Two Assistant Professors of English (African American Literature and Black Diaspora Literature)

The Department of English at Washington University in St. Louis is seeking to fill two tenure-track positions at the rank of Assistant Professors, one in each of the following areas: 1) African American Literatures before 1900, 2) Black Diaspora and/or African Anglophone Literatures. These two positions will deepen the department's historic and current strengths in the fields of Black writing and Black literary history. The two positions are linked but distinct. In African American Literature before 1900, we seek a scholar and teacher of exceptional promise, whose work is firmly rooted in African American Literatures of the 19th century or earlier, and whose research trajectory clearly narrates a scholarly development within this period; the genres of specialization are open. In Black Diaspora and/or African Anglophone Literatures, we seek a scholar and teacher of exceptional promise, whose work is centered in the literatures of Blackness written outside of the United States and studied in transnational and global contexts; the genres of specialization are open, and special encouragement is extended to candidates working in pre-1900 periods. A Ph.D. in English or a closely related field is required for each position, which carries a teaching expectation of two courses per semester and will begin in the Fall of 2022. Duties include teaching, conducting research, writing for publication, advising students, participating in departmental governance and university service.  

Application materials—a letter of interest, a CV, and a research trajectory—should be submitted by 8 November via Interfolio, using this link ( for African American Literatures before 1900, and this link ( for Black Diaspora/African Anglophone Literatures. Letters of reference, writing samples, and diversity and teaching statements are not required at this time; these may be requested at a further stage in the process. We plan on doing Zoom interviews for selected candidates by mid-December, with campus visits to follow in January.  

These positions complement an ongoing initiative from the Chancellor’s office to hire twelve new faculty members across disciplines whose work addresses race and ethnicity, an initiative that, along with the opening last year of the University’s Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity, is one of many aimed at furthering the University’s core commitment to racial equity. 

Diversity and Inclusion are core values at Washington University, and the strong candidate will demonstrate the ability to create inclusive classrooms and environments in which a diverse array of students can learn and thrive. 

Washington University in St. Louis is committed to the principles and practices of equal employment opportunity and especially encourages applications by those underrepresented in their academic fields. It is the University’s policy to recruit, hire, train, and promote persons in all job titles without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, or genetic information. 

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