Applications Open: Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Black Expressive Culture and Creativity in the Diaspora

Located in downtown Toronto, the largest and most culturally diverse city in Canada, and on the territory of the Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee, the Mississaugas of the Credit and the Wendat Peoples, the School of Performance in The Creative School at Toronto Metropolitan University [TMU]  (formerly Ryerson University) invites applications from candidates who self-identify as Black peoples of African Descent (e.g, Africans and African heritage people from the Caribbean, Americas, Europe), for a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Black Expressive Culture and Creativity in the Diaspora. Upon successful nomination to the CRC program, the candidate will be appointed to a tenure track position at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor, effective January 1, 2024, subject to final budgetary approval. 

In collaboration with Toronto Metropolitan University, the successful candidate will develop the CRC nomination for the April 18, 2023 deadline. The CRC Tier 2 appointment is tenable for five years and renewable once. All nominations are subject to review and final approval by the CRC Secretariat. Further details on the CRC eligibility criteria can be found here

TMU is committed to addressing the underrepresentation of Black faculty as outlined in the Anti-Black Racism Campus Climate Review Report, and invites applications from Black scholars who will enrich the work of the School of Performance by bringing community connections and diverse perspectives, knowledges and lived experiences to teaching, scholarly research and creative activities, and service. 

The successful candidate will be a self-identifying Black artist-scholar whose research creation program actively promotes the study and practice of Black diasporic expressive culture and creativity in Canada and, as defined by the CRC program guidelines, is an “exceptional emerging researcher acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field.” The successful candidate will be an outstanding emerging artist-scholar who has achieved public and academic recognition for their program of research creation, which engages in expansive, transdisciplinary examinations of Black diasporic expressive cultures and creativity as crucial forms of agency and art-activist expression in Canada. The candidate’s artistic and scholarly profile will meet the criteria of the CRC program and demonstrate an excellent fit with institutional strategic goals, building on existing university strengths in Black community-engaged scholarship.

Anticipated contributions to research:  

Building on the established strengths of Toronto Metropolitan’s CERC in Migration and Integration, the CRC’s research program will consolidate Black diasporic creativity in Canada and address profound gaps in the historical record that have erased the contributions of Black creatives in Canada’s cultural landscape. This high impact, public-facing, and community-engaged research program will attract an exceptional emerging researcher who will be able to leverage the University’s, and Canada’s capital of the creative industries. This site-responsive research program will: 1) map the state of Black creativity in Canada, including its connections to, and entanglements with, multiple sites of diaspora; 2) forge and advance academic-artist collaborations to disseminate knowledge about Black heritages, cultures, and the contributions of Black creatives; and 3) mobilize this knowledge to drive more inclusive industry practices in partnership with community organizations, practitioners, and advocates. By fostering Black creative innovation, the CRC’s program of research will drive equitable and inclusive industry practices that centralize Afro-Canadian epistemologies, practices, and expressive forms. 

Anticipated contributions to teaching: 

A CRC in Black Expressive Culture and Creativity in the Diaspora will fortify the aims of TMU’s Minor in Black Studies by supporting courses that examine the ways in which Black arts and creative expression serve as a vehicle of Afro-diasporic experience and resistance. Within the School of Performance, the successful candidate will support existing and new curricula centred on Black diasporic expressive cultures that include integrated genealogies of artistic forms (such as dance, music, theatre, performance art, spoken word, visual arts, etc.), while contributing to the new PhD in Media and Design Innovation, anchored in practice-based research methods, and the University’s MA and PhD program in Communication and Culture. The CRC will amplify the capacity of these graduate programs to support the increasing number of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows wishing to pursue advanced studies in Black expressive culture within the creative industries. The CRC will also play an indispensable supervisory role in these graduate programs, guiding research creation and community-engaged projects that examine Black epistemologies and diasporic aesthetics and the ways in which a centralization of Black experiential knowledges can change existing systems of production in the creative sectors.

The successful candidate will be expected to play a key role as the University develops programming, for example Black Studies Minor, and, until that point, will be expected to participate in cross-disciplinary mentorship of students in related units (e.g., Communications and Cultures, Performance, Fashion and Business). 

Existing institutional support at Toronto Metropolitan University:  

The proposed research chair will be well supported by the Performance faculty’s rich scholarly, creativity, and research (SRC) culture, which reflects a commitment to equity, community, and inclusion. Within The Creative School, the work of the proposed CRC will be supported by a vibrant range of research activities that prioritize embodied forms of Black expressive culture and creativity. A host of labs and centres within The Creative School, including The Catalyst, its transdisciplinary research hub, provide a dynamic institutional environment for the proposed CRC. 

Beyond The Creative School, the successful candidate will be supported by a number of critical initiatives underway across campus to promote equity, community, and inclusion, foster Black excellence, and concentrate research impact in key strategic areas that advance socially transformative knowledge. With its focus on Black expressive culture and creativity in the diaspora, this CRC program of research builds on the University’s strengths in immigration and settlement studies, advanced by its CERC in Migration and Integration. The CRC’s research agenda will harness exciting synergies with the CERC program by investigating the role expressive cultural practices play in the formation of the Black diaspora. The research chair will also be supported by the establishment of an interdisciplinary knowledge hub, currently in development, to advance Black scholarship across the university and reinforce research networks among scholars specializing in Black Studies across campus, as well as the Black Faculty and Staff Community Network, hosted by the Office of the Vice President, Equity and Community Inclusion, which provides mentorship and networking opportunities.

Candidates must have a Ph.D. or a terminal degree in Black Studies, Performance Studies or a related discipline such as Visual Culture, Theatre Studies, Dance Studies, Communication Studies, or Cultural Studies. Candidates who are all-but-dissertation (ABD) and are able to demonstrate that they are very close to completion [e.g. have a defense date] may also be considered. Nominees for Tier 2 Chair positions should, at a minimum, be Assistant or Associate Professors, or possess the necessary qualifications to be appointed to these levels. Candidates must also:

  • be excellent emerging world-class researchers who have demonstrated particular research creativity;
  • have demonstrated the potential to achieve international recognition in their fields in the next five to ten years;
  • as chairholders, have the potential to attract, develop and retain excellent trainees, students and future researchers;
  • propose an original, innovative research program of high quality utilizing diverse and innovative research techniques and methods; 
  • demonstrate sound expertise in Black expressive culture within the field of performance studies or adjacent disciplines;
  • demonstrate an art practice in performance or the potential for praxis-based research in performance (text-based performance, devising, dance, spoken word, community-based art, interdisciplinary performance, and/or additional forms of performance). An interdisciplinary approach to artistic practice is encouraged;
  • have established a strong emerging research profile that demonstrates evidence of impact, such as peer reviewed publications/contributions, special papers, reviews, conference/symposia proceedings and abstracts, government publications and policy contributions, book reviews by the nominee or published reviews of their work, papers presented at scholarly meetings or conferences, and other forms of scholarly expression, including participation in public discourse and debate and non peer reviewed publications, which constitute a contribution to research;
  • demonstrate the ability to establish and maintain an independent, externally funded research program, including Tri-Council funding, as well as participation in research collaborations, group grants and/or ability to attract multi-center grants; a successful record of Tri-Agency and other funding is preferred;
  • have the potential to attract diverse world-class collaborators and cultivate research partnerships with cultural organizations; 
  • have a record of demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in leadership, teaching and research, including recommended practices of recruiting, mentoring and supporting diverse students and research trainees from underrepresented groups such as women, racialized people, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people, and 2SLGBTQ+ people;
  • demonstrate ability to effectively teach students with diverse backgrounds and experiences in courses centred on Black diasporic expressive cultures in the undergraduate and graduate programs and have the potential to contribute to inclusive and accessible learning, course development and pedagogy; and,
  • demonstrate the ability to participate in leadership activities in collegial internal and external service.

The Tier 2 CRC is intended for exceptional emerging scholars, i.e. candidates must have been active researchers in their field for fewer than 10 years at the time of nomination. The Canada Research Chairs Program is a federally-funded program that seeks to achieve excellence by attracting and retaining the most accomplished and promising researchers. Applicants who are more than 10 years from having earned their highest degree (and where career breaks exist, such as maternity, parental or extended sick leave, clinical training, etc.) may have their eligibility for a Tier 2 chair assessed through the program’s Tier 2 justification process. 

All eligible leaves (e.g., maternity, parental, medical, bereavement) are credited at twice the amount of time taken; part-time leaves will be taken into consideration, calculated according to the percentage of leave taken, and credited at twice the amount of time taken; professional leaves (e.g., sabbatical) are not credited, but certain training or administrative leaves may be considered. Other leaves that have had an impact on the nominee’s research career may be taken into account (e.g., mandatory military service, non-research-related positions, unemployment and training unrelated to the research career). This information must be supported by the information contained in the nominee’s CV. Research interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., closures) are recognized as, and may be counted as, an eligible delay (credited at twice the amount of time) beginning March 1, 2020.

To inquire about CRC eligibility, please contact Dayle Levine, Manager Institutional Projects, Office of Vice-President, Research and Innovation by sending an email to with “Tier 2 Justification” in the subject line.

We recognize that scholars have varying career paths and that career interruptions can be part of an excellent academic record. Candidates are encouraged to provide any relevant information about their experience and/or career interruptions to allow for a fair assessment of their application. Search committee members have been instructed to give careful consideration to diverse experiences and knowledges, and to be sensitive to the impact of career interruptions in their assessments.

This position falls under the jurisdiction of the Faculty Association (RFA) ( collective agreement can be viewed here and a summary of benefits can be found here.

Toronto Metropolitan University

Serving a highly diverse student population of over 45,000, with 100+ undergraduate and graduate programs built on the integration of theoretical and practical learning and distinguished by a professionally focused curriculum with a strong emphasis on excellence in teaching, research and creative activities, Toronto Metropolitan University is a vibrant, urban university known for its culture of innovation, entrepreneurship, community engagement and city-building through its award-winning architecture. 

Performance at The Creative School

Our School offers undergraduate and graduate (Master’s and Doctoral) programs to in excess of four hundred students of diverse backgrounds. Our faculty prides itself on the excellence of its research, the quality of its teaching and community engagement. We are interested in candidates who will contribute to our existing strengths in research/creative activity and teaching through academic, professional and diverse lived experiences and perspectives. 

Working at the Toronto Metropolitan University 

At the intersection of mind and action, Toronto Metropolitan University is on a transformative path to become Canada’s leading comprehensive innovation university. At the Toronto Metropolitan University and within our School, we firmly believe that equity, diversity and inclusion are integral to this path; our current academic plan outlines each as core values and we work to embed them in all that we do. 

Dedicated to a people first culture, Toronto Metropolitan University is proud to have been selected as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers and Greater Toronto’s Top Employer. We invite you to explore the range of benefits and supports available to faculty and their families, including access to our diverse faculty and staff networks

Visit us on Twitter: @TorontoMet@VPFATorontoMet and @TorontoMetHR, and our LinkedIn page.

Toronto Metropolitan University is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. To find out more about legal and policy obligations, please visit the accessibility and Human Rights websites.

Toronto Metropolitan University welcomes those who have demonstrated a commitment to upholding the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion and will assist us to expand our capacity for diversity in the broadest sense. Black-identified candidates who also identify as belonging to one more of the following equity-deserving groups are especially invited to apply and self-identify through our Applicant Diversity Self-ID: First Nations, Métis, Inuit and Indigenous peoples of North America, other racialized persons, persons with disabilities, and those who identify as women and/or 2SLGBTQ+. 

How to Apply

Applicants must submit their application online via the Faculty Recruitment Portal (click on “Start Application Process” to begin) by November 25, 2022. Candidates are encouraged to provide aspects of their lived experience and cultural imperatives in all that they do, such as mindfulness to outcomes in respective communities. 

The application must contain the following: 

i) a letter of application that includes your interest in the position; what you would bring to the Department and Faculty; the impact on the field of Black expressive culture and creativity in the diaspora that you foresee for your research (your 3-page research statement can elaborate on this); and what makes you a strong candidate overall as a researcher, educator, and community member;

ii) a current curriculum vitae providing a clear sense of your scholarly and professional development via your education and your research activities and outcomes; your contributions to making your area of specialization more equitable and inclusive through committee work, community engagement, social media, and advocacy;

iii) a research statement discussing the significance, originality, and potential impacts of your current and developing research program (up to 3 pages);

iv) recent examples of research activities and outcomes including, but not limited to, peer-reviewed and non peer reviewed publications, conference presentations, public talks, articles reaching specialist and non-specialist audiences, effective use of social media for research impact and networking;

v) a teaching statement (up to 3 pages) and a dossier of syllabi and other evidence, if available, demonstrating how you engage, encourage, and develop the learning capacity of students entering higher education from a diverse array of backgrounds, and how you embed practices and principles of equity, diversity and inclusion in your classroom, your assignments, and your classroom style;

vi) the names and email contact information of three academic referees who know you and your research well; and,

vii)   a statement discussing your record of demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

Please note that all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, applications from Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority, in accordance with Canadian immigration regulations. Candidates must therefore indicate in their application if they are a permanent resident or citizen of Canada.  


Any confidential inquiries about the opportunity can be directed to the Department Hiring Committee (DHC) Chair Caroline O’Brien,

Indigenous candidates who would like to learn more about working at Toronto Metropolitan University are welcome to contact Tracey King, Miigis Kwe, Indigenous Human Resources Lead and the Founding Co-Chair of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Community Group at

Black identified candidates who wish to learn more about working at Toronto Metropolitan University are welcome to contact Shurla Charles-Forbes, Black Faculty & Staff Community Network at

For any confidential accommodation needs in order to participate in the recruitment and selection process and/or inquiries regarding accessing the Faculty Recruitment Portal, please contact

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