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Film and Digital Media: Assistant Professor of Indigenous Media, Cultural Sovereignty and Decolonization (Initial Review 12.1.21)

Position overview

Position title: Assistant Professor - tenure-track
Salary range: Commensurate with qualifications and experience; academic year (nine-month basis). UC salary scales are publicly available. For more information, see:
Anticipated start: July 1, 2022, with the academic year beginning in September 2022. Degree requirements must be met by September 16, 2022 for employment beyond that date.

Application Window

Open date: September 13th, 2021

Most recent review date: Wednesday, Dec 1, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Thursday, Jun 30, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The Department of Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) invites applications for an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Media, Cultural Sovereignty and Decolonization.

The Film & Digital Media Department at UC Santa Cruz offers an undergraduate major that currently enrolls 700 students, the two-year MFA program in Social Documentation that averages eight students per cohort, and a PhD program currently enrolling 29 students. Our curriculum reflects an understanding that intellectual and creative work are related forms of production and inquiry that challenge the traditionally conceived borders between creative and critical practice. The Arts Division, of which Film & Digital Media is a part, supports faculty research through the Arts Research Institute; the campus supports research and teaching with grants awarded by the Committee on Research, the Committee on Teaching, and other groups. An Indigenous Networking Group actively works to serve the common interests of and support Native/Indigenous faculty members from different departments across the UCSC campus. UC Santa Cruz is a Hispanic-Serving Institution with a high proportion of first-in-family undergraduate students.

We seek to hire a colleague whose creative work and/or scholarship embodies or addresses emerging and/or historical Indigenous/Native media practices. Candidates might be a mediamaker and/or a theorist-practitioner. Mediamakers will be working with audiovisual systems of meaning that are centered in Indigenous/Native communities and expression. Theorist-practitioners might emphasize ethical, social and cultural considerations of Indigenous knowledge, sovereignty and decolonization theories, methods and practices. Ideal candidates will demonstrate a commitment to community involvement and an Indigenous lived experience including working with Native American, First Nations, Inuit or Métis communities and organizations in Turtle Island; or more broadly the Americas, the Pacific Rim, Borderlands or Circumpolar Indigenous Nations. We are interested in located knowledges and practices but also collaborative or comparative approaches across geographically diverse areas.

We welcome Indigenous/Native pedagogical and practical approaches to media production and theory as an opportunity to strengthen the breadth of both critical research and production methods and perspectives taught and supported in the department at the undergraduate, graduate and faculty levels. Such a position would be supported by our departmental commitment to an ongoing process of developing structures and practices for centering social justice in teaching and research, and would enrich ongoing collaborations with other programs such as: the new MFA in Environmental Art and Social Practice in the Art Department, the Digital Arts and New Media MFA Program, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Feminist Studies, History of Art and Visual Culture, Latin American and Latino Studies, Literature, Sociology, History of Consciousness, the Science and Justice Research Center, the Center for the Middle East and North Africa, Center for Creative Ecologies, Center for Documentary Arts and Research, and/or the Center for South Asian Studies.

Candidates should have either a terminal degree (PhD or MFA) or at least six years of demonstrated evidence of creative work and/or scholarship relevant to the areas described above. We welcome candidates whose experiences in Indigenous communities and/or community organizations inform their approach to teaching, research/creative production, and service. Strong consideration will be given, as appropriate, to creative work, research, teaching record and the willingness to participate in the ongoing curricular development, diversification and decolonization of our department's program. We would expect candidates to prioritize their own creative and/or scholarly work, to pursue a program of research or creative production, and to contribute to our general curriculum. The campus operates on a schedule of three 11-week quarters per academic year. In accordance with the department's workload policy, faculty members are required to offer the equivalent of 4 five-unit courses per year. Additional duties include advising and mentoring both undergraduate and graduate students, participating in faculty governance at the departmental and campus level, and actively undertaking administrative service for the department, affiliated college, and University. The ability to contribute significantly to graduate education and the mentoring of graduate students is highly desirable.

Our first round of review will be solely based on (1) the statement of creative practice and research and (2) the statement of contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion. We welcome candidates who understand the barriers facing historically oppressed groups in higher education, and who have engaged in teaching, research, professional and/or public service contributions that promote equity, justice, and antiracist, decolonial practice. We are looking for candidates that demonstrate effective strategies that support the recruitment and success of underrepresented scholars and students, which may take a variety of forms. The rubric that we will use to evaluate the statement of contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion is available here:

The chosen candidate will be expected to sign a statement representing that they are not the subject of any ongoing investigation or disciplinary proceeding at their current academic institution or place of employment, nor have they in the past ten years been formally disciplined at any academic institution/place of employment. In the event the candidate cannot make this representation, they will be expected to disclose in writing to the hiring Dean the circumstances surrounding any formal discipline that they have received, as well as any current or ongoing investigation or disciplinary process of which they are the subject. (Note that discipline includes a negotiated settlement agreement to resolve a matter related to substantiated misconduct.)

University of California Santa Cruz is located on the unceded territory of the Awaswas-speaking Uypi Tribe. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, comprised of the descendants of Indigenous people taken to missions Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista during Spanish colonization of the Central Coast, is today working hard to restore traditional stewardship practices on these lands and heal from historical trauma.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

Ph.D. or MFA (or equivalent international degree) or at least six years of demonstrated evidence of creative work and/or scholarship relevant to the areas described above, as demonstrated by a record of film and new media festivals, community involvement in media production and practice, exhibitions in community venues, museums, galleries, television or other media platforms. It is expected that the degree requirement will be completed by September 16, 2022.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Statement of creative practice and research* - 1-2 pages outlining significant projects as evidence for your vision, process, aesthetics, methodologies, and values

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion* - Statement addressing your understanding of the barriers facing traditionally underrepresented groups and your past and/or future contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion through teaching and professional or public service. Candidates are urged to review guidelines on statements (see before preparing their application.

    *Our first round of review will be solely based on (1) the statement of creative practice and research and (2) the statement of contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • Cover Letter - Letter of application that briefly summarizes your qualifications and interest in the

  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Statement of Teaching - Statement describing your teaching experience, interests, and philosophy. Examples of equitable and accessible practices to teaching are welcome

  • Scholarly Writing and/or Creative Work (1 of 2 Required)

  • Scholarly Writing and/or Creative Work (2 of 2 Required)

  • Scholarly Writing and/or Creative Work (1 of 2) (Optional)

  • Scholarly Writing and/or Creative Work (2 of 2) (Optional)

Reference requirements
  • 3 letters of reference required

Applications must include confidential letters of recommendation** (a minimum of three are required and a maximum of three will be accepted). Please note that your references, or dossier service, will submit their confidential letters directly to the UC Recruit System.

**All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. For any reference letter provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service, career center), direct the author to UCSC’s confidentiality statement at

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Campus Information

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. Inquiries regarding the University’s equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 or by phone at (831) 459-2686.

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check (see The university sponsors employment-based visas for nonresidents who are offered academic appointments at UC Santa Cruz (see

UCSC is a smoke & tobacco-free campus.

If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact Disability Management Services at (831) 459-4602.

UCSC is committed to addressing the spousal and partner employment needs of our candidates and employees. As part of this commitment, our institution is a member of the Northern California Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (NorCal HERC). Visit the NorCal HERC website at to search for open positions within a commutable distance of our institution.

The University of California offers a competitive benefits package and a number of programs to support employee work/life balance. For information about employee benefits please visit

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy.All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees should refer to Appendix F, Section II.C. of the policy for applicable deadlines. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements. Additional information and resources for compliance are located on the campus COVID-19 Vaccines webpage.


Job location

Santa Cruz, California