University workers of the world, unite!
Nicolas Pons-Vignon on the paradox of German academic precarity
Nicolas Pons-Vignon is senior researcher at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) and currently Ela Bhatt Visiting Professor at the ICDD (University of Kassel).
In his farewell talk „University workers of the world, unite! Reflections on the paradox of German academic precarity“ (Kassel, 17 December 2019) he tackled a hotly debated issue within the German higher education system.
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Nicolas, like many other labour scholars and activists from the Global South, has benefitted for many years from the support of German foundations and collaborated with colleagues from universities such as Kassel. He was taken aback when he realised how precarious the life and work of many of his colleagues were in Germany itself. After attending various mobilisations (for instance linked to the ‚Unbefristet‘ movement), he became increasingly interested in, and supportive of, the movement against precarity in German universities.
In his talk, he presents an outsider’s perspective on the situation of German university workers, while reflecting on the strategies used to combat it, starting from the premise: What can we learn from the experience of precarious workers outside of Germany to empower the struggles here?
Alexander Gallas (ICDD, University of Kassel) was Nicolas‘ discussant.
[Quelle: ICDD Newsletter, December 2019]