Assistant Professor: African American and Black Diasporic Literary Studies

The Department of English at the University of Washington, located on the unceded land and waters of Coast Salish peoples, invites applications for a full-time tenure-track Assistant Professor specializing in African American literary studies, whose expertise may include other aspects of the Black diaspora. Within this area of specialization, candidates will be expected to teach at the undergraduate and graduate levels and engage in research that could include the following secondary areas of focus: Indigenous relations to lands, agricultural effects and legacies of US nation-state and Caribbean plantation slavery, urbanization, migration caused by climate change, and environmental crises as effects of the racial politics of ecology, interconnections between the natural world and Black humanness, and environmental humanities as constituted within the field of Black literary studies. This position is open to a broad range of historical modes, locations, and spatial frameworks such as the plantation, regions, the oceanic, and the nation; a variety of approaches to literary criticism, such as those that arise from performance studies and gender and sexuality studies; as well as a diversity of archives, forms, and genres. University of Washington faculty engage in teaching, research, and service.  This position has an anticipated start date of September 2022 and will have a 9-month service period.

The University of Washington English Department acknowledges that our university is located on the shared lands and waters of Coast Salish peoples. As a department, our commitment to equity and justice begins with this recognition and with the understanding of the responsibility to move and be in good relation with these lands, waters, and peoples as we help students become more incisive thinkers, effective communicators, and imaginative writers. Our disciplinary commitments to the study of English require of us a willingness to engage openly and critically with questions of power and difference. As such, in our teaching, service, and scholarship we frequently initiate and encourage conversations about topics such as race and racism, immigration, gender, sexuality, class, Indigeneity, and colonialisms. Thus, we are strongly seeking candidates whose research, teaching, service, lived experience, and sustaining relationships have not only prepared them to fulfill our commitment to equity and justice, but have also given them the expertise and confidence to effectively engage with colleagues, students, staff, and community from a wide spectrum of backgrounds.

The University of Washington serves a diverse population of more than 60,000 students, including 31% first-generation college students, over 30% Pell Grant-eligible students, and over 31,000 faculty and staff from over 70 countries across its three campuses. One of the largest departments in the UW College of Arts and Sciences at the Seattle campus with over 50 full time faculty, the Department of English makes major contributions to the intellectual vitality, academic excellence, and educational mission of the University.


Applicants should have by the start of the appointment a PhD, or foreign equivalent, in English, American Studies, Comparative Literature or a related field, with teaching experience and research interests centered in African American and Black diasporic literature and culture. Successful candidates should demonstrate a record of innovative and effective teaching as well as student mentoring; a pattern of research and teaching rooted in African American and the Black diaspora; a commitment to ongoing professional and scholarly development, broadly conceived, focused on any genre and time period based in Black literary study; and active participation in departmental, university, and/or professional service.

Application Instructions 

Please submit a letter of application, CV, teaching portfolio, dissertation abstract or research statement, diversity statement (500 words), three confidential letters of recommendation, and writing sample. Applicants are encouraged to describe in their diversity statement how their teaching, service, scholarship, and/or mentoring promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Priority will be given to applications received by November 1, 2021.

Please direct inquiries to Anis Bawarshi, Department Chair, at

University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, gender identity or expression, age, disability, or protected veteran status.

The University of Washington is committed to building diversity among its faculty, librarian, staff, and student communities, and articulates that commitment in the UW Diversity Blueprint ( Additionally, the University’s Faculty Code recognizes faculty efforts in research, teaching and/or service that address diversity and equal opportunity as important contributions to a faculty member’s academic profile and responsibilities (

Under Washington State Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.1, University of Washington (UW) workers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof thereof, or receive a UW-approved medical or religious exemption. This requirement will be a condition of any offer associated with this recruitment. For more information, please visit

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