The Department of English at Michigan State University invites applications and nominations for the Audrey and John Leslie Endowed Chair in Literary Studies with a focus on African American literary studies. We seek a tenured associate or full professor specializing in African American literature to begin in Fall 2018. A Ph.D. in literature or its equivalent is required. The successful candidate will have a demonstrable record of scholarly achievement in African American literature. Additional expertise in one or more of the following areas is desirable: intersectional approaches, sexuality studies, feminist studies, poetry, social justice studies, or popular culture. Because the express purpose of the Audrey and John Leslie Endowed Chair in Literary Studies is to promote the transformative potential of literature, the Department is particularly interested in candidates whose research, teaching, and service highlights the political and cultural work that literature accomplishes.
The Department of English and the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University embrace this vision as part of our shared commitment to critical diversity and inclusion. We see the Leslie Endowed Chair as an unprecedented opportunity to make visible our dedication to centering the histories, current dynamics, and futures of African American literary studies, along with the questions they raise, in our undergraduate and graduate curricula.
MSU’s Department of English offers several program options at the undergraduate level, including literary studies, film studies, creative writing, popular culture studies, and English education. The graduate program offers students a range of opportunities to teach, conduct research, and gain additional professional competencies in teaching, digital humanities, and women’s and gender studies. We seek applicants who will contribute to the growth of the department’s programs, as well as help expand its collaborative ties across the campus and through outreach. The Department of English, a dynamic and inclusive community, encourages intellectual and cultural diversity, prepares students for a range of careers that require global cultural knowledge, and is an integral part of the College of Arts & Letters and Michigan State University’s international engagement.
Candidates must be prepared to teach courses on African, African American, or African Diaspora literature; seminars on race, ethnicity, and literature; and the seminar in African American literature as well as a broad range of core courses in the English Department: foundations of literary study; methodologies of literary history, and studies in a particular period. The candidate will also be expected to teach graduate courses in the English PhD program and advise graduate students. The successful candidate will be appointed on an academic year basis and will engage in an active program of research, service, and teaching, normally two courses per semester, including in the College of Arts & Letters Interdisciplinary Arts & Humanities general education program and, potentially, in the College’s interdisciplinary programs, including African American and African Studies; digital humanities; and women’s and gender studies. Salary is competitive, commensurate with rank and experience. The endowed hair comes with $10,000 annual programming budget as well.
A Ph.D. in literature or its equivalent is required.
The successful candidate will demonstrate:
an established record of successful publication within the field of African-American literary studies.
a commitment to continuing a research agenda and profile that will show intellectual leadership in the field of African-American literary studies.
achievements in innovative and inclusive pedagogy.
a commitment to faculty leadership in program building, conference organizing, disciplinary or interdisciplinary innovation, or community outreach.
evidence of experience acting as a mentor and resource for students and faculty of color within the department.
ongoing engagement with the politically or socially transformative power of literature whether within or outside of the academy.
Additional expertise in one or more of the following areas is desirable: intersectional approaches, sexuality studies, feminist studies, poetry, social justice studies, or popular culture. Because the express purpose of the Audrey and John Leslie Endowed Chair in Literary Studies is to promote the transformative potential of literature, the Department is particularly interested in candidates whose research, teaching, and service highlights the political and cultural work that literature accomplishes.
Required Application Materials
Applications should include a letter expressing interest in this position and describing research and teaching qualifications and experience; a current curriculum vitae; a writing sample of approximately 20 pages; the names and email addresses of 3 potential referees; and a summary statement of experience with diversity in the classroom and related environments, including how the candidate:
promotes inclusivity in classrooms and academic work environments;
implements a research program that reflects the needs of minority or underserved populations;
incorporates intersectional perspectives into teaching for 21st century leadership
works in a diverse environment and/or utilizes a variety of teaching methods designed for broad student success;
participates in programs designed to promote inclusion;
mentors students from a variety of backgrounds;
incorporates multicultural issues into curriculum and classroom conversations.
Inquiries may be directed to Professor Jeff Wray (firstname.lastname@example.org), search committee chair.
Review of applications will begin December 1, 2017, and will continue until the position is filled. Applications must be submitted electronically to the Michigan State University Human Resources website (https://jobs.msu.edu/). Posting # 472150.
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