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Assistant Professor, Cultural Anthropology

Western Washington University, Department of Anthropology
Bellingham, Washington State
Closing date
Dec 4, 2021

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Position Type
Full Time
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Job Details

Assistant Professor, Cultural Anthropology

About the University:

Western Washington University, with over 16,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. The campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, a coastal community of 90,000 overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades Mountain range. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. Western is the highest-ranking public, master's-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings.

About the Department:

The College of Humanities and Social Science and the Department of Anthropology support Western's mission, which states that together with our students, staff, and faculty, we are committed to making a positive impact in the state and the world with a shared focus on academic excellence and inclusive achievement. We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity.

The Department of Anthropology is actively engaged, in cooperation with our students and community members, in decolonizing our curriculum.  We include a wide variety of courses which specifically incorporate accessibility, diversity, equity and inclusion (ADEI) topics and active research.  As a community of scholars we have an extensive history of collaborative, graduate, and undergraduate papers, posters and publications in national and regional forums directly addressing ADEI issues and research. We have worked, over several decades, to create collaborative ties with local Coastal indigenous communities and create a welcoming and supportive learning environment at the University.

For more information about the Department of Anthropology, please visit the department website.  

About the Position:       

The Department of Anthropology invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Cultural Anthropology, to begin in September 2022.  The ideal candidate will have completed a PhD and have a strong foundation in collaborating with contemporary Northwest indigenous peoples and communities.  Preferred academic specialties include educational, ecological, biomedical or linguistic aspects of Northwest indigenous peoples.  We seek to add an Anthropologist whose research represents collaborative transdisciplinary efforts leading to community based engagement, with implications for education, health, environmental or economic concerns.  The ideal candidate will focus on issues affecting local indigenous communities and populations, incorporating experiential learning, original collaborative research, and local/regional partnerships. The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate dedication to effective teaching and active-learning practices.  They must also be able to demonstrate an ability to develop and sustain a research program, to mentor students and engage them in research.  The Department of Anthropology is committed to advancing diversity in all areas of faculty effort, including scholarship, instruction, and engagement.  The successful candidate will be expected to fulfill teaching and mentoring responsibilities that provide equitable and inclusive learning environments for all students. Candidates should address at least one of the topical areas outlined above in their cover letter, indicating how their past experiences, current interests and activities, and/or future goals could promote a work climate that values and supports inclusion.

The position requires a strong commitment to teaching.  Class responsibilities may include courses such as Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Native American Perspectives, Native Peoples of the Northwest Coast, and courses developed in their own specialty.  The successful candidate will maintain a research program involving both undergraduate and graduate students and will collaborate with researchers in and beyond the department.

Required Qualifications:

PhD (by time of application) in Anthropology or related field

Experience in collaborative, community based research focusing on contemporary issues

Demonstrated scholarship focused on Northwest Coastal indigenous communities

Demonstrated dedication to effective teaching and active-learning practices

Evidence of the ability to develop and sustain a research program

Demonstrated ability and commitment to cultivating learning environments that are equitable and inclusive of students with diverse social identities and backgrounds

Excellent communication skills

All employees must comply with our Immunization policies, including COVID vaccination by time of hire and Proof of Rubeola Measles Immunity within 60-days of hire. Please reach out to if you need information regarding medical or religious exemption and applicable accommodations.

Preferred Qualifications:             

Preferred academic specialties include educational, ecological, biomedical or linguistic aspects of Northwest Coast indigenous peoples

Demonstrated ability to teach subjects described in the sections above (ANTH 201, Introduction to Anthropology;  ANTH 361, Native American Perspectives; and ANTH 462, Critical Issues in Indigenous NW Studies, among others)

Post-doctoral fellowship or additional professional experience

Teaching and scholarly interests, and experience, aligned with the Anthropology Department


Commensurate with experience and qualifications, including an excellent benefits package. In addition WWU offers internal research, publication and course development funding, and yearly travel/professional development funding.

Application Instructions:

Please apply here:

A cover letter and curriculum vitae are required and should address your experience related to the position responsibilities and the required and preferred qualifications.

You will be asked to provide contact information of three references.

Required Supplemental Materials:

Also required is a separate statement, addressing how you would fulfill teaching and mentoring responsibilities that provide equitable and inclusive learning environments for all students. You may draw upon your personal as well as professional experience in developing this statement.  For more information about Western’s commitment to and work on equity, inclusion, and diversity, please see Western President’s page on Advancing Inclusion and Diversity.

Closing Date Notes:       

Application review begins September 30, 2021 ; position is open until filled.


Western Washington University, with nearly 13,000 students and eight colleges, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students, and faculty. The 224-acre campus, located in Bellingham, Washington, overlooks Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 55 miles south of Vancouver, B.C. With its year-round mild climate, recreational opportunities abound from the water to the nearby ski slopes of 10,778 foot Mount Baker and the alpine country of the Cascades WWU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, persons with disabilities, Vietnam-era and disabled veterans are encouraged to apply. For disability accommodation, call (360) 650-3774 or (360) 650-7696 (TTY). All new employees must show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU.

The following information is provided by the employer in accordance with AAA policy. AAA is not responsible for verifying the accuracy of these statements. They are not part of the actual position description submitted for publication by the employer.

  • This employer does prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation/preference.
  • This employer does prohibit discrimination based on gender identity/expression.
  • This employer does not offer health insurance benefits to eligible partners.
  • This employer does not appear on the AAUP list of censured institutions.
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