The Department of Anthropology at The Pennsylvania State University seeks an energetic and creative colleague for the position of Curator of the Matson Museum of Anthropology and Director of Outreach at the rank of Researcher, Assistant or Associate Research Professor. This non-tenure track position reports to the Head of the Department of Anthropology and works closely with an advisory committee of department faculty to plan and implement museum programming. The individual in this role oversees all museum-related activities including curation and digitization of museum and teaching collections, development and management of exhibits, and coordination of educational and outreach efforts. The ideal candidate will develop innovative approaches to the curation, exhibition and engagement of anthropological collections that celebrate the diversity of human cultures, biology, and experiences and foster an inclusive educational environment. Candidates whose work and vision engage principles of decolonization, knowledge and heritage repatriation, and community building are particularly encouraged to apply, as are candidates with a demonstrated commitment to collaborating with Indigenous and descendant communities.
The Matson Museum of Anthropology supports the teaching, research and outreach activities of the Penn State Department of Anthropology and the College of the Liberal Arts. The mission of the Museum is to promote an appreciation for human cultural and biological diversity through its exhibit and educational programs. The Museum houses over 28,000 accessioned items with the majority of the original collections made up of ethnographic items primarily from Afghanistan, South America, Africa, and New Guinea, as well as the DeForest folk pottery collection from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Museum also maintains large hominin and other primate fossil cast and osteological collections used in both teaching and research. Excellent opportunities exist to collaborate with faculty and students in the Department of Anthropology and from other campus units to develop novel educational and outreach initiatives. More information about the Matson Museum and the Department of Anthropology can be found at https://anth.la.psu.edu/.
Specific responsibilities of the position include: curate, manage and conserve collections; maintain storage facilities; research, design, and mount exhibits; oversee compliance with relevant laws, including NAGPRA; work with department faculty and graduate students to incorporate museum materials into courses and to develop exhibits that complement research and teaching activities; develop and provide outreach programs for community groups, including K-12 school children and educators; work with department faculty and graduate students to develop outreach programs that incorporate museum material; manage museum endowment budgets and write grant proposals to support educational, exhibition, collections management, and outreach activities; supervise staff which may include part-time staff and students and graduate student assistants; interact and collaborate with other Penn State museums and relevant academic units in exhibit, outreach, and educational activities. Curator will also represent the Matson Museum as member of the Penn State Museum Consortium.
Qualifications: Master’s or Ph.D. required. Area of focus is open but strong preference given to candidates with a degree in anthropology, archaeology, history, cultural studies, museum studies or related disciplines. Experience with digitization and expanding collections’ accessibility is desired. Demonstrated experience and commitment to the principles of decolonization, inclusion, diversity, and equity, and community engagement are required. Must possess excellent organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills, attention to detail, and problem-solving skills. In addition, successful candidates must either have demonstrated a commitment to building an inclusive, equitable, and diverse campus community, or describe one or more ways they would envision doing so, given the opportunity. Review of applications will begin March 15, 2021 and will continue until the position is filled. For further information, please contact Tim Ryan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To apply, submit a cover letter detailing relevant educational and museum experience, a current C.V., and the names and contact information for three references. The cover letter must provide evidence of experience with anthropological or related collections (cultural and/or biological) and a statement on how you will foster an inclusive and diverse environment in the exhibit, educational, and outreach spaces of the museum and department.
This is a fixed-term appointment funded for one year from date of hire with excellent possibility of re-funding.