JOB - Hamad bin Khalifa Endowed Chair in Islamic Art, VCUarts

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Home Office Notices (Jobs, Reviews)
March 15, 2019
Virginia, United States



Hamad bin Khalifa Endowed Chair in Islamic Art

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts)

Department of Art History

Position F18250


Full-time, 9-month tenure-eligible faculty position begins August 16, 2019.

Application deadline: Friday, March 15, 2019


The Opportunity:

The Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts), Department of Art History, invites applications from distinguished, highly collaborative, interdisciplinary scholars for the Hamad bin Khalifa Endowed Chair in Islamic Art. Scholars in Islamic art from any time period or geographic area are invited to apply. Prominent scholars whose research focuses on contemporary Islamic art will be strongly considered. The endowed Professorship will be based on Virginia Commonwealth University’s community-oriented home campus located in Richmond, Virginia. The faculty member will be expected to reside in the Richmond area and contribute to the broader mission and initiatives of the department and School, while maintaining close association and collaboration with the Art History Program at VCUartsQatar, with its distinctive focus on Islamic art in its global context.



VCUarts ( offers a variety of graduate and undergraduate degrees in art history, art education, design, fine and performing arts, 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 scholars; 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, has 166 full-time faculty, includes more than 3,000 students, and has become known as a pillar of artistic creation, expression, and scholarly research. Its emerging artists and scholars explore their potential and strive for high standards set by faculty members acknowledged for their inspiration and achievement.

The VCUarts Department of Art History offers undergraduate and graduate programs with separate tracks from which students select their program of study. The undergraduate program, leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree, offers an Art Historical Studies track and has a current enrollment of 50 students. The graduate program offers Art Historical Studies and Museum Studies tracks, with a current student enrollment of 13.



VCUartsQatar (, located in Doha, the capital city of Qatar, is the international branch campus of VCUarts. Established in 1998 through a partnership with the Qatar Foundation, VCUartsQatar offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history; a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fashion design, graphic design, interior design and painting & printmaking; and a Master of Fine Arts degree in design. VCUartsQatar is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. The current student body represents a diverse range of nationalities with students coming from 38 countries.

VCUartsQatar is dedicated to global outreach and education and provides students with an environment for cross-cultural exchange that fosters inquiry, discovery and innovation. Examples of this mission are the two significant international conferences hosted by VCUartsQatar— the biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art (, and the biennial design conference, Tasmeem. VCUartsQatar attracts globally recognized designers, artists and scholars while fostering partnerships within the region, and beyond, that enhance the educational, economic and cultural vitality of Qatar. Having established itself as a center of excellence for education and research, VCUartsQatar has substantial involvement with the influential art and design world of the Middle East, and is a catalyst for the growth and development of these fields in the region.

VCUartsQatar has 156 full-time faculty and staff and a student body of 361. VCUartsQatar was the first campus established in Education City, a unique 2500-acre multiversity campus. VCUarts-Qatar was joined by Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Carnegie-Mellon University, Texas A&M University, Weill Cornell Medical College, Northwestern University, HEC Paris and University College of London.

Qatar, with English as the standard second language, is a progressive country in the Arabian Gulf and remains one of the healthiest economies in the Gulf region. Doha offers all the conveniences found in a contemporary and cosmopolitan city, while honoring a rich tradition that is evident in the old markets and the city’s Islamic Arab architecture. The Museum of Islamic Art, designed by I.M. Pei opened in November 2008 and the Arab Museum of Modern Art (Mathaf) opened in 2010. The U.S. Embassy considers Qatar among the safest countries in the world for Americans.


Major Responsibilities:

The Endowed Chair will be devoted primarily to teaching and researching Islamic art and will make significant scholarly contributions to the study and interpretation of Islamic art. Scholars whose research emphasizes methodological innovation, considers connections between Islamic and other traditions, or who have demonstrated experience in fostering cross-field collaborations within a school, university, or community, are especially encouraged to apply.

Teaching assignments will be at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the area of Islamic art, typically two courses per academic year taught on the VCUarts Richmond campus, with periodic opportunity to teach courses, present lectures, or facilitate student research on the VCUartsQatar campus. The Endowed Chair will provide leadership by mentoring graduate students, fostering innovative and collaborative curriculum in Islamic art across the arts and broader campus; 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 and community partnerships. Service to the department and School will be expected.

In addition to research and teaching, the Endowed Chair will steer the Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium in Islamic Art, a leading international conference on Islamic art and architecture. This important symposium is co-sponsored by VCUarts, VCUartsQatar, and the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. Planning is well-underway for the next Symposium which will be hosted in Doha, Qatar in November 2019. Held biennially since 2004, it has resulted in major publications co-authored by leading scholars and curators of Islamic art and architecture and dynamic contemporary artists from around the world. In guiding these endeavors, the appointed faculty will work collaboratively with art history faculty members at both VCUarts campuses as well as with the symposium program manager. The Endowed Chair will conduct a conference, seminar, lecture series, or other academic program in a specialized topic in the field of Islamic art during the biennial symposium.



  • PhD in art history.
  • The faculty member will have a well-developed scholarly/research portfolio with evidence of multi-disciplinary applications and external funding appropriate to complement and expand existing expertise in the department.
  • University teaching experience.
  • Ability to attract high-caliber graduate students.
  • Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU.

Application Process:


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.


Candidates should submit the following application materials:


  • 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. Candidates should also articulate their experiences facilitating dialogue among students of diverse backgrounds, nationalities, and identities.
  • 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).
  • Portfolio of work, which could include examples of course syllabi, evidence of excellence in teaching, examples of published research, writing, etc.


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 work.


Applications are due on Friday, March 15, 2019


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.