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Derek Conrad Murray

Associate Professor, History of Art and Visual Culture
History, Theory and Criticism of Contemporary Art and Visual Culture
Research Interests: 

Derek Conrad Murray is an interdisciplinary theorist specializing in the history, theory and criticism of contemporary art and visual culture. He works in contemporary aesthetic and cultural theory with a particular attention to technocultural engagements with identity and representation. He has contributed to leading magazines and journals such as American ArtArt in AmericaParachuteArt Journal, Third TextConsumption Markets & Culture and Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, where he currently serves as Associate Editor. Murray is also currently serving on the Editorial Board of Art Journal (CAA) and the Editorial Advisory Board of Third Text. Murray is the author of Queering Post-Black Art: Artists Transforming African-American Identity After Civil Rights (I.B. Tauris, UK, 2016). 

Porter D215
Office Hours: 

Monday: 1:00 - 3:00PM

Mailing Address: 

Derek Conrad Murray, University of California at Santa Cruz, Porter Faculty Services, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Selected Publications: 


Queering Post-Black Art: Artists Transforming African-American Identity After Civil Rights (2015) I.B. Tauris (UK). See I.B. Tauris Link        See Amazon Link

Review: Los Angeles Review of Books

Review: CAA Reviews

Selected Peer-Reviewed Essays/Reviews/Articles:

“Selfie Consumerism in a Narcissistic Age," Consumption Markets & Culture Journal, ed. Jonathan Schroeder, 2018. DOI: 10.1080/10253866.2018.1467318

“Notes to Self: The Visual Culture of “Selfies” in the Age of Social Media," Special Issue: Consumption Markets & Culture Journal, Theme: Communicating Identity/Consuming Difference, ed. Jonathan Schroeder, Vol. 18, No. 6, pp. 490-516, 2015

“Post-Black Art and the Resurrection of African-American Satire” in Post-Soul Satire: Black Identity After Civil Rights, eds. Derek C. Maus and James Donahue (University Press of Mississippi, 2014). pp. 3-21.

“Mickalene Thomas: Afro-Kitsch and the Queering of Blackness,” in American Art (Special issue on Post-Identity), Spring 2014, Vol. 28, no. 1

Book Review of T.J. Demos' The Migrant Image: The Art and Politics of Documentary during Global Crisis (Durham: Duke University Press, 2013) Third Text, Vol. 27, No. 6, 806-814, 2013.

"Queer Feminist Durationality and the Subject as Becoming." Review/Article of Amelia Jones’ book Seeing Differently: A History and Theory of Identification and the Visual Arts (London: Routledge, 2012), in Art Journal, Winter 2013

“Post Post-Black: Some Politically Incorrect Thoughts on the Reception and Contemplation of African-American Art” Review of Darby English’s How To See A Work Of Art In Total Darkness, in Art Journal, Volume 66, Number 4 (Winter 2007): 112-114.

“Splendid Bodies: Kehinde Wiley,” in NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Number 21, Fall 2007. p. 90-101.

“On Art and Contamination: Performing Identity in Global Art Practices,” in Madrid-based magazine EXIT EXPRESS, April 2007.

“Obscene Jouissance: The Visual Poetics of Labor Exploitation,” in Third Text, Issue Number 84, Vol. 21, Issue 1, January 2007.

“Uneasy Bedfellows: Canonical Art Theory and the Politics of Identity,” co-authored with Soraya Murray, in Art Journal, March 2006.

“Hip-Hop vs. High Art: Notes on Race as Spectacle,” in Art Journal, Volume 63, No. 2, Summer 2004: 4-19.

“Okwui Enwezor in Conversation with Derek Conrad Murray,” in NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art Number 18, Spring/Summer 2003: 40-47.

Selected Presentations: 

Invited Lecture: "On Queer Satire in Contemporary African-American Art" New Black Queer Audiovisuals conference, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA), June 16, 2018.

Invited Lecture: "Imaging the Self in a Narcissistic Age" UBIQUITY: Photography's Multitudes, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, April 26-27, 2018

Invited Lecture: "On Post-Blackness: Queer Satire in Contemporary African-American Art" Cultural Studies Series, University of California, Santa Cruz, January 31, 2018

Invited Lecture: Graduate Student Seminar, “The Digital Self-Portrait in a Narcissistic Age,” Visual Studies Department, University at Buffalo, November 21, 2017.

Invited Lecture: “On Post-Blackness: Queer Satire in 21st Century African-American Art,” Visual Studies Department, University at Buffalo, November 20, 2017.

Invited Lecture: “The Self-Portrait in a Narcissistic Age,” Third Annual Wong Forum on the Immigrant Experience,” History of Art Department, University of California, Riverside, Friday November 3, 2017.

Invited Lecture: "The Self-Portrait in the Age of Social Media", The Cultural Studies Colloquium Series, University of California, Davis, October 12, 2017.

Invited Panelist: Curating Blackness: Towards Black Digital Study at ASAP9 Conference, University of California, Berkeley, Friday October 27, 2017.

Invited Respondent: Conference: Black/Art/Futures: African Diasporic Art Histories. Sponsored by Department of African-American Studies/Department of History of Art, University of California, Berkeley, March 16-17, 2017.

Invited Lecture: "Cruising towards a Queer of Color Critique" in the conference: Viral Representation: On AIDS and Art, Department of Art History, University of Chicago. March 10-11, 2017.

Invited Lecture: "On Post-Blackness: Queer Satire in 21st Century African American Art", Visual Culture Colloquium, Department of History of Art and Visual Studies, Cornell University  Cosponsored by American Studies, Nov. 15, 2016.

Invited Lecture: Derek Conrad Murray in conversation with artist Hank Willis Thomas, David C. Driskell Center, October 14th, 2016.

Invited Lecture: at the conference, Holding Blackness in Suspension: The Films of Kahlil Joseph, Georgia State University, October 7, 2016.

Invited Panelist: 20th Anniversary Symposium honoring Cheryl Dunye's film The Watermelon Woman. Sponsored by the Center for Research and Education on Gender and Sexuality, (San Francisco State University). The event is in collaboration with the Black Sexual Economies Project and the Queer Cinema Institute, SFSU. Sep 23-24.

Education and Training: 
PhD, History of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
MA, History of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
BFA, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA