Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Creative Writing, Indigenous Literatures, and Oral Traditions

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The Department of English at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) invites applications for a full-time teaching stream appointment in Creative Writing, with expertise also in Indigenous Literatures and Oral Traditions. The appointment will be at the rank of Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, and will commence July 1, 2020. 

We are seeking candidates who have a strong record of what Lee Maracle calls in Conversations with Canadians, “word art.” This might take the form of written or visual texts such as publication/production in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, playwriting, screenwriting, television, comics/graphic novels. It might also manifest in an outstanding record of storytelling, oral practice, or related creative and communal contributions. We are seeking candidates whose work reflects an expertise in Indigenous literatures as well as the significance of creative practice to Indigenous communities, cultures, and ways of knowing. This position recognizes the capaciousness, flexibility, and limitations of “creative writing” and “literature” as academic categories. 

This position is part of the University of Toronto’s response to the calls to action in Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report. Preference will be given to candidates who self-identify as Indigenous.  Recognizing that there are a variety of terms that potential candidates may use to self-identify, the University uses the term “Indigenous” in this search, which forms part of the U of T Response to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliatin Commission to encompass the people of Turtle Island, including those who identify as First Nations, Métis, Inuk (Inuit), Alaska’s Native, Native American, and Native Hawaiian people.  In the upcoming year, UTSC also is planning to search for a hire in Political Science with an Indigenous-focused specialization. As well, we have created two postdoctoral fellowships for Indigenous scholars as a part of our commitment to inclusive excellence and to help ensure a supportive cohort for new Indigenous colleagues.

Candidates must either 

• Have a traditional academic background, with a PhD or MFA/MA in Creative Writing or a PhD in Literature, Indigenous Studies, or a related field by the time of appointment or shortly thereafter, as well as an excellent record of “word art.” 

or

• Have a significant professional and artistic record as demonstrated by creative impact within communities on and/or beyond Turtle Island; artistic mentorship or leadership; recognition as a knowledge-keeper; published works; major awards or accolades; invited presentations/performances/tours/workshops; artistic residencies; or similar experiences.

In all cases, candidates must be able to show evidence of a commitment to excellence and innovation in teaching literature and creative writing at the undergraduate level, and provide clear evidence of this as part of the application. This commitment should be demonstrated through a teaching dossier submitted as part of the application. For a complete list of applicable materials that may be included in the teaching dossier please refer to the application package paragraph below. 

Candidates must also have a strong record of ethical engagement and collaboration with Indigenous communities and organizations and must provide strong endorsements by referees of high standing, including a letter of support commenting on Indigenous community engagement. Candidates must be able to show experience and engagement with at least one Indigenous community on Turtle Island, including relationship building, longstanding relationships, and possible work with community leaders and Elders. Finally, candidates must be able to show long-term experience and engagement with Indigenous organizations on Turtle Island, and evidence of understanding the importance of consensus-building relationships. UTSC and the Department of English recognize their own crucial role in consensus-building relationships as well. (Please note that Canada’s TRC response focuses on the part of Turtle Island currently known as Canada.)

Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. 

This position will be held in the Department of English at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Located on the traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit in the east end of Toronto and the beautiful Highland Creek Valley, UTSC English is a close-knit department that is home to a thriving creative writing program and community of word artists. The successful applicant will bring their talents and vision to bear on our already flourishing Minor in Creative Writing (https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/engdept/minor-creative-writing) and to a proposed Major that is currently in development. The Department also offers Specialist, Major, and Minor programs in English literature, as well as a Minor in Literature and Film Studies, and has existing strengths in historical literary studies, postcolonial studies, form and genre, and intersections among literature, culture, and the other arts. 

In addition to teaching in our Creative Writing program, the successful candidate will be responsible for teaching our existing third-year course on Indigenous Literatures, and will have the opportunity to design further courses related to their area of expertise. We are open to the possibility of recognizing community-based teaching as part of the successful candidate’s workload, if applicable. 

The successful applicant will also contribute to and expand on our multi-faceted Creative Writing programming, which includes an annual Writer-in-Residence initiative, the student-run journal Scarborough Fair, the student-run Creative Writing contest, and the Creative Writing group’s meetings and field trips. Most importantly, the successful applicant will teach a dedicated, talented, and supportive group of emerging student writers. Many of our alumni have continued their creative work at the graduate level, won contests, and published in journals, chapbook, and trade book form. Additional information about the Department of English can be found at http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/engdept/

Noted for its excellence in research and teaching, UTSC has an interdisciplinary commitment and a multicultural student body speaking a wide range of languages. It is one of the three campuses comprising the University of Toronto, which offers the opportunity to teach, conduct research, and live in one of the most diverse cities in the world. The campus is strongly committed to equity and social justice, including TRC-related initiatives. 

The full job description can be found on the University of Toronto's employment website. All qualified candidates are invited to apply by visiting the link at the bottom of that listing. Please note that all applications must be submitted online.

A complete application must include: a cover letter, curriculum vitae, one sample of creative work of no more than 15-20 pages, and a teaching dossier that consists of a selection of applicable materials, including a statement of teaching philosophy that is linked to evidence of excellent teaching practice; sample teaching materials that reflect Indigenous ways of knowing; excellent course evaluations; and/or demonstrated superior performance in other teaching-related activities, including performance as a teaching assistant or course instructor at the university level or in community-based teaching; experience in leading successful workshops and seminars; student letters; and/or other examples of pedagogical leadership. 

Submission guidelines can be found at: http://uoft.me/how-to-apply. We encourage applicants to combine PDF or MS Word documents in one or two files; if you encounter data limits please adjust the file size. 

Candidates should also arrange to have at least three letters of reference (on letterhead, signed, and scanned) addressed to the department Chair, Professor Katherine Larson. At least one of these letters should comment on the candidate’s Indigenous community engagement. Letters should be sent directly by the referees by email to cw-trc-engsearch@utsc.utoronto.ca by the closing date. 

The deadline for applications is Monday, October 7, 2019. If you have any questions about this position, please e-mail cw-trc-engsearch@utsc.utoronto.ca

The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous / Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. 

As part of your application, you will be asked to complete a brief Diversity Survey. This survey is voluntary. Any information directly related to you is confidential and cannot be accessed by search committees or human resources staff. Results will be aggregated for institutional planning purposes. For more information, please see http://uoft.me/UP

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.


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