Special Collections Instruction Librarian and Curator for Black Arts and Culture

at James Madison University (view profile)
Published May 25, 2022
Location 800 S. Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA
Category Academic  
Job Type Full-time  
Apply Here https://joblink.jmu.edu/postings/11879
Minimum Compensation in Local Currency $60,000
Maximum Compensation in Local Currency $65,000
Hourly or Salary? Salary


JMU Libraries seeks a creative and energetic librarian/archivist or scholar to fill a newly created, tenure-track faculty position in our Special Collections department. We seek a colleague with significant subject knowledge in Black arts and culture, teaching expertise with archival collections, and enthusiasm for the power of primary sources.

The successful candidate will lead the development of a growing instruction program in Special Collections, aligned with organizational and departmental goals to support a reparative archives approach that recognizes silences and gaps in the documentary record. As Instruction Librarian, this new faculty member will shape the classroom use of Special Collections material across disciplines and fields. Through collaboration with other JMU instructors and Libraries colleagues (including teaching faculty, archivists, subject liaisons, and instructional designers) the successful candidate will design and deliver balanced and rewarding hands-on learning experiences that engage students in analysis, interpretation, and use of primary sources.

As Curator for Black Arts and Culture, the successful candidate will lead collection development efforts around rare and unique materials related to African, African American, and Diaspora (AAAD) Studies and in support of JMU’s research and teaching strengths in this field. The successful candidate will collaborate with colleagues in JMU’s AAAD Studies Center and Furious Flower Poetry Center (FFPC) to identify relevant archival materials across media types, as well as rare book collection development priorities, and seek opportunities to grow our collections in support of AAAD and FFPC goals and functions. Through collaboration with colleagues throughout the Libraries, this position will help to build our distinctive holdings in concert with the continued growth and development of general collections in this area. The successful candidate will bring creative thinking and excitement to promotion and outreach surrounding our collections, and will engage with a highly collaborative team of librarians, archivists, poets, and scholars to further the acquisition, description, and use of distinctive collections related to Black arts, literature, and culture.

Special Collections staff at JMU steward a collection that documents the central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia as well as the institutional history of James Madison University. Collection strengths include documentary records and oral histories related to campus history and the history of Shenandoah Valley people and organizations (including Harrisonburg’s vibrant, past and contemporary immigrant community). Significant distinctive collections that provide curricular support for teaching and learning at JMU include artists’ books and movable/pop-up books, pulp magazines, and materials related to Black arts and culture. Relevant here are JMU Libraries’ collections of Black comic books, graphic novels, and works of poetry; rare book and manuscript collections by Black writers; and the unique video archives of JMU’s distinguished Furious Flower Poetry Center—the first academic center for Black poetry in the country and the focus of a large-scale, Mellon Foundation-supported digital archives collaboration with the Libraries —as well as JMU faculty digital projects related to histories of race and place.

The Special Collections Instruction Librarian and Curator for Black Arts and Culture is a full-time, twelve-month, tenure-track position with instructional faculty status at JMU, reporting to the Head of Special Collections. We anticipate hiring at the rank of Assistant or Associate Librarian. Libraries faculty participate in shared governance at JMU and adhere to policies established in our Promotion & Tenure Guidelines (https://www.jmu.edu/academic-affairs/policies-and-reports/PT-LIB.pdf) and the JMU Faculty Handbook (https://www.jmu.edu/facultyhandbook/). Faculty are evaluated annually on Job Performance, Scholarly Achievement & Professional Qualifications, and Professional Service.