Open Rank Tenure Track Faculty of Art History (African and/or African Diasporic Art History)

The Department of Art History at the Pennsylvania State University seeks a historian of African or African Diasporic art, architecture, or visual culture for a tenure-line (tenure-track or tenured) position. This open-rank vacancy is a joint appointment with the African Studies Program in the College of Liberal Arts with a tenure home in the Department of Art History in the College of Arts and Architecture. We are particularly interested in candidates conversant in diverse methodologies, and especially welcome global comparatists and those working in the areas of materiality studies and/or digital humanities. Candidates must possess a publication record appropriate to their career stage and an active research agenda. Art History and African Studies value dynamic teachers who are prepared to lead upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in their field, as well as teach introductory classes in African and/or African Diasporic art or architecture. Penn State is home to the new Center for Virtual/Material Studies, which is dedicated to research related to digital art history and technical art history. Penn State’s Palmer Museum of Art has strong collections in African and African Diasporic art. A new, state-of-the-art museum building will open in 2024, further enhancing Penn State’s capacity for collections research, on-site teaching, and curatorial collaborations.

This is a full-time, tenure-line position with an anticipated start date of August 2022. The teaching load is four courses per year, typically as a two-course load each semester. Expectations include undergraduate advising, graduate mentoring, maintaining an active research agenda, and departmental and university service. A Ph.D. is required at the time of appointment.

Penn State’s Department of Art History is part of the College of Arts and Architecture, which is working to establish a culture of anti-racism and anti-oppression that embraces individual identities, fosters a culture of inclusion, and promotes equity through curricula, values, standards, ideals, policies, and practices. The ideal candidate for this position will share our commitment to advancing these goals.

The University Park campus is located within State College, Pennsylvania, which was recently ranked number 5 in a ranking of top college towns by the American Institute for Economic Research, and number 15 in a ranking of the Safest College Towns in America by Safewise. Located in a valley in the Appalachian Mountains, in Centre County, Pennsylvania, employment at Penn State offers an incredible opportunity to enjoy the beauty of central Pennsylvania outdoors combined with all the culture, sports, and entertainment a large university community can bring and is within drivable distance from New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington DC.

All applications must include a cv (with the names of at least three referees), a letter of application, and a statement of current research. Your letter of application must address how equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging relate to your academic experience and/or aspirations. To apply, upload requested materials into Penn State’s online application process.

Applications received by December 15, 2021, will be assured full consideration. However, applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Inquiries may be directed to Search Committee Chair Robin Thomas (

For more information on Penn State, the Department of Art History, and the African Studies Program, visit;; and

Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce. We encourage applications from individuals of diverse backgrounds.

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Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.