Bernida Webb-Binder, Ph.D.

Bernida Webb-Binder received her Ph.D. in the history of art and visual studies from Cornell University. She holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Denver and a Master of Literature degree from the University of Auckland. The latter two qualifications were completed with the support of a Fulbright grant to New Zealand.

Currently, she is assistant professor of art history & curatorial studies in the Department of Art & Visual Culture at Spelman College. Her research area is Pacific art and Blackness in the United States and Oceania. Her dissertation, “Affinities and Affiliations: Black Pacific Art in the United States and New Zealand, 1948-2008,” was supported by a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship. In it, she compares visual representations of the female body of color of and by Pacific and African American women to uncover shared perspectives on identity, genealogy, diaspora and indigeneity. Her broader interests are photographic portraiture, body adornment and performance, and narrative and identity.

Dr. Webb-Binder has adventured across the country and around the world as an art historian and presented her work in the United States, Canada, Aotearoa/New Zealand, and Florence, Italy. Through a highly competitive selection process, she was chosen as one of ten scholar/educators from the United States and abroad to attend a series of three workshops hosted by the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art, the Lunder Institute of American Art, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Between 2019 and 2021, the participants will devise adaptable models of teaching the history of American art with primary sources.

She is currently working on two book projects: a visual biography of Tony Award-winning actress Juanita Hall and a survey of art in the United States created by Pacific American artists.

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