Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship/Assistant Professor in Black Visual Culture

New York, United States
Salary Not specified
Mar 12, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Parsons School of Design seeks a faculty member to begin as a postdoctoral scholar for two years, followed by appointment to a position as Assistant Professor (tenure-track).

The expected start date is July 1, 2021.

Parsons School of Design, a college of The New School, seeks a scholar whose work centers on the history, production, interpretation, and reception of images—in all the senses of this word—created by and about the African diaspora. We are especially interested in deeply interdisciplinary scholars who interrogate relationships of race and culture, the representation of race, and constructions of Blackness. The successful candidate will critically examine visual culture and the African diaspora in a potential range of global, national, and/or transnational contexts. We invite a broad interpretation of visual culture including art history and extending (but not restricted) to such fields as fashion, interior design, graphic or communication design, product design, curatorial and museum studies, architecture, performance and multi-media work.

The successful candidate will develop new humanities-based research based on their interests and participate in ongoing research programs and shared expertise with faculty at Parsons and across The New School. The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to teach in their specialty field and will be expected to contribute to our more general required courses, including for example, our First-Year course: “Objects as History.” As a community of scholars and practicing artists and designers, Parsons welcomes applicants whose teaching methods embrace the relationship of making to thinking, and who are thoughtful about how to teach humanities subjects to students also engaged in studio work.

This position is part of the new Mellon Initiative for Inclusive Faculty Excellence at The New School. Over the next two years, eight new Mellon fellows will be hired across the University. The goal of the initiative is to integrate a cohort of recent PhDs into the academic community at The New School by providing support, mentorship and participation in the Mellon Transformative Seminar, an interdisciplinary seminar bringing together members of the community representing diverse scholarship across The New School. The appointment begins with a two-year postdoctoral fellowship during which time faculty will develop robust research projects and professional networks, with the option to teach one course in their home department.

After the two-year period, faculty will move directly into a tenure-track position (in this case as Assistant Professor of Black Visual Culture). After appointment to Assistant Professor, they will teach five courses (or their equivalent) per year in an area of their expertise, and will be homed in Parsons, within its School of Art and Design History and Theory (known as ADHT).

Parsons’ School of Art and Design History and Theory offers masters degrees in fashion studies and in design and curatorial studies, and candidates, once they become Assistant Professors, will be expected to contribute to these programs, as well as to Parsons innovative First-Year curriculum. We welcome candidates whose research and/or training includes work in visual and cultural studies, race and ethnic studies, African and African diaspora studies, gender and sexuality studies, colonial and postcolonial studies and other interdisciplinary contexts. Scholars working in any geographic or historic context are welcome, and candidates with highly interdisciplinary backgrounds and intersectional, transnational approaches are encouraged to apply.

The New School, a private university in New York City’s Greenwich Village, serves undergraduate and graduate students across a range of fields with a commitment to bringing practices in design and social research to studying issues of our time and challenging students to become engaged citizens dedicated to solving problems and contributing to the public good.

You can find more information about the School of Art and Design History and Theory at Parsons here:


We are seeking applicants with a potential to build an outstanding record of scholarly research, publications and contributions to discussions in the area of Black Visual Culture, and with an aptitude for scholarly innovation and trans-disciplinarity.

- Applicants must have completed their Ph.D. in Art History or a related field in hand by the position start date (July 1, 2021).
- Preference is for applicants within 4 years or fewer of receiving the Ph.D.
- A clear potential for a trajectory of excellence in scholarly research
- Experience in and demonstrated commitment to teaching at the university level.
- Excellent research design, organization, communication, and writing skills.
- Capacity to work well with students from diverse backgrounds, identities, and levels of professional experience.
- Commitment to collaborating across the University and with external partners.


To ensure consideration, completed applications should be received by the April 1st priority deadline. However, review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Using The New School’s human resources website applicants must submit:

1. cover letter that includes: research interests, teaching philosophy and expertise, and service to the discipline and/or community
2. curriculum vitae
3. names and contact information of three references

Applicants may be contacted at the discretion of the search committee for additional materials.

For information on the University benefits package including health and retirement plans, please visit

The New School is committed to diversity in higher education and particularly invites applications from those individuals who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of our intellectual community through research, teaching, and service.

The New School is committed to a policy of equal opportunity in all its activities and programs, including employment and promotion. The New School does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, creed, sex or gender (including gender identity and expression), pregnancy, sexual orientation, religion, religious practices, mental or physical disability, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, veteran status, marital or partnership status, or any other legally protected status. The New School is committed to actively recruiting a diverse pool of applicants. We encourage candidates to apply who are from groups underrepresented in US higher education.