African Cultural Studies

College of Letters & Science
HomeDegree ProgramsTeaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships


The Department invites applications from qualified graduate students for TAships in the following courses/roles:

  • Beginning Arabic
  • Intermediate Arabic
  • Colloquial Arabic (specify which dialect(s) you could teach)
  • Beginning Hausa
  • Beginning Swahili
  • Intermediate Swahili
  • Advanced Swahili
  • Beginning Wolof
  • Intermediate Wolof
  • Beginning Yoruba
  • Intermediate Yoruba
  • Advanced Yoruba
  • Beginning Zulu
  • African 100: Introduction to African Cultural Expression
  • African 201: Introduction to African Literature
  • African 210: The African Storyteller
  • African 233: Global HipHop and Social Justice
  • assistant to the language program director

Applications for 2018-19 TAships are due by 15 November 2017. New applicants to our graduate programs do not need to apply but will be considered automatically during the admissions process.

To apply, send a cover letter and CV to Dr. Katrina Daly Thompson, Chair of Admissions & Fellowships, at

Cover letters should include a ranked list of all TAships for which you would like to be considered; and, as applicable, address how you meet the criteria and qualifications listed below.

General criteria in unranked order:

  • Priority is given to our own graduate students over those in other departments
  • Priority is given to students with fewer than 10 semesters of teaching experience in the department
  • Because of the department’s obligation to offer certain languages at certain levels, language TAships will be staffed before literature/cultural studies TAships.
  • Reappointment is contingent on supervisor feedback, teaching observations, and student evaluations. TAs may not be reappointed if their feedback and reviews do not meet department standards (e.g. strong organizational skills; good communication with supervisor, students, and fellow TAs; strong writing and/or language skills; in language courses, willingness and ability to use communicative methodologies)
  • Satisfactory and timely progress toward degree
  • English proficiency: 26/30 or higher on the speaking section of the iBt TOEFL test, or 7.0 or higher in the speaking section of IELTS; or 45 or higher on the campus SPEAK test.

Additional qualifications for language TAships:

  • Superior proficiency in the target language
  • Prior or concurrent enrollment in African 703: Topics in Teaching African Languages (1 credit)

Additional qualifications for assisting the language program director:

  • Substantial foreign language teaching experience using a communicative approach
  • Coursework in language pedagogy and/or language program direction
  • Good written and oral communication skills in English
  • Experience working in culturally and linguistically diverse settings
  • Comfort with using and/or learning various technologies (e.g. Desire2Learn, LessonShare, Google Forms, digitizing media)
  • Experience and comfort with observing instructors and giving constructive feedback

Preferred qualifications for all TAs:

  • Evidence of engagement in professional development activities on campus
  • Evidence of use of new and interesting pedagogies during previous TA appointments