Job Opportunities

Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies (Black Studies)

Western Washington University, with over 16,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. The campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, a coastal community of 90,000 overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades Mountain range. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. Western is the highest-ranking public, master’s-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2022 U.S. News & World Report rankings. Western Washington University is committed to achieving excellence through advancing inclusive success, increasing our Washington impact, and focusing on transformational education grounded in the liberal arts and sciences and based on innovative scholarship, research, and creative activity. Western’s greatest strength is the outstanding students, faculty, staff, and alumni/ae who make up its community. Western supports an inclusive governance structure for all and provides a learning and working environment in which everyone can thrive. In pursuit of this excellence, individual employees are expected to establish and maintain productive and effective inclusive working relationships amongst diverse populations including staff, faculty, administration, student, and external constituents. Further, individual employees are expected to have the ability to operationalize sustainability concepts (economic, societal, environmental) into all aspects of performing their job duties.

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Department of Ethnic Studies support Western’s mission, which states that together with our students, staff, and faculty, we are committed to making a positive impact in the state and the world with a shared focus on academic excellence and inclusive achievement. We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity.

The Department of Ethnic Studies strives to nurture an interdisciplinary and transformative learning environment for students by providing tools to critically assess their lived experience and centering knowledge produced by Black, Indigenous, Queer, and diasporic communities of resistance. Core concerns that we explore are colonialism, imperial circuits of migration, border imperialism, the carceral state, social movements and resistance. Interdisciplinary and intersectional approaches emphasized in our program include community-led research, literary criticism, critical discourse analysis, political economy, empirical methods, and narrative production.

The Department of Ethnic Studies at Western Washington University is inviting applications for a full-time tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor in Black Studies, beginning September 2024. We seek a scholar whose research engages major themes in Black Studies from a national, regional, global, transnational, and/or comparative perspective. Appropriate areas of expertise include Black transnational and diasporic studies; comparative race, ethnicity, Indigeneity, gender, sexuality, and disability studies; social movements; health and spirituality; law and public policy; racial capitalism; and/or carcerality. We are open to any discipline.

The Department of Ethnic Studies will begin offering classes in the Fall of 2024, with a major in Ethnic Studies and concentrations in: Indigeneity, Policing, and Abolition; Diaspora, Borders, and Resistance; and Minoritization, Colonization, and Liberation. Several faculty with appointments in other departments will be transferring their tenure lines to Ethnic Studies beginning in Fall 2024.

The successful applicant will be expected to teach core and advanced undergraduate courses in Black Studies and Ethnic Studies, and other courses in the major, such as introduction to Ethnic Studies, theory, and research methods. Additional responsibilities include the standard quarter-system teaching assignment (2-2-2); exemplary teaching; an active program of scholarly activity; and service to the department, college, university, and profession through a range of activities. The successful candidate will be expected to fulfill teaching and mentoring responsibilities in ways that provide equitable and inclusive learning environments for all students and will offer a strong record of community-engaged scholarship and research ethics.


  • PhD in Black Studies, Ethnic Studies, or other relevant field in the Humanities and/or Social Sciences or ABD at the time of application. If ABD, all degree requirements must be completed by June 15th of the first year of employment.
  • Specialization in Black Studies and ability to teach introductory and advanced theory and methods courses (undergraduate)
  • Demonstrated evidence of strong teaching ability
  • Demonstrated commitment to excellence in scholarship and a dynamic research agenda
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse students, including a demonstrated ability and commitment to cultivating learning environments that are equitable and inclusive of students with diverse social identities and backgrounds.


  • Additional expertise in related areas including but not limited to sexualities, feminisms, and contemporary African American issues.
  • Expertise and/or experience related to Black culture, politics, and/or traditions of the Pacific Northwest
  • Experience in curriculum and program building as well as departmental leadership and service.
  • Demonstrated commitment to collaborative and community-engaged research.

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To be considered for the position, application materials must be submitted via WWU’s PageUp, Western’s online employment management system. Candidates should upload the following as part of a complete application: 1) a letter of application specifically addressing the qualifications; 2) a CV; 3) a separate statement addressing demonstrated ability and commitment to cultivating learning and working environments that are equitable and inclusive of students, faculty, and staff with diverse social identities and backgrounds; and evidencing commitment to fulfill teaching and mentoring responsibilities in ways that provide equitable and inclusive learning environments for all students; 4) evidence of successful teaching (e.g., philosophy on teaching, student evaluations, course materials, etc.); 5) sample publications (no more than two) 6) graduate transcripts; 7) the names and contact information of three professional references. Do not send letters of recommendation; three letters of recommendation will be required and these will be requested of candidates’ referees via the PageUp system; and 8) If ABD, include verification of status from graduate school office, advisor, or department chair. Finalists may be asked for student course evaluations if they were not provided with the application. For questions regarding the position, application process, or department, contact Dr. Debra Salazar

Applications review will begin on January 5, 2024; position remains open until filled.

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