Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship/Assistant ProfessorArt and Visual Culture of the African Diaspora @ Occidental

Occidental College invites applicants for a one-year Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship followed by a tenure-track Assistant Professor appointment in the newly established Department of Black Studies. This search is part of Occidental’s new multi-year Mellon Faculty Diversity Initiative (MDFI), which is synergized with the College’s renewed commitment to equity & justice and an intensified effort to hire faculty whose work focuses on issues of race and/or social justice and whose background, expertise, and experiences will contribute to diversifying Occidental’s faculty. The successful candidate will join the first of three MFDI cohorts with a total of nine postdoctoral positions in the Arts and Humanities. As part of the MFDI program, the members of the cohorts will be provided enhanced mentoring, professional development, and a greatly reduced teaching load. The initiative will help to actively support the study of the life, culture, and history of the African diaspora and to support campus-wide efforts on behalf of equity and justice. The position will begin in August 2022. 

We are seeking a specialist in the art and visual culture of the African diaspora. Candidates should have a Ph.D. in Africana Studies, African American Studies, American Studies, Art History, Literature, Media Studies, or a related discipline. Candidates with expertise in regions outside the continental United States or whose scholarship engages gender, transgender, and sexuality studies are especially encouraged to apply. We are especially interested in candidates with a demonstrated commitment to and potential for excellence in undergraduate teaching; a strong record of scholarly accomplishments appropriate to the level of appointment; experience working collaboratively with colleagues; a demonstrated ability to work effectively with students from minoritized and marginalized social groups; a demonstrated potential for effective integration of technology into instruction; and an ability to balance excellent teaching, scholarship, and service. 

The teaching load during the first year of the postdoctoral fellowship will be 1/1. After one year, the position will convert to a tenure-track assistant professor position with a teaching load of 2/2 in Year 2 of the appointment, and a load of 3/2 thereafter. The successful candidate will teach a mix of first-year, intermediate, and advanced interdisciplinary courses on Black art and visual culture. In addition to teaching interdisciplinary Black Studies courses, the new faculty member will develop and teach up to two courses per year that are cross-listed with the Art and Art History department. They will also have the opportunity to design community-based learning initiatives that deepen the connection between Occidental College and the cultural institutions and diverse residents of the dynamic city of Los Angeles. 

Please submit a (1) cover letter detailing your interest in teaching Black Studies in a liberal arts college environment; (2) curriculum vitae; (3) a research statement that includes a discussion of your current scholarship, plans for future research, and a discussion of how you have successfully balanced scholarly and creative activities with teaching and service; (4) a statement of teaching philosophy that includes a discussion of your demonstrated commitment to, past evidence of, and future plans for creating equitable opportunities for learning and mentoring, especially for underrepresented students and students from marginalized social groups; (5) samples of scholarly work; (6) sample syllabus for one specialty course in Black visual culture studies; and (7) arrange for three references letters to be sent to: blackstudiesvisual@oxy.edu.  The application deadline is December 8, 2021.

For a description of Occidental’s Black Studies Department and its course offerings, please visit our website at: https://www.oxy.edu/academics/areas-study/black-studies

Occidental is a small liberal arts college in the city of Los Angeles, and it is among the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the United States. The normal teaching schedule is the equivalent of five courses per year. Occidental College policies for early career leaves for untenured faculty and sabbaticals for tenured faculty are very generous. The mission of Occidental College is to provide a gifted and diverse group of students with a total educational experience of the highest quality–one that prepares them for leadership in an increasingly complex, interdependent, and pluralistic world. We strongly encourage applications from candidates who will further Occidental’s mission of excellence and equity in their teaching, scholarship, and service.

Occidental College is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not unlawfully discriminate against employees or applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, breastfeeding or related medical condition, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic characteristic or information, military and veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by State or Federal Law. Occidental is strongly committed to increasing the diversity of the campus community and the curriculum, and to fostering an inclusive, equitable, and just environment within which students, staff, administrators and faculty thrive. Candidates who can contribute to this goal through their teaching, research, advising, and other activities are encouraged to identify their strengths and experiences in this area. Individuals advancing the College’s strategic equity and justice goals and those from groups whose underrepresentation in the American professoriate has been severe and longstanding are particularly encouraged to apply. 

Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. A comprehensive benefits package is available that includes: excellent health, dental, life, and retirement benefits; tuition benefits for the employee, spouse, domestic partner, and dependents; additional extras including use of gym facilities and the College Library. For a detailed description of benefits, please visit https://www.oxy.edu/offices-services/human-resources/benefits-information.  

We will consider for employment all qualified applicants, including those with criminal histories, in a manner consistent with the requirements of applicable state and local laws, including the City of Los Angeles’ Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance. 

Occidental College is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodations to applicants with qualifying disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation because of a disability for any part of the application or employment process, please contact Human Resources (hr@oxy.edu). 

Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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