Friday, January 10, 2020 | 5:00 pm- 7:00 pm


Join us in the final days of the UMLAUF's exhibition, Michael Ray Charles, for a book signing of Dr. Cherise Smith's new book on the artist. Guests will hear from poet Meta DuEwa Jones, Dr. Smith (Chair, African and African Diaspora Studies Department, University of Texas) and Michael Ray Charles himself. You will also have an opportunity to view the exhibition before it closes on January 12th. 

Michael Ray Charles by Dr. Cherise Smith (published by UT Press) will be available for purchase.



Meta DuEwa Jones

Meta DuEwa Jones, an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, authored The Muse is Music: Jazz Poetry from the Harlem Renaissance to the Spoken Word (University of Illinois Press, 2011), which received honorable mention for the MLA William Sanders Scarborough Prize. She taught for years previously as a professor in the English Department and in African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her book manuscript, Black Alchemy, explores how poets, memoirist and visual artists map African diaspora memory. Jones’ creative scholarship and poetry has been published in a wide variety of venues and focuses on African American literature, music and art. Her research has been supported by fellowships from the National Humanities Center, the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University, the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University, the Rockefeller and Woodrow Wilson Foundation and a Dean’s Fellowship  while at UT Austin, as well as the Mellon foundations, the Stanford Humanities Center and the Carter G. Woodson Institute.


Cherise Smith

Dr. Cherise Smith is an Associate Professor in African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. She specializes in American art after 1945, especially as it intersects with the politics of identity, race, and gender. Her book, Enacting Others: Politics of Identity in Eleanor Antin, Nikki S. Lee, Adrian Piper, and Anna Deavere Smith (Duke University Press, 2011), examines how identity is negotiated in performance art in which women artists take-on the characteristics and manners of a racial, ethnic, and gender "other".  Her articles have appeared in Art Journal, African Arts, and exposure, among other venues.  She was awarded the Getty Foundation Postdoctoral W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African American Research at Harvard University. She has worked in the curatorial departments of the Art Institute of Chicago, the De Young Museum, and the Saint Louis Art Museum. among other institutions. She recently published the first in-depth examination of the work of Charles: Michael Ray Charles: A Retrospective (150 illustrations; University of Texas Press, 2019).



Michael Ray Charles

Michael Ray Charles is an internationally-renowned artist whose work addresses the struggle for equality and social justice.  Charles was featured in the first season of the award-winning PBS series Art 21: Art in the 21st Century. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe, including exhibitions at Cotthem Gallery, Brussels, Belgium; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, NY; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH; Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY; and Galerie Hans Mayer, Dusseldorf, Germany.  In 2018, he was awarded the Rome Prize, one of the most prestigious awards given to a practicing artist. Charles is the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor of Painting at the University of Houston and a senior member of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences faculty. He is the subject of a brand new book by Dr. Cherise Smith.