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Alicia Harris

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Alicia Harris, Ph.D

Alicia Harris is an Assistant Professor of Native American Art History. Her research covers a broad engagement with Indigenous peoples of North America, particularly in the United States and Canada. Alicia has written museum catalogues including the Whitney Museum of American Art and 108 Contemporary in Tulsa. Her current book project, Homescapes: Native American Land Art analyzes the long history of people creating visual form that places them in relationship to the land, both as installation (large body orienting earthworks and public works) and as reference (cartography and interpretive abstractions of place). This research contrasts the dominant art historical narratives that focus on the Earthworks movement in the 20th century, and places that movement into context of the millennia-long history of artists making work that directs human attention to place. The project employs Indigenous methodologies—another area of interest in Alicia’s practice—through an engagement with kinship paradigms. Alicia’s work activates Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in the visual arts and upholds Native perspectives in the agency and spiritual viability of place.

Dr. Harris earned her PhD in Native American Art History from the University of Oklahoma in 2020, an MA in Art History from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2013, and a BA in Art History and Curatorial Studies from Brigham Young University in 2010. Her courses include the Introduction to Native American Art, Native American Women, and seminars in special topics related to Native American Art, curatorial practice, and Native American methodologies and theories. She led the Mellon Graduate Seminar in curating the exhibition Ascendant: Expressions of Self-Determination, which focused on the art of Native American art students at OU in the decades immediately following World War Two: Chief Terry Saul (Choctaw/Chickasaw), Richard “Dick” West (Cheyenne), and Oscar Howe (Yanktonai Dakota) and their legacy, at the Fred Jones Jr, Museum of Art.  She stresses Indigenous methodological approaches for her students.

Alicia is Assiniboine, enrolled in the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes.