John Shelton Reed Distinguished Professor in U.S. Southern Native Studies

The Department of American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill invites applications for the John Shelton Reed Distinguished Professorship in U.S. Southern Native Studies. We seek a visionary senior scholar of the Native South whose research, teaching, and service centers on Indigeneity and conceptualizes the region as consisting of enduring Indigenous spaces and localities. The department embraces a capacious definition of scholarship and welcomes applicants from traditional disciplines as well as emerging fields of inter- and transdisciplinary exploration. We are particularly interested in engaged scholars with a demonstrated record of accomplishment in contributing to critical conversations in the academy, producing public-facing work, and collaborating with Indigenous communities.

In coordination with a cluster hire in American Indian and Indigenous Studies principally across four departments--American Studies, Geography, Religious Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies--the Dean of the College has convened a Working Group to seriously explore the development of an independent Curriculum in American Indian and Indigenous Studies. To learn more about the College of Arts and Science’s cluster hire search in which this position is situated, please go to the College’s website.

Selected candidates will contribute to our ongoing process of reimagining scholarly, curricular, and community engagement around Native North America and global Indigeneity in the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition, the Reed Distinguished Professor will pursue a robust research agenda, teach and mentor undergraduate and graduate students, and serve on undergraduate Honors, master’s thesis, and doctoral dissertation committees. The Department of American Studies is currently the home for an undergraduate major concentration and minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies, and American Indian and Indigenous Studies and Southern Studies are both counted as signature strengths of our Ph.D. program. To learn more, visit us at:

UNC-Chapel Hill is the largest public university in a state with the second largest Native American population east of the Mississippi River, including one federally-recognized and eight state-recognized tribal nations, as well as several urban and regional organizations. The campus has a robust set of resources supporting Native people, including the American Indian Center, the Carolina Indian Circle for undergraduates, The First Nations Graduate Circle, and Cherokee Coffee Hour, which is open to anyone interested in learning the Cherokee language. Library holdings at UNC are among the finest in the world for the study of the Native South and are growing; they include the Southern Historical Collection, the Southern Folklife Collection, and such digital projects as ‘Documenting the American South.’ The successful candidate will also have opportunities to cultivate collaborative relationships with other academic departments and units, such as the Sonja Hayes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, the Carolina Latinx Center, and the Asian American Center, as well as the Institute for the Study of the Americas, Center for the Study of the American South, Ackland Art Museum, Digital Innovation Lab, Research Laboratories of Archaeology, and the Critical Game Studies Initiative within the Digital Literacy and Communications Lab, among other local and regional institutions.

Candidates must hold a Ph.D. in an appropriate field and the rank of either Full Professor or senior Associate Professor or equivalent at their current institution, with preference given to those who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, mentoring, and service.

To apply, applicants should submit the following:  

  • Cover Letter detailing research, teaching, and service and a vision for the future of American Indian and Indigenous Studies
  • Diversity Statement that speaks to how their scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and service can support the University’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Curriculum Vitae/Resume
  • List of Four (4) References with name and contact information from whom letters may be solicited should the candidate be shortlisted

The Department of American Studies is committed to a vision of the University where all members of the community feel welcome, valued, and can thrive. The ideal candidate will share in this commitment. Please direct any questions you may have to the search committee chair, Professor Daniel M. Cobb, at

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