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Film & Digital Media: Assistant/Associate Professor, Documentary and Nonfiction Media (initial review Nov. 1, 2023)

Position overview

Position title: Assistant/ Associate Professor, Documentary and Nonfiction Media
Salary range: The salary range for this position is $83,100-$135,000 academic year (nine-month basis). The posted UC salary scales set the minimum pay determined by rank and/or step at appointment. “Off-scale salaries” and other components of pay, i.e., a salary that is higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated rank and step, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions. See salary scales titled (FACULTY--LADDER RANKS--PROFESSOR SERIES)
Percent time: Full-time, 100%
Anticipated start: July 1, 2024, with the academic year beginning in September 2024. Degree requirements must be met by June 30, 2024 for employment effective July 1, 2024.

Application Window

Open date: August 31, 2023

Most recent review date: Wednesday, Nov 1, 2023 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: Sunday, Jun 30, 2024 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 Film & Digital Media Department ( at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) is currently seeking applications for a position in the fields of documentary and nonfiction media at the level of Assistant (tenure track) or Associate (tenured) Professor. In keeping with our department’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as described in our DEI statement, we are particularly eager to hear from scholars who focus on under/misrepresented or systematically excluded communities. We are open to a wide array of specializations within documentary studies, encompassing any geographic region, historical period, or platform, provided that the candidate's research is fundamentally grounded in the history and theory of nonfiction. We are also interested in work on post-realist, reparative, or speculative methodologies, and research on collaborative, co-creative, and advocacy-driven documentary practices. This position offers an exciting opportunity to join an interdisciplinary research community at a major research university, working at the forefront of contemporary social justice issues.

The successful candidate will bolster the Department's reputation in nonfiction film and media. Their expertise will amplify our existing capabilities in experimental, expanded, and cross-platform documentary practices, intersecting with diverse approaches to documentary form throughout the Arts Division and broader campus, all while maintaining a focus on equity and social justice. We are particularly interested in candidates whose work relates to fields such as activist documentary, participatory media, disability studies, historical archives, or decolonial, transnational, and anti-racist scholarship and production. We also welcome those who address topics such as Indigeneity, globalization, locality, migration and diaspora, state dynamics, labor, the non-human, climate crisis, artificial intelligence, censorship, and extremism. Candidates with experience working with documentary media-makers as curators, programmers, or collaborative partners will be especially welcome. Research-creation and production experience are also highly desirable.

We are seeking candidates who understand the many barriers facing women and BIPOC activist documentary media-makers, scholars, and critics who have experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion in teaching, mentoring, research, and service. The successful candidate will demonstrate a deep understanding of a wide range of social justice issues and their representation in documentary media across areas such as racial inequality, gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, immigration experiences, environmental justice, Indigenous rights, socioeconomic inequality, health equity, criminal justice reform, and disability rights. Candidates should have a proven track record of, or demonstrated commitment to, advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in research, teaching, mentoring, and service. In research, this could involve contributions to the understanding and appreciation of underrepresented groups and cultures. In teaching, we are interested in candidates' commitments to inclusive pedagogical strategies that facilitate the academic success of all students, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds. With respect to mentoring, candidates should be committed to cultivating supportive environments that empower diverse students. Service histories or plans for service may include participation in initiatives aimed at improving institutional policies impacting underrepresented communities, or leading efforts to make the professional field more inclusive.

The selected candidate will become part of a vibrant, interdisciplinary research community within the Arts Division and broader campus. They will also engage with our active network of nonfiction practitioners and instruct in our three distinguished programs: undergraduate BA in Film and Digital Media, the MFA in Social Documentation, and the critical practice PhD in Film and Digital Media. We anticipate that the successful candidate will place high importance on their own scholarly pursuits, engage in research or creative production, contribute to our extensive curriculum, and actively participate in service roles across the Department, Division, and Campus, as well as within their professional field and externally engaged communities. A significant contribution to graduate education and mentoring of graduate students is also expected from the successful candidate.

The Film & Digital Media Department at UC Santa Cruz offers an undergraduate major that currently enrolls 700 students, a two-year MFA program in Social Documentation that averages eight students per cohort, and a PhD program with approximately thirty 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.

UC Santa Cruz is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution with a high proportion of first-in-family undergraduate students. In addition to encouraging participation in robust departmental, divisional, and campus mentoring, the campus offers a Faculty Community Networking Program that provides support for African-American/Black/Caribbean, Asian-American/Pacific Islander, Latinx/Chicanx, and Indigenous faculty, as well as groups for women in STEM, faculty with disabilities, and academic mothers.

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.

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.)

Film & Digital Media Department:


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

Ph.D (or equivalent international degree) or at least six (6) years of demonstrated evidence of scholarship, curatorial practice, collaboration, or community practice relevant to the areas described above. It is expected that the degree requirement will be completed by June 30, 2024.

Application Requirements

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

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

  • Teaching Statement**

  • Research Statement**

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion** - Statement on your contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including information about your understanding of these topics, your record of activities to date, and your specific plans and goals for advancing equity and inclusion if hired at UC Santa Cruz. Candidates are urged to review guidelines on statements (see before preparing their application.

    ** Initial screening of applicants will be based only on the research statement, teaching statement, and the statement on 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: This recruitment is supported by the UC Office of the President’s Advancing Faculty Diversity program and includes enhanced funding for faculty projects that contribute to diversity and to creating an inclusive climate.

  • 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) (Optional)

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

Reference requirements
  • 3 letters of reference required

Applications must include confidential letters of recommendation*. A minimum of 3 are required and a maximum of 3 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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About UC Santa Cruz

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 University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements.

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Job location

Santa Cruz, California