Visiting Assistant Professor in Indigenous Language Study



Job description

Brown University seeks a scholar to join the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative (NAISI) for a one-year appointment as a Visiting Assistant Professor (VAP) to develop and teach courses in Indigenous language study at the undergraduate level. This position is funded by a grant to build Native American and Indigenous Studies at Brown from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and will build on existing and prior course offerings at the University over the past two years.

The VAP will teach two undergraduate-level courses per semester and contribute to the development and growth of Critical Native American and Indigenous Studies at Brown (an undergraduate concentration, or major), with an appointment from August 2023 to July 2024 with NAISI and an affiliation with a department within their field of expertise. One of the two courses each semester will be NAIS 0100: Learning our Native Languages. In this course, students learn pedagogical and practical tools to support study of Indigenous languages in a culturally engaged way, often their own heritage language. The other two courses (one each semester) will draw on the candidate’s expertise and could include, for example, language documentation, revitalization and reawakening, development of pedagogical materials, or connections between language and particular forms of cultural expression and knowledges.

We envision that this position will also support the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative by contributing ideas regarding programming and engagement with undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and colleagues in departments, initiatives, centers and institutes across Brown University. NAISI works closely and in collaboration with scholars and units across campus on academic, research and programming efforts, and cross-disciplinary scholarship is welcome.

The visiting scholar will join an established initiative (formalized in 2016) engaged with over 20 faculty across campus with wide-ranging research and teaching interests, and a professional staff supported by graduate and undergraduate staff. NAISI also provides the opportunity to be connected to projects engaged with tribal communities across the region, and with Native and Indigenous students, faculty and staff outside of NAISI. In 2019 NAISI was awarded a grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish a concentration (or major) in Native American and Indigenous Studies (available in 2023), support a rotating Tribal Community Member in Residence (TCMR), and expand resources, programming, community engagement and courses in NAIS.

As part of the Brown University community, the VAP will have access to the expansive resources at the University and the opportunity to engage with a stimulating scholarly environment in which to continue research, develop new interdisciplinary connections, and network with colleagues at Brown and beyond. Opportunities to participate in academic and community-building programming and activities through NAISI and among other academic units can include participation in seminars, workshops, symposia and lectures, and contributing to projects with NAISI staff, students and affiliated faculty.


The Visiting Assistant Professor in Indigenous Language Study will be responsible for teaching two courses per semester that will become a module for the study of language within the discipline of Native American and Indigenous Studies. Mentorship of students studying heritage languages will also be integral to this position. The courses offered will expand current offerings at Brown and in NAIS. Area(s) of expertise and geographic focus are open.

The VAP will also be welcome to participate in (and contribute to) colloquia and lectures, seminars, symposia, roundtables, and other public and campus-wide events; engage with NAISI through building connections with faculty, staff and students; and contribute to other academic and community-building programs.


Scholars who have completed a PhD in linguistics, applied linguistics, anthropology, education, or another relevant discipline with a focus on Indigenous language study are invited to apply. ABD applicants are also welcome to submit applications; peer-reviewed publications are desirable but not required. Salary for this one-year position is $70,000, with benefits available.

A record of outstanding scholarship (at the junior academic level) and experience teaching courses connected to disciplinary or specific research interests are required. NAISI is especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute, through their research and teaching to the diversity and excellence of the academic community.

Application Instructions:

A search committee of faculty, administrators and staff will review applications beginning June 1, 2023; applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Please submit any inquiries or expressions of interest to Dr. Rae Gould, Executive Director of NAISI, at [email protected].

How to apply

Application materials may be submitted via INTERFOLIO:

– Cover letter addressing scholarly teaching experience and research interests
– Updated C.V.
– Two brief descriptions of sample courses or course syllabi
– Three letters of reference

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement: As an EEO/AA employer, Brown University provides equal opportunity and prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation based upon a person’s race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other characteristic protected under applicable law, and caste, which is protected by our University policies.

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Located in historic Providence, Rhode Island and founded in 1764, Brown University is the seventh-oldest college in the United States. Brown is an independent, coeducational Ivy League institution comprising undergraduate and graduate programs, plus the Alpert Medical School, School of Engineering, Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership and the IE Brown Executive MBA.