Dr. Cara Judea Alhadeff, Visiting Professor of Gender and Critical Pedagogy at UC Santa Cruz, is a scholar, artist, and Iyengar yoga teacher whose work engages feminist embodied theory. She earned her Ph.D. in 2012, summa cum laude, from The European Graduate School (EGS), Europäishe Universität Für Interdisziplinäre Studien, in Saas-Fee Switzerland in Philosophy, Art, and Critical Thought, and her MA in 2009. As an undergrad, she attended Sarah Lawrence College with a minor in photography under Joel Sternfeld. Under the mentorship of Henry Giroux, Susan Squier, and Ivan Illich, she graduated from Penn State University, summa cum laude, with a minor in photography and a Bachelor of Philosophy degree in her self-designed interdisciplinary major, Corporeal Politics. She has worked intensively with such scholars as: Avital Ronell, Fred Ulfers, Tom Zummer, Sam Weber, Jacques Rancière, Hubertus von Amelunxen, Sylvère Lotringer, Slavoj Žižek, Judith Butler, Julia Kristeva, Michael Taussig, and Elizabeth Grosz.
Alhadeff’s first transdisciplinary book, Viscous Expectations: Justice, Vulnerability, The Ob-scene (Atropos Press 2013/ Penn State University Press, 2014), scrutinizes how racial hygiene, ethnocentrism, and anti-intellectualism configure the troubled yet vital concept of equality. Fusing theory and image, Viscous Expectations explores vulnerability as a strategy for collaborative justice. It covers a spectrum of political, philosophical, and personal subjects woven throughout ninety-two of her color analog photographs and video stills, 550-pages of theoretical text, and extensive footnotes that present polyvalent, overlapping narratives.
As co-founder of “Occupy (Decolonize) Education, Pregnancy, Parenting,” she has worked with communities to disentangle the roots of systemic corporeal and social violence—recognizing how pregnancy, birth, and mothering in the US function as officially sanctioned misogyny. As co-organizer for the San Francisco Bay Area’s First International Birth Justice Fair, Alhadeff has collaboratively protested infrastructural racism and sexism in education, health care, and housing. Her new book, Zazu Dreams, addresses eco-literacy and the diaspora of Arab Jews. She has been co-editor for Interdisciplinary-Research/interdisciplinary.net, and has published essays in philosophy, art, sexuality, social ecology, and ethnic studies’ journals and anthologies such as Philosophy Today, Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge, Deleuze and Sex (Edinburgh University Press), Volume One, 2010 (Art Basel Miami), Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture (Tate Art Museum, London), and Women, Violence and Resistance (University of Tunis). Alhadeff has exhibited her photographs and performance-videos and presented lectures and workshops throughout Asia, Europe, and the US. Alhadeff’s video-lectures include: The Erotics of the Uncanny, Fictional Bodies: Probing the Private and the Public, and Pedagogically inhabiting the intermedial: Kristeva Circle 2014, Digesting The Stranger Within: le monstre du Carrefour. Her solo photography exhibitions, Ecology & Community Projects, and collaborative performances have been the subject of several documentaries for international television, and have been published in Korean and European art journals—including The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, New Art Examiner, and Wolgan Misool. Her analog photographs have been publicly defended by Freedom of Speech organizations such as the Electronic Freedom Foundation, artsave/People for the American Way, and the ACLU, and are in numerous collections including The Museum of Modern Art, Salzburg, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Jewish Museum in Berlin, Germany, Braunschweig University of Art in Braunschweig, Germany, and The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. Her work has been exhibited and reviewed with those of Cindy Sherman, Joel-Peter Witkin, Sally Mann, Alfredo Jarr, John Coplans, and Dieter Appelt. Alhadeff’s collaborations involve projects with international choreographers, composers, poets, sculptors, and architects—including: In-sight w/Kunst-stoff Dance Company, and Tongue & Trigger w/Nicole Sumner. Essays written and presented in 2015 include: “Promiscuous Crossings: Improvising Democracy,” “Female Ejaculation as Social Emancipation,” “Je Suis Juif / I Am Moslem,” “Decolonizing Our Wombs: Gender Justice and Petro-PharmaCulture,” and “Dis-Orienting Sexuality: Moving Beyond the Bi.”