On Wednesday, Dr. Morrissey partnered with the Latina/o and Mexican American Studies program to present some of her research. In LMAS Plàticas, Morrissey explored different art installations placed along the US/Mexico border and the public discourse that followed. This is an introduction to a new materialist scholarship she refers to as border studies.
"Thinking of the border as a zone of contact rather than separation," she notes, "produces different implications. Suddenly this space becomes something more constructive--a space of new possibilities and creative collaborations."
Morrissey discusses two art installations in depth, specifically JR's pieces "Kikito" and "Giant Picnic". Both installations occur on or across the border wall, and receive international acclaim. Notably, Instagram is an important mode through which this art is mediated. This allows for Morrissey to study the comment sections as well, allowing an interesting lens into the public response and discourse.
"It is by and through border art installations such as JR's that the border's dynamic configuration is revealed, and through which the symbolic construction and performative embodiment of identity may shift." Morrissey continues, "in other words, JR's border art installations revise what the border is, how it works, and the modes of relation it affords, which in turn may produce new realities."
Morrissey finished her presentation by reminding the audience "to remain critically conscious of the world around us and to always remember your own ability to transform what often seems to be structures much larger than our control"
We are UNT Proud of Dr. Morrissey for her achievement in the field and in securing this presentation.