New Cohort Hires in Africana Studies and Arts Aim to Diversify Davidson’s Curriculum

Outdoor classroom in the spring

Davidson College is searching for three tenure track faculty in Africana Studies and three in visual and performing arts to join a community committed to expanding offerings in African, African Diaspora, Latin American and Latinx, and Asian studies.

Africana Studies Positions

The Africana Studies Department is excited to welcome a cohort of colleagues specializing in Black Ecologies, Africana Art and Visual Culture, and Afro-Latin American Studies. The cohort will join an existing interdisciplinary team of nine colleagues whose expertise includes Africana history, anthropology, literature, sociology, and gender and sexuality studies.

The Africana Studies curriculum reflects the ethnic, racial, and religious diversity within the category of “blackness,” and explores the artistic, historical, literary, and theoretical expressions of the various African and African Diaspora cultures. Colleagues hired this year will add to that curriculum in critical areas:

  • Black Ecologies: This position targets an exciting interdisciplinary field that engages topics such as the legacies of structural racism, environmental crises, and disaster capitalism in the U.S. and around the African Diaspora. The position considers not only the historically patterned ways Black communities are affected by environmental crises, risks, and destruction, but also issues of community resilience, Black sustainability, cultural resources, or restorative justice. Learn more and apply.
  • Africana Art and Visual Culture: This appointment in Africana Studies is aimed at expanding course offerings and faculty expertise in the visual arts and cultures of Africa and the Africana Diaspora, including critical and theoretical perspectives. Learn more and apply.
  • Afro-Latin American Studies: This joint appointment in Africana Studies and Latin American Studies (an interdisciplinary department of ten faculty in history, anthropology, literature, and politics) sits at the intersection of Africana Studies and Latin American Studies. We are especially interested in hiring a colleague with expertise in Black sexualities and/or health and healing. Learn more and apply.

Visual and Performing Arts Positions

These positions are not part of the Africana Studies cohort, but like the cohort positions they reflect the college’s commitment to expanding its offerings in artistic traditions outside the Anglo-European tradition. These three tenure track positions further demonstrate the college’s continuing commitment to the visual and performing arts, with resolve to build programs in the arts that speak to the needs and priorities of contemporary societies, including those from which our diverse student body is drawn.

  • Islamic Art: The Department of Art, which includes faculty in art history and studio disciplines as well as curatorial specialists who manage the college’s galleries and collections, will hire a tenure track colleague specializing in the history of art, architecture, and visual cultures of the Islamic world. This art historian will join colleagues specializing in the Islamic world in the departments of history, religion, and political science. Learn more and apply.
  • Dance: The Department of Dance will hire a colleague who specializes in Dance traditions from outside the Anglo-European tradition. We are looking for an artist-scholar who can offer instruction in a dance practice/technique that is hybrid, diasporic, or drawing on non-western performance traditions, as well as providing critical, historical, and theoretical perspectives to those practices. Learn more and apply.
  • Theatre: The Department of Theatre is seeking an artist-scholar with expertise in the performance traditions and practice of the global majority, such as Black American Theater, Latinx Theatre, Asian American Theatre, Native American Drama, and/or other artistic traditions outside of the Western canon. The Theatre Department teaches all dimensions of theatre arts, including acting, directing, and production as well as critical, historical, and theoretical approaches. The artist-scholar we hire will direct or devise as part of the department’s production season. Learn more and apply.

Context For These Opportunities

Davidson College is a highly-selective liberal arts college located in the vibrant metro region of Charlotte, North Carolina. Its history as an institution founded in 1837 in the US south demands thoughtful and searching reckoning with its past, a reckoning that is on-going and continual. Recent initiatives at the college focus on promoting diversity, inclusion and access, including by emphasizing equity and intentionality in student admissions and faculty hiring.

In 2017 the college announced the formation of the Commission on Race and Slavery with the goal of building a comprehensive understanding of the college's history. The Commission guided the development and launch of research projects and additional teaching and learning initiatives through which the Davidson community can investigate and acknowledge the college’s history with slavery and race as well as its historical relationships with African American communities.

The Commission’s outcomes included the creation of five tenure track positions in Africana Studies, including the three in this year’s cohort. Those outcomes also included a presidential apology for the college’s role in perpetuating slavery and systemic racism, a committee on acknowledgement and commemoration, resources for gathering and publicizing information about race and slavery, a review of hiring practices, and a commitment to pay a living wage to all college employees, among others. Davidson’s FIRST program (Fostering Inclusivity and Respect in Science Together) supports faculty and students working to expand opportunities for all students to succeed in science and other quantitative fields.

At Davidson College, we believe the college grows stronger by recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and staff committed to building an inclusive community. In order to achieve and sustain educational excellence, we seek to hire talented faculty and staff across the intersections of diverse races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, socio-economic backgrounds, political perspectives, abilities, cultures, and national origins.

In addition to the six positions detailed above, the college is also hiring tenure track faculty in the following fields:

  • Integrative Vertebrate Biology
  • Bioanalytical Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Climate Science

Davidson College’s mission is to equip students with humane instincts and disciplined and creative minds in preparation for lives of leadership and service. We believe the college grows stronger and achieves its mission more fully when it recruits and retains a diverse faculty and staff committed to building an inclusive community.  All of the searches this year, as every year, will be aimed at hiring talented faculty across the intersections of diverse races, ethnicities, religions and worldviews, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, socio-economic backgrounds, political perspectives, abilities, cultures, and national origins.


  • September 16, 2022