Jeanette “Joy” Harris is a Houston-based artistic researcher interested in performance and the dynamic relationship it creates between the life of the mind, the effervescent body, and the public world.
Education EGS, Philosophy, and Art, phD (expected 2024); the University of Edinburgh, History of Art, MscR (2016); Texas Woman’s University, Government, BA (1998)
Leadership American Philosophical Association Committee on Public Philosophy and Experimental Action Management Team
Honors Visiting scholar, Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College; Arte Studio Ginestrelle Residency in Assisi (IT); Alexander Memorial Award for philosophic writing at New Mexico Texas Philosophical Society; and Houston Arts Alliance grant recipient.
Creative Practice Joy has been involved in creative practice for nearly thirty years, beginning with dance performance. She studied modern dance with a former Erick Hawkins and Bill Evans 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 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).
Research & Writing 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; American Society of Aesthetics; 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 including Glasstire, Political Animal Magazine, and This is Tomorrow.
Curatorial practice As a curator, Joy moves between philosophic and creative discourses. She develops programs and conversations that are inherently interdisciplinary and aims to create shared, open, and accessible experiences whose output revitalizes our existential call, cultivates public discourse, and bolsters political plurality. She has curated both online and live programs for organizations like Performance Art Houston. She has also collaborated with institutions like the University of Houston and Houston Community College, and developed independent projects.
Affiliations American Philosophical Association, American Society of Aesthetics, Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies