Leverhulme Research Fellow, Faculty of Arts, University of Nottingham

I am a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow (2013-16). My current project examines early Black and Jewish women ethnographic filmmakers' pioneering contributions to art and anthropology. My previous research explored cinematic and literary representations of Black dance. I have published articles in the Journal of American Studies, Irish Journal of American Studies, International Journal of Francophone Studies, New Review of Film and Television Studies and Slavery & Abolition and have an article forthcoming in African American Review. I am also the author of Josephine Baker and Katherine Dunham: Dancing Bodies in Literature and Cinema (contracted to the University of Illinois Press) and the co-editor with Celeste-Marie Bernier of Visualising Slavery: Art Across the African Diaspora (Liverpool University Press, forthcoming late 2015).

My research interests are broadly in the fields of African, African American and Caribbean literature, anthropology, film, dance, and visual culture in general. My predominant focus is on women's contributions to these fields. I am also interested in early twentieth-century Black-Jewish relationships in the arenas of anthropology, political activism and modernism.

My previous research investigated the international film careers and writings of Black US dancers Josephine Baker and Katherine Dunham. My research for the next three years examines Black and Jewish women ethnographic filmmakers' pioneering contributions to midcentury art and anthropology.

My current project uncovers artist-anthropologists Zora Neale Hurston, Katherine Dunham, Maya Deren, Eslanda Goode Robeson and Pearl Primus's pioneering contributions to inter- and early post-war art and anthropology to transform our understanding of anthropological influences in modernism. The project has two broad aims: to recover the work of leading Black and Jewish women artist-anthropologists and to chart connections between their fieldwork and their art.

Experience

  • –present
    Leverhulme Research Fellow, Faculty of Arts, University of Nottingham