Staff and Fellows

Rachel Nelson, PhD, is Director of UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences (IAS), and teaches in the History of Art and Visual Culture department.  Nelson has curated and organized exhibitions including Barring Freedom, a group exhibition engaging art, prisons, and justice; Carlos Motta: We The Enemy; Futurefarmers: Fog Inquiry; jackie sumell: Solitary Garden; Newton Harrison and Helen Mayer Harrison: Future Garden, and other projects with artists including Ursula Biemann and Paulo Tavares, Angela Melitopoulos and... [more]

Jennifer González, Professor, History of Art and Visual Culture, UC Santa Cruz, writes about contemporary art with an emphasis on installation, digital and activist art. She is interested in understanding the strategic use of space (exhibition space, public space, virtual space) by contemporary artists and by cultural institutions such as museums. More specifically, she has focused on the representation of the human body and its relation to discourses of race and gender.

Gina Dent, Associate Professor, Feminist Studies, History of Consciousness, and Legal Studies, UCSC, is a committed activist, scholar, and educator. Abolition. Feminism. Now. (May 2021, Haymarket Press) co-authored by Dent with Angela Davis, Beth Richie, and Erica Meiners, grows out of her work as an advocate for human rights and prison abolition. She is the editor of Black Popular Culture, and author of numerous articles on race, feminism, popular culture, and visual art.

Black and white portrait of Chloe Murr

Chloe Murr is an artist, researcher, and visual culture historian from London, England and currently based out of Santa Cruz, California. She was awarded bachelor's degrees from University of California Santa Cruz in 2020 in History of Art and Visual Culture with highest honors and Studio Arts. At present, she is the Institute of the Arts and Sciences Pathways fellow, 2020-21. Her research and artistic interests include contemporary art, spatial relations, urban ecology and place.

Zaarin Mizan is a 4th year Environmental Studies student with a Minor in History of Art and Visual Culture. She has studied abroad in Aarhus, Denmark and Amman, Jordan, where she took courses in Arts Management and Policy, Environmental Narratives, and Activism for the Environment and Sustainability.

Alexandra Moore is a Visual Studies Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her areas of study include contemporary art in the global field, postcolonial theory, and feminist studies. At UC Santa Cruz, Moore has designed and taught a course on the art and politics of several African cities and an interdisciplinary humanities course that grappled with discussions of race and freedom in the public sphere.

black and white image of Hans Kuzmich

Hans Kuzmich is an interdisciplinary artist and Ph.D. student in the Film and Digital Media Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His work is concerned with developing abolitionist representational strategies that address gender normativity as a product and producer of the prison industrial complex, and racialized anti-trans/queer violence as its expression.

Aaron Samuel Mulenga is a Visual Studies Ph.D. student at the University California Santa Cruz. His area of study includes contemporary art of Africa, post-colonial theory and Africa studies. Mulenga is a multi-disciplined artist with a keen interest in sculptural forms and installation. He recently took part in the inaugural Stellenbosch Triennale (2020) held in South Africa entitled: Tomorrow There Will be More of Us. Mulenga’s art practice is part of his research process for his Ph.D.

Ebadur Rahman is a South Asian writer, curator, award-winning filmmaker, and cultural theorist based in Paris and Santa Cruz, California. Currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Film and Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz and Researcher at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Rahman is also the 2020 Education Fellow at UCSC Institute of the Arts and Sciences.