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Soraya Murray | Film+Digital Media / Social Documentary at UC Santa Cruz

Soraya Murray

Soraya Murray

Assistant Professor, Film & Digital Media
New media art, theory, and criticism. Visual culture including digital, film, video, and electronic games. Theories of technology and globalization. Media representations of technological and scientific advancement. Representations of otherness, migration, citizenship.
Office: 831-459-4947
Fax: 831-459-1341
please email for prompt reply
Education and Training: 
Ph.D., Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
M.A., Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
M.F.A., University of California, Irvine, CA
B.F.A., Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA
Research Interests: 

Soraya Murray is an interdisciplinary scholar focusing on contemporary visual culture, with particular interest in new media, cultural studies, and globalization in the arts.  Her writings may be found in publications such as Art Journal, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Flash Art, EXIT Express, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art and Third Text. She is also a contributor to GamesBeat.  She began teaching at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2007.

Murray's scholarship seeks to unearth the ways that a global phenomenon of electronic mass media and communications technologies shapes human interactions and interpenetrates contemporary experience.  How do race, nation, class, gender, and access affect who may share in this experience?  How do the technologies that we have fashioned, in turn, refashion us?  In her analysis of photography, film, video, electronics, and the digital, Murray seeks to illuminate these technological expressions within the social, theoretical, and historical contexts from which they arise.

Selected Publications: 

"Theorizing New Media in a Global Context; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and
Love New Media" in CTheory,, < /articles.aspx?id=713>, published November 13, 2012.


"Seeing Differently" Book Review of Amelia Jones Seeing Differently: A
History and Theory of Identification and the Visual Arts, in Third Text, Vol. 26, Issue 6 (November, 2012): 781–783.


"Threeview: Call of Duty: Black Ops II reviewed by a critic, an analyst, and an academic" in VentureBeat, < ops-ii/#mrJK2hur6sr24lMI.99>, December 4, 2012.


"Threeview: Assassin’s Creed III reviewed by a critic, an analyst, and an academic" in VentureBeat, < iii/>, November 20, 2012.


"Public Ritual:  William Pope.L and Exorcisms of Abject Otherness," in Public Art Review, 2010


"Digital Aesthetics: Two Handbooks" Book Review of Christiane Paul, New Media in the White Cube and Beyond and Victoria Vesna, Database Aesthetics in Art Journal, Vol. 68, No. 3 (Fall 2009): 112-115.


"Cybernated Aesthetics: Lee Bul and the Body Transfigured" in PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art 88 Vol. 30, No. 1 (May 2008): 38-50.


"On Art and Contamination: Performing Authenticity in Global Art Practices," Co-authored with Derek Conrad Murray, in Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art 22/23 (Spring/Summer 2008): 88-93.


"Uneasy Bedfellows: Canonical Art Theory and the Politics of Identity," Co-authored with Derek Conrad Murray, in Art Journal, Volume 65, Number 1 (Spring 2006): 22-39.


"Scratching the Surface" Book Review of Rhythm Science by Paul D. Miller a.k.a. Dj Spooky that Subliminal Kid, Art Journal, Volume 64, Number 4: 133-135. 


"High Art/Low Life: Playing Grand Theft Auto" in PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, Volume 80 (May 2005): 91-98.

Teaching Interests: 

Digital Media and Culture; Cultural Studies as they intersect with Visual Representation; Media History and Theory; Contemporary Art; Film Studies; Issues of Cultural Globalization; Constructions of Identity.