Director, D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies

Newberry Library
Chicago, Illinois
Salary commensurate with experience and full benefit package
Feb 13, 2018
Position Type
Alt-Ac & Post-Ac
Institution Type
Specialized Institutions

SUMMARY: The Director of the Newberry Library’s D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies leads a center designed to promote research, scholarship, teaching, and programming in American Indian and Indigenous Studies, with particular emphasis on areas relating to the collections of the Newberry. A central task of the director is leadership of the Newberry Consortium in American Indian Studies (NCAIS), which brings together students and faculty from U.S. and Canadian universities with an interest in Indigenous studies, to participate in intensive workshops, seminars, conferences, and other programming.

CONTEXT: The McNickle Center was founded at the Newberry in 1972 to foster work by scholars of all backgrounds intended to reframe Indigenous histories and to support Indigenous peoples writing and telling their own histories, from their own perspectives.  The Newberry is located in the traditional lands of the Potawatomi and in a city that includes a vibrant and diverse Indigenous/American Indian community.  The Library holds one of the strongest collections on Native Americans in the world, including material on Native American archaeology, art, ethnology, history, and language, as well as on the history of contact between Indigenous peoples and Europeans. Directing the McNickle Center and leading NCAIS means joining an engaged community of scholars, fellows, local Native American residents, and numerous loyal alumni who have made use of the Newberry’s collections and participated in the Center’s programs over many years. Other nearby institutions, including the Field Museum and the American Indian Center (the oldest such center in the U.S.), add to the vibrancy of Chicago as a rich and rewarding place to work in Indigenous Studies. The McNickle Center is an important meeting ground where a committed scholar/administrator can have a strong influence on the field of American Indian and Indigenous Studies. 

RESPONSIBILITIES: Direct NCAIS in close consultation with its steering committee and members and deliver a consistent set of high-quality programs that include fellowships, workshops, and conferences; plan, design, secure funding for, and implement programs that promote research, scholarship, and education in American Indian and Indigenous studies, with particular emphasis on areas relating to the Newberry’s collections and activities; develop and implement engaging public programs to reach broad audiences; build and maintain collaborative relationships between the Newberry Library and Native American communities, both in Chicago and elsewhere in North America; oversee budgets; manage a center staff to implement grant-funded and consortium programs as well as public programs; participate in the intellectual life of the Newberry; conduct a personal research program related to the center’s purposes; collaborate with other Newberry departments and divisions on institution-wide initiatives; and all other tasks or activities as necessary for the broader achievement of departmental and Newberry goals.

QUALIFICATIONS: PhD in American Indian and Indigenous studies, or a related field, required; entrepreneurial and administrative inclinations essential; ability to collaborate with scholars, librarians, teachers, and other cultural institutions and to represent the Newberry in various settings vital; research interests related to the Newberry’s collection in American Indian and Indigenous studies desirable; teaching experience and a record of published scholarship preferred. Applicants also will be evaluated on the promise of future scholarly creativity and on breadth of knowledge in American Indian and Indigenous studies.

SCHEDULE: Full-time, Monday through Friday, occasional evenings and weekends for special events; likely travel for conferences and off-site seminars of one-to-four weeks. Exempt position.

REPORTING:  The Director of the McNickle Center reports to the Vice President for Research and Academic Programs.

Application review will begin March 31, 2018 and applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Date Available: August 15, 2018

Email cover letter, cv, short (chapter or article length) writing sample, and contact information for three references to the Director of Human Resources at [email protected]

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