Assistant Professor, Museum Studies (Collections Management)
Non-Tenure Track, Renewable Appointment (initial appt period)
Proposed Start Date: 08/01/2023
The Museum Studies Program in the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University seeks to hire an Assistant Professor to teach core courses in collections management, lead the collections management concentration, and develop courses related to equity, inclusion and social justice, broadly defined, in the area of museum collections. Among the areas of interest might be caring for/stewardship of culturally sensitive materials; provenance research; cultural property law and ethics; inquiry into what is collected and preserved; questions of access; approaches to repatriation; or ethics related to collections data. This is a full-time, 9-month, non-tenure position beginning in Fall 2023 with a renewable three-year contract. The position accrues benefits offered to full-time faculty including eligibility for fellowship and sabbatical leave, University funding competitions, and promotions.
Position Description Summary:
Within Museum Studies, we are thinking seriously about how to use our position as one of the biggest and oldest programs nationally to ground ethical, socially-responsible practice in all aspects of museum work. We are seeking a colleague who wishes to reckon with the politics and ethics of collections management and care, to prepare students to move museums toward a future that is both cognizant of, and responsive to, the colonial and racist past of much museum practice.
We are highly committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive population. We are especially interested in applicants who are able to work effectively with students, faculty, and staff from all backgrounds, including but not limited to: racial and ethnic minorities, individuals who identify with LGBTQIA+ communities, individuals with disabilities, individuals from lower income backgrounds, and/or first-generation college graduates.
Specific Duties and Responsibilities:
- Teach a total of five graduate-level courses each academic year related to collections management in museums, including at least two core courses;
- Contribute to Museum Studies curricula development and innovation;
- Develop and grade comprehensive examinations related to collections management;
- Advise and mentor graduate students on classes and internships and prepare them for professional positions in museums and related organizations;
- Participate in program recruitment efforts;
- Maintain an active museum practice and/or scholarly research;
- Participate in Program, School, College and/or University service and university meetings as they relate to faculty and committee service, and interact with the museum community of Washington, D.C.
- Applicants must have an MA by the appointment date, with an academic background in a field appropriate to the subject matter;
- Applicants must have two years’ experience in collections management or museum registration;
- Applicants must demonstrate involvement in the collections management profession, as shown through conference presentations, publications, or professional associations;
- Applicants must demonstrate involvement in equity and social justice work within the museum profession, as shown through conference presentations, publications, professional associations, or within your own workplace.
- Applicants must have the ability to teach on topics including creating and maintaining catalog records in both digital and paper formats; coordinating documentation for deeds of gift, bequests, and donations; loans and managing loans and traveling exhibitions; collaborating with curators, conservators, and exhibition designers; maintaining collection management systems and online collection portals; developing policies and procedures for collections management; and ensuring compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to collections and collecting activities;
- Applicants must have the ability to teach on topics related to equity, inclusion and social justice broadly defined as related to collections management (which could include areas such as decolonizing collections, caring for/stewardship of culturally sensitive materials; provenance research; cultural property law and ethics; inquiry into what is collected and what is preserved; questions of access; approaches to repatriation; or ethics around data);
- Applicants must have some teaching experience.
Established in 1976, the Master of Arts in Museum Studies at the George Washington University responds to the evolving museum profession by combining hands-on training with future-focused theoretical engagement. Students gain foundational knowledge about the state of museum work today, practical skills, and the ability to critically engage with developments in the field in Collections Management, Museum Management, Exhibitions and Visitor Experience, and Public Engagement. With our unique location in the nation’s museum capital, the Museum Studies Program is committed to creating a more representative and inclusive environment and the further development of a curriculum increasingly responsive to issues of equity in the academy and the museum profession. We are building a program that at its core both trains students in skills and exposes them to “best practices” in the field, and also grounds them with an ability to engage critically with museum history, theory, and practice.
About the Program:
About the Corcoran
The Corcoran School of the Arts & Design at the George Washington University offers more than 20 degree programs in the fields of Art History, Design, Interior Architecture, Music, Museum Studies, Studio Arts, and Theatre and Dance. Part of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, we embody and exemplify the College’s Engaged Liberal Arts credo, which strives to link disparate fields and better prepare our graduates for rich, multidimensional careers in the evolving world we live in. The Corcoran School’s home in the heart of downtown Washington, D.C. provides opportunities for our students and faculty to tap into both a vibrant, historied local city and a nerve center of international culture and government. We have a strong track record of initiating new ventures and collaborating with some of D.C.’s most prestigious institutions, galleries, museums, companies, and firms.
To be considered, please submit an online application and upload a cover letter; curriculum vitae; statement of teaching interest; and research statement. Only complete applications will be considered. Review of applications will begin on Wednesday November 2, 2022, and will continue until the position is filled.
The university is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer that does not unlawfully discriminate in any of its programs or activities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.