What Hath English Wrought by CARY NELSON: "As I sit at my computer thinking about the future of higher education, I have before me the final version of a collaborative document with its stunned, startled gaze fixed on the past...."

Unionizing Against Cutbacks by PAUL LAUTER: "In the academic world, outfits like Yale, Minnesota, Bennington, Boston University, Arizona International -- to name a few of the more egregious -- employ many of the tactics familiar from earli er and now current industrial conflict...."

What is an Organization like the MLA? by STEVE WATT: "What is an organization like the MLA? What are its 'obligations' both to its members and something called 'the field'? For the inaugural issue of a journal like WORKPLACE, these questions seem even more apposite...."

The Future of an Illusion by CHRISTIAN A. GREGORY: "For anyone who has come of professional age in the last ten years, as I have, the phrase "crisis of the humanities" has either become empty, or freighted in such a way as to be nearly in explicable...."

Jobless Higher Ed: an interview with Stanley Aronowitz by ANDREW LONG: "The intention is to get rid of the older professors, higher a minimum number of younger professors and rationalize lines that are vacated by filling them with adjuncts and/or temporary people.... "

Resistance is Fruitful: Coalition-Building in Ontario by VICTORIA SMALLMAN: "It's been two and a half years since Ontario's neoconservative government came into power--two and a half years of unprecedented attacks on public services, public education, and our most d isadvantaged citizens...."

Looking Forward in Anger by BARBARA WHITE: "After ten years of work with very little to show for it, I have wiped out. But I'm not prepared to be polite about this...."

This Old House: renovating the House of Labor at the City University of New York by BARBARA BOWEN: "Is it a dream to think that intellectual workers can invent a new form of unionism? That's one version of the question we're trying to answer, as an insurgent caucus within an academic union, two years into the project of remaking the house of labor at the City University of New York....."

This Life of Labor: Personal Criticism

Performing Shakespeare: Writing and Literacy on the Job by LEO PARASCONDOLA: "I became a graduate student in the Ph.D. program in English at the City University of New York in the fall of 1993. One year later I retired from the New York City Transit Authority after w orking for twenty-one years as a bus driver in Manhattan and the Bronx...."

The Good Professors of Szechuan by GREGORY MEYERSON: "Until last spring, I was assistant professor of critical theory at UNCG. I didn't get tenure. Now I'm unemployed. Much of what I will be saying involves a critique of meritocracy. But as we all know losers are in no position to critique the meritocracy...."

"Organizing Our Asses Off"

Cannibals, Star Trek, and Egg Timers: Ten Years of Student Organizing at the University of California by KATE BURNS and ANTHONY M. NAVARRETE: "Ten years ago, a group of graduate Teaching Assistants at the University of California, San Diego found themselves discussing all-too-familial topics once again: their overwhelming work load as class sizes continued to expand, the lack of health benefits in their jobs, and the absence of any worthwhile process that would enable them to air their grievances...."

Critical Year: Will the Graduate Employee's Union reach Critical Mass at Indiana? by ED FOX and CURTIS ANDERSON: "Nineteen ninety-eight will be a critical year for Indiana University's Graduate Employees' Union (GEU). We are on the verge of a new stage in our organization campaign and we are optimistic about our prospects...."

What's Next?: Organizing After the COGS Union Affiliation Vote by JULIE MARIE SCHMID : "For the graduate employees here who had been active in the Campaign to Organize Graduate Students, this affiliation vote represented the end of a three-year struggle for representation at the University...."

7,500 Down; 200,000 to Go: Organizing the City University of New York by ERIC MARSHALL: "In this brief article, I shall describe some of those successes and the organizing strat egies and principles which brought them about, and, by extension, suggest ways in which others may enjoy similar, and greater, successes....."

Unions, Universities, and the State of Texas by RAY WATKINS and KAREN CHRISTENSEN: "We believe that UT, like several other major universities in the United States, is becoming a kind of monstrous hybrid, an institution that uses public money, our money, for private ends...."

Organizing Democracy: a Response by KAREN THOMPSON: "Graduate student employees are probably less vulnerable than adjuncts and less complacent than full-timers. But they are also uniquely situated as student employees to catalyze coalitions between faculty, students, adjuncts and other university employees...."

Beyond the Campus Gates: New Trends with Old Twists -- the Personal is Still Political by VINCENT TIRELLI: "Collective bargaining is a right that we should strive for, but in the absence of favorable "naturally" occuring labor markets there is little leverage to bargain with unless there is political pressure put on the legislature...."

Institutional Memory and Changing Membership: How Can We Learn From What We Don't Recall by ALAN KALISH: "Some time in the 1970s, a previous generation of graduate students won the right to elect three representatives to the 45 member Bloomington Faculty Council. Beginning in the 1987-88 academic year, GEA followed a strategy of using the existing governance structures to achieve our goals...."


Report on the 1997 MLA Convention by MARK KELLEY: "The tones of the two meetings could not have been more different: the GSC gathering displayed a mixture of idealism tempered with aggressive calls to action, while the MLA session (with the notable exception of the two graduate student speakers) was remarkably condescending...."

Report on the "Changing Graduate Education" Conference by ALAN KALISH: "Sitting in O'Hare Airport, waiting for my connecting flight to Minneapolis, I was struck by the multiplicity of roles I have taken on...."