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April 4, 2022
4:00 p.m. Reception and 4:30 p.m. Conversation 

The Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture (CSRPC) and the Human Rights Lab at UChicago invite you to join us as we formally welcome Dorothy Burge and Michelle Daniel Jones, our 2022 Practitioner Fellows cohort, with an engaging conversation moderated by CSRPC Interim Faculty Director C. Riley Snorton and Arts + Public Life Interim Director Adrienne Brown

2022 “Artist for the People” Practitioner Fellows Dorothy Burge and Michelle Daniel Jones will reflect on their artist experiences and discuss what they have in store for their fellowship projects. This open discussion will create an opportunity for the 2022 Fellows to introduce themselves and their artistic practices, while also creating space to share their ambitions for their time in residence at the Human Rights Lab.


Dorothy Burge is a fabric and multimedia artist and community activist who is inspired by history and current issues of social justice. She is a self-taught quilter who began creating fiber art in the 1990s after the birth of her daughter, Maya. Dorothy is a native and current resident of Chicago, but is descendent from a long line of quilters who hailed from Mississippi. Her realization that the history and culture of her people were being passed through generations in this art form inspired her to use this medium as a tool to teach history, raise cultural awareness, and inspire action. Dorothy received her Masters of Arts in Urban Planning and Policy and her Bachelors of Arts in Art Design, both from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a member of Blacks Against Police Torture and Chicago Torture Justice Memorials; both are cultural collectives seeking justice for police torture survivors. Dorothy is also a member of the Women of Color Quilter’s Network, (WCQN), and her quilts were part of several WCQN exhibitions. Dorothy received a 2017 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artist as Activist fellowship and is an Envisioning Justice Commissioned Artist.

Michelle Daniel Jones ABD is a fourth-year doctoral student in American Studies at New York University. Michelle’s dissertation focuses on creative liberation strategies of incarcerated people. Michelle’s fellowships include Beyond the Bars, Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University, Ford Foundation Bearing Witness with Art for Justice, SOZE Right of Return, Code for America and Mural Arts Rendering Justice. Together with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated colleagues, Michelle is publishing a history of Indiana’s carceral institutions for women forthcoming from The New Press. As an artist, Michelle finds ways to funnel her research into theater, dance, and photography.  Michelle co-authored the play “The Duchess of Stringtown,” which was produced in 2017 in Indianapolis and New York, and her artist installation about weaponized stigma, “Point of Triangulation,” ran in New York in 2019 and 2020 and in Philadelphia with a public mural in October 2021.


C. Riley Snorton is the Interim Faculty Director of the CSRPC. He is also a Professor of English Language and Literature, jointly appointed in the department and the Center for Gender and Sexuality Studies, at the University of Chicago. Snorton is a cultural theorist who focuses on racial, sexual and transgender histories and cultural productions. He is the author of Nobody Is Supposed to Know: Black Sexuality on the Down Low (University of Minnesota Press, 2014) and Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity (University of Minnesota Press, 2017), winner of the John Boswell Prize from the American Historical Association, the William Sanders Scarborough Prize from the Modern Language Association, the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Nonfiction, the Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, and an honorable mention from the American Library Association Stonewall Book Award Committee. Snorton is also the co-editor of Saturation: Race, Art and the Circulation of Value (MIT Press/New Museum, 2020). 

Adrienne Brown is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and the College and specializes in American and African American cultural production in the twentieth century, with an emphasis on the history of perception as shaped by the built environment. Her teaching and research interests include critical race studies, architecture and urban studies, the Harlem and Chicago Renaissances, popular culture, and sound studies. With Valerie Smith, Adrienne co-edited the volume Race and Real Estate, an interdisciplinary collection rethinking narratives of property and citizenship. Her book, The Black Skyscraper: Architecture and the Perception of Race recovers the skyscraper’s drastic effects not only on the shape of the city but the racial sensorium of its residents. She is currently working on a new book that charts how the impact of the U.S.’s move to mass homeownership in the 20th century impacted Americans’ experience of residential space as a social, spatial, and, most significantly, a racial unit.