Thesis: Performing Memory and Trauma: Issues of gender, race and sexuality in the work of Kara Walker
Supervisor: Janelle Reinelt
Julia Austin’s research emerges at the intersection of contemporary art discourse and performance theory, with a particular focus on art/performance practice that explores notions of ‘race’. Her PhD thesis explores the phenomenon of ‘exploitation art’: a controversial mode of practice, or politico-aesthetic strategy, whereby vulnerable Others are exploited as a means to comment on exploitation (think Santiago Sierra or Christoph Schlingensief).
A fledgling curator, in 2008 she curated an exhibition of recent portraits of Franko B at Warwick. In 2007, marking the bi-centenary of the abolition of the slave trade in Britain, she curated an exhibition on freedom and slavery in America, which premiered at Warwick before touring to Leciester City Hall Gallery in 2008. Her creative/autobiographical writing has been published by Routledge, The Women’s Press and The British Association of Adoption and Fostering. She has taught in the department since 2006.