Assistant Professor of Practice and SFA Lead Oral Historian


University, MS, US, 38677

Department:  Center for the Study of Southern Culture (10000998)
Employee Designation:  Regular Full-time (Benefits Eligible)

Note for Current UM Employees

Current employees must apply internally via connectU >

Position Description

The Southern Foodways Alliance ( wishes to hire an Assistant Professor of Practice in Documentary Expression and SFA Lead Oral Historian. As an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture (, SFA’s mission is to document, study, and explore the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. The Assistant Professor of Practice and SFA Lead Oral Historian will steward SFA’s oral history work through production, collaboration, and education. This is a non-tenure track academic position, with a clear path for possible advancement to Associate and then Full Professor of Practice. The successful applicant will serve as an Assistant Professor of Practice with a 2/2 teaching load, in addition to conducting one annual oral history project, managing contract oral history collaborators, and overseeing the publication and archiving of oral history work for the SFA. The Assistant Professor of Practice and SFA Lead Oral Historian will actively contribute to the academic mission of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture through mentorship, teaching, collaborative work with other faculty and staff, and curriculum development.


About the Southern Foodways Alliance
The Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies, and explores the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. Based at the University of Mississippi’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture, we share oral histories, produce films and podcasts, publish original writing, sponsor scholarship, mentor students, and stage events that serve as progressive and inclusive catalysts for the greater South. Donations from generous individuals, foundations, and companies fund our good work. Read our values statement and explore our work online at


About The Center for the Study of Southern Culture
The Center for the Study of Southern Culture, founded in 1977, defines its mission as investigating, documenting, interpreting, and teaching about the U.S. South through academic inquiry and publications, documentary studies of film, photography, and oral history, and public outreach programs. The cross-disciplinary Southern Studies faculty and the undergraduate and graduate degree programs (MA and MFA) are the core of the Center’s work. Its curricula incorporate traditional disciplines of the arts, humanities, and social sciences to form an interdisciplinary framework for studying the South. The Center promotes research on the region’s varied cultures by supporting the work of its faculty, staff, students, alumni, and visiting scholars and is committed to building an inclusive, equitable, and supportive environment for scholars and students from historically underrepresented groups.


Job Responsibilities

●    Teach 2 undergraduate and/or graduate classes each semester (fall/spring) and serve as a thesis advisor to Southern Studies MA and Documentary Expression MFA students
●    Create one oral history documentary project per year. SFA will support this work with a summer stipend. See examples of SFA work at
●    Manage oral history collaborators, oversee publication of SFA oral history projects on SFA’s website, and archive SFA oral history projects through an Omeka-based archive.
●    Abide by and teach OHA (Oral History Association) Principles and Best Practices
●    Engage community partners and build long-term relationships through impact-driven storytelling and programs. An example of one such project is here:  

Position Details

Appointment: 9 Month

Assignment Type:  Non-Tenure Track

Minimum Qualifications

●    Master of Fine Arts degree or PhD related to oral history, visual or audio storytelling, documentary studies, public history, or other relevant fields.
●    Teaching or instructional experience in oral history-based media including audio production, documentary studies, or multimedia storytelling.
●    Ability to identify, research, and produce oral history work as a “one-person crew.”
●    Ability to work as a team member responsible for multiple duties for collaborative projects.
●    Ability to manage multiple contract oral historians and their independent projects
●    Ability to manage annual budget for all SFA-related oral history work
●    Two years of professional experience related to the above-described duties.


Interview Requirements: Any candidate who is called for an interview must notify the Department of Equal Opportunity/Regulatory Compliance in writing of any reasonable accommodation needed prior to the date of the interview.

Application Procedures

Interested candidates should apply online at For full consideration, candidates will submit the following documents: (1) a cover letter (2) a CV with two references (3) two examples of oral history work that you led or played a significant role in creating. 


Review of applications will begin January 15, 2024 and will continue until the position is filled. Start date is August 2024.  If you have any questions, please contact Mary Beth Lasseter, chair of the search committee, at or (662) 915-3368.  Individuals from traditionally underrepresented groups (Black, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Hispanic/Latino, or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander) are especially encouraged to apply.

About the University of MS & Oxford, MS

Founded in 1848, the University of Mississippi (UM), affectionately known to alumni, students and friends as Ole Miss, is Mississippi's flagship university. Included in the elite group of R-1: Doctoral Universities - Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification, it has a long history of producing leaders in public service, academics and business. The University of Mississippi, consistently named by The Chronicle of Higher Education as a “Great College to Work For,” is located in Oxford, MS, which is ranked one of the “Top 10 Best College Towns.” With more than 24,000 students, UM is the state's largest university and is ranked among the nation's fastest-growing institutions. The University of Mississippi, which has aggressively implemented many health and wellness initiatives for its more than 2,900 employees, has consistently been named one of Mississippi’s Healthiest Workplaces.


Touted as the “Cultural Mecca of the South”, creativity abounds in Oxford as musicians, artists and writers alike find inspiration in Oxford’s rich history, small town charm and creative community. Oxford is a one-hour drive south of Memphis, TN and is known as the home of Nobel Prize winning author William Faulkner. Over the years Oxford has also been known for offering exceptional culinary experiences and as the home of the University of Mississippi and the Ole Miss Rebels, there is always something here to immerse yourself in. Oxford has also been featured as a literary and arts destination in such publications as The New York Times, Southern Living, Condé Nast Traveler, and GQ. Among other cultural activities, annual events include the Oxford Film Festival, a thriving local music scene, and the Ford Center Performing Arts Series. Oxford is a vibrant university town, filled with unique shops and galleries, eclectic restaurants and clubs, historic landmarks, and comfortable inns.


Background Check Statement

The University of Mississippi is committed to providing a safe campus community. UM conducts background investigations for applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include a criminal history record check, and when appropriate, a financial (credit) report or driving history check.


EEO Statement

The University of Mississippi provides equal opportunity in any employment practice, education program, or education activity to all qualified persons. The University complies with all applicable laws regarding equal opportunity and affirmative action and does not unlawfully discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment based upon race, color, gender, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, citizenship, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or genetic information.

Nearest Major Market: Oxford Mississippi