The University of Delaware seeks applications for the position of Chair of the Department of Africana Studies (AFRA), beginning September 1, 2022. We seek an innovative and dynamic leader with a vision to advance the Department’s research and teaching, and to enhance its international reputation and visibility.

Started in 1971 as a program, the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Delaware is a vehicle for change in Delaware and in the world. Committed to advancing the study of the rich and varied experiences of Black people across the African Diaspora, the department’s mission is to apply the production of knowledge to uplift and empower Africana communities and individuals, and to inspire social change and permanent liberation.  The Department has a renowned history in scholarship and teaching and an award-winning faculty. It offers a B.A. and a Minor in Africana Studies and boasts a new graduate program with M.A., B.A./ M.A (eligible for undergraduate AFRA majors and minors) and a graduate certificate. AFRA faculty also support the Community Engagement Initiative and AAPHI (African American Public Humanities Initiative), a graduate initiative serving doctoral students in Art History, English and History.

Together, the Africana Studies faculty at UD cultivate and advance the department’s mission to engage in research that is accessible and relevant to Black communities and to practice teaching that develops deeper and broader understandings of justice and freedom in our society. Our teaching is central to our mission, as Africana faculty view our classrooms as sites of change-making toward more just futures.

There are core AFRA faculty and joint and affiliated AFRA faculty, who conduct empirical research on a wide array of topics related to the African Diaspora. Department faculty are trained in a range of disciplines including art and design, art history, history, sociology, cultural studies, performance, anthropology, political science, theology, and literature. Faculty teaching and research interests and student major concentrations intersect the department’s four pillars: Pan-African Consciousness, Public Humanities, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Visual and Material Culture. Africana faculty are able to participate in numerous interdisciplinary research centers at UD, such as the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, Center for Material Culture Studies, Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center, Museum Studies, and Center for History of Architecture and Design.

More information about the Department is available at:

Applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree and a record commensurate for appointment as Full Professor; a vision for leading the Department and promoting its success; a distinguished record of scholarship in the field of Africana or African-American Studies; a commitment to excellence in instruction; and sufficient experience to indicate the ability to work cooperatively and effectively with faculty, professional staff, and the administration. Prior administrative and leadership experience is preferred. The Chair should also demonstrate an understanding of AFRA as an interdisciplinary unit within UD, as well as a commitment to building and furthering ties with other units across the College of Arts and Sciences and the University, and to promoting research that merges community activity with scholarship. The Chair will be appointed for a 5-year term.

Located in scenic Newark, Delaware, within 2 hours of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Delaware offers exceptional educational experiences including integrated instruction, research and public engagement. With 24 academic departments and more than 25 centers, programs and institutes, the College serves close to 7,000 undergraduate students and over 1,000 graduate students with CAS majors, but also every single University student through foundational course work. The College’s 600 faculty members emphasize the enduring value of an arts and science education and share a deep commitment to excellence in scholarship and all forms of creative and intellectual expression. The College has departments in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, and features outstanding research and teaching facilities. Faculty and staff encourage and support innovative interdisciplinary collaborations and students engage local, national and global audiences through research and creative activity. With annual research expenditures of approximately $38 million and growing, the College currently houses several large, interdisciplinary grants with significant funding from the NIH and NSF.

The University of Delaware ( is one of the nation’s oldest institutions of higher education, combining tradition and innovation. The university recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the experience of its employees and in supporting its academic mission. We are committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds, and we strongly encourage applications from educators from under-represented groups. UD provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Review of applications will begin December 3, 2021, and the position will remain open until filled. Applicants should upload the following application materials:

  • A detailed cover letter outlining your research and commitment to Africana Studies, leadership philosophy and experience, and perspective on the field of Africana or African-American Studies
  • CV
  • Statement of teaching philosophy
  • Names and contact information for three professional references the committee can contact

For additional information about the position, please contact Kami Silk, Search Committee Chair, at

Compensation packages are highly competitive and commensurate with experience and qualifications. The UD benefits package is one of the best in the nation.

Notice of Non-Discrimination, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action

The University of Delaware does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital status, disability, religion, age, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by applicable law in its employment, educational programs and activities, admissions policies, and scholarship and loan programs as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes and University policies. The University of Delaware also prohibits unlawful harassment including sexual harassment and sexual violence.


Applications close: Open until filled

Date posted: 11/22/21