JOB: Lecturer, Museum Studies @ UPittsburgh/Carnegie Museum of Natural History

The Department of History of Art and Architecture (HAA) at the University of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH) located on the Oakland campus of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh (CMP) are strongly committed to excellence in research, and to inclusive curatorial and teaching practices that promote collaboration, diversity, and public engagement. To further our leadership in these areas we seek to hire a Lecturer in Museum Studies who will work both as a scholar-teacher in HAA’s dynamic art history department and as a curator with the unique cross-disciplinary collections of Carnegie Museums. This appointment is jointly funded by the University of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh for the purpose of creating collaborations between HAA, CMNH, and other museums in the Pittsburgh region. The appointment is for three years, starting September 1, 2022 and is outside the tenure stream, but may be renewable pending budget authorization from both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Salary and benefits are competitive.

The successful candidate will teach six credits per year (one 3-credit course per semester) in HAA’s thriving undergraduate museum studies program, which draws students not only from art history and studio arts, but also from history, anthropology, and other disciplines in the Arts & Sciences. Their teaching will support the practicum requirement in the Museum Studies major and minor, with courses that engage collections at CMNH as well as Pitt, including the University Art Gallery and the University Library System. They will collaborate with HAA’s Academic Curator to advance important partnerships between HAA and CMNH. They will also work collaboratively with undergraduate students and faculty from HAA and other departments at the university interested in teaching with and researching the collections at CMNH; and will facilitate internships and other experiential learning opportunities for students.  

The successful candidate will also devote 50% of the position time to serving as Assistant/ Associate Curator (depending on qualifications) in CMNH focusing on topics related to environmental humanities, decolonization, and indigenization. Their activities are expected to challenge, diversify and deepen perspectives, narratives and approaches to natural history museum’s collections and exhibitions.  They will be expected to participate in collections or institutional based research, planning, and implementation of relevant innovative exhibitions and programs as part of public engagement, some of these working with undergraduates in HAA’s museum studies program, and potentially in partnership with other museum venues, including other museums within CMP and the University Art Gallery.  

Salary and benefits will be shared by the University of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. Annual evaluations of the employee will be conducted by the Chair of HAA and the Director of Research and Collections at CMNH. 

To apply, visit join.pitt.edu. The requisition number for this position is 22000781.

Minimum requirements:  

  • PhD in hand or expected by June 2022 in art history, museum studies, anthropology, or allied fields
  • Some university-level teaching experience in the history of art, museum studies, anthropology, or an allied field
  • Curatorial experience in a museum or gallery

Preferred requirements:  

  • A demonstrable record of engagement in public humanities, and ability to connect specialized knowledge to broad intellectual frameworks that cut across disciplines and engage diverse publics
  • Experience as the instructor of record for a university-level course in the history of art, museum studies, anthropology, or an allied field
  • Ability to communicate and collaborate across multiple stakeholders and divisions within institutions
  • Engagement with active learning pedagogies and mentoring undergraduate students
  • Engagement with initiatives that advance social justice, equity, inclusion, accessibility and diversity
  • Expertise in one or more of the following intellectual domains: race and gender, indigeneity, history of museums, natural history, the Anthropocene

Applications should include: 

  • Cover letter addressed to Prof. Mrinalini Rajagopalan, Chair, HAA Department, that discusses the applicant’s research, teaching and museum experience, describing applicant’s approach to curation and public humanities, areas of research interest, and a brief description of past curatorial experience with museum programing or exhibitions and how the applicant would embrace the opportunities afforded by this joint appointment. 
  • Current CV. Include a list of courses taught.
  • Statement of teaching philosophy, including strategies to integrate student coursework and internships into museum activities and evidence of teaching effectiveness through sample student work or student/ mentor evaluations. (1 – 2 pages)
  • Diversity statement (1–2 pages) in which you share how your past, planned, or potential contributions and experiences relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion will advance the University of Pittsburgh’s and CMP’s commitments to inclusive excellence.
  • Contact information (full name, title, institutional affiliation, and email) for three persons able to provide confidential professional letters of recommendation. We do not need the letters themselves at this first stage of application, only the contact information.

Review of applications will begin on March 18, 2022 and will continue until the position is filled. Applications must be uploaded through the University of Pittsburgh’s Talent Center website. Questions may be directed to Karoline Swiontek, Administrative Officer, HAA Department (karoline@pitt.edu). 

Information on HAA and CMNH:  

Both the department and the museum are committed to the study and understanding of art and material culture across the world from the ancient to the contemporary periods. 

HAA has a strong record of research productivity in the arts and architecture of East Asia, South Asia, the ancient Mediterranean, Europe from the Middle Ages to the present, the Americas, and global contemporary art. The department’s Museum Studies program provides undergraduates with classes in the history and theory of museology, project-based training, and professional placements. Our graduate and undergraduate students benefit from the resources of the University Art Gallery and the Frick Fine Arts Library, which have their own collections, and a Visual Media Workshop that serves as a hub for Digital Humanities research and collaboration at the University of Pittsburgh: http://www.haa.pitt.edu.  

CMNH is part of CMP which encompasses four distinct museums: Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum: http://www.carnegiemuseums.org.  The Natural History Museum’s collection of over 22 million artifacts and specimens, includes 1.6 million ethnological and historical specimens and archaeological artifacts with major research collections from South America (Amazonia), Central America, North America (Arctic, Southwest, Plains, Northwest Coast), Central Africa, Asia (China and Japan), and Australia.  The museum currently has major projects underway exploring the Anthropocene and gender and sexuality in nature, in addition to renovating the ancient Egyptian galleries. It is also in the early stages of re-visioning and intervening into its galleries about North American Indigenous cultures. 

The Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences is committed to building and fostering a culturally diverse environment. Excellent interpersonal and relationship-building skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of individuals and constituencies in support of a diverse community are required.

The University of Pittsburgh is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and values equality of opportunity, human dignity and diversity. EOE, including disability/vets 

The University of Pittsburgh requires all Pitt constituents (employees and students) on all campuses to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved exemption. Visit coronavirus.pitt.edu to learn more about this requirement.

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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