‘The dice are loaded’ : History, solidarity and precarity in Australian universities

Journal article


Thomas, Amy, Forsyth, Hannah and Bonnell, Andrew G.. (2020). ‘The dice are loaded’ : History, solidarity and precarity in Australian universities. History Australia. 17(1), pp. 21-39. https://doi.org/10.1080/14490854.2020.1717350
AuthorsThomas, Amy, Forsyth, Hannah and Bonnell, Andrew G.
Abstract

This article responds to debate over casualisation within the Australian Historical Association (AHA) and within the history profession in Australia more generally. It is argued that competing interests increasingly govern relations between salaried and casual academics. The article seeks to historicise these competing interests within the discipline in the history of Australian universities since the late 1980s. The authors draw on Marx’s descriptions of the ‘reserve army of labour’ and recent sociological debates over precarity to describe the political economy that has produced a casual academic workforce. By also analysing the effects of recent shifts in the structure of academic work more widely, the article advocates for solidarity, on the basis of academic historians’ shared precarity in the university sector. It then points to how historians might marshal their research resources to derive lessons from the past, in the service of protecting historians as a community, particularly for those most affected by the trend towards precarity.

Keywordsprecarity; casualisation; labour; history profession
Year2020
JournalHistory Australia
Journal citation17 (1), pp. 21-39
PublisherTaylor & Francis Inc.
ISSN1449-0854
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/14490854.2020.1717350
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85082632493
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range21-39
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online21 Feb 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Dec 2021
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