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The Graves of Academe: A Job Announcement



A job announcement posted at H-Net on January 19, 2023:

The Department of History in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Simon Fraser University, respectfully acknowledges the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), q̓íc̓əy̓ (Katzie), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), qiqéyt (Qayqayt), qʼʷa:n̓ƛʼən̓ (Kwantlen), Səmyámə (Semiahmoo), and sc̓əwaθən (Tsawwassen) Peoples, on whose ancestral, traditional, and unceded territories Simon Fraser University’s three campuses stand. We are committed to reconciliation through decolonization and Indigenization, telling inclusive stories about the past, and acknowledging different historical epistemologies.

The Department of History invites applications for a full-time tenure-track appointment in History at the rank of Assistant Professor, to start as early as July 15, 2023. We seek a scholar with expertise in the history of the Black Americas, broadly conceived. We especially welcome scholars whose research and teaching focuses on Canada, the Caribbean, or Latin America, while also welcoming comparative, transnational, and cross-regional approaches.

The successful candidate must have research and teaching interests and lived experience in Black communities, including a demonstrable history of community involvement. Ideal candidates will have experience teaching a diverse student body.

The successful candidate must hold a PhD in History, Black Studies, or a related discipline or a closely related field by the employment start date; however, PhD candidates with solid indication of imminent completion may be hired at the rank of Instructor and will be promoted to the rank of Assistant Professor upon completion of the PhD. They will demonstrate the potential for developing a significant program of research and scholarship that makes a substantial contribution to historical knowledge.

Pursuant to Section 42 of the B.C. Human Rights Code, preference will be given to candidates who self-identify as Black or are of African descent and will bring to their research and teaching the perspectives that comes from the lived experiences of those underrepresented in higher education, particularly the experiences of Black and racialized persons. Candidates who wish to qualify for preferential consideration are requested to self-identify using the webform provided upon receipt of their application.

The successful candidate will be joining a vibrant and networked campus community of Black faculty, staff, students, and alumni supported by local Black, Caribbean, and African community and student organizations in and around SFU.

In keeping with SFU’s commitment when it signed the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education, after community organizations advocated for the hiring of at least fifteen tenure-track Black faculty across the university, the SFU Department of History is committed to creating a more equitable and inclusive university community for Black faculty, staff, students, alumni and visitors. Alongside the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, History’s search is one of several advertised positions in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences aiming to recruit Black scholars to SFU.

SFU is committed to ensuring that no individual is denied access to employment opportunities for reasons unrelated to ability or qualifications. Consistent with this principle, SFU will advance the interests of underrepresented members of the work force, specifically Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, racialized persons, and women; embrace gender and sexual diversity; ensure that equal opportunity is afforded to all who seek employment at the University; and treat all employees equitably. Black/African descent candidates who belong to one or more of these underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to apply; however, this is a junior faculty position: only those eligible to be promoted or appointed to the rank will be considered. The position is subject to the availability of funding. “

SFU recognizes that alternative career paths and/or career interruptions (e.g. parental leave, leave due to illness, research delays due to COVID-19) can impact research achievements and commits to ensuring that leaves are taken into careful consideration. Candidates are encouraged to highlight in their application how alternative paths and/or interruptions have affected them. SFU also recognizes the value of mentoring and research training, outreach, professional service, and diverse forms of research and/or research outputs.

Applications will be reviewed starting February 21, 2023 and will be accepted until the position has been filled.

All applications should include a cover letter that includes a statement of self-identification and lived experiences of Black/African diasporic peoples and cultures, statements of research and teaching, including a discussion of their experience with and/or understanding of inclusive teaching, mentoring, and how the candidate would meet and advance the needs of equity-deserving students; a curriculum vitae; and a writing sample. Names and contact information of three references must also be provided. Applications will be treated in confidence.

Hmmm. Please do the following: in the text above, replace the word “Black” by the word “White” everywhere it appears, and the word “African” by the word “European” everywhere it appears. Now tell me what, if anything, is wrong with that revised job announcement.