Position Announcement

Assistant Professor in Latin American History (Tenure-track)

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Thank you for your interest in joining the History Department at Bowdoin College. We are a lively and collegial cohort of historians who place equal value on teaching and research. Faculty are expected to excel at both and are provided with substantial opportunities for financial support in these endeavors. We all have active and productive research agendas and significant professional engagements. Small class sizes and the 2/2 teaching load help make this possible. In addition, Bowdoin provides annual funds for faculty travel as well as competitive funds for research, travel and course development. A junior faculty sabbatical leave program also grants faculty leave from teaching to pursue in-depth research, usually during the fourth year of employment. This affords an opportunity to make significant strides in research and publication prior to tenure. The College has a generous post-tenure sabbatical policy, creating a new opportunity for sabbatical leave in the second year after tenure and compressing the time between sabbaticals to every sixth year (i.e. after five years of teaching service).

History is a foundational part of Bowdoin’s liberal arts education. The History Department typically has between 80 to 120 majors and minors each year.  Faculty at Bowdoin have the opportunity to design their own courses and develop their own teaching styles. While all courses should help students think independently and creatively, challenge their assumptions and preconceptions, and learn to argue and write fluently, we use a variety of teaching methods in service of that goal and encourage new faculty to do the same.  Each semester history faculty typically teach one lecture class limited to 35 or 50 students and one seminar limited to 16 students. Faculty eventually develop a rotation of eight courses. Because ours is a small department, we expect new faculty to develop courses that avoid duplicating our existing offerings. These courses are being offered in the Fall 2017. For all courses taught in History and Latin American Studies, consult registrar's classfinder.

Students take history courses at different levels:

  • First Year Seminars guide students through the transition to college-level writing and analysis, while introducing them to the study of history. They do not assume that students have any background in the period or the geographical or thematic area of the particular seminar topic. First Year Seminars focus on reading, class discussion, and extensive opportunities for writing and revision . Class size is capped at 16 students.
  • 1000-Level lecture courses introduce students new to the study and methodology of history. Students begin to develop the skill to read, interpret and write about historical sources. The courses are capped at 50 students.
  • 2000-Level lecture courses focus on topics and themes that span the globe and cut across time. They often introduce students to important historiographical debates. Students may enter the history major at this level, as these courses do not require prior work in history. They are capped at 35 students.
  • 2000-Level seminars offer the opportunity for intensive thematic work in critical reading and discussion, and in analytical writing. They typically involve sustained library or archival research, or historiographical analysis. They are capped at 16 students. 
  • 3000-Level capstone seminars allow students to develop and pursue their own research topic which culminates in an analytical essay of substantial length. As a capstone course, it builds and refines all skills learned in prior courses in the major. These classes, capped at 16 students, are typically but not exclusively composed of history majors in their junior or senior years.

Learn more information about our course levels and learning goals.

History students have many opportunities to engage in their own intensive research and writing. We offer fellowships that support research opportunities and internships for History majors and minors during the summer months.  The Department also awards travel grants intended to facilitate primary research in either an advanced seminar, an advanced independent study or an honors project in history.

The applicant will also be part of a dynamic and well-established Latin American Studies Program, a thriving community of scholars, students, alumni, and local residents who work together to foster understanding of the diverse cultures and complex historical and contemporary relationships of Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Latinas and Latinos in the United States. Our curriculum integrates the perspectives of several academic departments at the College. Students explore artistic, cultural and linguistic expression; contemporary and historical events; and economic, political, and social issues that affect the region through courses in Anthropology, Economics, Education, History, Music, Romance Languages, and Sociology. Every semester speakers who are experts in a field related to the courses being offered or who are directly involved with social, political, academic or cultural activities in Latin America are invited to campus. Most Latin American Studies majors participate in an off-campus program in the region. Some of our best students pursue independent study courses and honor theses working one-on-one with our faculty to complete an in-depth investigation of a topic of mutual interest. Research grants for on-site research in Latin America are also available on a competitive basis to students majoring in any discipline. Both seminars and lecture courses in Latin American history will count towards the Latin American Studies Major, as required courses and/or electives.

Students at Bowdoin are talented, bright, motivated, and diverse. In terms of its admissions requirements, Bowdoin is one of the most selective colleges in the country. The College has a need-blind admissions policy, allowing it to admit students without regard to their financial resources, and offering generous support for students from less-privileged backgrounds in the form of grants. Our Admissions Office also engages in an energetic outreach program that seeks future Bowdoin students in high schools across the country. These efforts have allowed Bowdoin to achieve significant levels of racial, religious, economic, and geographic diversity, further contributing to the intellectual and cultural vitality of our student community.

One of the great benefits of teaching at Bowdoin is the opportunity for collaboration with students and colleagues across the campus.  In addition to Latin American Studies, these include Africana Studies, Asian Studies, Environmental Studies, and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. Many of our courses are cross-listed in these programs. Our relatively small campus setting affords numerous occasions to engage with faculty in other disciplines— encounters that enrich our teaching, our research, and our general intellectual lives. The College offers many further possibilities for such intellectual nourishment, for instance by providing considerable opportunities to fund outside lecturers, and encouraging collaboration with colleagues both on campus and at nearby Bates and Colby colleges. The Department of History is fortunate to host outside scholars as part of their endowed Golz Lecture, Bernstein Faculty Seminar, and Kemp Symposium on an annual and biannual basis.

In addition to generous funding for research and travel, Bowdoin offers its faculty excellent resources on campus. Our library's collection is strong in numerous sub-fields of history. We have quick and easy access to the resources of a large network of Maine libraries through a consortium arrangement, and beyond through interlibrary loan. The collections of the acclaimed Bowdoin College Museum of Art are available to faculty for integration into their courses. Our Information Technology Department provides excellent daily support and grants for faculty initiatives involving technology.  The Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good facilitates faculty initiatives for community-based teaching and research.

The Location

Bowdoin is located on a beautiful 110-acre campus in Brunswick, Maine a town of 20,000 that serves as the gateway to the mid-coast region. Brunswick and surrounding communities feature a welcoming environment for raising families, as well as an array of cultural resources, including galleries, theaters, independent bookstores and restaurants. Several other colleges are nearby (Bates, Colby, and the University of Southern Maine), adding to the region's cultural offerings. The area is also known for its great natural beauty, with beaches, shoreline, forests, and mountains a short drive (or in some cases even a short bike ride) away.

One-half hour south is Portland, Maine, the state's largest metropolis (75,000) and its cultural mecca. Portland is a lively city with theatre companies, art galleries, bookstores, a symphony, and an art museum. It has also achieved widespread recognition as a home of talented chefs, and features an astonishing array of restaurants serving an equally broad range of cuisine. In recent years, Portland has become an increasingly diverse community, with residents originating from Somalia, Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, and other nations, greatly enriching the city, A commuter bus, the Breez, offers hourly service between Brunswick and Portland. 

Boston is a relatively easy day trip away. It can be reached by car, bus or Amtrak Downeaster train from Brunswick in roughly two and a half hours. For trips somewhat farther afield, we generally make use of the Portland Jetport, which has direct flights to many northeastern and mid Atlantic states. New York City is particularly well-served, with flight options to all three of the city's airports. For international flights, Concord Coach Lines provides direct service to Logan Airport in Boston from the Portland bus station and the Bowdoin campus when classes are in session.

Bowdoin College is committed to equality through affirmative action and is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage inquiries from candidates who will enrich and contribute to the cultural and ethnic diversity of our college. Bowdoin College does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, color, religion, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, national origin, or disability status in employment, or in our education programs.

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