Apply for Jobs in the Social Sciences Collegiate Division

Thank you for your interest in applying for internships and lectureships in the SSCD. We are now accepting applications for the 2017-2018 academic year. 

The Social Sciences Core and Civilization Studies sequences offer two teaching opportunities: teaching internships and lectureships. Teaching Internships are open only to University of Chicago PhD students. University of Chicago PhD students must have completed a teaching internship before applying for a lectureship. This site provides information regarding course curriculum, sequence and job descriptions, job responsibilities, and the application process. Contact the SSCD Division Coordinator at with questions about this site.

Applications for teaching internships and lectureships consist of two parts: an online application and the supplemental documents listed with the application form. Use the links below to access the online forms. Applicants may use the same supplemental materials for multiple applications or may choose to submit a separate set of supplemental materials for each application. Candidates applying for more than one position must submit an online application for each position. Internship applicants may apply for up to three positions. University of Chicago students applying for lectureships can apply in one Core sequence and up to two Civilization Studies sequences. The information below further defines the application policies and job expectations for each position.

The deadline for all applications is April 30, 2017. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Application decisions will be sent by email in June.





Applicant Requirements for Teaching Interns
The following information applies to Teaching Internships in the SSCD in general. Requirements that are specific to particular courses are given in the sequence and job descriptions for those courses below.

  • Must be in at least third year of scholastic residency during the internship
  • Preference given to students who have passed qualifying exams
  • Applicants to History of European Civilization must complete their oral exams before beginning the internship
  • Must complete full term of internship to be considered for a lectureship
  • Length of commitment varies from sequence to sequence

The Teaching Intern’s Role
Interns are apprentices to the faculty in whose course they have been appointed. They are expected to learn from the supervising faculty member how to teach a course in the Core curriculum to a small number of students in a seminar-style discussion class. They are being trained by the supervising faculty in order to assure a steady supply of advanced graduate students who are qualified to teach the University of Chicago’s Core curriculum in keeping with the traditions of the College and the standards demanded by the faculty. Members of the faculty who have interns assigned to them retain full responsibility for all aspects of the course. Interns may be asked to assist the supervising faculty member in certain regards, but their main responsibility is to learn how to teach the course on their own.

The Teaching Intern’s Responsibilities

  • Attend the Teaching @ Chicago workshop offered by the Chicago Center for Teaching
  • Attend the meetings of every class
  • Read the materials assigned in the course
  • Attend all weekly staff meetings
  • Teach one or two classes per quarter under the supervision of the faculty member to whom they have been appointed
  • Learn how to grade papers and exams
  • Meet on a regular basis with supervising faculty to discuss the progress of the class and the ways in which an experienced instructor handles the pedagogical, intellectual, and administrative issues such a class raises



Applicant Requirements for Lectureships (Current U of C Ph.D. Students)
The following information applies to Lectureships in the SSCD in general. Requirements that are specific to particular courses are given in the sequence and job descriptions for those courses below.

  • Must be in at least fourth year of scholastic residency
  • Must have completed a full internship in the same sequence
  • Lecturers are chosen on the basis of their qualifications as teachers and scholars, the progress of their dissertation, and their willingness to participate actively in the affairs of the staff.

Applicant Requirements for Lectureships (Outside Candidates)
The following information applies to Lectureships in the SSCD in general. Requirements that are specific to particular courses are given in the sequence and job descriptions for those courses below.

  • Must have completed Ph.D. by June 2017
  • Lecturers are chosen on the basis of their qualifications as teachers and scholars and their willingness to participate actively in the affairs of the staff.  

The Lecturer’s Role
Lecturers have full responsibility for teaching one or more sections of a SSCD Core course in the social sciences or civilization studies for one or more quarters. Within limits established by tradition, faculty consensus, and a syllabus of shared readings, lecturers have discretion to teach the course as they prefer. In order to maintain the intellectual and pedagogical cohesion of the curriculum, lecturers are expected to participate in meetings of the staff teaching the course to which they have been appointed.

The Lecturer’s Responsibilities

  • Attend the Teaching @ Chicago workshop offered by the Chicago Center for Teaching
  • Attend all weekly and quarterly staff meetings
  • Order books and put readings on reserve well in advance of the beginning of the quarter
  • Prepare a syllabus that clearly states the objectives of the course, the requirements that students will be expected to fulfill, and the basis on which they will be graded
  • Announce clear policies on grading, attendance, class participation, and cheating, and adhere to those policies
  • Grade and comment on papers and examinations on a timely basis
  • Maintain office hours
  • Give students feedback on their performance
  • Submit final grades by the Registrar's published deadline.




Classics of Social and Political Thought

What is justice? What makes a good society? What is the best form of government? What is the relation between a good citizen and a good human being? When are obedience, resistance or revolt justified? What is the role of religion in politics? This sequence explores such fundamental questions through classic writings from Plato, Aristotle, and Aquinas and from the works of the great founders and critics of modernity such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Tocqueville, Mill, Marx, Nietzsche, and DuBois. Writing before our departmentalization of disciplines, they were at the same time sociologists, psychologists, political scientists, economists, and moralists; they offer contrasting alternative conceptions of society and politics that underlie continuing controversies in the social sciences and in contemporary political life.


This sequence takes an empirical, scientific approach to understanding the functions of the mind. Drawing on psychology, anthropology, sociology, economics, and a number of other social as well as biological sciences, the course examines how the mind operates at multiple levels of analysis (e.g., biological, psychological, societal) and across a variety of time scales (e.g., exploring processes that unfold over the course of milliseconds as well as those that unfold over millennia). We examine issues such as how people apprehend reality, the development of thought across the life span, the impact of social contextual factors on mental processes, the ideal of rationality and systematic deviations from that ideal, how different languages and cultures represent different ways of seeing and thinking about the world. Cross-cutting these specific topic areas is a sustained exploration of the process by which contemporary social science is conducted. For example, we consider what constitutes a legitimate social scientific question, what counts as valid empirical evidence, and how data are used to test theories and to support causal claims.

Power, Identity, Resistance

The first quarter of this course focuses on the work of three central figures in modern political economy and social theory: Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and Emile Durkheim. The aim of Autumn Quarter is to introduce students to the very idea of theorizing about society, economy, and politics through close readings of central works of each author. The focus is on the organization of economic process and the ways in which it relates to social and political relations and institutions. The central questions are these: How historically distinctive is the modern form of capitalist economy? Do human beings "naturally" act in certain ways in the economy and society? How much can individual self-control be relied on? What is the role of power in economic life? Winter Quarter focuses on modern liberalism and its critics. The course investigates the distinctly modern liberal claim that society or groups of associated individuals make states for their own protection and the governance of their affairs. Authors are interrogated on questions concerning individuality, liberty, equality, the limitation of state power, the importance of stability, the value of democratic participation in governance, the role that organized society plays in political life, and the degree to which social and political relations vary historically, among other issues. Both defenders and critics of the liberal conception of liberty and the state are addressed. Texts include Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Burke, Hegel, Tocqueville, Mill, Marx and Schmitt. Spring Quarter analyzes the way in which selected themes from the first two quarters work themselves out in the history of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Broadly, we consider the role and place of violence in liberal thought and practice. Problems of individual psychological violence as well as social and political violence are considered. Readings vary by year but have included texts by Kant, Nietzsche, Freud, Fanon, DuBois, Arendt, Martin Luther King, Foucault, de Beauvoir, and Butler.

Self, Culture, and Society

The classic social theories of Smith, Marx, and Weber, along with contemporary ethnographic and historical works, serve as points of departure for considering the characterizing features of the modern world. Particular emphasis is given to the modern world's social-economic structure and issues of work, the texture of time, and economic globalization. Winter quarter focuses on the relation of culture, social life, and history. On the basis of readings from Durkheim, Levi-Strauss, Sahlins, Foucault, Benjamin, Adorno, and other anthropologists and cultural theorists, we investigate how systems of meaning expressed through metaphors, symbols, rituals, and narratives constitute and articulate individual and social experience across a range of societies, including our own, and how those systems of meaning change historically. In spring, we concern ourselves with the question of how personhood is constructed socially, culturally, and historically. Our considerations include issues of gender, sexuality, and ethnic identity, through the study of the wide range of approaches found in the works of Freud, Mauss, Mead, Marcuse, Vygotsky, de Beauvoir, Fanon, and others.

Social Science Inquiry

Contemporary culture is awash in scientific claims about the human condition. As evident in best-sellers like Freakonomics, Moneyball, and The Tipping Point, a data-driven conception of social life is occurring not just in the higher echelons of business or government, but in popular discourse as well. This course provides an introduction to this "positivist" approach. The Autumn Quarter starts by introducing students to the various ways that social scientists think about the world. Examples include theoretical models from Milton Friedman, Thomas Schelling, and John Nash; path-breaking experiments from Stanley Milgram and Daniel Kahneman; and quantitative research on topics ranging from voting to gun violence to baby names. Through these works, students will learn how researchers theorize about social phenomena. In the Winter Quarter, students will be introduced to social science research tools. They will learn how to collect data, conduct experiments, and make causal inferences from statistics. Using the General Social Survey, the National Election Studies, and other surveys, students will gain hands-on experience working with large data sets. In the Spring Quarter, students will conduct their own substantial research project. Students will learn how to translate their ideas into research questions, their theories into testable hypotheses, and their findings into meaningful conclusions. By year's end, students will develop a critical perspective on many perennial social questions and, ultimately, acquire "quantitative literacy," essential skills in an increasingly data-driven world.

America in World Civilization

This sequence uses the American historical experience, set within the context of Western civilization to (1) introduce students to the principles of historical thought, (2) probe the ways political and social theory emerge within specific historical contexts, and (3) explore some of the major issues and trends in American historical development. This sequence is not a general survey of American history. Autumn quarter examines the basic order of early colonial society; the social, political, and intellectual forces for a rethinking of that order; and the experiences of the Revolution and of making a new polity. Winter focuses on the impact of economic individualism on the discourse on democracy and community; on pressures to expand the definition of nationhood to include racial minorities, immigrants, and women; on the crisis over slavery and sectionalism; and on class tensions and the polity. Spring quarter focuses on the definitions of Americanism and social order in a multicultural society; Taylorism and social engineering; culture in the shadow of war; the politics of race, ethnicity, and gender; and the rise of new social movements.

History of European Civilization

European Civilization is a two-quarter sequence designed to use close readings of primary sources to enrich our understanding of Europeans of the past. As we examine the variety of their experiences, we will often call into question what we mean in the first place by “Europe” and “civilization.” Rather than providing a narrative of high politics, the sequence will emphasize the contested geographic, religious, social, and racial boundaries that have defined and redefined Europe and its people over the centuries. We will read and discuss sources covering the period from the early Middle Ages to the present, from a variety of genres: saga, biography, personal letters, property records, political treatises, memoirs, and government documents, to name only a few. Individual instructors may choose different sources and highlight different aspects of European civilization, but some of the most important readings will be the same in all sections. The two-quarter sequence may also be supplemented by a third quarter, in which students will have the opportunity to explore in greater depth a particular topic in the history of European civilization. Topics in this third quarter of the sequence may include women in European history, religion and society, Church and State, the Enlightenment, the transformation of the Roman World, or other focused topics on cultural, economic, social, political, or religious aspects of European history.


This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This three-quarter sequence approaches the concept of civilization from an emphasis on cross-cultural/societal connection and exchange. We explore the dynamics of conquest, slavery, colonialism, and their reciprocal relationships with concepts such as resistance, freedom, and independence, with an eye toward understanding their interlocking role in the making of the modern world. Themes of slavery, colonization, and the making of the Atlantic world are covered in the first quarter. Modern European and Japanese colonialism in Asia and the Pacific is the theme of the second quarter. The third quarter considers the processes and consequences of decolonization both in the newly independent nations and the former colonial powers.

Gender and Sexuality in World Civilizations

This two-quarter sequence aims to expand students’ exposure to an array of texts—theoretical, historical, religious, literary, visual—that address the fundamental place of gender and sexuality in the social, political, and cultural creations of different civilizations. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies.The first quarter offers a theoretical framing unit that introduces concepts in feminist, gender, and queer theory, as well as two thematic clusters, “Kinship” and “Creativity and Cultural Knowledge.” The “Kinship” cluster includes readings on such topics as marriage, sex and anti-sex, love and anti-love, and reproduction. The “Creativity and Cultural Knowledge” cluster addresses the themes of authorship and authority, fighting and constructing the canon, and the debates over the influence of “difference” on cultural forms. Three thematic clusters make up the second quarter. “Politics” focuses on texts related to activism/movement politics and women’s rights as human rights and the question of universalism. “Religion” contextualizes gender and sexuality through examinations of a variety of religious laws and teachings, religious practices, and religious communities. “Economics” looks at slavery, domestic service, prostitution as labor, consumption, and the gendering of labor in contemporary capitalism.

Human Rights in World Civilizations

This two-quarter sequence explores how human rights have been constructed across transnational, imperial, national, and local spaces in a variety of civilizational vernaculars while exposing students to their contested genealogies, limits, and silences. The sequence is primary source driven and discussion based, with readings drawn from a range of texts from the political and the legal to the literary, aural, and visual. The first quarter begins with a set of conceptual problems and optics designed to introduce students to the critical study of human rights, opening up questions of the universal, human dignity, and the political along with the practices of witness and testimony. It is followed by two thematic clusters. "Anti-Slavery, Humanitarianism, and Rights" focuses on the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries to historicize notions of dignity, sympathy, and witness. "Declarations as a Human Rights Genre" examines revolutionary eighteenth-century rights declarations in France, the United States, and Haiti against the aspirations of the 1948 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Four thematic clusters structure the second quarter. "Migration, Minorities, and Refugees" examines minority rights, the evolution of legal norms around refugees, and human trafficking. "Late Twentieth Century Human Rights Talk" explores the contestations between rights claims in the political-civil and socio-economic spheres, calls for sexual rights, and cultural representations of human rights abuses. "Global Justice" considers forms of international criminal law, transitional justice, and distributive justice. "Indigenous Rights as Human Rights" takes up the relatively new domain of the rights of indigenous peoples and how they relate to contemporary human rights practice.

Ancient Mediterranean World

Available as a three-quarter sequence (Autumn-Winter-Spring) or as a two-quarter sequence (Autumn-Winter or Winter-Spring). This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilzation studies. This sequence surveys the social, economic, and political history of Greece ot the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC), the Roman Republic (509 to 27 BC), and the late antiquity (27 BC to the fifth century AD). The first quarter surveys the social, economic, and political history of Greece from prehistory to the Hellenistic period. The main topics considered include the development of the institutions of the Greek city-state, the Persian Wars and the rivalry of Athens and Sparta, the social and economic consequences of the Peloponnesian War, and the eclipse and defeat of the city-states by the Macedonians. The second quarter surveys the social, economic, and political history of Rome, from its prehistoric beginnings in the twelfth century BCE to the end of the Severan dynasty in 235 CE. Throughout, the focus is upon the dynamism and adaptability of Roman society, as it moved from a monarchy to a republic to an empire, and the implications of these political changes for structures of competition and cooperation within the community. The third quarter surveys the five centuries between the estabilishment of imperial autocracy in 27 BCE and the fall of the Western empire in the fifth century CE.