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Assistant Professor of Anthropology and American Sign Language

University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

Job Details


The American Sign Language Program and Department of Anthropology at the University of Virginia seek to hire an Assistant Professor (tenure track) whose work explores signed languages, deaf cultures, and/or deaf communicative practices.

We welcome applications from anthropologists and scholars with training and synergistic interests in other disciplines, including but not limited to deaf studies, social studies of technology, and linguistics. The appointment will be evenly split between the two units by teaching and service, with Anthropology providing the tenure home for the successful candidate.

Geographic area and topical specialization are open, with a strong preference for candidates whose research and teaching complement those of the Anthropology Department and ASL Program faculty. Given the interdisciplinarity of this hire, we also prefer candidates who can work productively with colleagues within and across the two units and additional ones, potentially including (but not limited to) the interdepartmental Linguistics M.A. program and undergraduate major. The successful candidate will be someone with organizational and interpersonal skills to contribute to research and curricular initiatives.

UVA’s Anthropology Department includes faculty from three of anthropology’s traditional subfields: archaeological, sociocultural, and linguistic anthropology. Faculty are firmly committed to field-based methods and are excited by the possibilities inherent in community-based research and writing for diverse audiences. Faculty research specialties that overlap productively with sign language research and deaf studies are gesture and multimodal interaction; anthropology of health, ethics, and care; cultural identities and inequality; and documentation and analysis of underrepresented languages.

The UVA American Sign Language Program is dedicated to increasing knowledge about deaf people’s culture and experiences by offering courses in American deaf history, deafness in literature and film, sign language linguistics, and related topics. The program offers a four-semester sequence of ASL courses that fulfills UVA’s World Language requirement. It also offers a minor in ASL and Deaf Culture with advanced language and elective courses.

The University of Virginia is committed to providing sign language interpreters as necessary for all classes, meetings, and other University functions. Deaf people, women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.




Applicants must hold a Ph.D. at the time of appointment. The successful candidate will have extensive firsthand experience with D/deaf communities.

We seek candidates with an ongoing program of research and publication (commensurate with years since Ph.D.) and prior teaching experience.

Half of the hire’s 2/2 teaching load will be dedicated to language instruction in the ASL program, with the level of instruction determined by the candidate’s strengths and interests. 

The remaining classes will be in the hire’s area of specialization, contributing to the Anthropology Ph.D. program and undergraduate major.

In addition to teaching, the candidate will be expected to maintain an active research program, mentor undergraduate and graduate students, and contribute to the Anthropology Department, the ASL Program, and the wider University through service.

Application Instructions

Visit to apply.

 Complete an application online with the following documents:

A 2-3 page cover letter detailing (1) areas of research and scholarship interest; (2) teaching experience; and (3) and how your skills and experiences could advance the University’s ambition to cultivate the most vibrant community in higher education in order to prepare students to be leaders in a diverse and globally connected world. Writing sample (for those completing their Ph.D., this needs to be a concluding chapter that synthesizes the results of the research and connects to larger questions)CVA syllabus from a previously taught or potential future courseContact information for three referencesReview of applications will begin on November 30, 2023. Priority will be given to applications received by this date in selecting candidates for preliminary interviews. However, the position will remain open until filled.

For additional information about the position, please get in touch with Professor Lise Dobrin at

If you have any questions about the application process, please don't hesitate to contact Melanie Sponaugle, Academic Recruiter, at 

UVa is in Charlottesville, a small city in central Virginia, located 1 hour from Richmond and 2.5 hours from Washington D.C., home of Gallaudet UniversityThe Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind is 30 minutes away. Charlottesville boasts many cultural attractions for its size, offering restaurants, an active arts scene, and excellent schools. It provides easy access to outdoor recreation in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

For more information about UVA and the Charlottesville community, please see and

For more information on the benefits available to faculty at UVA, visit and

The University will perform background checks on all new hires prior to employment.


In 1819, the University of Virginia established a new model for intellectual exchange and cross-disciplinary collaboration in higher education. Two hundred years later, as a major research institution, we continue to challenge conventions, lead with ingenuity and advance knowledge for the common good.

What began as an innovative idea has become one of the nation’s leading public research universities, with over 21,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UVA also has over 3,000 full-time faculty offering more than 400 degrees.

Each of the University’s eleven schools has its own distinctive mission, working together to garner consistently high rankings—including #2 Best Value Public College (Princeton Review, 2016), #3 Public University in the Nation (U.S. News & World Report, 2016), and #3 Best Value Among Public Colleges (Kiplinger’s, 2016).  

As we invest in and strengthen our research capabilities, UVA seeks new faculty ready to uncover new insights, rewrite old rules and collaborate on intellectual discoveries.


As an R1 institution, the University’s research centers, consortia and laboratories are on the leading edge of discovery and technology, offering collaborative spaces for students and faculty to solve global problems.

Our professors are recognized members of major national scholarly and professional organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Our faculty’s engagement in interdisciplinary research is being facilitated by new research institutes specializing in everything from big data to brain functioning, and by cluster hires across schools.


UVA is also home to a nationally renowned academic medical center and the UVA Health System, which serves a three-part mission to treat patients, conduct translational research and train medical practitioners in a wide variety of disciplines.

Established as the nation’s 10th medical school in 1825, the institution has since grown to include a 612-bed hospital and a Level I trauma center, nationally recognized cancer and heart centers, a Children’s Hospital, and primary and specialty clinics throughout Central Virginia.

The UVA Medical Center is consistently ranked among the nation’s best hospitals by the U.S. News & World Report magazine and has been named among the top 25 percent in seven specialties.


The vast majority of UVA students come from the top 10% of their high school class, as well as from all 50 states, over 142 countries and a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. Despite their diversity, all UVA students share a love of learning and a drive to achieve.

One of the reasons students choose Virginia is our unique residential culture. At UVA, the community of students, faculty and staff personifies the Jeffersonian idea that living and learning are connected. The Academical Village was constructed to support a unique residential experience, with faculty living in the Pavilions, students occupying Lawn rooms and the world-famous Rotunda at its heart. The University’s residential culture continues to support this experience today—strengthened by students, faculty and staff rich in backgrounds, ideas and perspectives. Our unique culture is also paying dividends in innovation:  UVA’s faculty have generated more than 130 patents since 2010.

Perhaps most importantly, faculty come to UVA knowing that instruction is as important as research, and they pride themselves on their many teaching awards.  Our best professors look for ways to encourage, mentor and develop tomorrow’s leaders inside and outside the classroom.


Living in Charlottesville you’ll find sophisticated restaurants, world-renowned wineries and breweries, cosmopolitan arts and music, friendly urban and suburban neighborhoods and a Piedmont landscape that has lured adventurous souls for centuries.  No wonder the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research named Charlottesville the “happiest city in America” in 2014.

In addition to UVA and its health system, several major employers have facilities in Charlottesville, including State Farm, Northrop Grumman, the U.S. Department of Defense, GE and others.  Charlottesville is also becoming a center for innovative start-up businesses.  The University also actively helps spouses and partners of faculty members build their networks and pursue employment opportunities with a wide variety of area employers. 

The University of Virginia is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, qualified individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination and may be entitled to reasonable accommodations to assist in their pursuit of employment at the University. This includes assistance in completing the online job application as well as reasonable accommodations during the interview process. Please contact the UHR Service Center: 434.982.0123 to request assistance.

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