Jeanette Joy Harris is a Houston-based artistic researcher interested in performance and the dynamic relationship it creates between the life of the mind and the effervescent body.
Joy completed an MscR in history of art at University of Edinburgh College of Art with a focus on performance and politics and completed a BA in political theory with a minor in philosophy from Texas Woman’s University. Joy is currently pursuing a PhD in Philosophy, Art, and Critical Thought at European Graduate School, where she is focused on chance methods in early postmodern dance and performance art and its relationship with deliberative democratic practices like sortition.
She was a scholar in residence at the Hannah Arendt Institute at Bard College and is currently on the management committee for Experimental Action, Houston’s performance art festival biennial. Joy is a member of the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on Public Philosophy (July 2020 – June 2023) and was awarded the Hubert Griggs Alexander Memorial Award from the New Mexico Texas Philosophical Society. She participated in an art writing residency at Arte Studio Ginestrell in Assisi (IT) and is a member of the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies.
Joy has been involved in creative practice for nearly thirty years, beginning with dance performance. She studied modern with a former Erick Hawkins company member, participated in a summer intensive with the Joffrey Ballet, and danced for several Texas-based ballet companies. She was also a guest choreographer for two regional ballet companies and was a social dance instructor at University of North Texas.
Joy has since transitioned her creative practice to visual and performance art practices. She uses philosophical, poetic, and community-based tools to address social questions employing a spectrum of media ranging from photography, participation and video to object, installation, movement, and voice. Areas of recent investigation include gentrification, the aging female body, fake news, gun rights, political aesthetics, and political corruption.
Joy’s works have been shown in Brindisi (IT), Chicago, Dallas, Helsinki, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, the Netherlands, New Orleans, New York City, Pittsburgh, Portland, and San Francisco. Joy workshopped with the International Performance Association in conjunction with Venice International Performance Art Week (IT).
Joy regularly lectures and presents academic papers on performance and philosophy, with a particular emphasis on Hannah Arendt and other 20th century female philosophers like Judith Butler and Adriana Cavarero. She has presented at University of Cambridge’s Centre for Research on Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities; University of Brighton’s Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics; University of Edinburgh; New Mexico Texas Philosophical Society; American Political Science Association; and the Hannah Arendt Circle. She guest lectures at Texas Woman’s University, University of Houston, and the University of North Texas. She has published a variety of articles on politics and performance.
“Women of a Certain Age,” a collaborative performance with Julia Claire Wallace, was included in Ugly Duckling Presse’s Emergency Index 9.