Artist Statement

Shay Welch’s scholarship project Public Performance Art as Resistance to Epistemic Injustice looks at the power of performance art in public spaces to challenge oppressive public imaginaries.

Her aim is to examine how citizens, as public witnesses to performance art, interact with the embodied ideas communicated. Welch’s hope is to determine whether these performances are engaged with in ways that can be thought of as public acts of resistance to implicit social biases against marginalized bodies.


Artist Bio

Shay Welch is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Spelman College.

She was the 2020-2021 Carnegie Corporation and Rockefeller Foundation Distinguished Research/Creative Scholar and served as Chair of the Association for Feminist Ethics and Social Theory.

Welch has also authored several books, including Choreography as Embodied Critical Inquiry: Embodied Cognition and Creative Movement (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022), The Phenomenology of a Performative Knowledge System: Dancing with Native American Epistemology (Palgrave-Macmillan 2019), Existential Eroticism: A Feminist Ethics Approach to Women’s Oppression Perpetuating Choices (Lexington Books 2015), and A Theory of Freedom: Feminism and the Social Contract (Palgrave-Macmillan 2012).

At Spelman, she teaches courses on freedom, embodied knowledge, embodied cognition, dance, systemic oppression, ethics, sex, feminism, and Native American Philosophy. Her professional goals are to support and mentor young women of color in philosophy and to aid the discipline in recruiting and retaining more underrepresented young philosophers. She is especially interested in supporting first-generation students and students with cognitive and affective disorders.