AHRA: Network in Precarity
There is widespread recognition that researchers in the architectural humanities face entrenched and continually deteriorating working conditions on casualised contracts – whether those are defined as temporary, fixed-term, fractional (whether teaching only or otherwise), hourly, or zero-hour. This results in poor pay, lack of security, loss of employment benefits, and marginalisation in the work-place for architectural humanities researchers – affecting their livelihoods and well-being. These poor basic working conditions are compounded by structural discrimination and exploitation, and experiences of harassment and bullying.
There has been little or no research conducted as to the composition, experiences, needs, or desires of the community of architectural humanities researchers in the UK or internationally. Nor are there any means for architectural humanities researchers to act collectively, with reference to a transparent and acknowledged set of principles and standards for employment. Establishing a Network in Precarity is a first step toward redressing these concerns. The Network is for all researchers and educators in architectural humanities who identify themselves as working in precarious or casualised conditions.
The Network is intended to provide a forum for its members to share and discuss their working conditions, the problems and issues they face, and any demands they would like addressed – whether that be in terms of working conditions, pay, security, support for and recognition of research activities, affective and psychological labour (and damage), social and personal impacts or other. The first project of Network in Precarity would be to gather data (quantitative and qualitative) that would allow members of the network to identify demographic, geographic, and institutional patterns of precarity and casualisation.
Ultimately, the ambition would be to formulate concrete proposals and demands by, for, and on behalf of precarious workers in the architectural humanities research community.