The Department of Fiber and Material Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track Assistant Professor position with a specialization in weaving, beginning in August of 2024. Salary is competitive with peer institutions and commensurate with quality of practice, scholarship, academic research, extent of teaching experience, and current professional standing.
The Department of Fiber and Material Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago is the largest and one of the most renowned contemporary fiber art programs in the world. Our curriculum emphasizes fiber and textiles within a contemporary art context, supported by current discourses within and beyond the discipline. Students study a vast range of 2D and 3D woven, surface, constructed, and stitch techniques, and our students often work in conjunction with sculptural, installation, photography, video, and performance media, as well as with critical and creative writing. The department typically has over 750 undergraduate enrollments in 60+ courses each academic year, with a graduate cohort of 20 MFA students from across the US and internationally. Our students are encouraged to push boundaries and embrace transdisciplinarity as appropriate to their practices and interests. Some students maintain a dedicated focus in fiber while others experiment across other disciplines and areas of the School. Many of our students are especially interested in critical race, decolonial, queer, trans, nonbinary, and disability justice frameworks as expressed through their work. The department’s expansive and well-equipped studios feature analog and digital equipment, and students engage in thinking and working with hand processes while incorporating digital technologies and computer-assisted approaches to making. Offering over 10 classes per year, our dedicated weaving area occupies 2500 square feet and features three TC-2 digital jacquard looms, a dobby loom, approximately 35 (4-16 harness) floor looms, tapestry looms, back strap looms, and tabletop looms. Further information about the department can be found at: https://www.saic.edu/academics/departments/fiber-and-material-studies
Full-time faculty in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies teach and advise undergraduate and graduate students within the interdisciplinary art and design school environment of SAIC. The faculty member will teach in areas that contribute to the general goals of the department as well as in their area of specialization. They will take a leadership role in forging the future of the department; participate in student advising, admissions events, committee work, and special projects; contribute to the SAIC community through ongoing curricular development; and participate in departmental administration and school governance. The successful candidate will teach primarily in the weaving area, with the possibility of teaching Intro to Fiber and Material Studies (Intro FMS), Graduate Projects, and/or other classes within their sphere of expertise. There may also be opportunities to develop new offerings at the undergraduate or graduate level.
An MFA or equivalent terminal degree in fiber, textiles, or another appropriate studio discipline is strongly preferred. Candidates must have a nationally/internationally recognized studio practice and strong exhibition record and/or accomplishments demonstrating future potential to meet the requirements of tenure. The Fiber and Material Studies Department seeks candidates with two to three years of teaching experience at the college level or equivalent teaching experience beyond the level of teaching assistantships is preferred. The ideal candidate will be wellversed in a broad range of weaving and warp dyeing techniques and be able to teach floor loom and jacquard weaving at the intermediate and advanced levels. Prior experience teaching intermediate and advanced floor loom and jacquard classes is preferred. Candidates must be able to teach analog and digital, and technical and conceptual skills; be well-versed in contemporary discourses on weaving; and be able to locate contemporary weaving within more expansive and diverse global and decolonial histories. Some knowledge of world textile history is highly desirable. Candidates should also have some knowledge of additional fiber skills which can include dyeing, printing, stitch, and/or construction techniques. Candidates should be well versed in historical and critical content related to the field of fiber and material studies within the broader contemporary art and design context. The ideal candidate will contribute to the diversity of the School by bringing a perspective, way of thinking, and/or a unique set of experiences that expand the intellectual conversations and practices in the field. We seek candidates with the knowledge and aptitude to teach and mentor students from diverse backgrounds. Candidates should demonstrate their experience with, or aptitude for, departmental administration.