Director of Research and Analysis Position Announcement

Director of Research and Analysis, Consultant, Last Seen Project, Department of History, Villanova University

The Last Seen Project seeks applicants for a Director of Research and Analysis.

The director will be a scholar with a PhD in 19th-century African American history, with research expertise in slavery, emancipation, African American family and community history, and African American newspapers. In addition, the candidate will have experience in editing, digital publishing, and educational outreach, and will be able to work remotely.

Position Summary

This is a one-year, full time position to begin September 1, 2020 – August 30, 2021. The candidate will work in close coordination with the Project Director and other project staff. This person will be responsible for overseeing the activities of the grant-funded project, Last Seen: Finding Families After Slavery, that is collecting, digitizing, and publishing Information Wanted and Lost Friends advertisements taken out by formerly enslaved people looking for lost family members. Regular communication and some travel will be required.

Major Responsibilities

Oversee the accession and textual access process for Information Wanted and Lost Friends ads; collaborate with the Project Manager to prepare usage guides and a glossary of terms needed to retroactively tag all ads via an established protocol; write, edit, and revise the project’s selection details and other electronic publishing practices, in line with ADE standards; augment existing and build new resources for teachers of all levels, from middle school through college, as well as genealogists and scholars.

Day-to-Day Responsibilities

Work with the Project Director and Graduate Assistants to identity and accession in-scope ads from western and midwestern African American newspapers; work with consultants and staff to implement tagging protocol and to produce glossary of tags; oversee Graduate Assistants in retroactively tagging ads according to the glossary of terms, organized by historical theme and context; oversee the Graduate Assistants in preparing usage guides; write essays, articles, and other online posts that help interpret and contextualize thematically related ads for teachers and scholars; develop a plan for meeting scholars’ needs, based on outreach and scholar focus groups; prepare and edit documentary readers and multimedia lesson plans, instantly accessible as printable PDFs, for use by scholars and teachers at all levels; conduct outreach to museums and other public history institutions, to support them in incorporating the Information Wanted Ads into their exhibits and programming, based on the people, places, or historical themes present in the ads.

Applications accepted until July 10, 2020. Candidates apply to project director by sending (1) a CV highlighting DH training and (2) a cover letter describing interest in the position and what candidate will bring to the project.