Assistant Professor | Digital Futures

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts)

Department of Photography and Film

Position: F62360

Full-time 9-month tenure-eligible position beginning August 16, 2019

Application Deadline: Friday, January 11, 2019

The Opportunity:

The VCUarts Department of Photography and Film ( seeks an engaged and collaboration-minded artist and teacher who possesses a radical view of photography and its possibilities, with a focus on data mapping, visualization, world building, immersive environments, and/or interactive technologies as a primary tool of artistic production.

VCUarts ( in Richmond, Virginia offers a variety of graduate and undergraduate degrees in design, fine and performing arts, art history, and art education, with a unique emphasis on creative immersion. Far more than receiving simply an education or preparation for a career; students leave VCUarts with the practical, professional and personal skills needed to make a life in the arts, no matter how they define it. That’s why VCUarts’ programs emphasize both doing and knowing: why the majority of its faculty are working artists; and why they encourage students to take advantage of the many academic and intellectual opportunities that come with being part of a research university. Today, VCUarts graduates can be found throughout the academic and professional fields and have been recognized with everything from Emmys to MacArthur Fellowships.

VCUarts is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the National Association of Schools of Dance, the National Association of Schools of Music, the National Association of Schools of Theatre, the Virginia Department of Education, the Council for Interior Design Accreditation and the National Council for Accreditation for Teacher Education.

VCUarts is ranked as the #1 public university arts and design graduate school in the country by US News and World Report. The school is comprised of sixteen programs, includes more than 3,000 students, and has become known as a pillar of artistic creation and expression. Its emerging artists explore their potential and strive for high standards set by faculty members acknowledged for their inspiration and achievement.

Major Responsibilities:

This position is a 9-month tenure-eligible faculty position in the Department of Photography and Film with an academic rank of Assistant Professor. Responsibilities include development and teaching of new undergraduate and graduate courses in the Department of Photography and Film and across VCUarts in support of collaborative BFA and MFA curriculum. New course development and teaching will focus on emergent photographic forms in contemporary art including data-mapping/visualization, world building, 3D scanning, remote sensing, game spaces/design, immersive environments, machine vision, and AI, dependent upon the faculty member’s research strengths and interests. Candidates who have combined their arts research with activism, at the community, national or international level, with a focus on equity, diversity, social and racial justice and/or visual literacy, and who use emerging solutions in art production and analysis and their imaginations to enact their most revolutionary and utopian ideals are strongly encouraged to apply.

The faculty member is expected to: provide leadership by mentoring student artists; supervise graduate students; foster collaborative curriculum and research across the arts and broader campus; promote methods to utilize and grow research and production facilities and other assets in support of research and teaching, secure external funding, demonstrate through research, teaching, and/or public engagement the richness of diversity in the learning experience, integrate multicultural approaches and perspectives into instructional methods and research tools; and generate national and international academic, community and industry partnerships.  The faculty member’s creative and research activity should make a significant contribution to a body of knowledge within an expanded definition of the discipline of photography and image-processing / image-interpretation and reflect a high standard of quality.

The faculty member must demonstrate an active professional career and creative activities should be related to the program’s curriculum and be consistent with and support the broader mission and initiatives of the department, School, and University. As a member of a community-oriented, tight-knit department and School, the faculty member will provide service to the department and School, such as directing and assisting with student, department and school-wide related activities such as contributions to the website, portfolio reviews, coordination of student activities and student exhibitions, and serving on School/University committees.


  • MFA or equivalent professional experience and training that equates to an MFA;
  • Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU;
  • Active artistic practice and reputation in the field;
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in studio critique and teaching beyond graduate school;
  • The faculty member will be required to have a well-established creative research agenda, and/or clear potential for external funding, as appropriate, and potential for scholarship or creative expression that complements and expands existing expertise in the department and School;
  • Demonstrated technical expertise and fluency in a broad range of contemporary technologies and discourses around photography and affiliated digital media.


  • Strong foundation in contemporary critical discourse;
  • Fluency in interdisciplinary and experimental approaches to contemporary art
  • Demonstrated ability to attract high-caliber graduate students;
  • Commitment to collaborative research and curriculum development in the arts;
  • Record of community-engaged teaching or extra-curricular activities.

Application Instructions:

VCUarts is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic faculty committed to teaching and working in a multicultural and inclusive environment and strongly encourages applications from all racial/ethnic, gender and social identities.

To apply, please submit application materials via VCU eJobs at Only electronic applications submitted via eJobs will be accepted.

Application materials should be to the attention of Justin Reed, Associate Professor and Chair of the search committee. The following documents should be included:

  • A Letter of Interest that conveys relevant academic and professional experience and describes experiences and/or professional service that inform world views and/or perspectives about minority group status, to include race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, and disability;
  • Teaching Philosophy;
  • Current CV;
  • A list of three current references including names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses (references will not be contacted prior to applicant’s approval); and
  • Portfolio of work— visual documentation conceptualizing research and teaching, including examples of student work.

The Letter of Interest + Teaching Philosophy should be submitted as one PDF in the “Cover Letter/Letter of Application” section in eJobs; the CV + list of references should be submitted as one PDF in the “Curriculum Vitae (CV)” section of eJobs; and, due to file size limitations, the portfolio of work should be submitted in the “Other Document” section of eJobs as an accessible link in a PDF that points to a website or cloud storage (with access instructions) to view all visual work.


Applications are due on Friday, January 11, 2019

To read more about VCUarts:

Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to providing accessible and equitable living, learning and working environments free from discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex (including pregnancy), political affiliation, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or disability.

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