The American Indian Historian conducts historical research on American Indians in 18th-century Virginia, designed to inform and help shape the Foundation’s interpretive programs. Conducts research independently and as part of a research team. Helps instruct interpretive staff and responds to questions about American Indian culture and history. Liaisons with other departments and proposes and designs strategies for American Indian research projects.
Conducts and oversees original historical research on American Indian culture and history in Virginia in support of the major interpretive goals and educational mission of the Foundation.
Conducts and oversees research into American Indian culture and history in response to questions raised by interpretive and research personnel and in support of major assigned projects. Shares research and relevant resources widely.
Assembles, evaluates, and analyzes data from primary and secondary sources using recognized research methods.
Presents findings in reports, memos, lectures, conference papers, articles, book chapters, monographs, and professional blogs or other appropriate venues to support the educational mission of the Foundation.
Serves as a leader of American Indian research on team or teams working on major projects as assigned by the Director of Historical Research and Digital History.
Ensures that projects are completed on time and within budget.
Serves as the American Indian history staff liaison and supervises the work done on projects by research assistants, associates, fellows, interns, and volunteers, ensuring that the work meets Foundation and professional standards.
Recommends American Indian research projects in response to the Foundation’s objectives and guidelines.
Proposes appropriate research strategies, methodologies, and techniques. Provides input into the development of ongoing research projects.
Maintains contact with researchers and scholars from outside the Foundation, who concentrate in areas of American Indian culture and history in Virginia.
Serves as a primary liaison with Virginia and regional tribal communities, representing CW by developing strong and productive working relationships with those stakeholders.
Responds to queries for information, critiques work, keeps abreast of recent historical literature and interpretive best practices, maintains awareness of state-of-the-art research and emerging historical arguments, and seeks opportunities to infuse programming with current historical scholarship.
Reviews and consults with program development teams, site managers, and individual interpreters to ensure proposals, programs, characters, scenes, tours, and other programming reflect current historical knowledge and interpretive best practices of American Indian culture and history.
Works with colleagues in Education, Research and Historical Interpretation in developing and teaching courses on American Indian culture and history.
Presents lectures, audio-visual presentations, tours, and other programs to internal and external audiences.
Represents the Division on assigned committees, providing input based on historical reading and research.
Reviews materials published by CWF, such as books and teachers’ guides, and other print and digital materials to ensure soundness of historical claims.
Performs other related tasks as required.
SUPERVISION TO BE EXERCISED:
Direct: On a project basis, oversees the work of teams of other historical research assistants, associates, fellows, interns, volunteers, and other historians on research assignments, and reviews, researches, and consults with interpretive and museum staff in the development and assessment of programming.
Indirect: Exercises informal supervision related to the quality of presentation of interpreters or staff involved or assigned to participate in research or training activities and programs, regardless of department, follows up with the managers and supervisors of those interpreters to address any quality or participation issues.
DIRECTION RECEIVED: Position reports to and receives general supervision from the Director of Historical Research and Digital History.
Specialist knowledge and experience with Virginia American Indian culture and history is essential.
Possesses the ability to develop and conduct original research projects and to perform work independently and as a member of research team.
Able to handle a variety of projects simultaneously and to lead a research team producing results that meet the Foundation’s standards.
Possesses excellent oral and written communication skills to both public and academic audiences, the ability to prepare material of a caliber to be published, and the ability to teach all levels of personnel.
Demonstrated ability to conduct primary source research, familiarity with current historical literature, and knowledge of proper citation practices.
Experience writing on historical topics for public and academic audiences.
Knowledge of colonial Virginia and colonial British America, generally gained through a Postgraduate degree with academic specialization in American Indian culture and history, early American history, American studies, or related field and research experience in a museum or an academically related position.
A doctorate or terminal degree with academic specialization in American Indian culture and history or a related field, demonstrating significant experience in conducting advanced/scholarly historical research in a museum or in an academically related position, plus one year experience teaching as instructor of record at the collegiate or secondary level.
Preferred knowledge and skills include an ability to read and assimilate information, including divergent or minority narratives, and a knowledge and understanding of Native American history and culture, particularly Virginia’s historic indigenous communities and Eastern Woodland tribes.
Experience working in historical interpretive environment, such as a living history museum or equivalent.
Demonstrated experience working with, an American Indian band, tribe, pueblo, ranchero or urban Indian Center and cultural content not otherwise learned through formal education and employment.
Colonial Williamsburg is the largest outdoor living history museum in the country, upholding our educational mission through immersive, authentic 18th-century experiences and programming for our guests. In 1926, the Reverend Dr. William Archer Rutherfoord Goodwin, with the financial backing of John D. Rockefeller Jr., began to restore Williamsburg to its original colonial state, starting with the purchase of the historic Ludwell-Paradise House. Today, Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area houses restored and historically preserved buildings, 88 of which are originals.
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