Assistant Professor of Modern Japanese Cultural Studies

The Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Alberta invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track position of Assistant Professor of Modern Japanese Cultural Studies with a starting date of 1 July 2022.

Applicants for this position must hold a PhD (or equivalent) or be ABD and close to completion. Discipline and specialization are open, but the candidate’s research and preparation for teaching must include a significant focus on an area of modern Japanese culture, such as literature, popular culture, film, etc. The candidate’s expertise must not substantially duplicate that of current faculty members. Ability to teach modern Japanese literature at the undergraduate level is required. Native or near-native proficiency in Japanese is also necessary. Knowledge of aspects of modern Japanese popular culture that will enable the candidate to address extensive student interest in anime and manga will be an asset. Also highly desirable is expertise in translation studies that will enable the candidate to teach courses required for our Certificate in Translation Studies in Japanese.

The successful candidate will be expected to develop and maintain a research profile that is commensurate with employment at a research-intensive university. They will also be expected to offer a variety of undergraduate courses and to supervise graduate students in their field. Demonstrable ability to teach undergraduate students is required. Experience in teaching Japanese language or another form of university-level teaching will be an asset.

Founded in 1981, the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Alberta is multidisciplinary, with thirteen Academic Faculty Members (tenure-track and tenured faculty) specializing in such fields of study as literature, linguistics, religion, music, and art history. The department also employs another eighteen to twenty Academic Teaching Staff (contract instructors) in a typical year, particularly in its Chinese, Japanese, and Korean language programs. Academic Faculty Members are typically appointed to conduct research (40%), teach (40%), and provide service (20%), normally offering four courses per year.  At the undergraduate level, the department offers BA and BA Honors degrees in East Asian Studies, with approximately 100 majors and 100 minors. Around 2,500 undergraduate students enroll in the department’s courses each year. Our graduate program offers a thesis-based MA in East Asian Studies and typically enrolls 15 to 20 students at a time. 

The University of Alberta Library supports faculty research and teaching with over 5.6 million titles, 212,000 scholarly ejournals, 699 online databases, and numerous resources for the study of East Asia. Faculty research and teaching are also aided by the university’s Prince Takamado Japan Centre, the University of Alberta China Institute, and University of Alberta Museums, whose Japanese prints can be viewed in the university’s Print Study Centre and whose Chinese paintings and textiles are held in the Mactaggart Art Collection.

The position includes a full range of benefits. Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications in accordance with the Faculty Agreement and negotiated salary scales.

The University of Alberta has earned a reputation as one of Canada’s leading universities. It welcomes over 39,000 students from 156 countries in more than 700 undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. The university’s Faculty of Arts is the oldest and most diverse faculty on campus, and it is one of the largest research and teaching centres in Canada. The University’s main campus is located in Edmonton, Alberta, on the traditional territory of Cree, Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, and Ojibway/Saulteaux/Anishinaabe nations; lands that are now known as part of Treaties 6, 7, and 8 and homeland of the Métis. The city of Edmonton is Alberta’s capital, and the Edmonton metropolitan area is the sixth largest in Canada, with a population of approximately one million.

How to Apply

Apply online at U of A Careers, selecting “Apply Online” and submitting the following:

  • Cover letter. Should be addressed to Dr. Walter Davis, Interim Chair, Department of East Asian Studies. 2 pages maximum.
  • Curriculum vitae (CV). Should include the names and contact information of three referees.
  • Research statement. Should outline main areas of current and future research. Attach under “Research Plan.”
  • Teaching dossier. Should include evidence of potential for effective teaching, such as a brief description of the candidate’s approach to teaching, a brief description of courses the candidate would like to teach, and a brief summary of student evaluations of instruction (if available). Full syllabi are not required. Attach as a single file under “Statement of Teaching/Research Interests.”
  • Writing sample. Submit at least one sample of your research. Attach as a single file under “List of Publications.”

To assist the University in complying with mandatory reporting requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (R203(3) (e)), please include the first digit of your Canadian Social Insurance Number in your application. If you do not have a Canadian Social Insurance Number, please indicate this in your application.

Letters of reference will be requested only from selected candidates. Notified candidates will be asked to ensure that three referees submit letters of reference. At least one of the letters should address the candidate’s potential for teaching. Letters should be addressed to the attention of Dr. Walter Davis, Interim Chair, Department of East Asian Studies and should be submitted via email to, using the email subject heading “Japan search.”

Inquiries concerning this position may be directed to Dr. Walter Davis (

Competition closes on 16 December 2021.

Review of applications will begin on 17 December 2021.

Business Address:

Department of East Asian Studies
3-31 Pembina Hall
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB, Canada, T6G 2H4

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

The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.

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