Chalk Lines

The Politics of Work in the Managed University

Chalk Lines

Book Pages: 328 Illustrations: Published: January 1999

Activism, Pedagogy and Higher Education, Sociology

The increasing corporatization of education has served to expose the university as a business—and one with a highly stratified division of labor. In Chalk Lines editor Randy Martin presents twelve essays that confront current challenges facing the academic workforce in U.S. colleges and universities and demonstrate how, like chalk lines, divisions between employees may be creatively redrawn.
While tracing the socioeconomic conditions that have led to the present labor situation on campuses, the contributors consider such topics as the political implications of managerialism and the conceptual status of academic labor.
They examine the trend toward restructuring and downsizing, the particular plight of the adjunct professor, the growing emphasis on vocational training in the classroom, and union organizing among university faculty, staff, and graduate students. Placing such issues within the context of the history of labor movements as well as governmental initiatives to train a workforce capable of competing in the global economy, Chalk Lines explores how universities have attempted to remake themselves in the image of the corporate sector. Originally published as an issue of Social Text, this expanded volume, which includes four new essays, offers a broad view of academic labor in the United States.
With its important, timely contribution to debates concerning the future of higher education, Chalk Lines will interest a wide array of academics, administrators, policymakers, and others invested in the state—and fate—of academia.

Stanley Aronowitz, Jan Currie, Zelda F. Gamson, Emily Hacker, Stefano Harney, Randy Martin, Bart Meyers, David Montgomery, Frederick Moten, Christopher Newfield, Gary Rhoades, Sheila Slaughter, Jeremy Smith, Vincent Tirelli, William Vaughn, Lesley Vidovich, Ira Yankwitt


Chalk Lines signal[s] the end of the post-war ‘academic revolution,’ an exceptional moment of growth and development in American higher education that produced the academic ‘profession’ as we now know it. . . . As the public provision dries up everywhere—from colleges and universities, to welfare, to non-profit media, to libraries—the nature of academic identity, work, status, and experience is up for grabs. The apostles of efficiency and ‘wealth creation’ have a head start in the race to remake the University. . . . [T]he contributors to Chalk Lines might help the rest of us get up to speed.” — Larry Hanley , American Book Review

“[Chalk Lines’s] critical orientation, intellectual insights, and interventionist objectives are important and valuable. . . .” — Janice A. Newson , CAUT Bulletin

“A useful primer for anyone wanting to understand—and join—the battle. . . . Chalk Lines raises crucial questions facing the academy 20 years after the Reagan revolution. It offers some of the critical analysis and organizing tips we will need if we are to fight back to preserve and improve not only our own jobs, but the futures of our students.” — Marilyn Kleinberg Neimark , Science & Society

“[C]ogent, incisive, and memorable. If you are concerned about the way higher education is going and the perpetual changes under which we labour, you might be tempted to read [Chalk Lines] from cover to cover. If you teach in undergraduate or professional programmes in business, personnel or public service management, you will find useful case studies. Professional associations and employee-relations groups may gain inspiration from actions which have successfully challenged the managerial model. If you run an educational management programme, you might consider making Chalk Lines compulsory reading.” — Paul Haslam , Journal of Further and Higher Education

“Martin’s contributors, all but two of whom are professors or doctoral candidates, detail theortical connections between academic unions and traditional unionized labor. They also provide numerous accessible and appealingly impassioned economic, historical, and sociological analyses of academic labor.” — Andrew Carpenter , Antioch Review

"Chalk Lines, combined with general institutional history and an understanding of campus faculty/ administration relations, can assist advising professionals in devising successful methods for approaching faculty and implanting academic support programs." — Mike Ramos , National Academic Advising Association Journal

Chalk Lines is a powerful analysis and indictment of the emerging corporate university. It illuminates the crisis of academic labor by placing it in the context of global economic change. Everyone concerned with higher education should read this book and reflect on it deeply.” — Cary Nelson, coauthor of Academic Keywords: A Devil’s Dictionary for Higher Education


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Price: $27.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Randy Martin is Chair and Professor of Sociology in the Department of Social Science and Management at Pratt Institute. He is the author of three books, including Critical Moves: Dance Studies in Theory and Politics, also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top

Introduction: Education as National Pedagogy / Randy Martin

I: The Whole Business

Academic Capitalism, Managed Professionals, and Supply-Side Higher Education / Gary Rhoades and Sheila Slaughter

Recapturing Academic Business / Christopher Newfield

The Stratification of the Academy / Zelda F. Gamson

The Ascent toward Corporate Managerialism in American and Australian Universities / Jan Currie and Lesley Vidovich

II: The Academy's Labor

Education for Public Life / David Montgomery

Doing Academic Work / Stefano Harney and Frederick Moten

Adjuncts and More Adjuncts: Labor Segmentation and the Transformation of Higher Education / Vincent Tirelli

The Last Good Job in America / Stanley Aronowitz

III: Siting Specifics, Striking Back

Education, Job Skills, or Workfare: The Crisis Facing Adult Literacy Education Today / Emily Hacker and Ira Yankwitt

In Defense of CUNY / Bart Meyers

Faculty, Students, and Political Engagement / Jeremy Smith

Need a Break from Your Dissertation? Organize a Union! / William Vaughn


Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2249-8 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2232-0
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