Erica Moiah James is an Assistant Professor jointly appointed in the Departments of the History of Art and African American Studies at Yale University. Before arriving at Yale she was the founding Director and Chief Curator of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. She earned a doctorate degree in art history from Duke University. A recipient of International Association of University Women graduate fellowship, she has also served as a John Hope Franklin Fellow at Duke University, a Clark Fellow at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA and as a post-doctoral teaching fellow at Washington University, St. Louis, MO. She is currently a 2015-2017 fellow at the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale.
Publications include, “Speaking In Tongues: Metapictures and the Discourse of Violence in Caribbean Art” (Small Axe, 2012); “Blue Curry: Art, Image and Objecthood” (ARC, 2012); The essay “Unbound” for the exhibition “Point of View: African American Art from the Collection of Elliot and Kimberly Perry” (FIA, 2014); What Will Blackness Be? (Callaloo Arts Journal, 2015) and Dreams of Utopia: The Postcolonial Art Institution (Open Arts Journal (5) 2016); Forthcoming publications include Every Nigger is A Star: (1974) Re-imaging Blackness from Post Civil Rights America to the Post Independence Caribbean (Black Camera, 2016) and Crisis of Faith: Charles White’s J’Accuse! (1966) and the Limits of Universal Blackness (Archives of American Art Journal, 2016). She is the co-editor of a special issue of Small Axe (March 2017) that will focus exclusively on the work of women artists from the global Caribbean. Her first academic book “After Caliban: Caribbean Art in the Global Imaginary” is under review.
In 2015, Professor James published four curatorial essays on Caribbean and African American Art including “Elegy” for the book and exhibition En Mas’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean, Krista Thompson and Claire Tancons eds.; “Second Sight: The Cap Häitien School of Art,” for the exhibition A Sense of Place, Cap Häitien Art from the Collection of Jonathan Demme (Ramapo College); “Reincarnation,” for the fifty year retrospective exhibition on the work of R. Brent Malone for The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (an exhibition she also curated), and “Sun-splash” for the mid-career retrospective of the artist Nari Ward at the Perez Art Museum, Miami and the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. Her next curatorial project will be the contemporary art exhibition, “Small Axe presents: Caribbean Queer Visualities” at the Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, Ireland (2016).
She serves on the editorial boards of Small Axe: A Caribbean Platform for Criticism (DukeUP) and Callaloo Journal (Johns HopkinsUP).