Celestia Morgan Named Postdoctoral Research Associate in the College of Arts and Sciences

Celestia Morgan standing with arms folded in an art gallery before her framed photographs.
Celestia Morgan

UA art instructor and alumna Celestia Morgan has been named one of two postdoctoral research associates in the College of Arts and Sciences for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Morgan’s appointment will be in the department of art and art history, where she will develop her ongoing studio research into racial zoning practices and interact regularly with students in a wide variety of ways including teaching. She will contribute to the artistic and academic community of UA and West Alabama though service opportunities and departmental activities.

“We are very excited to have Celestia joining the department in this role. Her research and artwork are timely and speak to issues that are at the forefront of national debate. Her work seems poised for a break-through moment and is already garnering significant attention,” said department Chair and Professor Jason Guynes. “We look forward to having her as part of our arts community, as we all seek to advance the visual arts in general and especially in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Morgan is currently a part-time photography instructor in the department of art and art history and works with the Birmingham City Schools assisting in visual arts. She works across several artistic mediums, incorporating sculpture, map making and community engagement as well as photography and video into her work.

A white geometric outline in a blue sky with white puffy clouds.
Celestia Morgan, “Titusville,” from the “Redline” series, 2017, 36 × 36 inches, archival pigment print. Image courtesy of the artist.

“I am humbled to be one of those selected among the many candidates for this position. I’m also extremely excited for this opportunity and ready to get started with my research,” Morgan said. “I will continue to explore systemic racism and racial zoning practices using photography and video. In addition to that, I’m positioning myself to expand my study addressing environmental injustice within one of Birmingham’s residential neighborhoods.”

Assistant Professor Allison Grant, who has worked extensively with Morgan, said, “It is critical for students to see the breadth and depth that a research-based art practice can have. Celestia can model this for our students. I have had the opportunity to observe her as she works with students and she is an excellent teacher, using her own way of working to encourage others interested in telling their story or engaging with the political and social realities of the present.”

Morgan’s recent exhibitions include REDLINE, a solo exhibition at the Birmingham Museum of Art; the National Public Housing Museum’s Undesign the Redline in Chicago, Illinois; and New Southern Photography curated by Richard McCabe at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. She has also exhibited her work at the Minneapolis Institute of Art; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Ark.; and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham, Ala. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Lenscratch, The Bitter Southerner, Art Papers, the Southern Foodways Alliance journal Gravy; and Burnaway. Morgan received her MFA in photography from UA in 2017 and her BFA in photography from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2012. Her website is here.

An African American sifting salt from one hand to the palm of another hand.
Celestia Morgan, “Salt, Mamma Jackson’s Biscuits triptych
(family recipe series),” 2017, 20 x 36 inches, archival pigment print.
Image courtesy of the artist.

The Dean’s Postdoctoral Research Associate positions were established in 2019 through a major College initiative to promote an inclusive scholarly environment and help bring members of traditionally underrepresented groups into tenure-track positions at The University of Alabama’s College of Arts & Sciences.

For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, visit our Degree Programs page.