With the Integrated Arts Research Initiative (IARI), the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas (KU) proposes to transform the art museum into an active hub for collaborative research between the arts and other disciplines—particularly the humanities, engineering, sciences, and social sciences. Research generated by the initiative will foster reciprocal exchange and the production of knowledge driven by scholars from multiple disciplines. By providing opportunities for motivated KU students and faculty to participate in deeper and more sustained interactions with the Museum, IARI will deepen engagement with university audiences and collaborators. IARI is supported by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The assistant curator for research is central to building a sustainable research infrastructure at the Museum. With specialized knowledge extending beyond the visual arts, the assistant curator for research will conduct collections research, including acquisition research and proposals, and develop exhibitions relating to IARI projects in collaboration with colleagues. The person in this position will contribute to the Museum’s institutional vision by participating in weekly curatorial meetings, monthly staff meetings, and other planning discussions. As a research collaborator and facilitator, the assistant curator for research will also participate in IARI research projects, foster long-term partnerships between SMA academic staff and scholars from diverse disciplines, and disseminate research concepts and findings through traditional and innovative formats. Working within a team environment, the assistant curator for research will promote dialogue, engagement, and collaboration both within the Museum and beyond, serving as an important public intellectual voice in the fields of the arts, humanities, sciences, and technology. He or she will be expected to present ongoing research at scholarly conferences or other venues as appropriate.
The assistant curator for research will also coordinate all aspects of IARI in cooperation with the Director of Academic Programs. In particular, the assistant curator for research will develop programs or other strategies and mechanisms that support collaborative research efforts, such as regular meetings, convenings, workshops, and other means to promote discussion and share ideas. This position will also facilitate faculty, graduate and undergraduate research fellowships, as well as visits by invited creative specialists and external scholars.
Candidates for this position will hold a PhD or equivalent and have familiarity with the visual arts and interdisciplinary research that integrates the arts, as well as experience conducting research and collaborating with scholars from different professional backgrounds. The ideal candidate will be a strong scholar and an excellent facilitator, able to negotiate team relationships across departments. He or she will also possess strong leadership abilities and the ability to guide and contribute to numerous simultaneous projects. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are particularly encouraged to apply.
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As a premier international research university, the University of Kansas is committed to an open, diverse and inclusive learning and working environment that nurtures the growth and development of all. KU holds steadfast in the belief that an array of values, interests, experiences, and intellectual and cultural viewpoints enrich learning and our workplace. The promotion of and support for a diverse and inclusive community of mutual respect require the engagement of the entire university.