Courtney Morris, Gender and Women’s Studies, University of California, Berkeley
This event is part of the Interseminars series for "Improvise and Intervene," supported by the Mellon Foundation.
About the Speaker
Courtney Desiree Morris is a visual/performance artist and an associate professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her teaching and research focuses primarily on Black social movements in Latin America, the geography of race, environmental racisms/climate change, critical race theory, feminist and queer theory, and Black visual culture and aesthetics. She is the author of To Defend This Sunrise: Black Women’s Activism and the Authoritarian Turn in Nicaragua (2023, Rutgers University Press), which examines how black women activists have resisted historical and contemporary patterns of racialized state violence, economic exclusion, territorial dispossession, and political repression from the 19th century to the present. Her work has been published in American Anthropologist, the Bulletin of Latin American Research, NACLA, Current History, the Journal of Women, Gender, and Families of Color, make/shift: feminisms in motion, and the Aster(ix) Journal. She is a regular contributing writer and editor-at-large for Stranger’s Guide, an award-winning magazine about place. Her research has received funding from the Fulbright, the Ford Foundation, The Hellman Fund and the Regents Junior Faculty Fellowship at UC-Berkeley.
As an artist, her primary mediums include large-format portraiture and landscape photography, experimental video, performance art, and installation art. Her artistic work is primarily concerned with ancestral memory, ritual work, ecology, climate change, death, mourning and funerary practice, erotics, and black feminist aesthetics. Her work focuses on examining ancestral narratives and everyday ritual aesthetics of communities throughout the African Diaspora.
She has shown work and performed at the National Gallery of Jamaica (Kingston), the Ashara Ekundayo Gallery (Oakland, CA), the Photographic Center Northwest (Seattle, WA), the San Francisco LGBT Center, Root Division (San Francisco), the Frye Museum (Seattle, WA), the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (Madrid, Spain), the Jordan Schnitzer Museum (Eugene, OR), Fototeca de Havana (Cuba), the Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco), Slash SF, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), JACK (Brooklyn, NY), the San Francisco Public Library, SOMArts (SF), and C3A (Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía, Córdoba, Spain), A.I.R. Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), Performance Space New York, and the Berkeley Art Center. She is a national member of the A.I.R. Gallery and an alumna of The Austin Project created by Omi Jones and facilitated by Sharon Bridgforth. Her work has appeared in and been writte about in Hyperallergic, e-flux, Stranger’s Guide, El Diario (Cordoba, Spain), Óptica, Atmos, Vogue España, Brooklyn Rail, and the East Bay Express.