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The Critical PulseThirty-Six Credos by Contemporary Critics$
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Jeffrey Williams and Heather Steffen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231161152

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231161152.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 19 June 2021

Against Heroism

Against Heroism

(p.82) 10 Against Heroism
The Critical Pulse

John Conley

Columbia University Press

This chapter argues that graduate workers need unions that can win gains and exert collective worker power on the job. At the same time, they should not underestimate some of the real and accumulated barriers to the processes of unionization, including the notion of politically committed academic labor. Grad workers cannot afford to be radical pedagogues or politically committed academics. They must develop a critique of politically committed academic labor and this critique is internal to unionizing and in its interest. The chapter describes an example from the University of Minnesota, where graduate workers have not only tried multiple times to organize themselves formally but have repeatedly been put in the position of having to decide whether or not to cross American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) picket lines in order to teach.

Keywords:   graduate workers, graduate students unions, University of Minnesota, academic, unionizing, academic labor, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFSCME

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