MA Arts Politics Class of 2020
BA Liberal Arts, The School of Public Engagement, The New School
A graduate of the New School for Public Engagement (‘15), I am a writer, producer, and curator who muses over the performance of race, gender, & sexuality in visual culture & media, identity-making, art, and culture. These interests have to lead me to explore the ways in which gendered, racialized, and sexual identities are negotiated within marginalized communities. Presently, I work for the Office of the Associate Dean at NYU's Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television, where I provide administrative support for special events and programs. Before coming to NYU, I served as Managing Editorial Assistant at the award-winning journal, Social Research: An International Quarterly, and most recently as the Program Coordinator for The New School's Digital Humanities Initiative. My first writing, on queer visibility in the changing landscape of hip-hop culture, “Soft, Ratchet, and all Cakes,” was published in The Tenth Vol. 2
(2014) and subsequent, "Live Through This: Surviving the Intersections of Sexuality, God, and Race" (2017), a book review, was commissioned by Lambda Literary. I currently reside in Brooklyn, New York.
What drew you to the MA in Arts Politics?
While the education I acquired at The New School provided me both theoretical language and a foundation of critical thinking to create categories of meaning about the world in which I saw, I was drawn to the M.A. in Art Politics as a means by which to develop practical methods and critical approaches to further locate and shape my interests and in turn my creative practices for a greater good. And much like the natural progression from theory is practice, it is this consecution, alongside my academic and creative interests in culture more broadly where APP was a natural next step. Here I am reminded of two quotes: “Art is a way of telling the truth (Assoto Saint),” and “Politics determine who has the power, not who has the truth (Paul Krugman).” For me, centered at the crux of these two quotes, is the notion that art can be understood as a form of political discourse, a means by which to transcend the political as an act of truth-telling for the powerless. Art, then, has critical and emancipatory potentialities in light of new forms of political discourse, particularly, the neoliberal shift towards "diversity and
inclusion." Ajay Heble states in, "Landing on the Wrong Note: Jazz, Dissonance and Critical Practice (2010)", art [in its many forms] “plays a formative role in the constitution of social life, in the ways in which people take responsibility for creating their own histories, for participating in the management of their own social and political realities.” I have come to know myself as, first, a multidisciplinary artist who attempts to bring emotional truths to established principles, and second, as a person whose very existence is political. Thus, my goal is to bridge theory and critical thinking with my creative practices for the benefit of a world outside of academia. And while this charge is distinctly personal, I am reminded of Black, gay filmmaker, educator, poet and activist, Marlon Riggs. To quote him: When nobody speaks your name or even knows it, you, knowing it, must be the first to speak it. When the existing history and culture do not acknowledge and address you— do not see or talk to you, you must write a new history, shape a new culture that will. Pursuing a graduate degree in Art Politics is my answer to Riggs’ call. It is underscored by my passion for art and culture well as a desire to be an intellectual authority that brings the knowledge, usually confined to the academy, to the real world.