Call for Papers: Special Issue of Academic Labor: Research and Artistry (ALRA)

Deadline: January 1, 2020 at 11:59pm

Guest Editors: Genesea Carter and Rickie-Ann Legleitner

Publication: Summer 2020


This special issue issue will focus on discussions of intersectionality, social justice, and academic labor within the academy.​ In this issue we extend important conversations about the labor of positionality, intersectionality, and identity (Tweedy, 2019; Bonilla-Silva, 2019; Balaji and Ramirez, 2019; Moore, Acosta, Perry, and Edwards, 2010; Patton, Shahjahan, and Osei-Kofi, 2010; Jones, 2010; Takacs, 2002), especially within TT and NTTF’s social justice efforts on campus, in administration, within the classroom, across departments, in research collaborations, the peer review process, annual evaluations, etc. We are particularly interested in submissions that diversify or challenge dominant narratives, and we welcome underrepresented voices, identities, and positionalities.


We hope to not only foster nuanced conversation but also to offer tangible solutions to drive discourse forward and create change at the personal and professional level. Possible directions for inquiry include:


  • In what ways are we called upon to perform our identities in and outside of the classroom, and how do these performances enhance or hinder our careers? How do these expectations impact our personal connections to our labor and to our sense of our professional and personal selves?  
  • When does our presence matter, and when is it simply token representation? Similarly, how do we navigate demands to out ourselves or to remain hidden (especially in terms of ability, gender identity, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and religion)? How can we make our underrepresented voices heard and our labor matter?
  • How can we combat racism, ableism, transphobia, homophobia, and sexism on campus and in our communities without risking our careers? Conversely, how can we use this labor to strengthen our careers? How do we manage the emotional labor involved in these personal and professional projects of resistance?
  • How does social justice work on campus and in the community strengthen our ties to our students, our colleagues, our administrators, and to the community at large? How can we find ways to value this work and these connections, especially in regards to career advancement and promotion?    
  • How do identity (gender, race, ability, ethnicity, religion) expectations affect the social justice efforts and labor of teaching, research, mentoring, service, and committee work at different types of academic institutions for all categories of faculty (non-tenure-track, pre-tenure, and tenured faculty)?
  • How can we empower voices from underrepresented groups (including students, staff, administration, faculty, community members) without making those individuals feel overwhelmed, overworked, put upon, or singled out? How can we help strike balance between representation and exploitation, empowerment and burnout?
  • What are some practical solutions--self-care, mindfulness, advocacy, policies, position statements, etc.--for addressing the social justice labor of #metoo and #timesup in the university, department, and/or classroom?
  • How does social justice, academic labor, and intersectionality lead to issues of burnout and attrition, and how can we better support faculty and staff in managing this labor? How do we acknowledge or reward work that goes beyond the bounds of a job description or a CV line?
  • How can we move social justice, academic labor, and intersectionality discourses towards personal and/or professional agency and problem-solving?  
  • Given all the opportunities in academia we have to say “yes” to additional social justice work, how do we set clear boundaries, and how do we decide when and where to say “no”? What differing consequences might we face for saying “no” to often unpaid demands on our time, and how do we know if and when to push back?
  • How has the 2016 election brought to the surface latent or hidden issues relating to social justice, academic labor, and intersectionality?
  • How does the focus on social justice--your focus, your department's focus, your university’s focus--contribute to more academic labor?
  • How does social justice, academic labor, and intersectionality vary at different types of academic institutions with different student populations? In what ways does social justice labor manifest itself in the classroom, in research, in administration, in committee work, etc., for all categories of faculty?
  • How does social justice, academic labor, and intersectionality affect genders differently in academic settings (classrooms, committees, peer reviews, annual evaluations, conflict resolution, etc.)? What are some strategies for addressing these differences in the department/classroom/committees to either support self-care or make others more aware of the challenges?
  • How does teaching hot button issues (politics, feminism, religion, diversity, sex/gender, confederate monuments, climate change, etc.) affect male, female, and non-binary faculty similarly and differently? What about with different student populations and/or at different types of academic institutions? How do student evaluations affect social justice, academic labor, and intersectionality inside and outside of the classroom?
  • In what ways do curricular expectations, such as course outcomes, learning management systems, administrative initiatives, student services expectations, etc., affect social justice efforts for differing faculty, staff, and student groups?

Submit​ ​a piece of not more than 10,000 words (in length, including abstract, notes and citations) to​ by January 1, 2020, with publication in the summer of 2020. Please also email Genesea Carter ( with your submission.

Academic Labor: Research and Artistry (ALRA) is a peer-reviewed open access academic journal launched in 2016 by the Center for the Study of Academic Labor (CSAL) at Colorado State University. The journal encourages ongoing research on matters relating to tenure and contingency in the academy, both nationally and internationally. Along with our center and web site, we offer a research home for those undertaking scholarship in areas broadly defined as tenure studies, contingency studies, and critical university studies. To meet this objective, we invite a wide range of contributions, from the statistical to the historic/archival, from the theoretical to the applied, from the researched to the creative, and from empirical to essayist forms. Our editors and reviewers include social scientists, artists, and theorists specializing in labor issues.

The Center for the Study of Academic Labor and ​ALRA​ welcome varied genres, such as scholarly articles, reports, policies, position statements, essays, organizing and advocacy toolkits, photographs, photographic essays, personal narratives, social science research, original art, artifacts of curated performance art, op-eds, reviews in print and multimedia formats, etc., so long as they associate favorably with the Center and Journal’s theme. We also welcome histories of academic labor efforts; for instance, if your institution or program has engaged in efforts to establish or improve practices and policies and would like to have a backup location for archiving the papers, please send them our way and we will work with you on creating a secure, digital file. If you do not see a genre mentioned that you are interested in pursuing, please contact the lead editors, Genesea Carter and Rickie-Ann Legleitner (genesea.carter@colostate.eduand ​ALRA​ has no minimum required word count. Aligned with ​ALRA​’s mission to encourage conversation among a broad range of stakeholders, we welcome shorter pieces, including briefs, on topics aligned with the journal’s mission and aims.