Victoria Morris Byerly

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VICTORIA MORRIS BYERLY
is an independent filmmaker whose current work is a documentary on the British heiress, poet and political activist Nancy Cunard, a young, audacious British sophisticate living in early-twentieth century Paris, who developed a race consciousness and heightened awareness of global imperialism during the Modernist era. Cunard’s embrace of the 1920s “New Woman;” her support of the Scottsboro boys in the US; her publication of Negro — the result of world-wide anthropological research on the African diaspora; her role as war correspondent in the Spanish Civil War and dedication to the plight of Spanish refugees; her public loathing of fascism and her unflinching stance in the name of social justice (not to mention her prominent role as poet in the official cannon of English literature) makes her one of the most compelling disremembered women in the twentieth century.

Victoria brings to her filmmaking experience many years of teaching women’s studies at California State University, San Jose; University of Massachusetts, Boston; and University of California, Santa Cruz. She was also an Editor at the Regional Oral History Office at University of California, Berkeley, where she helped to document the lives of West Coast artists, their bohemian lifestyles and revolutionary politics.

She is author of Hard Times Cotton Mill Girls: Personal Histories of Womanhood and Poverty in the South (Cornell University 1986), Shirley Triest: A Life on the First Wave of Radical Bohemianism in San Francisco (University of California, Berkeley, 1997) and Gerd Stern: From Beat Scene Poet to Psychedelic Artist, University of California, Berkeley, 1999). She holds a PhD from Boston College.