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Assistant Professor, Ranked Non-Tenure, Graduate Comics Program – California College of the Arts – Oakland, CA

Company: California College of the Arts

Location: Oakland, CA

  • Full Time

California College of the Arts

    SUMMER 2020

    The Graduate Comics Program seeks a visionary comics educator-practitioner who is deeply connected to the contemporary and emerging practices within comics scholarship, publishing, and craft. We welcome applicants with a vital creative practice and commitment to teaching in a comics program within an art school environment and curriculum. Candidates should be versed in a wide range of issues affecting diversity and representation within the comics field and have training and experience working with ELL and international students.

    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, social practice, 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 Graduate Comics Program, housed within the Humanities and Sciences division, furthers CCA’s mission to enable students to shape culture through the practice and critical study of the arts. At its core, CCA’s Graduate Comics Program seeks to train students in the craft of comics creation and in the professional production skills necessary for publication in the field. Through a curriculum that offers opportunities to study comics through the lens of theory, history, criticism, representation, storytelling, publication design, professional development and pedagogy, graduate comics students receive a comprehensive education in the discipline. Students are expected to integrate and synthesize concepts from their academic study of the form into their creative work. In addition, given that most accomplished practitioners in the field lack a terminal degree in comics, the program addresses an urgent need to credential faculty in an emerging field where demand for new faculty is strong. By drawing on the college’s strengths in creative writing, illustration, and other related disciplines, the program aspires to engage students in a creative and intellectual discourse that will help them shape the comics medium for years to come.

    The Graduate Comics Program at California College of the Arts seeks applicants for a ranked, non-tenure track position as Assistant Professor in the study and practice of graphic memoir and comics journalism to begin in summer 2020. We welcome applicants with a vital creative practice and commitment to teaching in a comics program within an art school environment and curriculum. Candidates should be versed in a wide range of issues affecting diversity and representation within the comics field and possess a strong desire to advance the discourse of comics in a broad cultural and educational context. Specifically, we are seeking applicants whose professional areas of focus will enhance our current program offerings particularly for English Language Learners and international graduate students. Specialization, scholarship, and creative practice related to diaspora, climate change, migration, immigration and related subject matter is strongly preferred.

    In keeping with CCA’s commitment to diversity, community engagement, and social justice, we seek candidates who cultivate an equitable scholarly environment and curriculum within an increasingly international student body and a large demographic of first generation college students. Candidates should exhibit a mastery of comics storytelling, pedagogy, and the application of physical and/or digital tools to the comic book medium. In addition to issues of craft, applicants must demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the literary merit of comics, their place in the history of American and international visual culture, and the cultural diversity found throughout the medium. In their statements of teaching philosophy, candidates should address their 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 position entails teaching three to four courses per year and performing college-wide, divisional, and program service. Additional responsibilities may include directing the graduate comics thesis process, teaching courses during the Graduate Comics annual summer session, and one-on-one mentoring as part of the program’s unique low-residency format. We welcome applicants whose research practice and pedagogy promise to connect with the College’s fine art, design, architecture, and writing students and faculty. Interdisciplinary teaching and research experience is a plus. Candidates for this position must possess the ability to balance professional practice with teaching and service to the college, as well as the ambition to emerge as a leading voice in the direction of the college and to take on a significant leadership role with the Graduate Comics Program.


  • Evidence of teaching and leading in a culturally-competent manner with a global perspective, preferably with experience working with international students
  • Two years of college-level teaching experience, with the ability to teach introductory courses, 200-level electives, 300-level studios, and graduate seminars & studios in their area of expertise
  • MA or MFA in Comics, Fine Art, or related field
  • Professional activity in area of expertise including comics publications and scholarly writing.


  • Demonstrated experience in teaching comics storytelling, history, and craft through active student engagement through comics memoir and journalism
  • Specialization, scholarship, and creative practice related to diaspora, climate change, migration, and immigration

    SALARYCommensurate with qualifications and includes a comprehensive benefits package.

    Applications must be received by March 29, 2020 at 11:59 PM PST.

    Applicants must complete the online application by submitting the following materials using this online application:

  • Letter of interest highlighting publication history, research interests, and areas of specialization
  • Curriculum vitae
  • One-page statement of teaching philosophy
  • Comics Art Sample (PDF version not exceeding 25 pages)
  • Writing Sample (PDF version not exceeding 25 pages)
  • Contact Information for three professional references (name, title, address, phone number, email address)

    Additional materials may be requested by the search committee at a later time.EEO StatementAs 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.

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