|(via AyeshaKazmi from Occupy Boston protest)|
Another conversation this morning about casualisation in UK higher education left me feeling I should probably try and articulate my convoluted and perhaps contradictory views on this issue.
It keeps cropping up in conversations, usually in the pub, which inevitably leave me feeling afterwards that I’ve given people who I 99% agree with the impression that I’m somehow hostile to anti-casualisation arguments.
I’m truly not.
I organised an anti-casualisation session at the BSA postgraduate pre-conference a few years ago (with a speaker from UCU’s committee and another who had been heavily involved in disputes over grad student unionization in the US) which I was a bit pissed off that only a single person attended, despite lots of people being at the event.
This issue has been relegated to the back of my mind in recent years, partly because I’m an avoidant person and responded to being pissed off that no one attended my session by not thinking about it and partly because I’ve been busy with a lot of other stuff, some of which has been higher education related activism of other forms.
It’s an issue I care about deeply but one which, with three years of freelancing behind me, I seem to have slightly more complex views on than I did initially.
In the case from this morning, Durham’s Department of Theology had posted an advert inviting PhD students to apply for the ‘opportunity’ to design and run extracurricular seminars with a target audience drawn from anywhere across the undergraduate student body.