McMillan, Uri

Associate Professor

Kaplan 210
Tel: 310.825.4173 Fax: 310.267.4339 / Email



Ph.D. Yale University, 2009


Performance Studies, Black Cultural Studies, Aesthetics, and Queer theory

Awards and Honors

William Sanders Scarborough Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Study of Black American Literature or Culture, Modern Language Association (MLA), 2016.

Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theatre History, awarded to the best book in theater history and performance studies, American Society for Theatre Research, (ASTR), 2016.

Errol Hill Award for Outstanding Scholarship in African American theater, drama, and/or performance studies, American Society for Theatre Research, (ASTR), 2016.

Selected Publications

Embodied Avatars: Genealogies of Black Feminist Art and Performance, (New York University Press, 2015). NYUAmazon Introduction

“Nicki-aesthetics: The camp performance of Nicki Minaj,” Women and Performance: a journal of feminist theory, Special Issue: All Hail the Queenz: A Queer Feminist Recalibration of Hip-Hop, Vol. 24, Issue 1, March 2014: 1-9. LINK

“Objecthood, Avatars, and the Limits of Human,” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Special Issue: Queer Inhumanisms, ed. Mel Y Chen and Dana Luciano (spring 2015)

“Mammy-Memory: Staging Joice Heth, or the Current Phenomenon of the ‘Ancient Negress,’ “Women and Performance: a journal of feminist theory, Special Issue: Aging, Vol. 22, No. 1, March 2012, 29-46. LINK

“Crimes of Performance,” SOULS: A Critical Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, Special Issue: Race, Crime, and Capital. Vol 13., Issue 1. 2011: 29-45. LINK

“Relics of the Future: The Aesthetic Wanderings of Simone Leigh.” Evidence of Accumulation (exhibition catalogue), New York: The Studio Museum of Harlem, 2011: 6-8. LINK

“Ellen Craft’s Radical Techniques of Subversion,” e-misferica: Performance and Politics in the Americas, Issue 5.2, Race and Its Others, 2008. LINK

Additional Information

Uri McMillan is a cultural historian who researches and writes in the interstices between black cultural studies, performance studies, queer theory, and contemporary art. His first book, Embodied Avatars: Genealogies of Black Feminist Art and Performance (NYU, 2015) is on black performance art, objecthood, and avatars staged by black women artists. He has published articles on performance art, digital media, hip-hop, photography, and nineteenth-century performance cultures in varied arenas such as Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society, GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies, and e-misferica (all are available for download at In addition, he has lectured at art museums, including MoMA PS1 and the Hammer Museum, and published numerous essays on black contemporary art for the Studio Museum of Harlem. His work has been supported by the Ford Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

Interest Areas
• Sexuality & Gender Studies
• African American Literature & Culture / Black Diaspora Studies