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. Representations of otherness, migration, citizenship
Phone: 831-459-4947
Fax: 831-459-1341
Office: 109 Communications
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, electronic games, 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 in the Film & Digital Media Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2010.

Selected Publications: 

“Upending Militarized Masculinity in Spec Ops: The Line” in Pat Harrigan and Matthew Kirschenbaum, eds., Zones of Control: War Gaming on Tabletop and Screen (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2016), forthcoming.

Conversation with Artist in Kori Newkirk: Sometimes Always Perhaps Never [artist monograph] (Los Angeles: LM Projects, 2015)

"Threeview: Thief reviewed by a critic, an analyst, and an academic" in VentureBeat, http://venturebeat.com/2014/03/21/threeview-thief-reviewed-by-a-critic-an-analyst-and-an-academic/, March 21, 2014.

“Threeview: Grand Theft Auto V reviewed by a critic, an analyst, and an academic" in VentureBeat, http://venturebeat.com/2013/09/30/threeview-grand-theft-auto-v-reviewed-by-a-critic-an-analyst-and-an-academic/September 30, 2013.

"Threeview: The Last of Us reviewed by a critic, an analyst, and an academic" in VentureBeat, http://venturebeat.com/2013/07/01/threeview-the-last-of-us/, July 1, 2013.

"Theorizing New Media in a Global Context; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love New Media" in FILE Festival Catalog, Electronic Language International Festival, 2013, organized by Paula Perissinotto e Richard Barreto (São Paolo, Brazil: Thaïs Costa, 2013), 10-23. [translated into Portuguese]

"Theorizing New Media in a Global Context; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love New Media" in CTheory, http://www.ctheory.net /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, http://venturebeat.com/2012/12/04/threeview-call-of-duty-black- ops-ii/#mrJK2hur6sr24lMI.99, December 4, 2012.

"Threeview: Assassin’s Creed III reviewed by a critic, an analyst, and an academic" in VentureBeat, http://venturebeat.com/2012/11/20/threeview-assassins-creed- 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.

Selected Lectures:

2016 Panel Organizer: "The Visual Politics of Play: On The Signifying Practices of Digital Games," College Art Association Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., February 2016. FORTHCOMING

2015 The Queerness in Games Conference, UC Berkeley, CA, October 2015. FORTHCOMING http://www.qgcon.com/2015-speakers/

2015 History of Gender in Games Symposium at the Grande Bibliotheque in Montreal. See it HERE

2015 Panel Organizer: "The Visual Politics of Play: On the Signifying Practices of Digital Games," in International Society for Electronic Arts, August 2015.

2015 "The Rubble and the Ruin: Spec Ops: The Line as Anti-War Game," Visual & Critical Studies Lecture, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, February 18, 2015.

2015 Roundtable Participant: Style Wars: Three Conversations on the Power of Style. The Dissident Dandy, "Global Modern Fabulous: Sartorialism, Blackness and the Politics of Self-Fashioning", Co-presented with Derek Conrad Murray, SFAQ Project Space, San Francisco, California, May 12, 2015.

2015 Forum Moderator: "Digital Art and the Interstices of Identity", online forum moderator, Empyre Listserv, Archived by the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art at Cornell University, Month of April 2015.

2014 Roundtable Participant: Virtual Roundtable: The Future of Interactive Documentary, The Future of Storytelling: Reinventing the Way Stories Are Told. May 14, 2014 Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbWCEBVUn9Y

2014 "Games, Connectedness and Radical Empathy Under Globalization" Leonardo Art / Science Evening Rendezvous, June 12, 2014, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA.

2014  “Jefferson Pinder: Bodies Under Duress, Significative Potentials" in Contemporary Black Art and the Problem of Racial Fetishism, College Art Association 102nd Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois, February 12, 2014.

2013 "The Rubble and the Ruin: Spec Ops: The Line as Anti-War Game" at College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology, September 20, 2013.

2013 "Digital Sovereignty: A Cultural Perspective" at International Meeting on New Technologies in the Digital Age, Ventana Sur 2013, Buenos Aires, Argentina, December 4, 2013

2012 "Why Technology Needs Art; Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love New Media," Art History and the Visual Arts, Occidental College, Los Angeles, April 2012.

2011  Panel Co-Chair: "Artmaking as New Knowledge: Research, Practice, Production," College Art Association Annual Conference, New York, February 2011.

2011  "Theorizing New Media in a Global Context" panel presentation in panel: Changing Perspectives on Digital Media in a Global Age, ISEA 2011, The 17th International Symposium on International art, Istanbul, Turkey, Chair: Yiannis Colakides, September 20, 2011.

Teaching Interests: 

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