Alisa Bierria is an assistant professor in the Department of Gender Studies at UCLA. A Black feminist philosopher, Alisa’s writing and collaborative projects focus on racialized gender violence and critical acts of survival. She is developing a manuscript entitled, Missing in Action: Agency, Race, & Invention, which explores how intention is imagined and invented within structures of anti-black racism, carceral reasoning, and gendered violence. Highlighting insights from Black women’s agentic practices in conditions of violence, she proposes a pluralistic framework for agency that can account for intentional action within contexts of domination.
Alisa’s writing is published in Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, Journal of Social Philosophy, Journal of Popular Music Studies, Social Justice, and in numerous scholarly volumes, public anthologies, and op/eds. She is also a co-editor of the volumes, Abolition Feminisms: Organizing, Survival, and Transformative Practice (Haymarket Books, 2022) and Community Accountability: Emerging Movements to Transform Violence, a special issue of Social Justice (2010). An advocate and organizer within the feminist anti-violence movement for over 20 years, Alisa has co-founded and co-led several national organizations, including Survived & Punished, which advocates for the decriminalization of survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
Black Feminist Theory, Gender Violence and Redress, Feminist and Queer Carceral Studies, Agency and Intentionality, Feminist Epistemology
Articles & Book Chapters
Bierria, A. (Fall 2021). On Love & the Limits of Theory: On The Life & Death of Latisha King: A Phenomenology of Transphobia, by Gayle Salamon. Philosophy Today, 65(4). Full text
Bierria, A. (2020). Racial Conflation: Agency, Black Action, & Criminal Intent. Journal of Social Philosophy. Full Text
Bierria, A. (2019). Grassroots Philosophy & Going Against the Grain. In E. Brister, & R. Frodeman (Eds.), Philosophy for the Real World: An Introduction to Field Philosophy with Case Studies and Practical Strategies. New York: Routledge Press. Full Text
Bierria, A., & Lenz, C. (2019). Battering Court Syndrome: A Structural Critique of Failure to Protect. In J. Stoever (Ed.), Politicization of Safety: Critical Perspectives on Domestic Violence Responses. New York: New York University Press. Full text
Bierria, A. (2014). Missing in Action: Violence, Power, and Agency. Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, 29(1), 129-145. Full text
Caruthers, J., and Bierria, A. (2011). Stay With Me: Reflections on Michael Jackson, Sound, Sex, and (Racial) Solidarity. Journal of Popular Music Studies, 23(1), 125-32. Full text
Rojas Durazo, A., Bierria, A., and Kim, M. (2010). Community Accountability: Emerging Movements to Transform Violence. Social Justice: Special Issue: Reimagining Community Accountability in Theory and Practice, 37(4), 1-12. Full text
Bierria, A. (2010). “Where them bloggers at?”: Reflections on Rihanna, Accountability, and Survivor Subjectivity. Social Justice: Special Issue: Reimagining Community Accountability in Theory and Practice, 37(4), 101-25. Full text
Bierria, A., Caruthers, J., & Lober, B. (2022). Abolition Feminisms: Organizing, Survival, and Transformative Practice and Uprooting Paradigms: Feminist Ruptures against the Carceral State. Chicago: Haymarket Books.
Rojas Durazo, A., Bierria, A., & Kim, M. (2010). Social Justice: Special Issue: Reimagining Community Accountability in Theory and Practice, 37(4).
“BAR Abolition & Mutual Aid Spotlight: Alisa Bierria,” interview by Dean Spade and Roberto Sirvent, Black Agenda Report, May 2020.
“On the Complexities of Calling 911, Even in Cases of Sexual Violence,” In These Times, August 2018.
Bierria, A. (2017). Pursuing A Radical Anti-Violence Agenda Inside/Outside a Non-Profit Structure. In Incite! Women of Color Against Violence (Ed.), The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex (pp. 151-163). Durham: Duke University Press. (Original work published by South End Press, 2007).
Bierria, A., Carillo, O., Colbert, E., Ibarra, X., Kigvamasud’Vashti, T., & Maulana, S. (2016). Taking Risks: Implementing Grassroots Community Accountability Strategies. In Incite! Women of Color Against Violence (Ed.), Color of Violence: The Incite! Anthology. Durham: Duke University Press. (Original work published by South End Press, 2006).
Interview with Kigvamasud’vashti, T., & Shahidah Simmons, A. (2010). Catalyzing Possibility: The NO! Film Documentary as Community Accountability Technology. (A. Bierria, Interviewer) Social Justice: A Journal of Crime, Conflict, & World Order 37(4), 60-75.
Bierria, A., Liebenthal, M. and griffin, S. (2007). To Render Ourselves Visible: Women of Color Organizing and Hurricane Katrina. In South End Press Collective (Ed.), What Lies Beneath: Katrina, Race, and the State of the Nation. Boston: South End Press.
Freedom Scholar Award, Marguerite Casey Foundation (2020)
Hellman Fellowship, Hellman Family Foundation (2020)
Engaging Humanities Grant, University of California Humanities Research Institute (2019)
Named Recognition: Alisa Bierria Graduate Fellowship in Black Feminist Research, Center for the Study of Women, UCLA (2019)
Colorlines 20 x 20, Colorlines, Race Forward (2018)
University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Gender & Women’s Studies, UC Berkeley (2018)