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Assistant Professor, with a focus on Native American/Indigenous communities in North America

Washington State University, Department of Anthropology
Pullman, Washington State
Salary is competitive, commensurate with experience and qualifications, with excellent benefits
Closing date
Nov 30, 2022

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Position Type
Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology
Full Time
Area Studies, Indigenous Studies, Other
Organization Type

Job Details

The Department of Anthropology at Washington State University seeks to hire a broadly trained scholar who draws on one or more subfields of anthropology and has developed a research focus on Native American and Indigenous communities of western North America (preferred) or other regions of North America. The position is a permanent, full-time, nine-month, tenure-track Assistant Professor position based on the Pullman, WA, campus. It is anticipated that the successful candidate will begin the appointment on August 16, 2023.

WSU is committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive university community. The university recognizes that fostering an inclusive environment for all, with particular attention to the needs of historically marginalized populations, is vital to the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of our institutional mission. Towards continually strengthening this commitment, we seek candidates whose research, teaching, and/or service has prepared them to be an integral contributor to the continued advancement of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access here at WSU.

This position is part of a faculty cluster hire initiative in the scholarship and teaching about racism and social inequality in the Americas, with a particular focus this year on Native American/Indigenous communities. The university is particularly interested in hiring scholars who are deeply connected to and integrated into the communities that they study, as a means to build on our strong tradition of engaged and applied scholarship at WSU.

Therefore, the Department of Anthropology seeks innovative and engaged candidates who work collaboratively with Native American and Indigenous peoples and communities in a way that can contribute substantively to emerging national conversations on Indigenous reconciliation, healing and restorative justice, and who can work collaboratively with faculty and students in anthropology and across the WSU system to advance meaningful partnerships with, respect for, and understandings of Native American and Indigenous communities. In particular, WSU wishes to attract a scholar grounded in Native American perspectives on land, place, heritage, and environment. We expect the scholar to have a research program that emphasizes meaningfully collaborative fieldwork and Indigenous-driven research designs, who implements best practices with respect to such collaborations, and who expands our efforts to develop culturally appropriate protocols and outcomes. This individual should be well placed to contribute to the research and curriculum in anthropology, and to foster conversations about restorative justice and the colonial experience of Indigenous communities, conversations necessary to our educational mission and to facilitate structural change, in the academy and beyond. Given the needs of the department, institution, and its constituencies, the research profile for our ideal candidate is a scholar with:

  • fieldwork that is substantively and meaningfully collaborative, which demonstrates significant partnership and engagement with, and attention to the goals/needs of focal Native American and Indigenous communities, and which ideally derives from the researcher having spent considerable time in the community
  • a research agenda that addresses topics of importance to, and developed in partnership with Native American and Indigenous communities, including, but not limited to, traditional ecological knowledge and wisdom, Indigenous resource management practices, Tribal sovereignty and treaty rights, cultural/heritage resource management, indigenous community health and autonomy, mechanisms of traditional cultural knowledge transmission, cultural/linguistic revival and resilience
  • a significant applied component directed towards concrete actionable outcomes for Indigenous communities, including, but not limited to, building resilience against climate change, promoting ecological justice and food sovereignty, and mitigating social and health-based inequities
  • a research stance that recognizes and addresses the historical and current situation and status of Indigenous peoples, and which actively addresses the legacy of colonialism and in some capacity serves the goal of restorative justice and reconciliation between settler and Indigenous communities.
  • the capacity to offer a graduate course addressing “Indigenous Perspectives and Research Methods for Land, Place, and Environment,” a course we envision would help students seeking to conduct research involving or impacting Native American/Indigenous peoples, communities and Tribes, and/or those who might work in such positions upon graduation

Responsibilities include: (1) maintaining an active program of community-engaged scholarship with Native American/Indigenous communities in western North America (preferred) or other regions of North America, including pursuing external funding; (2) engaging in collaborative work with peers and Native American/Indigenous communities; (3) teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in anthropology; (4) recruiting, advising and mentoring diverse graduate and undergraduate students, including recruitment and retention of Native American/Indigenous students; (5) and providing service to the department, institution, and professional, including outreach to broader communities.

Required Qualifications: 

  • Earned doctorate in anthropology or an appropriate, related discipline by the time of hire.
  • An active, community-engaged and collaborative research program conducted with Native American/Indigenous communities in North America.
  • A commitment to ongoing and sustained field research.
  • Demonstration of, or potential to achieve a record of research accomplishment.
  • Demonstration of, or potential to establish and maintain an externally funded research program.
  • Demonstration of, or potential to successfully teach and mentor students at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
  • Demonstrated ability and/or potential to support, mentor, and educate individuals identifying with systemically excluded, historically underserved and/or minoritized groups and to contribute to WSU’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals in research, teaching, mentoring, and/or service (

Preferred Qualifications:

  • An active, community-engaged and collaborative research program conducted with Native American/Indigenous communities in western North America.

Salary/Benefits:  Salary is competitive, commensurate with experience and qualifications, and accompanied by an excellent benefits package. Please see

To Apply:  Visit , select your appropriate employment status, and search for R-6815. Please be prepared to upload the following documents to your online application: 

  • A cover letter addressing how your experience, training and approach meet the qualifications for this position.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Teaching and Mentoring Statement. Detail teaching and mentoring experience and strategies, including experience or training relevant to teaching among and/or about diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Discuss experience with and/or methods of mentoring advisees.
  • Research/Scholarship Statement. Describe your research experience and your proposed research program at WSU. Address how your community-engaged research program conducted with Native American/Indigenous communities advances our understanding of these communities, reference interdisciplinary and/or collaborative connections, and, if relevant, inclusion of students and/or stakeholders.  
  • Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement. Statement addressing past activities as well as future plans to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion through research, teaching, professional activity, outreach and/or service. Please provide examples from your own experience.
  • Names, addresses, and contact information of at least three references who can address your history of and potential for excellence in research, engagement with Native American/Indigenous communities, teaching, and service (letters will be requested at a later time).  

For information regarding this position, contact Search Committee Chair Dr. Shannon Tushingham at

Screening begin date

Formal screening of applications will begin October 24, 2022 and will continue until the position is filled. 

Land Acknowledgment

Washington State University acknowledges that its locations statewide are on the homelands of Native peoples, who have lived in this region from time immemorial. Currently, there are 42 tribes, 35 of which are federally recognized that share traditional homelands and waterways in what is now Washington State. Some of these are nations and confederacies that represents multiple tribes and bands. The University expresses its deepest respect for and gratitude towards these original and current caretakers of the region. As an academic community, we acknowledge our responsibility to establish and maintain relationships with these tribes and Native peoples, in support of tribal sovereignty and the inclusion of their voices in teaching, research and programming. Washington State University established the Office of Tribal Relations and Native American Programs to guide us in our relationship with tribes and service to Native American students and communities. We also pledge that these relationships will consist of mutual trust, respect, and reciprocity.

As a land grant institution, we also recognize that the Morrill Act of 1862 established land-grant institutions by providing each state with “public” and federal lands, which are traced back to the disposition of Indigenous lands. In 1890, Washington State received 90,081 acres of Indigenous Lands designated to establish Washington State University (see data). Washington State University retains the majority of these lands to this day. We acknowledge that the disposition of Indigenous lands was often taken by coercive and violent acts, and the disregard of treaties. For that, we extend our deepest apologies. We owe our deepest gratitude to the Native peoples of this region and maintain our commitment towards reconciliation.

For a listing of Tribes and Nations whose Homelands are in Washington State, please see

About WSU, Pullman, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Department of Anthropology

Washington State University is a land grant, multiple-campus, Research 1 institution. This position will serve on the Pullman campus, which has an enrollment of around 20,000 students,  about 30% of whom are multicultural (see and about 30% are first-generation to College (see Pullman is located in southeastern Washington on the homelands of the Nimíipuu (Nez Perce) Tribe and Palus people. Located 80 miles south of metropolitan Spokane, Pullman is also a quick drive away from the scenic Idaho panhandle and Moscow Mountain. The rolling hills of the Palouse offer a wide range of activities and a true four-season climate. The area provides ample opportunity to enjoy the cultural and academic hub of both Washington State University and the University of Idaho, in the neighboring town of Moscow, Idaho. For more information about the region, please see

Encompassing more than 30 departments, schools, and research institutes on five campuses statewide, the College of Arts & Sciences is the heart of WSU. Together our 730+ faculty and staff deliver more than 50% of WSU’s total undergraduate and graduate instruction, including the vast majority of WSU’s core curriculum. We also drive annual research expenditures of more than $26 million, with wide interdisciplinary strengths in public and community health, environmental change, equity and social justice, and data and technology at the boundaries. As Arts & Sciences begins its 10th anniversary as a unified college, we seek to lead a reimagining of WSU’s land-grant mission for the 21st century, expanding the boundaries of creativity and discovery while simultaneously recognizing more completely our obligations to Native and Indigenous peoples. For more about the College of Arts & Sciences at WSU, please see

The Department of Anthropology is an academic unit located in the College of Arts and Sciences. Anthropology’s twenty-three faculty conduct research, support courses and mentorship, and provide service at WSU’s campuses in Pullman, Vancouver, and the Tri-Cities. The department offers the BA at WSU’s Pullman and Vancouver campuses, and to its Global campus, and teaches courses in support of a minor and certificate in American Indian Studies. Partnering with the School of Biological Sciences, we also offer a BA in Human Biology at Pullman and Vancouver. With faculty and specialties and graduate degree tracks in cultural anthropology, biological anthropology and archaeology, the department offers the M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology in each of these areas of emphasis, supporting a graduate program with approximately sixty students. For more about the Department of Anthropology, its faculty, graduate students and programs, please see

Washington State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Educator and Employer. Members of ethnic minorities, women, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam-era, recently separated veterans, and other protected veteran, persons of disability and/or persons age 40 and over are encouraged to apply.

WSU is committed to excellence through diversity and faculty-friendly policy action, including partner accommodation and NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation programs ( WSU employs only U.S. citizens and lawfully authorized non-U.S. citizens. All new employees must show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

WSU is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact Human Resource Services: 509-335-4521 (v), Washington State TDD Relay Service: Voice Callers: 1-800-833-6384; TDD Callers: 1-800-833-6388, 509-335-1259(f), or

In accordance with Washington State Governor's Proclamation 21.14.3, as a condition of employment, new employees must be fully vaccinated or have an approved medical/religious accommodation at time of hire. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their last shot in a vaccine series. Vaccine or an approved accommodation for new employees will be verified prior to first day of employment. Information regarding vaccine verification and/or requesting a medical/religious information is available at Please contact HRS at or 509-335-4521 if you have questions.


The Department of Anthropology at Washington State University supports strong research and teaching programs in archaeology, cultural anthropology, and evolutionary anthropology, offering BA, MA, and Ph.D. degrees. The Department has extensive and well-equipped teaching and research laboratories. TA support is provided for large undergraduate classes. To learn more about the Department of Anthropology, our program and faculty, applicants are encouraged to browse materials available on the department’s website (
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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