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Assistant or Associate Professor, Theory and History of Art and Design (Indigenous Arts and

Rhode Island School of Design
Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Oct 30, 2023

Job Details

Posting Details

Position Information

Assistant or Associate Professor, Theory and History of Art and Design (Indigenous Arts and Cultural Practices)

Theory and History of Art and Design

Liberal Arts

Employment Type

Critical Review Track (similar to tenure track)

Position Description

The Department ofTheory and History of Art and Design in the Division of Liberal Arts at Rhode Island School of Design invites applications for a full-time faculty appointment in Indigenous Arts and Cultural Practices at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor, to commence fall 2024. Rank will be dependent on experience.

RISD recognizes principles of social equity, inclusion, and diversity as fundamental to its academic mission as an art and design school. We understand these principles to require ongoing attention to differential embodied experience and expansion of the forms of knowledge from which our curricula originate. RISD is engaged in the collective work of institutional transformation and would value applicants whose pedagogical and professional experiences have prepared them to foster equitable teaching and learning environments. We seek applicants whose teaching and professional work (creative practice and/or academic scholarship) attends to embodied difference as intersectional and centers on bodies of knowledge from historically underrepresented communities. We particularly encourage applicants who can help advance the institution’s social equity, inclusion, and diversity goals and those from groups whose underrepresentation in the American professoriate has been severe and long standing, including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other People of Color, people who identify as LGBTQIA+, veterans, people with disabilities, and first-generation college students.

We are seeking a teacher-scholar whose work shows critical understanding of aesthetic and material production in and among Indigenous worlds in the Americas (Native America, South America, Central America, North America, Latin America), the Caribbean, Asian and Pacific Islands, and/or Oceania, in any period of inquiry. We are looking for candidates whose work engages Indigenous epistemologies, ontologies, and materialities including, but not exclusive to, performative and/or cultural aspects of arts and aesthetic practices. We welcome comparative perspectives in the candidate’s scholarship and teaching and/or candidates whose creative practices merge scholarly research and writing with art making. Candidates whose teaching and scholarship foregrounds decolonial methodologies are especially encouraged to apply.

Successful candidates will be required to teach six courses per academic year, including participation in at least one of our first-year introductory courses, H101 (Global Modernisms) or H102 (Critical Introduction to History of Architecture and Design), which are required of all incoming RISD students. Being able to contribute to the ongoing process of reimagining the undergraduate foundation courses with new and exciting lectures and topics is an essential requirement of the position. Other teaching responsibilities will include undergraduate and graduate elective courses, including lectures and seminars. These courses contribute to students’ general education requirements at RISD and to requirements for the undergraduate concentration in Theory and History of Art and Design, which students can elect. Additionally, the Division of Liberal Arts houses an active interdisciplinary graduate program in Global Arts and Cultures ( GAC ). Depending on Departmental and programmatic needs, colleagues would have the opportunity to teach required MA courses, design graduate electives, advise MA theses, and participate in program development.

Required Qualifications
  • PhD or equivalent terminal degree in Art History, Indigenous Studies, Ethnic Studies, or a related field relevant to the study of Indigenous Arts and Cultural Practices, as described above, conferred by July 1, 2024
  • Demonstrated record of, or evidence of the potential for, teaching at both the undergraduate and the Masters level in the areas specified above
  • Demonstrated ability to teach a diverse student body and employ inclusive pedagogies
  • Demonstrated ability and commitment to effectively mentor and advise students, including students from minoritized and marginalized social groups
  • Demonstrated record of publication or evidence of an active research agenda relevant to the study of Indigenous Arts and Cultural Practices, as described above, and appropriate to the level of appointment
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and collaboratively with faculty, students, and/or staff
Preferred Qualifications
  • Demonstrated experience, in teaching and/or scholarship, utilizing decolonial methodologies
RISD/ Department Description

Rhode Island School of Design ( RISD ), is an undergraduate and graduate college of art and design with approximately 2,500 graduate and undergraduate students. RISD is built on what is now called College Hill, located in the state of Rhode Island and the broader Southern New England region. This region encompasses the ancestral homelands, historic communities, and sustained communities of the Narragansett Indian Tribe, the Mashantucket Pequot Nation, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, and Nipmuc Nation. Today Indigenous people from many nations—near and far—live, study, and work in Providence. RISD has a critical review process, which is very similar to the tenure process. RISD supports faculty professional practice with sabbaticals, pre-critical review leave, conference funds, and professional development grants. For more information about RISD, please visit .

The division of Liberal Arts at RISD (in which THAD resides) has recently created three positions in Indigenous studies, of which this new position is one. The current position is an opportunity to contribute to this evolving divisional initiative. We welcome our colleagues’ active contribution as we build our curriculum and expand our pedagogy to center indigeneity, race, and decolonization in our inquiries on art and design.

Rhode Island School of Design has a diverse selection of Liberal Arts courses, which constitute a third of the undergraduate graduation requirements for students majoring in art and design. In addition to required courses, the Department of Theory and History of Art and Design offers approximately sixty-six electives per year, ranging from histories of film and photography, Latin American art, art of the Islamic World, medieval art and architecture, modern and contemporary art, modern architecture and design, Chinese art and archeology, African art and performance, and Asian American art. We offer both traditional art, architecture, and design topics and those with a more experimental and/or interdisciplinary focus. Our department’s curriculum is responsive to changing concerns in the field and attentive to its role in the art and design education of our students. The Department of Theory and History of Art and Design offers a Concentration that allows students to forge their own entryway into the theorization and creation of art, architecture, and design works. The Department comprises ten full-time and twenty-eight part-time faculty members.

Faculty Responsibilities

The full-time faculty teaching load is six teaching units a year. In addition to teaching, full-time faculty are expected to maintain a dynamic professional practice, serve on college committees, advise students, participate in curriculum development and other departmental and/or divisional activities and projects, and contribute to the vibrancy of the intellectual life of the college.


Salary Information

For information about base pay for this position, please refer to Article XII “Salaries” (p. 19-22) in the Faculty Association Collective Bargaining Contract 2022-2025 . The contract indicates the minimum base salary for each rank.

Pre-employment Requirement

The successful candidate will be required to meet our pre-employment background screening requirements.

Special Instructions to Applicants

RISD Faculty Search Committees comprise colleagues from within and outside of the hiring Department.

Please attach the following to the appropriate links in the section labeled “Documents Needed to Apply”:

1.) Letter of intent that addresses the qualifications and responsibilities listed above
2.) Curriculum vitae
3.) A teaching philosophy that articulates your approach to inclusive pedagogy
4.) Two syllabi and examples of two different assignments (In one PDF, include two syllabi, one for an undergraduate lecture and one for an undergraduate or graduate seminar, and two assignment prompts, one for the lecture and one for the seminar)
5.) A writing sample (25 pages maximum, in one PDF )

Applications may not be edited once they are certified and submitted.

File size is limited to 10 MB per file.

Only materials that have been requested will be considered.

Names and contact information for three references are requested as part of the application process. Requests for reference letters are sent directly to the reference providers when candidates become finalists.

Review of applications begins immediately and continues until the position is filled. Candidates who submit their materials by January 5, 2024 are assured full consideration.

EEO Statement

RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.

Posting Detail Information

Posting Number

Open Date

Close Date

Open Until Filled
Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * How did you hear about this employment opportunity? (List online platforms, job boards, referral, etc.)

    (Open Ended Question)

Documents Needed To Apply
Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Writing Sample
  4. Teaching Philosophy
  5. Sample Syllabi
Optional Documents



RISD is a college and museum founded in 1877 in Providence, RI. Today 2,620 students engage in 44 full-time bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, supported by a committed faculty and worldwide network of more than 31,000 alumni.

By cultivating expansive and elastic thinking, RISD equips artists, designers and scholars to generate and challenge the ideas that shape our world.

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