Nominations for leadership positions within our Caucus are accepted up to the annual CAITY Meeting/Reception, held at the annual NeMLA convention. The election itself also takes place at the Meeting/Reception.
Officers include the following:
Oversees the caucus and is elected triennially. The President serves on the NeMLA board, and attends both fall and spring board meetings (the fall board meeting is typically held at the upcoming convention site). Other responsibilities include organizing convention CAITY events, and assisting with the CAITY Essay Award and Travel Awards.
Dr. Margie Burns (BA, PhD, English, Rice University) is an adjunct lecturer in English at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Numerous scholarly and freelance publications include two recent books, Firearms Regulation in the Bill of Rights (2017) and The Female Precariat: Gender and Contingency in the Professional Work Force (2019, Universitas Press, Montreal). She is an elected member of the Adjunct Faculty Advisory Committee (AFAC) at UMBC, chaired the committee for three years, and authored its by-laws and mission statement. Current projects include books on Jane Austen and Alfred Hitchcock. She has taught in all the constituent groups represented by CAITY--adjunct, community college, and full-time lecturer. Along the way, she was also promoted to Associate Professor, a position she left to relocate to the Washington, D.C., region.
Statement of Purpose
Teaching, like writing, is a labor of love. But 'Do what you love' doesn't pay the mortgage, or the rent. Our nation needs a stronger education sector, and teachers including college teachers need to be able to make a living.
I am running for CAITY president and representative because I am versed in the contingent condition. In evaluating higher education in the U.S. today, any objective observer would have to take into account the condition of contingent faculty. The material factor is employment status. The key feature of contingency, as we know, is being hired over and over again to do the same job, each time with a nominally new contract letter or similar document. Doing research on the adjunct phenomenon years ago, I learned that the biggest single determinant in faculty pay was seniority. In the regression analyses, seniority outweighed every other determinant including gender, ethnicity, education level and the other KSAs--and with all due respect to any members of Jackson Lewis or organized labor reading this, even presence or absence of a union.
Employers in colleges and universities nationwide have addressed the material driver of faculty pay--seniority--with massive effectiveness. The strategy is contingent hiring. No matter how long a contingent professor teaches at the university of your child's choice, the condition amounts to a perpetual juniority--regardless of experience, education, credentials, publishing, or participation in the university community. The strategy is particularly effective against adjuncts hired by semester, but it is also effective against adjuncts hired with longer contracts and against full-time 'lecturers', the universities' most recent trend.
Addressing this nationwide strategy has to be the central objective of CAITY. Employment status is the problem, and redefinition of contingent workers has to be the solution. To that end, NeMLA needs to work with people both inside and outside universities.
Francisco Delgado is an Assistant Professor of English at Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY). Prior to this, he worked as a non-tenure-track Lecturer at University of New Haven and as an Adjunct Instructor at various colleges and universities in Brooklyn and Queens. His scholarship on contemporary multi-ethnic American literature has been published in journals like The CEA Critic, American Indian Quarterly, and Teaching American Literature: Theory and Practice. He is also the author of the chapbook, Adolescence, Secondhand (Honeysuckle Press, 2018).
Statement of Purpose
I would like to nominate myself for the role of CAITY Caucus President and Board Representative. Since March 2019, I have served as interim-President of the caucus, and in this period of time, I have worked to establish an open dialogue with the constituency and with some of my fellow board members at NeMLA.
I have enjoyed my time representing and advocating for those of us who continue to meet the needs of our students during the unparalleled precarity of our profession. I say this as someone who, at various points in his career, has worked in most of the capacities indicated in our caucus name. While I am entering my second year on the tenure-track as an Assistant Professor of English at Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY), I previously worked as a non-tenure track (NTT) Lecturer at the University of New Haven and as an Adjunct Instructor at Stony Brook University, CUNY Brooklyn College, Queensborough Community College, and St. John’s University.
In my original statement to you when I assumed the role of President in March, I wrote that “we are being our best professional selves when we look after one another and give one another opportunities to realize our full potential.” The work we do with (and for) the caucus makes good on this sentiment. It has been a pleasure, for instance, to read the essay submissions for the Best Essay Award that the caucus offers, as it familiarized me with the wonderful and worthwhile work so many of us do. Furthermore, I have discussed the possibility of better promoting the recipients of the Best Essay Award and the Travel Award with Derek McGrath via the NeMLA website, social media platforms, and (space permitting) the Summer 2020 newsletter. I will continue these discussions as the winners are determined and attendance at the 2020 conference is confirmed.
Most recently, I have created a Survey Monkey poll in response to the vocal desire for us to reconsider our name. I understand that this is a valuable method of fostering engagement among the constituency. I will record the results of the poll following the August 31st deadline, report them to the constituency, and if quorum is achieved, present it at the fall meeting to the Executive Board, as well.
I look forward to all ongoing discussions about the needs of CAITY constituents – and strategies to address them. Thank you for your time and consideration of my nomination. If you have any questions or concerns you would like me to address more specifically, please feel free to contact me via email at CAITY@nemla.org.
Ruth Malka holds an undergraduate degree in Modern Literatures from the Sorbonne (Paris) and just obtained her PhD in French Literature and Jewish Studies at McGill University (Montreal) in June 2019. Her dissertation dealt with Anti-Semitism in the literary work famous French novelist Louis-Ferdinand Céline published before, during and after the Holocaust. She extended her research to the Jewish answers to Anti-Semitism through literature, and published articles as well as gave talks on various French authors on these topics. She was invited at York University (Toronto) to present a paper on Georges Perec’s and Nobel-Prize winner Patrick Modiano’s literary representations of post-Holocaust traumas. This talk resulted in an article to be published in a collective work including, among other analyses, a paper by famous French novelist Henri Raczymow. Ruth Malka received several scholarships over the course of her PhD, including the prestigious “Bourse Geneviève de la Tour Fondue” as well as the “Bourse Jean-Claude Morisot” to pursue archival research at the École Normale Supérieure and at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Paris). Ruth Malka is a member of the Northeast Modern Language Association since 2017 and was involved in the two past conventions. In Pittsburgh, she presented a paper on Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s anti-Asian racism and in Washington, she organized a double-session seminar on “Racism in French and Francophone literature’’.
Statement of Purpose
As a recent PhD graduate, I am aware how precarious entry level jobs in academia are. This September, I begin a new career as an independent scholar, and as such, I am a candidate for the role of president of the CAITY Caucus. I know how important it is for independent scholars like me, as well as contingents, adjuncts and professors at two-year institution to both maintain a strong connection with the research side of academia and be open minded to non-traditional career paths. Therefore, I would advocate for the organization of sessions targeting our needs and interests during the next conventions, with the goal of both giving us more opportunities and tightening the links in-between us. In order for our caucus members to make the best of our NeMLA membership, I would also work on another issue that has been raised at the Washington meeting, which is, as Katelynn DeLuca stated it in the ‘‘minutes’’ she shared with us, the "need for more for more information about resources offered within the NeMLA." I loved the friendly atmosphere of the NeMLA convention when I attended my first convention, in Pittsburgh, and felt like being more involved, which is why I organized a panel the year after, in Washington and am applying now for CAITY Caucus presidency.