CFP MLA 2022: Crip Time and the Tenure Clock

Petra Watzke's picture

Institutions of higher education have been shaped by a history of ableism that excluded non-normative minds and bodies from the process of knowledge production. As recent publications in disability studies demonstrate, this history still informs the procedures, systems, and methodologies that underpin the structures of the neoliberal university. This is most apparent in the rigid, elitist, and exclusionary system of the tenure clock, which values individualistic endeavors of original scholarship, corseted in a strict timeline that disregards the complex temporal experiences and requirements of scholars with disabilities - that is, the experience of crip time. Concomitantly, the tenure system burdens faculty members in contingent positions, a category that increasingly includes many academics with disabilities, as research has shown. Contingent faculty are often called upon to fill the teaching void created by the demands and privileges of the tenure process, which demonstrates the burdensome effects of the tenure clock far beyond its immediate experience. We invite contributions that examine the far-reaching consequences of the tenure clock from the vantage point of disability studies, and that explore how the organization of labor in higher education impacts faculty members with disabilities (tenure-track, tenured, or contingent). We also encourage submissions that contextualize personal experiences of divergent abilities in their many intersectional forms, and those that envision a future for higher education where non-normative bodies and minds are not marginalized or tokenized. 

Please submit a title and 250-word abstract to Petra Watzke, Kalamazoo College ( byMarch 20, 2021.