AFAS Seeking New Chair

Chair search is underway.

Chair of the African and African American Studies Department

Washington University in St. Louis


The School of Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis seeks a dynamic senior scholar to lead its newly established Department of African and African American Studies (AFAS) and develop its future planning and direction. Founded in 1969 as Black Studies, it is one of the oldest programs in the country. Last fall, the University granted AFAS departmental status and committed significant resources, including multiple hiring lines and ample programming funds, to develop and grow the department.


Qualified candidates will have significant teaching experience with both graduate and undergraduate students and a distinguished record of research and publishing required for a tenured position as a full professor. (Exceptional applicants at the advanced associate professor level for whom the rank of full is imminent will also be considered.) Moreover, qualified candidates must have demonstrable administrative and leadership ability. A PhD or an equivalent terminal degree with a principal focus on some aspect or region of Africa and/or its Diaspora is required.


The duties of chair include developing and implementing academic and scholarly activities for the department, planning finances and budgets, and supervising faculty, staff, and students in the department.  In dialogue with colleagues and stakeholders across the university, the chair will formulate a strategic vision for African and African American Studies.  Because the department has a long-standing commitment to the city of St. Louis, it is expected that the chair will engage the department in the civic life of the community beyond the walls of the university.  The chair reports to the dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences. As a professor, the chair’s regular duties will include research and writing for publication, teaching, advising students, departmental governance, and university service.


Application materials should include the most recent version of the applicant’s curriculum vitae and a formal letter of interest that lists three references. Materials can be sent, and questions can be addressed, to Adrienne Davis, William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law, at