People / Graduate Students

Graduate Students

Larissa Nez


Indigenous Studies, Black Studies, Cultural Studies, Art History, Race, Colonialism, Humanities

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Bio & Research Interests

Larissa Nez (Diné) is of the Mud People and born for the Mountain Cove People. Her maternal grandfather is of the Red Running into the Water People and her paternal grandfather is of the Big Water People. She was born and raised in Diné Bikéyah (Navajo Nation).

Larissa is a a second year Ph.D. student in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her doctoral research focuses on the connections between critical Indigenous theory, decolonial theory, and the Black Radical Tradition. Particularly, she is concerned with resistance and survivance expressed through modern and contemporary visual and performing arts, archival research that centers strategies of refusal and possibility, and the embodiment of memory and the interior life through the interpretation of sacred geographies/hydrologies/cosmologies as sites of geopolitical and social resistance but also sites where kinship and belonging emerge. Larissa is interested in articulating the ways that Afro-Indigenous, Black, and Indigenous peoples are developing new languages and forms of expression that ultimately heal and generate new ways of life and being.

Larissa is currently the Borderlands Curatorial Fellow with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School. She is also currently serving on the Advisory Council for the Raclin Murphy Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame and the Artist Initiatives Committee with Creative Capital.


Nez, Larissa. “Reuniting and Returning: Balancing our Universe through Weaving,” In Horizons: Weaving Between the Lines with Diné Textiles, edited by Dr. Hadley Jensen. Santa Fe, NM: Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and Museum of New Mexico Press, 2024.

Nez, Larissa. “Indigenous Cultural Revitalization: Notes on rematriation and preservation,” Arts of the Working Class, 1, no. 27 (July 2023): 40-41.

Nez, Larissa, Brianna Nez. Dyeing & Coloring and Homeland, Creation, & Cosmology Educator Guides, for Shaped by the Loom: Weaving Worlds in the American Southwest exhibition, Bard Graduate Center, 2023.

Nez, Larissa. “Indigenous Power in Public Places,” In Jaune Quick-To-See Smith: A Retrospective, edited by Beth Huseman. New York, NY: The Whitney Museum of American Art, 2023.

Nez, Larissa. “The Aesthetics and Ethics of Representation, Reclamation, and Resistance: The Art of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith,” In Poetic Justice: Judith F. Baca, Mildred Howard, and Jaune Quick-to See-Smith, edited by Merry Scully. Santa Fe, NM: New Mexico Museum of Art and Museum of New Mexico Press, 2022.

Nez, Larissa. “Finding our Way Past Trading Posts.” Asparagus Magazine, Fall/Winter 2021. Vancouver, BC. 

Nez, Larissa. A Letter to My Freshman Self: Words of Wisdom from Sons and Daughters of Notre Dame about Learning, Loving, and Living under the Golden Dome. Edited by Jim Langford. 3rd ed. Notre Dame, IN: Corby Books, 2021.

Larissa Nez, Sophia Ellis, Rai Terry. “The Aesthetic of Power: Porcelain and the Expansion of White Saviorism.” Spark Magazine, May 30, 2021. National Center for Institutional Diversity.

Nez, Larissa, Felicia Bartley, Alice Cole. Weetamoo Woods: More Than A Name. Methods in Public Humanities, Dec 2021. Brown University. 

Nez, Larissa. “Be the Light: Volume 4.” We Are ND. University of Notre Dame, Apr 14, 2020. 

Nez, Larissa. “Exploitation of Native Imagery for Profit.” Terra Incognita Media, Sep 13, 2017. 

Awards and Honors

2023 Borderlands Curatorial Fellowship, Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School and the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands at Arizona State University

2022 Native American Studies Summer Research Award, Native American Studies Program, UC Berkeley

2022 Center for Interdisciplinary Critical Inquiry Summer Research Grant, Division of Arts and Humanities, UC Berkeley

2022 Borderlands Curatorial Fellowship, Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School and the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands at Arizona State University

2022 Digital Indigenous Storytelling Fellowship, Forge Project

2022 Pathways Fellowship, Association of Moving Image Archivists hosted by the Navajo Nation Museum, Window Rock, AZ

2021 Andrew W. Mellon Reimagining New England Histories: Historical Injustice, Sovereignty and Freedom Fellowship, Munson Institute at the Mystic Seaport Museum, Brown University’s Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, and Williams College

2020 Curatorial Fellowship, Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, Brown University

2019 Andrew W. Mellon Native American Museum Fellowship, Minnesota Historical Society

2019 Extraordinary Service Award, Native American Initiatives, University of Notre Dame


M.A. Brown University May 2022
Public Humanities
Advisor: Dietrich Neumann

B.A. University of Notre Dame May 2019
Art History
Minor in Sociology
Advisor: Elyse Speaks