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Assistant Professor—African American Literature

Apply now Job no: 505087
Work type: Instructional Faculty – Tenured/Tenure-Track
Location: San Luis Obispo
Categories: Unit 3 - CFA - California Faculty Association, Faculty - Letters/Humanities, Tenured/Tenure-Track, Full Time

The English Department in the College of Liberal Arts at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, is seeking a full-time, academic year, tenure-track Assistant Professor of English at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, to begin September 12, 2022.  Specialization in African American Literature.  Ph.D. in English or related field required.  The successful candidate will join those faculty currently teaching African American Literature, along with recent hires in Indigenous Literatures and Global-Anglophone Literatures, to diversify the department’s curricular offerings, including the teaching of African American literary texts in our recently revised English major and M.A. graduate program as well as in our university-wide GE program and its United States Cultural Pluralism (USCP) courses.  This position also offers the flexibility to create new courses of the candidate’s own design and the opportunity to work closely with individual students on senior projects.  The specific teaching emphasis and research interest within African American literature are open, but we seek empathetic teachers, innovative scholars, and collaborative colleagues.

Cal Poly strongly values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), especially in the classroom and among its areas of study.  This position is part of a college-wide cluster of searches designed to increase curricular coverage of areas related to DEI, as well as to promote inclusive and equity-minded teaching strategies across the university.  Successful candidates will be expected to contribute to the college’s goals in these areas.

The other searches are for positions in the following disciplines across campus:

  • Rhetoric (Communication Studies)
  • World History (History)
  • Public Policy (Political Science)
  • Counseling/Clinical Psychology with Cultural & Linguistic Competency (Psychology & Child Development)
  • International Political Economy (Social Sciences)
  • Feminist/Queer/Trans*Dis/Ability Studies (Women’s, Gender & Queer Studies)
  • Latina/o/x Studies (Ethnic Studies) - 2 positions

Candidates selected through this DEI cluster hire will be given start-up funds to support their work in DEI.  Once hired, candidates will collaborate with their dean and others to develop a plan for utilizing these funds for supplemental compensation, assigned time, or professional development activities.

At California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees and our community. Bringing people together from different backgrounds, experiences and value systems fosters the innovative and creative thinking that exemplifies Cal Poly’s values of free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. Cal Poly's commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. California Polytechnic State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.


Specialization in African American Literature.  Ph.D. in English or related field required.

Demonstrated experience and commitment to student-centered learning and teaching, as well as the ability to collaboratively work in multidisciplinary settings is required. Demonstrated proficiency in written and oral use of the English language is required. 


Preference will be given to those with experience in working with diverse populations and fostering a collaborative, supportive and inclusive environment.  Preference will also be given to those with relevant work experience and those who bring professional capabilities.


The person holding this position is considered a 'mandated reporter' under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

Following a conditional offer of employment, a background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate may start work with Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may result in the withdrawal of the offer of employment. Note: Cal Poly cannot deny an applicant a position solely or in part due to a criminal conviction history until it has performed an individualized assessment and linked the relevant conviction history with specific job duties in the position being sought.

Please note: Current employees who are offered positions on campus will be required to undergo a background check for any position where a background check is required by law or that Cal Poly has designated as sensitive. Sensitive positions are those requiring heightened scrutiny of individuals holding the position based on potential for harm to children, concerns for the safety and security of people, animals, or property, or heightened risk of financial loss to Cal Poly or individuals in the university community.

For health and well-being, Cal Poly is a smoke & tobacco-free campus. The university is committed to promoting a healthy environment for all members of our community.

CSU requires faculty, staff, and students who are accessing campus facilities to be immunized against COVID-19 or declare a medical or religious exemption from doing so.  Any candidates advanced in a search process should be prepared to comply with this requirement. The systemwide policy can be found at CSU Vaccination Policy and questions may be sent to


The English Department, in the College of Liberal Arts, is one of the largest academic units within the University.  The department offers BA and MA degrees in English, an English minor, a Linguistics minor, and certificates in Teaching English as a Second Language and Technical Communication.  The department has approximately 300 English majors and offers many courses to satisfy the General Education and Breadth requirements for all Cal Poly students.  The department is comprised of a department chair, 20 tenure-line faculty, and 45 lecturer faculty and teaching associates. 


To apply, please visit, complete a required online faculty application and apply to Job Number #505087. Please attach to your electronic application a cover letter, vita, transcript copy, statement of teaching philosophy, and writing sample indicative of area of scholarship. In the cover letter, the applicant should also address the feasibility of conducting a research program within the context of a primarily teaching-oriented undergraduate program.

Applicants must include a statement of demonstrated commitment to DEI in teaching, scholarship and/or service describing past experience, contributions to DEI efforts, the impact on students, faculty, staff and/or your field and a description of how you will demonstrate a commitment in these areas in teaching, research, and/or service at Cal Poly.

Please be prepared to provide three professional references with names and email addresses when completing the application. Cal Poly will directly solicit letters from the individuals listed by applicants. Official sealed transcript showing highest degree earned will be required prior to appointment. This position is open until filled.

REVIEW BEGIN DATE: October 27, 2021. Applicants with complete files by the Review Begin Date will be given full consideration.


Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
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