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Assistant Professor of Art History

Southern Methodist University
Texas, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Posted date
Aug 2, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Arts, Art History
Employment Level
Tenured/Tenured Track
Salary Band
Commensurate with Experience
Employment Type
Full Time
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Assistant Professor of Art History (African American) (Position Number 49838)

Art Historian, African American Art (16th century to present).  Southern Methodist University: Assistant Professor, Full-Time, Tenure Track.  Salary commensurate with experience. 


The Department of Art History in the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University seeks a specialist in the art, visual cultures, material cultures, or architecture of the African American tradition(s), broadly defined. Applications are welcome from scholars specializing in any aspect of the arts of the African Diaspora in the Americas (North, South, Central, and/or Caribbean) from the 16th century to the contemporary era.  

The successful candidate will demonstrate in-depth knowledge of African American visual and material culture, and a commitment to theoretical fluency and interdisciplinarity.  Potential areas of expertise might include: intersectional critiques of race and subjectivity; cultural poetics of gender and sexuality; religion, politics, and social identities; ritual and performance; cross-cultural exchange; spaces of thought, memory, and practice; communities imagined and improvised; cultural institutions both formal and informal. We welcome applications from scholars whose work contributes to Black Feminist, Black Queer and Trans studies, critical race theory, and/or postcolonial thought. Scholars whose practice addresses social justice in its historical and contemporary dimensions are encouraged to apply.

All applicants must be able to teach introductory and upper-level undergraduate lecture courses on African American art, as well as undergraduate and graduate seminars in their area of specialization. The standard departmental teaching load is 2/2; faculty also advise graduate research at the MA and PhD levels. We particularly encourage applications from candidates whose work crosses disciplinary boundaries, is methodologically innovative, is engaged with emerging fields, and can leverage or enhance the department's existing strengths in African, African diasporic, and American art. Our faculty and our undergraduate, MA, and PhD programs are organized around the idea of RASC/a, which stands for “Rhetorics of Art, Space, and Culture.” The rubric of RASC/a incorporates a critical approach to historical and new media, a broad understanding of visual technologies, and a particular interest in race and gender, architecture and the city, political uses of visual culture, and performance and ritual.

The successful candidate will participate in an expanding program of research and teaching in the Art History Department at SMU.  Faculty in the Department of Art History receive leaves, research and travel support.  In collaboration with colleagues in allied specialties in the Department of Art History, the candidate will assume an important role in shaping the future of research, curriculum, and pedagogy at the institution.  The candidate will ideally contribute to the overall vitality of the University through participation in interdisciplinary programs within the SMU Meadows School of the Arts and across campus. Hiring is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of a background check. 

Proposed starting date: August 2022.


The Department uses Interfolio By Committee for its application process. Applicants will provide a letter of application, curriculum vitae, a writing sample, and three letters of recommendation. We encourage digital applications in .pdf format to retain font and formatting integrity. Use the following link to apply:

To ensure full consideration for the position, applications must be received by September 15, 2021, but the committee will continue to accept applications until the position is filled. The committee will notify applicants of its employment decision at the completion of the search.  

Preferred Qualifications

Doctoral degree in art history or related field by start of appointment. 


SMU is a private university of 6,300 undergraduate students set in north-central Dallas.  Established in 1911, SMU offers a secular, non-denominational campus environment dedicated to the University’s founding principles of education in the liberal arts.  Resources on campus include SMU’s Meadows Museum, one of the premier collections of Spanish and Latin American art in the US.  SMU’s Bridwell Library extensive holdings include a significant collection of early printed books from Europe and the Americas. SMU’s DeGolyer Library houses extensive archives, photographs, and printed materials from the US and Latin America.  The wider Dallas/Ft. Worth area is home to many nationally and internationally recognized museums, including the African American Museum of Dallas, The Dallas Historical Society, Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas Contemporary, The Warehouse, The Modern Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum, Amon Carter Museum, and the Dallas Latino Cultural Center.  SMU operates a satellite campus in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, affording many opportunities for summer teaching and research in northern New Mexico. 

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,

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