Professor Soraya Murray is an interdisciplinary scholar who focuses on contemporary visual culture, with particular interest in contemporary art, cultural studies and games. Murray holds a Ph.D. in art history and visual studies from Cornell University, and an MFA in Studio Art from the University of California, Irvine. An Assistant Professor in the Film & Digital Media Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, she is also principal faculty in the Digital Arts & New Media MFA Program, and affiliated with the History of Art & Visual Culture Department, as well as the Center for Games and Playable Media. Her writings are published in Art Journal, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, CTheory, Public Art Review, Third Text, Gamesbeat and PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art. Her two anthologized essays on the military game genre, gender and race may be found in Identity Matters: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Video Game Studies, eds. Jennifer Malkowski and TreaAndrea M. Russworm (Indiana University Press, forthcoming 2017) and in Zones of Control: Perspectives on Wargaming, eds. Pat Harrigan and Matthew G. Kirschenbaum (The MIT Press, 2016). Her article on the politics of identity and the poetics of form in Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation is also forthcoming in the media studies journal Kinephanos in summer 2016. Murray is currently completing a book-length consideration of games as quintessential forms of visuality within a twenty-first century context defined by political, cultural and economic conflict. Entitled On Video Games, her manuscript considers how they both mirror and are constitutive of larger societal fears, dreams, hopes and even complex struggles for recognition.
Contemporary visual culture and representation including: new media art, film, photography, games; theories of art and globalization; cultural studies.