[ Sent between April 19th and April 20th ]
To The Hampshire Community:
We are writing to you today to inform you of a serious issue facing the
Hampshire College community: Jaclyn Pryor, Visiting Assistant Professor of
Queer Studies and Performance Studies, has not been offered a new contract for
the next school year, leaving Hampshire without any Queer Studies professors.
This is an especially important issue for several reasons. Jaclyn Pryor is the
only professor at Hampshire College who teaches Queer Studies. Not only that,
she has served as an advocate for queer- and trans-identified students on
campus, outside the classroom. Jaclyn acts as academic advisor for a
significant number of students on campus, who have been thrown into a
precarious position: we will have no advisor fit to replace Jaclyn Pryor who
has immersed us in Queer Studies for the past two years. Further, the already
overworked faculty who may identify as queer or incorporate aspects of
queerness into their courses across all the schools should not be assumed or
expected to take on Jaclyn’s students as advisees.
The Deans have already been approached by a group of students about the Queer
Studies position, and have responded with a vague commitment to conducting a
national search at some point in the future for a permanent position. However,
in the meantime, the program that Professor Pryor has been instrumental in
creating here will be virtually terminated, and the students who rely on her
will be left with no one to advise us in Queer Studies until a national search
committee finds a qualified candidate.
We need, require and demand that:
1) A nation wide affirmative action search for a qualified candidate to fulfill
a permanent Queer Studies position be conducted in the Fall of 2012.
2) Until a search process is concluded, Jaclyn Pryor be offered a new contract
as Visiting Assistant Professor in Queer Studies and Performance Studies for
the next school year.
Although Queer Studies is not, in light of this development, a viable course of
study, Hampshire is home to a radical and diverse queer community. We hope
Hampshire continues to attract more radical queer student activists who will
continue our struggle in making Queer Studies a tangible fact.
Tomorrow, April 20th at 2 PM beginning at the Center for Feminisms in Enfield,
you are cordially invited to a memorial which will celebrate Queer Studies and
its importance to Hampshire College, which purports itself to be a place of
innovative pedagogy and critical thinking. We will march from the CFF to the
library lawn, where a speak-out will take place starting at 3pm. We want this
space to be accessible to all, and therefore will be designated as
substance-free. We value your spirit and your voice, if you share our hopes for
the future of Hampshire College.
Actions will continue through the end of the semester.
The Queer Does Not End Here
In Hope and Rage,
A Collective of Queer Studies Students & Allies