Tier 1 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Black Studies

Faculty of Arts - English & Film Studies

Competition No.  -    A110444426
Closing Date  -    Feb 15, 2021

The University of Alberta respectfully acknowledges that we are situated on Treaty 6 territory and the homeland of the Métis Nation.

The Department of English and Film Studies in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta invites applications for a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Black Studies. The successful candidate will lead an innovative program of research that develops any area across the breadth of Black Studies including the following:

  • Black or African Diaspora Studies
  • Black Canadian Studies
  • Black Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Black Feminist Literatures and Thought
  • Black Queer and Trans Studies
  • Caribbean Studies
  • Afro-Indigenous Studies
  • Africana Studies

Recognizing the long history and ongoing growth of Black presence in Alberta as well as the underrepresentation of Black Faculty at the University of Alberta, this opportunity is open to qualified individuals who self-identify as Black. Both Canadian and international scholars will be considered and they must hold a PhD (or equivalent). We seek research, leadership, and mentorship that will stimulate effective collaborations within the Department, Faculty, University and local, national, and international communities. The successful candidate will demonstrate a history of attracting and mentoring graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and will possess a strong record of obtaining external research funding. They are expected to articulate an original and groundbreaking program of future research.

Tier 1 CRCs are for outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields. Nominees must be full professors or associate professors who are expected to be promoted to the full professor level within one or two years of the nomination. In accordance with the Canada Research Chairs Program guidelines, the Tier 1 Chair is tenable for seven years and renewable once. Please consult the CRC website for full program information, including further details on eligibility criteria (www.chairs­ chaires.gc.ca).

General questions on the CRC program can be forwarded to Glen Thomas (UA CRC Coordinator and Advisor, crcadmin@ualberta). The University of Alberta recognizes the legitimate impact that leaves (e.g. parental leave, leave due to illness) can have on a candidate's record of research achievement, and these leaves will be taken into careful consideration during the assessment process.

Responsibilities for this position will also include undergraduate and graduate teaching, graduate mentorship and supervision and normal university administrative service. The teaching load is two one-term courses per year. The appointment will be made with tenure, at the level of Full Professor or advanced Associate Professor. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience and, once the Canada Research Chair commences, carries a supplement that may be taken as a taxable salary or tax-free research grant, or a combination thereof. The University’s benefit package is comprehensive.

The Department of English and Film Studies (EFS) is home to thriving undergraduate programs in English, Film Studies, and Creative Writing and to a suite of high-demand courses in Writing Studies. Students may complete an Honours or Major degree in English or Film Studies, and a Minor in these two areas or in Creative Writing. Graduate students have the opportunity to complete the MA and PhD in English as well as a creative MA by thesis or course. One of the largest departments in the Faculty of Arts, English and Film Studies serves students across the University at the first-year level and through our programs' senior and graduate curricula. EFS welcomes research that may also speak to multiple disciplines and contribute to building interdisciplinary collaborations in the Faculty of Arts.

 EFS has strong connections to research projects and signature areas across the University, including Intersections of Gender (IG) and Situated Knowledges, Indigenous Peoples and Place (SKIPP), and in the  Faculty of Arts, including Shifting Praxis in Artistic Research/Research Creation (SPAR2C), Stories of Change, Digital Synergies, the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory (CWRC), the Canadian Literature Centre/Centre de littérature canadienne (CLC), and UAlberta’s Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Feminism and Intersectionality.

The University of Alberta, established in 1908 and one of Canada's top five research universities, is home to a new Black Youth Mentorship and Leadership Program (Faculty of Nursing), a Black Graduate Students Association, a Black Students Association (undergraduate), a Black Medical Students’ Association, a Black Faculty Collective, and the Michaëlle Jean Lectureship in Canadian Caribbean and African Diasporic Studies.

Edmonton, a city of nearly 1.5 million people, has the second largest Indigenous population and the fourth largest Black population of any city in Canada. The Canadian prairies are the second most densely populated Black region in Canada. The province of Alberta has a Black population that in 2016 was five times that of Nova Scotia, which is often cited as central to Black presence in Canada because of historic Black communities such as Africville. Moreover, Black people as a demographic are growing faster in Alberta than in any other region, apart from central Canada. The long history of Black presence in Alberta is significant and is the result of four periods of migration that we can understand as diasporizing the prairies: the first wave was during the fur trade and early settlement (1790-1900); the second resulted from the migration of African Americans from Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas (1905-1912); the third dates from the 1960s to the present (the points system of immigration) and overlaps with the fourth wave begun in 2012 (asylum seekers and immigration under neo-liberalism and its effects). To date, the earliest documented Black settler in the Edmonton area was Daniel T. Williams, who lived in the neighboring community of Fort Saskatchewan from 1869 to 1887 and married an Indigenous woman of the Beaver Nation. (See Karina Vernon, editor, The Black Prairie Archives, An Anthology, Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2020.) The most northerly Black settlement in North America was established in Amber Valley in 1910, 170 km north of Edmonton. Southwest of Edmonton was Breton, a Black settlement established in 1909. West of the city was the Black settlement known as Junkins, established in 1908, and now called Wildwood. To the northeast was Campsie, founded a year later. Edmonton and Alberta can be considered diasporized by these waves of immigration that are continuing along with communities that trace their rootedness here back generations.

The Canada Research Chairs Program stands at the centre of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world's top countries in research and development by attracting and retaining a diverse cadre of world-class researchers. Chairholders aim to achieve research excellence in their disciplines, to improve our depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthen Canada's international competitiveness, and help train the next generation of highly skilled people through student supervision, teaching and research. All eligible degree-granting institutions participating in the program are expected to make concerted efforts to meet their equity and diversity targets and provide a supportive and inclusive workplace.

This Tier 1 CRC is aligned with the University's EDI Strategic Plan which commits the University to intentionally pursuing and implementing system-wide equity initiatives to embed diversity and inclusivity in all university structures, programs, policies, and practices. It is also grounded in the development of new and established strengths in decolonial and anti-colonial research throughout the Faculty of Arts. In accordance with the CRC Program’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Practices and the University of Alberta’s related Action Plan, this position is targeted to people who self-identify as Black, in an effort to begin to redress historical and ongoing underrepresentation of Black faculty in the University. Women, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression are encouraged to apply. Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. If suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents cannot be found, other individuals will be considered.

The successful applicant will maintain their appointment as a regular continuing faculty member and will be nominated by the University for a Canada Research Chair. All CRC nominations are subject to approval by UAlberta’s President’s Advisory Committee for Senior Academic Appointments, and University nominations are subject to the approval of the Canada Research Chair Program. The Faculty will work with the successful candidate to complete their CRC application. Once completed and approved by internal processes, the final application will be submitted to the CRC Program for final approval, after which the new Chairholder will take up their CRC.

All applicants to this job posting are required to complete the self-identification survey.

To apply, applicants must submit the following through the University of Alberta’s online application system:

  •  a letter describing their interest in the position and their qualification
  • a full current Curriculum Vitae
  • a two-page description of the proposed CRC Tier I research program, including an outline of their plans as the holder of a Tier 1 CRC

Applicants are further asked to have three letters of reference sent to the attention of Dr. Cecily Devereux, Chair, Department of English and Film Studies. These letters should be submitted via e-mail to devereux@ualberta.ca. Please ask that referees enter “Reference Letter–Tier 1 CRC in Black Studies" in the subject line.

To assist the University in complying with mandatory reporting requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (R203(3) (e)), please include the first digit of your Canadian Social Insurance Number in your application. If you do not have a Canadian Social Insurance Number, please include this information in your application.

Online applications will be accepted until midnight Mountain Standard Time on February 15th, 2021.

For questions related to this position, please contact Dr. Cecily Devereux, devereux@ualberta.ca.

Applicants who require an accessibility arrangement for their application, interview, and/or subsequent recruitment meetings can contact kgalbrai@ualberta.ca to arrange appropriate accommodations

Posted on: January 8, 2021

How to Apply

Apply Online

Note: Online applications are accepted until midnight Mountain Standard Time of the closing date.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. If suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents cannot be found, other individuals will be considered. The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.