At the memorial service for historian Thea Hunter, friend Ruth Henderson “invoked the Japanese idea of karōshi: worked to death”, reports . "Thea was exploited by a system that consumes thoughtful, committed academics," said Henderson.
Thea Hunter was on the cutting edge of the field of history—and then the realities of academia took hold, writes
This is one of the saddest, most outrageous, and most beautiful stories I've read in a long time.
This beautiful piece reminds me of something a MacArthur fellow once told me: "if you think there's a real difference between those who fail and those who succeed, you are kidding yourself."
MUST READ: Thea Hunter was a promising, brilliant scholar. And then she got trapped in academia’s permanent underclass. #HigherEd
Finally properly reading this article and I have a thought about this quote “Just as the doors of academe have been opened more widely than heretofore to marginalized groups, the opportunity structure for academic careers has been turned on its head,”
Thea Hunter was on the cutting edge of the field of history—and then the realities of academia took hold, writes
Nearly 80 percent of faculty members were tenured or tenure-track in 1969. Now roughly three-quarters of faculty are nontenured. #highereducation
I used Kyle Korver's recent piece in The Player's Tribune and Death of an Adjunct by
***This article is a must-read***. In my graduate & prof life (CS & Business @ CMU & UCSD) I've had little contact w. the adjunct teaching system. But in some depts & universities, higher ed crushes a permanent underclass of uninsured workers til they snap
The Death of an Adjunct. Thea Hunter was a promising, brilliant scholar. And then she got trapped in academia’s permanent underclass
This article has been making the rounds every few weeks, and I think it's misleading. The adjunct system is terrible in every way. But this isn't a good case for that argument. Bad career choices, maybe. But adjuncting was at the end, not the beginning. /1
“Just as the doors of academe have been opened more widely than heretofore to marginalized groups, the opportunity structure for academic careers has been turned on its head”
"To be a perennial adjunct professor is to hear the constant tone of higher education’s death knell. The story is well known—the long hours, the heavy workload, the insufficient pay..."
A tragic story of a woman who died too soon.
"Academia is not an easy road for anyone to take, but especially not for women of color, and especially not for those who have been consigned to the adjunct underclass." Such a sad story.
The vocational call of science--of purity, reason, objectivity, and knowledge for its own sake--is the worst instrument of torture we could have ever constructed. Banality of evil, exponentiated.
Please read every horrifying, heartbreaking word of this story. And then realize that it is a tragically common one. We must work to end the exploitation of adjunct labor. Now.
This is a great article about a form of exploitation which is an absolute disgrace to academe. Though I wish they hadn't tried to drag race into it, kicking & screaming.
From 1993-2013, underrepresented minorities in non-tenure-track part-time faculty positions in higher education grew by 230%. The percentage of underrepresented minorities in full-time tenure-track positions grew by just 30%. #AcademicTwitter
‘Thea was exploited by a system that consumes thoughtful, committed academics like our beloved friend, even as it is reluctant to admit it—color compounding the oppression one-hundredfold.’ ⁦⁩ (ht ⁦⁩)
I have only now read this story about the life & death of Thea Hunter. Just devastating.
This broke my heart.