Center of Mexican American Studies
Center of Mexican American Studies

Cherise Smith

Associate ProfessorPh.D., Stanford University

Associate Professor and Director
Cherise Smith



American Art After 1945; The Intersection of Art with Race and Gender; African American Art and Visual Culture; Performance and Conceptual Art Practices; History of Photography; Politics of Identity


Assistant Professor Cherise Smith joined the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin in 2005. She offers courses in and has published articles on African American and African Diaspora art, the history of photography, and contemporary art. Her manuscript, En-Acting 'Others': Identity Performance in Works by Eleanor Antin, Nikki S. Lee, Adrian Piper, and Anna Deavere Smith, is in progress. It examines how identity is negotiated in performance art by reading closely a performance work by each artist in which she takes-on the characteristics and manners of a racial, ethnic, and gender "other". She interprets the works as public actions against social conventions and private acts of self-fashioning, and considers the political implications of occupying the liminal space of being self and “other” simultaneously. She has worked in the curatorial departments of several museums and curated a number of exhibitions.


MAS 374 • Black Art, Brown Art

36677 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm ART 1.120
(also listed as AFR 372E)

Black Art/Brown Art will focus on visual art made by contemporary African American, Mexican American and Latino artists.  Students will consider artists' relationships to issues of difference, including but not limited to gender, 'identity politics' and 'post-identity.' In addition, students will think about whether the artists engage in transnational dialogues with the cultures of their ancestors.  Attention will be paid to exhibitions, such as 'Phantom Sightings' and 'Freestyle', that seek to (re)define the parameters of contemporary 'ethnic' art.  We will study Rashid Johnson, Juan Capistran, Michael Ray Charles, Kara Walker, Pepon Osorio, Wanda Raimundi Ortiz, and Enrique Chagoya among other artists.


Texts (needs to be specific texts, not “course packet” or “TBA)”:

Sharon Patton, African American Art, NY:  Oxford, 1998



“Looking Relations in a Charnay Photograph.” Fotophile, 46 (February, 2004), 16- 20.

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