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Ph.D. in History of Consciousness, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2017
M.A. in Social & Political Thought, York University, 2007
B.A. in English, York University, 2005
Erin Gray is a post-disciplinary cultural historian and political theorist focusing on the relationship between politics, aesthetics, and critical theory. Her research interests include political violence and left counter-histories of genocide; visual and performance studies; aesthetics and experimental poetics; gender studies and feminist epistemology; critical race studies; the black radical tradition and critiques of racial capitalism; historiography and history from below; affect, sentiment, sensation, and biopolitics.
Erin’s research is presently focused on gendered racial formations within the photographic history of global white supremacy. Her current book project, The Moving Image of Lynching: Law-Founding Violence and Liberal Terror in the United States, engages the circulation of lynching across such media forms as the postcard, pamphlet, photography exhibition, magazine spread, newsreel, sound installation, and live and recorded reenactment to theorize an altered history of white supremacist violence in the U.S. Focusing on the co-emergence of legal lynching and racial liberalism, the manuscript theorizes the image of lynching as a dialectical object that illuminates the constitutive relationship of extra-legal terror to racial capitalism and U.S empire.
Prior to her appointment at UC Davis, Erin taught in the department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University as a Provost postdoctoral fellow. From 2017-2018, Erin was a University of California President’s postdoctoral fellow in African American Studies at UC Irvine. She has twice been awarded fellowships from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Forthcoming: The Black Radical Tradition in the United States. Erin Gray, Asad Haider, Ben Mabie, eds. New York: Verso Press, 2021.
Forthcoming: “The Incendiary Image of Lynching: Now! and the Red Summer of 1965.” Black Camera (Spring 2021).
“Necrophagy at the Lynching Block.” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 21:1 (January 2015)
“‘Words are Fleshy Ducts’: Lisa Robertson and the Runnel Theory of Poetry.” Open Letter: A Canadian Journal of Writing and Theory 14:5 (Spring 2011).
“The Good Sentences of Sleep: Parasomnia and ’Pataplay in the Poetry of Angela Rawlings and Sylvia Legris.” Open Letter: A Canadian Journal of Writing and Theory 13:9 (Summer 2009).
“(En)countering Mortality: Reflections on Live Knowing.” The International Feminist Journal of Politics 11:1 (March 2009).
Introduction to “Lynching: A Weapon of National Oppression.” Viewpoint Magazine. January 9, 2017.
“Anti-Lynching Laws Were Never Meant to Defend Black Lives: The Case of Jasmine Abdullah.” Truthout. June 15, 2016.
“When the Streets Run Red: For a 21st-Century Anti-Lynching Movement.” Mute. January 31, 2015.