working as a (very) minor academic in art schools and FE colleges in the 1980s was for me an often enjoyable but relentlessly insecure existence. this culminated in my giving up altogether and taking a teaching job in japan. a departure which severed forever whatever pretensions i had at that time concerning an academic career. at the height of the thatcher era, when budgets for art schools were being ruthlessly slashed, i remember the tragedy of my final interview for a position at a scottish higher education institution. i was shortlisted, i was told, from over 400 applications. so i should feel flattered.
my fellow shortlistees included a man with a doctorate, and several published books. another was a former bbc film-maker. that was what i was up against. i had spent the previous evening in my hotel room throwing up in the bathroom, and desperately trying to cobble together a short presentation (on roland barthes and michele foucault) if memory serves. i didn’t get the job, but managed to elicit a few smiles from the interviewing panel. reading the following i’m not encouraged that much has changed. certainly nothing seems to have improved
How Working-Class Academics Are Set Up to Fail: “By Ross Clare Precarity and low pay in modern universities mean that young academics often have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. If neoliberal reforms continue, the future is clear: academia will once again become the preserve of a social elite.”
How Working-Class Academics Are Set Up to Fail