What Mary Beth Meehan is Thinking About Now

Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America

A core component of CSREA’s mission is supporting faculty and advanced students in the development of cutting-edge, collaborative intellectual work. The “What I Am Thinking About Now” series provides a collegial, productive workshop space for faculty and graduate students to present and discuss recently published work and work in progress. Scholars test ideas and receive feedback from a diverse and supportive group of scholars on Mondays throughout the semester.


“Photography, Collaboration, and Representational Justice”

Mary Beth Meehan, Fitt Artist in Residence, Watson Institute

In this talk, photographer, writer, and installation artist Mary Beth Meehan will talk about her “Seeing Silicon Valley” exhibition currently on display at Brown, and will tie in in her past decade of working collaboratively in American communities to reflect them back to themselves, to challenge dominant narratives, and to use her craft to telegraph more accurate reflections on peoples’ experiences.


Mary Beth Meehan is an independent photographer, writer, and educator, who has spent more than twenty years embedding herself in communities across the United States. Beginning in her native New England, and continuing in the Midwest, the American South and in Silicon Valley, her work, which combines image, text, and large-scale public installation, stems from her belief in a collaborative process that should function in and for the communities it reflects. Co-opting the scale of celebrity and advertising, Meehan’s portrait banners activate public spaces and spark conversations among and about the people who inhabit them. Mary Beth has held residencies at Stanford University, the University of Missouri School of Journalism and at the University of West Georgia. She has lectured and led workshops at the School of Visual Arts, New York, the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, in Boston, and the Missouri Photo Workshop. A native of Brockton, Massachusetts, Mary Beth received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature at Amherst College, and a Master of Arts degree in photojournalism at the University of Missouri, Columbia. She lives in Providence with her husband and two sons.