University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Endowed Chair in the Study of Nonviolent Direct Action and Civil Resistance

The University of Massachusetts Amherst invites applications and nominations for a visionary scholar of distinction to serve as the inaugural holder of the Endowed Chair in the Study of Nonviolent Direct Action and Civil Resistance, a new faculty position focused on the scientific study of nonviolent direct action and civil resistance.   

Nonviolent direct action refers to strategies and activities designed to achieve social and political change without the use of violence.  Examples of nonviolent direct action include collective organizing, social movements, protests, sit-ins, vigils, consciousness raising, and other forms of civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance.  Proponents of nonviolent direct action recognize the need for active struggle to foster social and political change and use nonviolent approaches as alternatives to passive acceptance of oppression and inequality, or the use of violent confrontation, to achieve social and political goals.  The activities of Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. (and others like them) provide good examples of the kinds of nonviolent direct action on which the chairholder should focus his/her scientific work.
    
The chairholder will provide national/international leadership to the study of this critical topic.  The chairholder may be from any discipline, but her/his research methodology must be scientific and focused on large-scale social phenomena.

The appointment will be at the full or associate professor level.  The departmental home(s) of the appointee will be determined based on the successful candidate’s scholarly expertise.  The position will begin as soon as a qualified candidate has been found.  

The candidate is expected to become an integral member of the Psychology of Peace and Violence Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and should be interested in interdisciplinary collaboration, scholarship, and training of graduate students on issues involving peace, conflicts of interest, nonviolent direct action, and civil resistance.  The Psychology of Peace and Violence Program adds to scientific knowledge of how to resolve conflict between groups, promotes reconciliation, and builds peace through cooperation (www.umass.edu/peacepsychology).  

Beyond her/his primary affiliation with the Psychology of Peace and Violence Program, the chairholder will find many other supportive colleagues here at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst) and within the wider region.  For example, at UMass Amherst, the chairholder may affiliate with the Development and Peacebuilding Program of the Political Economy Research Institute, the Social Inequality and Justice Initiative of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, the Feinberg Papers Project, and/or the W.E.B. Du Bois Center (It is a university-wide research center that is administratively housed in the Du Bois Library and organized around our holding the Du Bois Papers).

QUALIFICATIONS: a Ph.D. and a proven record as a scholar of the scientific study of peace, non-violent direct action, and civil resistance as well as exceptional promise to serve as a national/international leader in advancing this study at UMass Amherst and beyond are required; a proven record of inclusive and multi-cultural skills in teaching, research, and/or service is strongly preferred.

RANK AND SALARY: Commensurate with experience and qualifications.

NOMINATIONS AND APPLICATIONS: Review of applications will begin on September 17, 2013 but the committee will continue to accept applications until the position has been filled.  Applications comprising a cover letter expressing interest and describing research program, a vitae and a list of at least three references should be sent to Kelly Smiaroski at ksmiaroski@provost.umass.edu or Kelly Smiaroski, Office of the Provost, 373 Whitmore Administration Building, University of Massachusetts, 181 President’s Avenue, Amherst, MA 01003-9313.  Electronic submissions strongly preferred.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer.  It is strongly committed to increasing the diversity of faculty, students, and curriculum, and particularly encourages applications from women and minorities.