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Over Ten Million Served

Gendered Service in Language and Literature Workplaces

Michelle A. Massé, Katie J. Hogan

Publication Year: 2010

First book on gender and academic service. All tenured and tenure-track faculy know the trinity of promotion and tenure criteria: research, teaching, and service. While teaching and research are relatively well defined areas of institutional focus and evaluation, service work is rarely tabulated or analyzed as a key aspect of higher education’s political economy. Instead, service, silent and invisible, coexists with the formal “official” economy of many institutions, just as women’s unrecognized domestic labor props up the formal, official economies of countries the world over. Over Ten Million Served explores what academic service is and investigates why this labor is often not acknowledged as “labor” by administrators or even by faculty themselves, but is instead relegated to a gendered form of institutional caregiving. By analyzing the actual labor of service, particularly for women and racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities, contributors expose the hidden economy of institutional service, challenging the feminization of service labor in the academy for both female and male academic laborers.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Series: SUNY series in Feminist Criticism and Theory

Over Ten Million Served

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Over Ten Million Served

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p. iii

Contents

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pp. vii-ix

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiii

We have been so well served by our friends and colleagues that it’s difficult to know where to begin our thanks and how to delimit our gratitude. This project carries not only the traces of every committee, task force, or commission on which we’ve served but also the memories of those with whom we’ve served. At the same time, as we have all taught one another about our projects, our ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-20

All tenured and tenure-track faculty know the trinity of promotion and tenure criteria: research, teaching, and service.1 But service, like the Paraclete or Holy Spirit, hovering over everything but never seen, often remains a point of blind faith. Feudal, quasi-monastic understandings of dutiful service animate contemporary higher education workplaces, fueling our unstinting dedication to ...

Part 1: Service Stations

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1: Careers in Academe: Women in the “Pre-Feminist” Generation in the Academy

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pp. 23-33

Like many of the women of my generation who entered the English professoriate in the early 1960s, I had majored in English in college with the intention of teaching high school. That ambition was formed partly from my sense that college teaching would be way out of my reach as a graduate of an obscure liberal arts college for women, and then there were no jobs ...

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2: Superserviceable Subordinates, Universal Access, and Prestige-Driven Research

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pp. 35-53

In an opinion piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education, published in January 2007, a literature professor commented on the Modern Language Association’s (MLA) then recently released report on tenure in the profession and wondered why the MLA seeks to aid “a segment of the academic work force that has the least to worry about.”...

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3: Superserviceable Feminism

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pp. 55-72

While most human beings, myself included, would not want to escape the opportunity to serve others—after all, human connection usually deepens emotional, creative, political, and intellectual development—in the academic world, an insidious and invisible economy of service has for years exhausted the energies of women, with women of color being...

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4: The Invisible Work of the Not-Quite-Administrator, or, Superserviceable Rhetoric and Composition

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pp. 73-87

In her important 2002 essay, “More Than a Feeling: Disappointment and WPA Work,” Laura Micciche suggests that writing program administration offers a telling case study of the dilemmas faced by faculty in the current entrepreneurial university. Hired to provide leadership, on the one hand, but frequently positioned without...

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5: Foreign Language Program Direction: Reflections on Workload, Service, and Feminization of the Profession

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pp. 88-102

For many faculty members, days are long and the appointments, deadlines, and responsibilities are many. In most cases, distinctions among activities involving research, teaching, and service are quite clear. Different, however, is the reality of the language program director (LPD), whose innumerable duties frequently blur the distinctions between the three categories. Several ...

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6: Ten Million Serving: Undergraduate Labor, the Final Frontier1

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pp. 103-120

The alarm sounds at 2 a.m. Together with a half dozen of her colleagues, the workday has begun for Susan Erdmann, a tenure-track assistant professor of English at Jefferson Community College in Louisville, Kentucky. She rises carefully to avoid waking her infant son and husband, as her husband commutes forty miles each way to his own tenure-track community college ...

Part 2: Non Serviam: Out of Service

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7: The Value of Desire: On Claiming Professional Service

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pp. 123-138

I feel as though I have fallen into a spinning vortex that has nearly consumed me. I am at a small school, so I am always busy in the way one has to be at a place like this. For the past two years I have also been running a program on my own that is intended to be run by...

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8: Outreach: Considering Community Service and the Role of Women of Color Faculty in Diversifying University Membership

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pp. 139-152

It is early December, and I have been asked to give a presentation for a community outreach program run by the Center for Black Studies out of the University of California, Santa Barbara. I am to represent an “accomplished” member of the community. There will be two other presenters—one a resource person in the community, and the other one of the children or ...

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9: To Serve or Not to Serve: Nobler Question

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pp. 153-161

Ironically, I am writing this essay about university service while I am at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore on a one-month professorial fellowship. That is, I am as far away from service as a scholar dare dream of and succeed. Even as many other desires have bleached out, reverted to whispers and rumors, or turned mute, the longing for time to ...

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10: Not in Service

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pp. 163-170

Women who choose to do academic service have a couple of options that are not usually presented as such: local service, which is usually committee work or administration on one’s own campus (and that is what your institution means by “service”), or the one they never tell you about on your own campus—regional or national service, which takes you off campus. Each model is ...

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11: Experience Required: Service, Relevance, and the Scholarship of Application

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pp. 171-183

Most faculty members who are (over)committed to professional service can attest to the various passions and ethical issues that drive their endeavors, but there is real need for an overhaul when it comes to acknowledging and rewarding professional service, regardless of the altruisms that often lie at the hearts of our hard work and that are often used to insinuate that those ...

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12: Humble Service

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pp. 185-194

The language of service and the imperative to actively serve others have been as essential to my growth and development from childhood to adulthood as food. My first stories were collections of “Bible Stories” in which Jesus, the Good Shepherd and Suffering Servant, was the model for living ...

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13: Welcome to the Land of Super-Service: A Survivor’s Guide . . . and Some Questions

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pp. 195-207

It is a truth (almost) universally acknowledged that if you want to have an academic career devoted to teaching and service, you should apply for a job at a public community college. Here are a few more generally acknowledged truths about community colleges in the United States. From the 1960s through the 1990s these institutions have traditionally attracted and retained women ...

Part 3: Service Changes

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14: Service and Empowerment

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pp. 211-218

Received wisdom has it that the ambitious young academic should try to avoid entanglement in committee assignments and administrative tasks, distractions from and obstacles to the research and writing that can further a career. My experience tells me something more complicated, about the advantages as well as disadvantages of academic service. Sometimes, at least, ...

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15: The Hermeneutics of Service

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pp. 219-229

Academic, indeed all, intellectual activity is by its very nature dialogic. In our research we enter conversations within our disciplines and with scholarly predecessors in ways that we overtly signal, or at least tacitly acknowledge, and then attempt to supplement with originality and insight. Our teaching, even if we are tethered to the podium and yellowed lecture notes, is ...

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16: Rewarding Work: Integrating Service into an Institutional Framework on Faculty Roles and Rewards

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pp. 231-244

Service has been and still is central to my career. I accepted my first administrative appointment, as coordinator of women’s studies, several years before being tenured. From then on, I had an administrative assignment, in addition to many committees and other service responsibilities, every year except for two sabbatical leaves. As I gained experience in academic administration, I ...

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17: Curb Service or Public Scholarship To Go

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pp. 245-260

Trying to decide which aspects of one’s work belong in the category “service” can complicate even the most routine occasions of academic life. At my university, for example, February is marked not only by flowers and chocolates but by a request that my colleagues and I submit a CV for an annual salary review. That academic CV accommodates innovative professional activities ...

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18: “Pearl was shittin’ worms and I was supposed to play rang-around-the-rosie?”: An African American Woman’s Response to the Politics of Labor

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pp. 261-274

It is Friday, December 9, 2007, at The Ohio State University. Classes for the quarter are over, so no one expects to see faculty in the halls. Yet all the tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the Department of Eng-lish—all seventy of us on the Columbus campus—sit in a room, some on top of tables, some in the windowsills, waiting for a meeting to start that ...

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 275-279

Contributors

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pp. 281-285

Index

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pp. 287-298


E-ISBN-13: 9781438432045
E-ISBN-10: 1438432046
Print-ISBN-13: 9781438432038
Print-ISBN-10: 1438432038

Page Count: 312
Publication Year: 2010

Edition: 1
Series Title: SUNY series in Feminist Criticism and Theory
Series Editor Byline: Michelle A. Massé See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 658062311
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Over Ten Million Served

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Sex discrimination in higher education -- United States.
  • Women college teachers -- Professional relationships -- United States.
  • Women college teachers -- Workload -- United States.
  • Feminism and higher education -- United States.
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