Teaching Fellow, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Ancient Track

Illinois, United States
05 Aug 2020
End of advertisement period
13 Aug 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

The University of Chicago: Humanities Division: Center for Middle Eastern Studies


Chicago, IL


Aug 13, 2020 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time


The Division of the Humanities is accepting applications from current and recent graduate students in the Division of Humanities, and the Division of Social Sciences for a competitive two-year program designed to enhance pedagogical and advisory skills and extend research training. The Center for Middle Eastern Studies Teaching Fellows participate in a community of practice around teaching, research, and professional development, drawing on guidance and support from the Division, the CMES MA program director and staff, the Chicago Center for Teaching (CCT), and a designated CMES faculty mentor.

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) supports research, teaching, and outreach across a wide range of disciplines. CMES administers the MA program in Middle Eastern Studies, a dynamic interdisciplinary degree whose alumni span diverse fields from academia to government service.

CMES Teaching Fellows mentor MA students and help them gain: 1) a firm grounding in an academic discipline or a professional field; and 2) a specialist knowledge of the languages and civilizations of the Middle East, through active personal involvement with and support of MA students over the course of a two-year program of study.

Each CMES Teaching Fellow is paid $46,000 for the three quarters of the academic year (paid over 12 months); provided with support for research and professional development, including financial support for conference travel, etc.; has access to library privileges, placement services, and other campus resources. Each Teaching Fellow also receives a range of employment benefits, including health insurance coverage options through the University Benefits office.

To be eligible, applicants must be current or recent graduate students who are on track to receive or have received a PhD from a relevant program in the Divisions of Humanities, the Division of Social Sciences, or the Divinity School within nine years of matriculation.

CMES Teaching Fellows are expected to be fully in residence and on campus September 1-June 30. CMES Teaching Fellows will participate in a program of pedagogical and professional development under the joint supervision of the CMES faculty director or the Faculty Advisor of the CMES Ancient track as well as with the Chicago Center for Teaching.

For academic year 2020-21, CMES is seeking a Teaching Fellow to work with the MA students in the program’s Ancient Track.

For the first-year cohort, the Teaching Fellow will teach Approaches to the Study of the Ancient Near East in coordination with the Faculty Advisor of the CMES Ancient track.

For the second-year students, the CMES Teaching Fellow works with a thesis writing group of 10-15 MA students throughout the academic year. The Teaching Fellow serves as instructor for the Winter Quarter thesis preparation course and generally advises and guides the second-year students throughout the year with regular meetings. The Teaching Fellow works in concert with each individual student’s regular faculty adviser in the development and writing of an MA thesis, to be submitted spring quarter of the second year.

The Teaching Fellow will also teach one course designed in consultation with CMES and with the Teaching Fellow’s affiliated department, which will typically be a blended class for CMES MA students and upper-level College students.

Other responsibilities include: academic and professional advising; and participating in staff meetings and a range of social and academic program events.


Program Eligibility: In order to be eligible for the CMES Teaching Fellows Program in the Ancient Track (CMES TF) an applicant must:

  • Have received or be on track to receive the PhD degree within 9 years of matriculation into a PhD program in one of the fields of study of the NELC Ancient Programs (Ancient Near Eastern History, Comparative Semitics, Cuneiform Studies, Egyptology, Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East, Near Eastern Art and Archaeology, Northwest Semitic Philology)
  • Have at least two years of study of an Ancient Near Eastern language at the University of Chicago
  • Have substantial area knowledge regarding culture, politics, history and religion of the region
  • Have received their PhD degree no earlier than in the Spring Quarter 2019; or be on track to complete all degree requirements and file the dissertation no later than Friday, August 7, 2020 for graduation in the Summer quarter 2020;
  • Identify a faculty sponsor who will commit to mentoring the Teaching Fellow during the program;
  • Receive the endorsement of their department chair.

Application Instructions

Application Process: Applications are due by August 13, 2020 and must be submitted through The University’s Academic Recruitment Module (Interfolio) at http://apply.interfolio.com/77707. Each application must include:

  • A detailed cover letter aimed at the CMES Teaching Fellows Program
  • The applicant’s current CV;
  • Teaching Statement: A 500-word teaching statement discussing how the applicant would teach or taught methods approaching primary sources.
  • A current teaching portfolio that includes a sample syllabus for a proposed self- designed course the applicant would be prepared to offer as a teaching fellow. The proposed course should be appropriate for both MA students and upper level undergraduates in the applicant’s area of study;
  • Comments on a sample student paper, available by request from Paul Walker, Director of the CMES MA program, at pwalker@uchicago.edu;
  • A letter of nomination from their department chair attesting to the applicant’s appropriate progress to degree and supporting the applicant’s appointment;
  • A letter of support from a member of the applicant’s dissertation committee addressing the applicant’s research as well as teaching experience, and listing possible teaching assignments;
  • A letter of support and commitment from the faculty sponsor/mentor committing to supervise the applicant if selected.

Note: All letters should be submitted as reference letters via the Academic Recruitment website. Applicants are advised to request their letters as soon as possible (i.e. prior to submitting the final materials) to allow ample time for recommenders to upload their letters.

Selection Process: All applications will be reviewed by a committee which includes the CMES Faculty Director, CMES Deputy Director for Academic Programs, Faculty Advisor of the Ancient track, and two faculty members drawn from the CMES Executive Committee. Finalists will be invited for interviews following the initial review of applications.

Notification and Start of Program: Successful Teaching Fellows and alternates will be notified as soon as possible following review of application materials. The Fellows’ appointment will begin September 1, 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter. Initial appointment is for one year and is renewable for an additional year upon review.


  • The CMES TF appointment is contingent upon graduation no later than the Summer quarter of 2020, and on the satisfactory presentation of appropriate documentation of eligibility to work lawfully in the United States by the start of the appointment
  • International students who receive an appointment must secure work authorization from the Office of International Affairs prior to September 1, 2020.
  • The terms and conditions of employment for this position are covered by a collective bargaining agreement between the University and the Service Employees International Union.