Skip to main content

Visiting Faculty Positions Available

Dr. Paul Overvoorde (Macalester College) served as visiting faculty director of Tanzania: Ecology & Human Origins in fall 2015.

Faculty at ACM colleges may apply to co-direct the ACM Newberry Seminar: Research in the Humanities. 

The ACM office provides visiting faculty ongoing support throughout the program, and visiting faculty work closely with on-site ACM staff and partners. Faculty who have questions may contact Betsy Hutula, ACM Chief of Staff.

Newberry Seminar: Research in the Humanities

Newberry Seminar - Fall 2020

The Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) seeks Faculty Co-Directors for its Fall 2020 Newberry Seminar: Research in the Humanities program.

The ACM offers faculty members an opportunity to teach in residency at one of the world’s great independent research centers, the Newberry Library in Chicago. The two instructors for the ACM Newberry Seminar in the Humanities lead a group of 15-20 students in a humanities seminar and oversee their work in substantive independent research projects. ACM or  Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) faculty from any humanities discipline are eligible to apply; co-instructors need not be from the same institution.

The seminar

Drawing upon the unique resources of the Newberry Library in Chicago, the program seeks to give students the ability to conduct substantive research in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. Students develop their individual work in the context of a broad interdisciplinary seminar that helps to develop their skills as members of a research community and investigators of the Newberry’s collections. The seminar begins with common readings and class sessions focused on a theme that links to both the Newberry’s collections and the city of Chicago. The seminar topic is broad enough to connect students who represent a range of interests to the Newberry’s collections and the pleasures of humanities research. After six weeks of common seminar readings and discussions, students devote their attention to independent research in the Newberry collections.

The learning goals for students in the program are:

  • Understand the research process of formulating interesting and researchable questions; successfully locating, understanding, critically evaluating, and synthesizing materials from the rich Newberry collections; and effectively creating a substantial, well-written and documented research paper.
  • Develop skills as members of a research community, capable of discussing complex texts in an open-ended seminar setting; sharing the results of research and writing with peers; and offering and receiving suggestions for revisions.
  • Develop an understanding of how a major research library operates through job placements and by participating in the community of scholars at the Newberry.

At the end of the program, students should have an appreciation for the value of research and critical use of primary sources and how a community of scholars maximizes the ability of a single scholar to produce high quality work in the humanities and social sciences. Students can expect to have the ability to formulate a proposal, to find and sift information, and to conduct research at a high level, leading to a substantive senior thesis project or graduate-level work. Students should be confident in their abilities to work with archival material, to synthesize a variety of sources, and to write effectively.

Applicants for the co-directors' positions should see the Newberry Seminar webpage for more information about the goals of the program. Since the seminar involves team-teaching, faculty co-directors should draw on expertise in their own discipline as well as on their ability to exchange insights with students and specialists in other disciplines. During the opening weeks of the seminar, library staff also introduce students to the Newberry’s collections and to research methods. As students become oriented, they devote increasing time to pursuing independent research arising out of the seminar theme, with the support and guidance of the faculty. By the end of the semester, students produce a substantial research paper, which they present to the seminar group and to the Newberry community.

The faculty co-directors

Two faculty co-directors team-teach the seminar. Applicants must apply as a team, but individual inquiries are also welcome; the ACM Chief of Staff will work to suggest pairings between applicants. The goal is a team with complementary interests who support student research in a variety of areas, and with cooperative and interdisciplinary teaching styles. Students come from a wide variety of disciplines; most are in literary or historical fields. Although faculty co-directors are drawn from a wide range of academic disciplines, it is often useful to have one co-director with an American specialization since the library has rich resources in that area and many students wish to research American topics. Faculty co-directors report to the ACM Chief of Staff and work closely with the Newberry Library Office of Research and Education. Faculty co-directors are responsible for the overall success and academic quality of the seminar and for the safety and well-being of students.

The Newberry Library

One of the country’s foremost research centers in the humanities, the Newberry Library in Chicago offers humanities researchers impressive resources. The Newberry collections focus on the history and literature of Europe and the Americas from the medieval period to the early 20th century. Specific strengths of the European collections include the Renaissance, the French Revolutionary era, Portuguese and Luso-Brazilian history, and British literature and history. Strong collections for Americanists cover the American West, European exploration and settlement of the New World, local history and genealogy, Native American history and literature, and the literature and history of the Midwest. The Newberry also has world-renowned collections in the history of cartography, the history and theory of music, the history of printing, and early philology and linguistics.

The Newberry is not just a library; it is also a thriving community of scholars who have the opportunity to reflect on one another’s work through weekly colloquia and informal conversations. The faculty co-directors are strongly encouraged to participate in the Newberry community and have the opportunity to establish valuable, long-term relationships with researchers in a variety of disciplines.


The faculty co-directors each receive one-half of their annual base salaries for leading the program. The program also provides a housing allowance for the faculty co-directors for the duration of the program. Faculty co-directors receive an allowance for round-trip travel from their home campus to Chicago and for the shipping of teaching materials. Faculty co-directors are expected to be in residence by mid-August to work with Newberry Library staff members and ACM consortial staff members on scheduling and planning. Faculty co-directors can arrange to be in residence in Chicago earlier than required, at their own expense, in order to do their own research.   

Proposal preparation and advance visits to Chicago

Faculty co-directors for the Newberry Seminar are chosen through a competitive process on the basis of written proposals. Applicants preparing proposals should closely examine the Newberry's collection through its web site or visit the library. Small travel grants providing two nights housing in Chicago may be available for faculty preparing a proposal. Applicants should also see the ACM website for past seminar course syllabi. Questions may be addressed to Michael Vertovec, ACM Special Projects Coordinator.

Applications must include the following:

  • A detailed description of the proposed seminar topic and its links to the unique resources of the Newberry Library as well as the city of Chicago. The proposed seminar topic should provide sufficient focus to encourage productive dialogue but should also cut across different disciplines, time periods, and national boundaries to encourage a variety of research projects. Topics that have the potential for engaging students broadly with the rich Newberry collections are most desirable.
  • A draft syllabus for the seminar. The syllabus should include plans for common readings and writing assignments for the seminar, which normally is taught during the first five to six weeks of the program. While the syllabus, of course, will be provisional, awareness of how to engage students and to meet the goals of the seminar are important to the proposal.
  • Detailed description of how the directors will guide and support the individual research of the students, including ideas for collaborative editing and critique, small group writing support, and other assignments that will sustain students as they embark upon a major, intensive research project. The scaffolding of the research project normally begins in the early weeks of the program, with the second half of the program focused wholly on research and writing.
  • Further description, based on past teaching experiences, of how the faculty fellows plan to meet the specific learning goals of the program.
  • A curriculum vitae for each faculty member.

The letter of application and supporting materials should be sent, in electronic form, to

  • A letter from the chief academic officer endorsing the application, sent separately to

The application deadline is March 1, 2019. Selection will be made by mid-April in consultation with the Newberry Seminar Faculty Advisory Committee.

The Associated Colleges of the Midwest is an equal employment opportunity employer. ACM does not discriminate in the operation of its educational programs, activities, or employment with regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by law.

Faculty at ACM colleges are eligible for visiting faculty positions with:

Resident Director of Japan Study

Full academic year at Waseda University in Tokyo 

Japan Study

The Japan Study Resident Director spends an academic year at Waseda University in Tokyo with 30-40 students. This position is open to Japan specialists and non-specialists, and Resident Directors in past years have included tenured and tenure-track faculty from all ranks. The application deadline is April 30 for the academic year beginning 16 months later. Information and application.


Resident Faculty in fall 2019

Oak Ridge Science Semester

Position open until filled.

Oak Ridge Science Semester (ORSS)

Resident faculty research positions with the Oak Ridge Science Semester are available in the social and natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science. The ORSS program provides the faculty member with opportunities for funded summer research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Applications are usually due in late spring for the academic year beginning 16 months later.

See the Employment Opportunities webpage for other positions available with the ACM.

The Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) does not discriminate in the operation of its educational programs, activities, or employment on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by law.