ScholarshipI am a PhD candidate in cultural anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and an affiliate of the Center for Experimental Ethnography.
My research engages a question central to the fields of cultural anthropology, Black Studies, and performance: How do creative practices such as music and dance transform political life and contribute to a more just social world? My dissertation, Beyond Time: Experiments in Performance and Abolition, Philadelphia, is a multimodal ethnography of abolitionist social movements in Philadelphia that use experimental Afro-Diasporic performance practices to build durable alternatives to police, prisons, and private property. From the city’s first Black mutual aid societies in the late 18th century to contemporary struggles for the decriminalization of homelessness, I reveal how abolitionist social movements and Black experimental arts are co-constituted through embodied performance practices such as group improvisation, channeling spirit, trauma-aware choreography, and holding ground.
As an ethnographer, I use multimodal and experimental arts to build reparative and collaborative knowledge with my community. In addition to academic publication, I create experimental films, zines, participatory installations, audio documentaries, and other multimodal forms that advocate for social justice and enact what Steven Feld calls a “politics of amplification” across differences in identity and privilege.
Healed By the Beat: Milford Graves and Jean-Daniel Lafontant in Conversation. In Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal, ed. Mark Christman, Celeste DiNucci, and Anthony Elms. Inventory Press. 2022.
How the Possession of Human Remains Led to A Public Reckoning at the Penn Museum, co-written with Kinjal Dave. Hyperallergic. October 2021.
Recent ProgrammingOrganizer. Heritage and Presence, 2022-23 symposium for the Wolf Humanities Center at the University of Pennsylvania. February 24th 2023.
Moderator. Philadelphia Zig Zag: New Jazz Legacies. Performances by Farid Barron All Stars and Hudson River. Presented by the Wolf Humanities Center, Harold Prince Theater at the University of Pennsylvania. September 28th 2022.