Monica Patrice Barra (she/her/hers) is a cultural anthropologist, ceramicist, and assistant professor at the University of South Carolina. Broadly, her research examines the relationship between race, inequality, and geography in the United States. She has explored these topics over the past decade in collaboration with visual and performing artists, policymakers, scientists, community based organizations, and fishermen. Her experience and research has been supported by a variety of institutions across the arts, sciences, and humanities, including: The Princeton University Art Museum, the National Academies of Sciences, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Her writings on place-based arts, environmental change, and race have appeared in edited volumes and journals in the fields of anthropology, geography, and interdisciplinary humanities. Her first book, Good Sediment: Race, Science, and the Politics of Restoration, is an ethnographic study of wetland loss, environmental restoration, and Black placemaking practices in south Louisiana. She is currently at work on a second ethnographic project on heirs’ property and Black land loss in the US South.
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture
Barra traces the center’s history, from its origins in student activism of the 1960s to its current role as a hub for African-American music, dance, theater, film, literature, and visual art. She also explores the center’s relationship with African-American communities in Charlotte and how it would like to see these relationships evolve.