Assistant Professor, History and Theory of Photographic Media; Visual Studies Program


Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) is an independent non-profit art college with undergraduate programs in architecture, design, fine arts, visual studies, and writing and literature.  The college also has graduate programs in architecture, comics, design, interaction design, curatorial practice, design strategy, fine arts, film, visual and critical studies, and writing.  Through these programs, the college has created a dynamic and interdisciplinary environment to fulfill the school’s motto of “Make art that matters.”  Diverse cultural perspectives enrich the CCA community and the college believes that continuing to expand the horizons of the students and faculty is essential to achieving its educational objectives. CCA represents over one hundred years of dedication to its mission, whose character reflects its location in the San Francisco Bay Area, where histories of radical politics and technological innovation inform a culturally rich academic community infused by art schools, research universities, world-renowned museums, galleries, start-ups and community-run institutions. With campuses in Oakland and San Francisco, CCA currently enrolls 1,950 full-time students and is embarking on a major campus planning project that will unify the college in one location and ensure its academic excellence for the next century.


The Visual Studies program at CCA offers a BA and a minor in Visual Studies, as well as delivering instruction to all students in the history of art and visual culture. Faculty in Visual Studies may also have the opportunity to teach graduate-level courses, including history and theory seminars in in the MA in Visual and Critical Studies program, the MA in Curatorial Studies program, or the MFA Fine Arts program. Visual Studies is part of the Humanities & Sciences Division, which oversees the general education curriculum for all undergraduate students at the college. The general education curriculum consists of courses in visual studies, history, philosophy, writing, literature, math, and science. In keeping with its mission of delivering a liberal arts education through the arts, CCA offers a strong academic component that supports students’ work in their majors while adding to the breadth of ideas they encounter.


CCA is seeking applicants for a full-time, tenure-track Assistant Professor in Visual Studies with an emphasis on the history and theory of photographic media, broadly defined, to begin August 2018.

The successful candidate will have an exceptional teaching record at the college level and will also demonstrate experience in teaching art history and theory through active student engagement. We are particularly interested in applicants with a scholarly background that supplements our current program strengths, such as those who approach photographic media with a focus on contemporary cultures, or with a geographic specialization in Africa, Latin America, or East Asia. Successful candidates will be able to reflect the concerns and demographics of an international school situated within the unique culture and interdisciplinary environment of the San Francisco Bay Area. We are also interested in applicants whose scholarly practices promise to connect with the College’s fine art, design, and architecture students/faculty. This scholarly practice might be related to fine art photography, photojournalism, new or social media, or the relationship between changing photographic technologies and social structures.

We seek a candidate with a global perspective on the history of art and visual culture, who has the potential to teach 200-level electives and 300-level seminars in her or his area of expertise, as well as core visual studies courses such as Introduction to the Modern Arts, Introduction to Visual Studies, or Methods and Theories.  The successful candidate will also be positioned to harness a wealth of local institutions and private collections that owe, in part, to San Francisco Bay Area’s foundational role in the histories of lens-based media. From Eadweard Muybridge’s first 1867 studio to the high-tech hives of Silicon Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area is central to the way we communicate through photographic technologies.

In keeping with CCA’s commitment to diversity, community engagement and social justice, we seek candidates who cultivate an equitable scholarly environment and curriculum. With an increasingly international student body and a commitment to domestic diversity, candidates should have a proven track record of teaching and leading in a culturally competent manner with a global perspective, working with diverse groups and fostering an understanding of and respect for diverse cultural practices. The ideal candidate will engage critical strategies and/or research methodologies that promote social and intellectual inquiry, and their teaching, service or public outreach will have prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and inclusion in higher education. Service to the program and the college is expected. 


  • Terminal degree: PhD in art history, visual studies, or other equivalent field
  • Minimum of two years of college-level teaching experience
  • Significant publishing record
  • Demonstrated active and ongoing participation in professional/ scholarly work (through a record of presentations, publications, conferences, etc...)

  • Ability to balance professional practice with teaching and service to the college

  • Strong evidence of administrative ability, graduate teaching experience, and commitment to collaboration are highly desirable
  • Leadership potential, with strong communication and interpersonal skills along with the flexibility to work across disciplines and to collaborate and develop relationships with other programs


Commensurate with qualifications and includes a comprehensive benefits package.


Applications must be received by January 7, 2018 at 11:59 PST.


Interested candidates may apply via an online application available at this address:

Qualified applicants must complete the online application by uploading the following materials:

- Letter of interest

- Teaching philosophy

- Curriculum vitae

- Two pdfs of relevant published scholarship

- Letters of recommendation from three professional references

Applicants will ideally be available for in-person interviews at the College Art Association Annual Conference in Los Angeles, February 21-24, 2018.

 EEO Statement

As an educational and cultural institution, California College of the Arts has a responsibility to provide access and opportunities for all people, with special attention to supporting groups historically underrepresented in higher education. We believe that a culturally diverse campus is integral to academic excellence, and our student, faculty, staff, and trustee bodies should reflect the diverse world in which we live, with attention to race, ethnicity, religious creed, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and ability. California College of the Arts is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from individuals who will contribute to its diversity.