JOB: African American Material Culture Studies/Public Humanities @ University of Delaware

The College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Delaware invites applications for multiple positions–open rank, but with a special interest in senior scholars–for a major initiative in African American Material Culture Studies and/or African American Public Humanities. Joint appointments or single-department appointments are available among the departments participating in this cluster hire, including the Departments of Africana Studies, Art History, English, and History–with established, rich interdisciplinary collaborations possible among and beyond these interconnected scholarly communities. Successful candidates will have a demonstrable commitment to inclusive excellence and diversity–including a readiness to contribute to ongoing efforts to recruit and retain under-represented students and faculty–and will have a strong record of excellence in scholarship and teaching in African American Material Culture and/or Public Humanities Studies, as well as a commitment to contributing to the development of initiatives in these fields at the University of Delaware.

The University of Delaware is home to several interdisciplinary centers and initiatives that have significant administrative and grant support. Particularly important for the positions we seek to fill are the Center for Material Culture Studies and the African American Public Humanities Initiative (AAPHI), an interdisciplinary graduate study project supported by a major NEH Next Generation grant and Luce Foundation funding. We are home as well to the award-winning Colored Conventions Project, a digital humanities initiative that is recovering the archives and mapping the history of the African American state and national convention movement in the nineteenth century. The Special Collections and Museums of the UD Library offer strong collections in African American art, literature, history and culture shared through exhibitions in the library and museums galleries–including the Paul R. Jones Collection of African American Art–and classes. These collections that are made available to all faculty and students upon request for group or individual study, with a dedicated postdoctoral position established to facilitate these efforts for our African American collections. We are also home to one of the world’s top art conservation programs. Through partnerships with the HBCU Library Alliance and the Alliance for HBCU Museums and Galleries, we are introducing HBCU students to careers in art conservation and allied fields while also working to preserve the rich cultural treasures in HBCU’s libraries, archives, and museums. Our Center for the Study of Diversity provides support and a collaborative community for faculty research, community initiatives, university programming, and administrative planning. Through these initiatives and institutional centers and many others, UD researchers and students have opportunities for local, national, and global collaborations and partnerships. Beyond UD, our faculty have access–supported by well-established institutional ties–to important regional archives, including the Winterthur Museum, Gardens & Libraries, Folger Library, Hagley Museum, The Library Company of Philadelphia, and the Smithsonian Institution, among many others.

The University of Delaware is committed at every level to secure, sustain, and support a diverse community to enrich the experience of our faculty and students and to support and extend our academic mission. We are committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds, and we strongly encourage applications from scholars from under-represented groups. UD provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. A recipient of an NSF ADVANCE Award for racial and gender equity, UD is responsive to the needs of dual career couples, supports work-life balance through an array of family-friendly policies, and is dedicated to broadening participation in higher education in all areas of university

life. The University of Delaware is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer with inclusive excellence and diversity as core values.

Located in scenic Newark, Delaware, within 2 hours of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., the University of Delaware is a state-assisted, privately governed institution that enrolls approximately 17,000 undergraduates and 4,000 graduate students.

Applicants should upload a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, and three letters of recommendation to Application materials should make clear the applicant’s record of excellence in scholarship and teaching as well as the applicant’s commitment to inclusive excellence in professional practice. The review process will begin December 2, but screening will continue until the position is filled. For further information, contact search committee chair Dr. John Ernest at


LEC: “Negro Cloth” by Seth Rockman @ The New School

The New School History Department and the Market Cultures Group NYC
invites you to attend:

“Negro Cloth: Mastering the Market for Slave Clothing in Antebellum America”
Seth Rockman
Associate Professor of History
Brown University

Monday, May 6 @ 6pm
80 Fifth Avenue, Room 529

This talk considers the emergence of the American “negro cloth” industry in
the 1820s and 1830s. At the intersection of material culture studies,
business history, and comparative slavery, this talk traces the circuits of
social knowledge that complemented the circuits of capital in the
simultaneous expansion of the factory and the plantation. Enslaved men
and women played a collaborative role in the design of particular textiles,
and their preferences for some products and critiques of others structured
patterns of labor hundreds of miles away. The research is drawn from a
larger study underway on the inter-regional trade in plantation provisions:
Northern-made hats, hoes, shoes, shovels, and even whips manufactured
for use on Southern slave plantations.

Seth Rockman is associate professor of History at Brown University. His
2009 book Scraping By: Wage Labor, Slavery, and Survival in Early
Baltimore won several awards, including the Merle Curti Prize from the
Organization of American Historians. Rockman’s essay on the Jacksonian Era
appears in the recent American History Now volume published by the American
Historical Association. His findings on North-South economic ties have been
previewed in the New York Times “Disunion” blog and the Bloomberg News
“Echoes” blog. Rockman serves on the governing board of Brown University’s
Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice.

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