9 reasons you should attend the COCAL XI Conference


Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor

A grassroots coalition of activists in North America working for contingent faculty: adjunct, part-time, non-tenured, and graduate teaching faculty. We seek to bring greater awareness to the precarious situation for contingent faculty in higher education, organize for action, and build solidarity among our colleagues.


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COCAL X Conference reports and photo galleries

The tenth annual COCAL Conference was held in Mexico City, on the campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico from August 9 through August 12, 2012.
Click here to view the COCAL X Conference coverage.



Chronicle of Higher Education Survey

The Chronicle of Higher Education is conducting a short survey on retirement savings for adjunct and part-time faculty. Click on the link below to answer the survey questions:

Survey on Retirement Savings


COCAL XI August 4-6, 2014

COCAL X Conference
(Photo by David Milroy)

The eleventh COCAL Conference was held Monday, August 4 through Wednesday, August 6 at John Jay College in New York City. ​Plenaries, ​forums ​and ​workshops dealt ​with ​problems ​faced ​by ​contingent ​faculty ​in ​higher ​education ​in ​the ​U.S., ​Canada ​and ​Mexico, ​as ​well ​well ​as ​around ​the ​globe. ​

More information on the Events page

COCAL draws contingent educators from all geographic regions of Canada, Mexico, and the U.S., and also from all levels of higher education, from non-credit adult ed to community colleges to liberal arts colleges, to 4 year universities, with and without grad schools, from public to private non-profit and for-profit institutions, from all disciplines taught in higher ed, from all unions that represent us on campuses and from the those who have not unionized as yet. We gather because of what we have in common.

COCAL conferences are great fun! Ironically, coming together to talk about a massive problem that oppresses us all very directly results in an atmosphere full of hope, solidarity, personal affection, and tremendous learning. People who come always go home more committed to the struggle and better equipped to engage in it and organize others.

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COCAL X Conference
(Photo by David Milroy)

Activists in contingent academic labor from countries in North America joined together at the eleventh COCAL Conference in New York City to discuss, plan, and strategize on topics facing contingent educators and higher education:

• Struggles for equity
• New collaborations
• What models and strategies can we adapt to our situations?
• How have workers gained power?
• How can we network to our mutual advantage?
• Is there a way to consolidate our power, both locally and tri-nationally? Locally?


COCAL and Working USA Call for Papers:
Contingent Academic Labor

COCAL X Conference
(Photo by David Milroy)

WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society (WUSA) is devoting a special issue to contingent academic labor in the USA, North America and throughout the world.  The journal encourages cross-disciplinary essays drawn from the social sciences and the humanities that examine the contemporary significance of contingent academic labor using a range of methods and empirical analysis.  Essays should focus on the study of work, labor, capitalism, the state, and bureaucracy.

The editors especially seek essays drawn from presentations at the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor XI conference in August, 2014 in New York City. We encourage submissions by activists and organizers as well academic researchers. Articles can be case studies, memoirs, interviews or oral histories, if they also raise more general points of interest.

We encourage essays that include one or more of the following:
* Reach theoretical insights in addressing the relevance of the status and experiences of contingent academic labor through comparative/historical perspectives.
* Examine the conditions and experiences of adjunct laborers in the context of the political economy of knowledge.
* Compare and contrast contingent academic laborers to analogous workers in the labor market that is referred to as "precarious work".
* Examine the ways in which the politics and economics of contingent labor intersect with issues of race, gender, ethnicity, and/or sexuality.
* Contribute theoretical insights on the actuality and potential for forgoing bonds of solidarity that increase working class power and build stronger institutions.
* Contribute to the strategic discussion of organizing among contingent academics and the considerations of alliances, techniques, structures, and consciousness.
* Compare and contrast the situation and collective struggles of contingent academics in the US with those in other nations, especially Canada (including Quebec), and Mexico.

COCAL X Conference
(Photo by Vinny Tirelli)

Please submit papers by October 15, 2014.
All essay submissions are sent through a peer review process.  Click on the names below to send essays to editorial board members and guest editors.
Joe Berry         (Editorial Board)
Marcia Newfield (Editorial Board)
Polina Kroik      (Associate Editor)
Immanuel Ness (Editorial Board)





Welcome to COCAL International

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COCAL is a coalition of higher education activists from the North American continent. We are united in working to improve working conditions at colleges and universities for contingent faculty, including adjunct, part-time, and non-tenure track instructors, and graduate teaching assistants.

COCAL holds biennial conferences with presentations on organizing faculty, gaining equitable working conditions, legislative solutions, and the effects of globalization on higher education.