History faculty candidates visit campus

Allegheny will be hosting three candidates for a full-time faculty to come to campus and give a presentation on their main focus of study before choosing a professor to join the history department.

Kalè Haywood, chair of the history department and a historian of colonial Latin America, said that every professor in each department goes through a similar process in which they must present a ‘job talk.’

“It’s standard process when hiring faculty to hold a job talk in which the candidate is invited to speak, it’s slightly different for every department, but we ask our candidate to speak on his or her research project at a level pitched at a junior seminar level,” Haywood said.

Haywood said having the candidates participate in a job talk helps others to learn more about the candidate’s work. It gives the search committee insight into both the applicants teaching style as well as an opportunity to see how they relate to students.

“We make this event open to the campus community… this is not a surprise to the candidate, they have a very clear schedule of what is expected,” Haywood said.

The history department’s student advisory board is in attendance and their opinion plays a role in who is chosen for hire.

Jessie Lamb, ’15, and Taylor Shaw, ’16, members of the history department’s student advisory board, were both in attendance.

“…That’s part of what we do: come and listen to all of the candidates and give our input to the search committee,” said Lamb.

Sydney Fernandez, ’17, attended the event because of her interest in the topic being presented entitled “The People’s Power.”

“I’m thinking of self designing a major in black studies and part of what she is presenting has to do with Civil Rights and black history,” Fernandez said.

Lamb said that this talk was timely and important because of all the events of the fall and the overarching discussion of race in the country.

“It is important to notice our historical roots and know what is going on contemporarily today especially everything that has been happening across the country with hash tag black lives matter,” Lamb said.

“The idea of political participation is not something that’s new and that we’re just experiencing now.  It’s something that has long historical roots and I think understanding the history behind it is important to creating a better future and a more understanding society.”

The history department is looking to hire a professor who has a background in teaching black studies.  Haywood said that this has become an area of student’s interest and a subject that could end up attracting more students to the history major or minor.

“Especially with what happened last semester with the open forum and a lot of the issues that have been brought to light, this topic is extremely important to any students on this campus,” said Shaw.

Dr. Alyssa Ribeiro was the first candidate to give her presentation on Jan. 29.  The next two candidates Dr. Lauren Pearlman presenting “The Fight for Civil Rights in Washington, D.C.” and Dr. Lauren Helton presenting “$5.00 for a letter written by a Negro.” These candidates will give their job talks on Feb. 3 and 5 in Schultz Banquet Hall.