Public History 2022


Assistant/Associate Professor of U.S. Public History

Department of History

College of Arts & Sciences

 Western Michigan University invites applications and nominations for the position of full-time tenure track Assistant/Associate Professor in the field of U.S. Public History, to start August 2023. The successful candidate will have a record of contributions to or a commitment to integrating inclusivity and equity into their scholarship, teaching, or service. The successful candidate will maintain a record of professional excellence in research and public history activities, teach graduate and undergraduate courses in public history and participate in department and college committees. We also seek applicants who can teach both undergraduate and graduate courses in U.S. history addressing race, ethnicity, gender, or immigration as well as survey courses in U.S. history. Other responsibilities include developing and maintaining relationships with public history organizations locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

 Major Responsibilities:  The ideal candidate will be active in public history as a scholar, teacher, mentor, and practitioner. Maintaining a research agenda in public history is expected. The WMU Department of History is home to accomplished teachers and the preferred candidate will contribute to that tradition of classroom excellence. The successful candidate will help lead WMU’s public history program, which includes both graduate and undergraduate degrees for public historians. These programs include internships or practicums in public history. The candidate hired will be responsible for contributing to an equitable and inclusive scholarly environment that highlights diversity in research, teaching, mentoring, or service.In addition to teaching in at least two areas of public history, the successful candidate will contribute to teaching U.S. survey courses and classes that expand the department’s offerings in the areas of race, ethnicity, gender, or immigration. Tenure track and tenured faculty in the Department of History historically and currently typically teach 2 courses per semester.

Qualifications: Ph.D. in History, Public History, American Studies, or related areas required (e.g., African American Studies, Archives Management, Digital Humanities, Ethnic Studies, Immigration/Migrant Studies, Museum Studies, Native American Studies), received from an accredited institution. Candidates will demonstrate their ability to teach in at least two public history areas. Preferred candidates will also have the ability to teach both graduate and undergraduate courses that expand the department’s offerings in the areas of race, ethnicity, gender, or immigration.

Candidates are required to provide evidence of a publication record in public history. Applicants are required to provide evidence of professional activity in one or more fields of U.S. public history. Public history fields of teaching and professional activity include but are not limited to archives and comparable repositories, non-profit institutions, historic preservation, government and public administration, public-facing engagement through digital humanities projects, historic site interpretation, exhibitions, and museums. Innovative approaches are welcomed. Applicants are advised that preference will be given to those who show evidence of or commitment to collaboration with practitioners in one or more fields of public history. The ability to teach survey courses in U.S. history is also preferred.

Successful candidates will have a record of contributions to or a demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity, inclusion, and equity in an educational setting and must be willing to contribute to the College’s strategic plan of inclusion (

The University: Western Michigan University (WMU), located in Southwest Michigan, is a vibrant, nationally recognized student-centered research institution with an enrollment of nearly 18,000. WMU delivers high-quality undergraduate instruction, has a strong graduate division, and fosters significant research activities. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies WMU as a doctoral university and one of just 185 public universities in the nation conducting research at a high level.

WMU is actively working to create more inclusive and equitable structures for hiring, teaching, and research. This includes the Racial Justice Advisory Committee, which has a two-year charge to make recommendations promoting a more inclusive and equitable campus. WMU recently received a $550 million multi-year gift that will, in part, fund projects and initiatives to break down historic inequities. The donation represents the largest gift to a public higher education institution in U.S. history.

 INSIGHT into Diversity has honored WMU for its commitment to diversity and inclusion (awards in 2018 and 2020). Military Times ranks WMU among the best institutions for veterans. WMU operates the nation’s largest and most comprehensive collegiate support program for former foster-care youth (Seita Scholars) that has become an international model for supporting foster-care youth in higher education.

The College:  The Department of History is located in the College of Arts and Sciences, the academic heart of WMU and its largest college. The College is committed to fostering a community of diverse, inclusive, equity-minded scholars and students. We favor candidates who will contribute to the College’s goals of promoting interdisciplinary perspectives, intercultural understanding, concern with social responsibility, and the ethical implications of knowledge and action. The College has 24 departments, institutes, and programs that offer a broad range of opportunities for our students. WMU students have won nationally competitive awards including Goldwater and Boren Fellowships, Udall Scholarships, and Fulbright awards.

The Department: The Department of History has 16.5 tenured or tenure-track faculty members who have nationally and internationally recognized research publications and who are dedicated instructors. Our graduate program’s traditional strengths are in public history and medieval history, and we are proud of our strong placement record. Like our faculty, our graduate students are unionized at the university level. WMU’s department helped co-found the NCPH and was among the first nationally to develop an undergraduate public history degree program. The department supports the interdisciplinary Medieval Institute, which brings over 2500 scholars to Kalamazoo each May for the International Congress on Medieval Studies.

 The department is committed to the University’s strategic emphasis on inclusive excellence and actively promotes a diverse, equitable, and inclusive department culture. We strongly encourage applications from candidates in underrepresented groups, individuals with disabilities, and people who are passionate about inclusivity, accessibility, and diversity in its many aspects.

 Who We Are

Western Michigan University (WMU) is located on lands historically occupied by Ojibwe, Odawa, and Bodewadmi nations. We acknowledge and honor this ancestral land of the Three Fires Confederacy, the sacred lands of all indigenous peoples, and their continued presence.


With a population of 260,000, Kalamazoo County is strong in life sciences/biotech and supports two major medical centers. The city hosts the Gilmore Foundation that brings internationally renowned keyboard artists to Kalamazoo, while its numerous theaters are part of a vibrant arts scene. The community offers an array of cultural events, entertainment, and all-season recreation. Chicago and Detroit are each 2 ½ hours away. Ethnically diverse, the city of Kalamazoo has an African-American population greater than 20% and Latinx population of about 7%, with sizeable immigrant populations from Russia, Lithuania, and Greece. The Kalamazoo Promise funds all city high school graduates for up to 100% of tuition and mandatory fees associated with four years of education at all Michigan public universities (and select private colleges) or vocational training in skilled trades. The City of Kalamazoo is committed to the elimination of generational poverty through its Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo initiative which receives budgetary support from the local Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence.

 Salary:  Competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience, with an excellent benefits package. WMU offers excellent benefits including Blue Cross/Blue Shield health care and retirement contributions to TIAA. Opportunities for summer teaching exist to generate additional compensation. Our faculty at all ranks receive funding for research and conference presentations from the department, college, and university.

 Expected Start Date: August 2023

 Application Deadline: Review of applications will begin on December 7, 2022 and continue until the post is filled.

 Applicants are advised to consult the full job advertisement posted at

Required application documents: The following application materials must be submitted:

 Submitted at

  • Curriculum vita
  • Letter of application addressing required and preferred qualifications
  • List of references

 Submitted via email at

  •  A statement that addresses the candidate’s commitment to or experiences with diversity, equity, and inclusion through scholarship or public history activities
  • Copies of research publications or digital access to a portfolio containing the same
  • A minimum of two items associated with the applicant’s different public history teaching fields, with at least one item in each field (e.g., sample syllabi, assignments, lectures)
  • Three letters of recommendation, sent by the recommenders or a dossier service
  • Unofficial or official copy of graduate transcript

WMU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Minorities, women, veterans, individuals with disabilities and all other qualified individuals are encouraged to apply.