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UCSC Art Department

Assistant Professor, Artist in Photography: Race, Representation and Critical Practice

Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posted: August 30, 2023
Application Deadline: October 30, 2023


UCSC Art Department
Jason Greenberg
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA, 95064

Assistant Professor, Artist in Photography: Race, Representation and Critical Practice

Apply at:

Position title: Assistant Professor, Artist in Photography: Race, Representation and Critical Practice
Salary range: The salary range for this position is $83,100-$110,000 academic year (nine-month basis). The posted UC salary scales set the minimum pay determined by rank and/or step at appointment. "Off-scale salaries" and other components of pay, i.e., a salary that is higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated rank and step, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions. See salary scales titled (FACULTY--LADDER RANKS--PROFESSOR SERIES)
Percent time: Full-time (100%)
Anticipated start: July 1, 2024, with the academic year beginning in September 2024. Degree requirements must be met by June 30, 2024 for employment effective July 1, 2024.
Open date: August 28, 2023

Next review date: Monday, Oct 30, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Sunday, Jun 30, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

The Art Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) invites candidate art practitioners and researchers in Photography : Race, Representation and Critical Practice to apply for a tenure-track faculty position recruited at the rank of Assistant Professor.

The Art Department seeks a practicing artist/researcher accomplished in photography whose scholarship and practice are actively invested in expanding the conceptualization of the field of photography through critical perspectives on race and representation. Central to our evolving social justice and inclusive pedagogy is research and teaching access, and equity as well as material practices of resistance. A successful candidate researches and teaches photographic knowledge production through global contemporary issues and decolonial thought, race and challenging canonical histories. The applicant's research and photographic practice should be grounded in accountable community engaged artmaking, investigation and scholarship.

The candidate should have conceptual and technical skill in analog and digital photography. They should have knowledge of diverse histories and theories of photography, including scholarship that reflects a critical commitment to expanding the field of photography as a medium. Candidates' research in photography should engage with community and/or contemporary societal issues as they relate to the advancement of photographic knowledge, access and equity, and social and environmental justice. The ideal candidate will have a clear and substantive body of work/research and experience with photography's relationship to racialization as a symbolic and political process in Indigenous and/or historically marginalized communities.

We seek a colleague who prioritizes and values the importance of collective creativity, shared visions, resilience and participatory community engagement, and whose work deploys the critical role of ethical and aesthetic representation. Critical practices of scholarship, analysis and artistic production are areas of historical strength in the department and this position is designed to diversify faculty research and pedagogy and expand our curricula offerings. We seek multidisciplinary art researchers/practitioners with a broad diverse knowledge and understanding of contemporary art and art issues. The candidate should be fluent in contemporary socio-political, cultural, racial, socioeconomic, political, aesthetic issues, and decoloniality.

Some examples of practice, scholarship and pedagogy include photography as critical practice; experimental digital art and visual literacy; environmental justice; building community and theorizing identification or the visualization of racial difference and its role in the colonial encounter; and the use of archives to capture cultural vernaculars that defy the arresting power of the stereotype. We seek artists/researchers whose artwork encompasses local, national and/or global community-engaged scholarship with public-facing projects with societal impact beyond the academy.

A successful candidate will develop new undergraduate and graduate courses that integrate photography, time-based media, digital arts, interactive projects and web-based art and have an ability to teach all practices of fine art photography as well as experience with related media and methods which might include social practice, new technologies, film, video, performance, archival inquiry, and public installation. This position would develop emerging high-impact project-based initiatives in photography and media arts studio practice (4D area) and field investigation courses.

Strong consideration will be given to the creative work, research, and teaching record, and the willingness to contribute to the ongoing curricular development, diversification and decolonization of our department's program. Applicants with fluency in languages additional to English are encouraged to apply. We expect the successful candidate to continue to develop their own creative and/or scholarly work, including collaborative projects; to pursue a program of research or creative production; contribute to our general curriculum; and engage in service to the Department, Division, and Campus as well as to the field and engaged external communities. We also expect the successful candidate to contribute significantly to graduate education and the mentoring of graduate students.

The undergraduate BA in Art is composed of courses in drawing, animation, painting, photography, sculpture, print media, intermedia, critical theory, electronic art, public art, environmental art, social art practice, and interactive technologies. Students are not obligated to a particular focus, but are encouraged to explore materials, practices and concepts across media. The undergraduate pedagogy encompasses a continuing dialogue about what constitutes basic preparation in the arts while offering students experiences in established practices, new genres, and new technologies.

The candidate will teach in our MFA program in Environmental Art and Social Practice (EASP). This is a unique, two-year residential program of research and art-making that analyzes and engages social and environmental justice questions, contexts and in communities. Working individually and collaboratively, in the studio, in communities and in the field, students experiment with different approaches to build their practices conceptually and practically, while critically and creatively exploring art's role as a catalyst for radical change.

The candidate must demonstrate the ability to contribute significantly to graduate education and mentoring graduate students. The department envisions further development of a diverse set of course offerings through which students will be immersed in field research, community engagement and practices of collaborating, critical-thinking, and making work that challenges social inequalities while they build conceptual and creative skills that will invite inclusive global perspectives and direct community engagement.

The Art Department understands that diversity is integral to our achievement of excellence. The Art Department seeks to enrich its faculty and student experience by prioritizing diverse perspectives in research and a commitment to equity in gender, sexualities, identity, disability, intersectionality, race, and ethnicity. We believe diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) deepen both the educational experience and the scholarly environment. We are committed to cultivating, supporting, and promoting the expression and creation of culturally diverse experiences and perspectives within our department. The Art Department statement of DEI can be found here:

UC Santa Cruz values diversity, equity, and inclusion and is committed to hiring faculty who will work to advance these values. UC Santa Cruz is a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) with a high proportion of first-generation students. We welcome candidates who understand the barriers facing historically oppressed groups in higher education (as evidenced by life experiences and educational background) and who can clearly articulate participation in equity and diversity advancement efforts with respect to teaching, mentoring, research, and service towards building an equitable and scholarly environment. Activities promoting equity and inclusion at UC Santa Cruz will be recognized as important university service during the faculty promotion process. More information can be found:

The chosen candidate will be expected to sign a statement representing that they are not the subject of any ongoing investigation or disciplinary proceeding at their current academic institution or place of employment, nor have they in the past ten years been formally disciplined at any academic institution/place of employment. In the event the candidate cannot make this representation, they will be expected to disclose in writing to the hiring Dean the circumstances surrounding any formal discipline that they have received, as well as any current or ongoing investigation or disciplinary process of which they are the subject. (Note that discipline includes a negotiated settlement agreement to resolve a matter related to substantiated misconduct.)

Art Department:

Basic qualifications (required at time of application)
Candidates should have a PhD and/or MFA/MA and demonstrated experience or recognized achievement in community engaged mediamaking practices and/or exhibition. Degree requirements expected to be completed by June 30, 2024.

Document requirements
Curriculum Vitae - Candidate's most recently updated C.V.

Statement of Creative Practice and Research**

Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion** - Statement addressing your understanding of the barriers facing traditionally underrepresented groups and your past and/or future contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion through teaching and professional or public service. Candidates are urged to review guidelines on statements before preparing their application.

** Our first round of review will be solely based on (1) the statement of creative practice and research and (2) the statement of contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion. We welcome candidates who understand the barriers facing historically oppressed groups in higher education, and who have demonstrated experience in advancing equity and diversity with respect to teaching, mentoring, research, life experiences, or service towards building an equitable and diverse scholarly environment. We are looking for candidates who demonstrate effective strategies that support the recruitment and success of underrepresented scholars and students, which may take a variety of forms.

The rubric that we will use to evaluate the statement of contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion is available here:

This recruitment is supported by the UC Office of the President's Advancing Faculty Diversity (AFD) program and includes enhanced funding for faculty projects that contribute to diversity and to creating an inclusive climate.

Cover Letter - Letter of application outlining scholarly and creative background as well as current and future research plans.

Portfolio of Completed Works - Provide one (1) PDF document with links to your online works and be sure to include a brief description of each work.

Samples of Student Work - As evidence of successful instruction, provide one (1) PDF document with links to current/previous student's online work and include a brief description of each work. Please ensure to provide links to ten (10) different images.

Statement of Teaching - Teaching statement describing your teaching experience, teaching interests and pedagogical philosophy. Address in your statement how Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are incorporated into your pedagogy including presentations in class, syllabi and other materials. Address how your teaching practices address student equity in learning. Describe how DEI is included in course learning outcomes.

Reference requirements
3 required (contact information only)
Applicants must provide the names and contact information of three (3) references. The hiring unit will request the confidential letters* from the references of those applicants who are under serious consideration. Please note that your references, or dossier service, will submit their confidential letters directly to the UC Recruit System.

*All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. For any reference letter provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service, career center), direct the author to UCSC's confidentiality statement at

To acknowledge and reduce the labor involved in acquiring letters of recommendation, we are not requiring them at this first stage of the application process. Applicants are advised to speak to potential recommenders in anticipation of a future letter submission request should they advance to the next round of this search to ensure their writers can respond within two weeks if requested to submit a letter. Please note that all recommendation letters will be sent directly to the UC Recruit System. All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. For any reference letter provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service, career center), direct the author to UC Santa Cruz's confidentiality statement at

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The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. Inquiries regarding the University's equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 or by phone at (831) 459-2686.

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check (see The university sponsors employment-based visas for nonresidents who are offered academic appointments at UC Santa Cruz (see

UCSC is a smoke & tobacco-free campus.

If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact Disability Management Services at (831) 459-4602.

UCSC is committed to addressing the spousal and partner employment needs of our candidates and employees. As part of this commitment, our institution is a member of the Northern California Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (NorCal HERC). Visit the NorCal HERC website at to search for open positions within a commutable distance of our institution.

The University of California offers a competitive benefits package and a number of programs to support employee work/life balance. For information about employee benefits please visit

As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements.

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