And there is this long wait in between semesters

The academic semester break in Australia is about to start…

Students and full-time academics are getting ready for their Christmas holidays…

I just got paid my last salary of the year and as any other casual academic the uncertainty of having/ or not a job next year in academia would have begun.

Yes, sessional staff rarely know how many hours and the units they will be teaching the next term before the end of January. So what do casual academics do in between semesters? How do they afford housing and living? Most of them live on their savings (tax return), borrow money, live on family’s generosity, take odd jobs and wait…

I am glad that this year I am not waiting for hours to teach next year. I feel a great sense of relief. I am moving to Chile. Chile is not better regarding casualisation of the work force in higher education. However, I am hopeful. Not many Chilean academics hold a PhD, and I hope my qualifications, knowledge and expertise are better valued over there. I am not naive either.Maybe I will have to take some hours

For all women casual academics who start ‘the wait in between semesters’, I decided to write this brief post and share this video produced by Dr Gail Crimmins. This is the second video (out of 6) which gives an account of an arts-informed narrative inquiry into the lived experiences of six women casual academics.

I hope that the experiences portrayed in this video allows us not only to reflect about the insecure work conditions of casual academics in Australia, but think of some actions to stop with this type of exploitation.

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About Malba Barahona

Educational researcher, language educator. PhD from Australian National University. Passionate bushwalker and mountain lover. I procrastinate reading fiction, hiking, doing yoga, riding, having a beer and more recently decolonizing my existence. I write in English and Spanish in different blogs especially with the purpose of encouraging my students to write.

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