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Adjuncting while dissertating

This is the last semester I will be adjuncting while working on a dissertation. By April, hopefully, I will have defended. Which leads me to wonder: what impact will dissertation completion have on my teaching? Has being an ABD hindered or helped my performance?

Being immersed in such an arduous project has taught me a […]


Though the prospect of a free mini Ipad is enough of an incentive for me to continue blogging, I have discovered that I really enjoy it. In this post I want to reflect on why that is: what is it about blogging that makes it more fun and dynamic than other types of writing? For […]

Negotiating boundaries

I had a student in one of my classes, let’s call him Y, who would walk with me to the bus stop after class every week. Every semester I have students that do this, and usually I find it taxing. When I’m “off duty,” I want to unwind and not have to make small talk […]

writing about world literature

As writing teachers we tend to underestimate how our assignments limit or enable our students’ ability to write effectively. Ideally, I’d like students to move beyond the standard academic paper structured around a thesis, to use writing to explore their ideas on a topic and make unexpected connections….. But as other adjunct bloggers have noted, […]

Why compare?

The spring semester has officially started. I decide to try something new in my “Global Literature II” courses. As a first day exercise, I have students think about why comparative literature is valuable as a discipline. What’s the use of making connections between all these books written in different times and places? Why not just […]

thoughts from a long-term adjunct

“Adjunct” means “a thing added to something else as a supplementary rather than an essential part.” Yet adjuncts are indispensable at CUNY and many other institutions of higher learning; three-quarters of college faculty in the U.S. are made of us. Our pictures do not decorate the walls of our departments, like those of full-time faculty […]

Victoria Tomasulo

Hello. I’m an Adjunct Instructor in the Comparative Literature department and an ABD in Comparative Literature at CUNY Graduate Center. I’ve taught at Queens College for eleven years now…can’t believe it’s been that long. For most of those years I have taught writing-intensive comparative literature classes at the Weekend College: “Global Literature II.” I’ve also […]