PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Rebecca Schneider, a professor of contemporary tradition and media at Brown College, has been awarded a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Basis, the group announced this month.
Schneider is amongst 184 new Guggenheim fellows chosen from a discipline of practically 3,000 candidates who proposed all kinds of scholarly and artistic initiatives. Among the many 2021 recipients are artists, writers, students and scientists who present “distinctive promise” and have already made important achievements, in keeping with the Guggenheim Basis. Previous fellows have included Nobel laureates, Fields medalists, poet laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and extra.
The fellowship will fund analysis for Schneider’s new ebook, tentatively titled “Shoaling within the Sea as Historical past: Littoral Dance within the Wake of Slavery’s Capitalism.” By means of the research of the historical past of Native American displacement and the trans-Atlantic slave commerce, Black feminist thought, dance and poetry, and thru in-person visits to traditionally important coastal websites, Schneider will discover how efficiency is linked to the currents of oceanic historical past.
Schneider, whose previous analysis has explored the issues and guarantees of Civil Struggle and different historic re-enactments and performers who use their very own our bodies because the stage, stated she believes her analysis has grow to be all of the extra pressing within the wake of latest anti-Black violence within the U.S. — violence, she emphasised, that’s longstanding and foundational to the nation. Because the U.S. continues to grapple with its legacy of slavery, critically analyzing which People are and are usually not commemorated in land-based cemeteries and monuments, Schneider stated it might be key to think about potential connections between the immense numbers of Africans who drowned within the Center Passage and the “oceanic” manner that dance strikes, adjustments, rages and flows.
“I used to be drawn to Caribbean poet Derek Walcott’s 1978 poem ‘The Sea Is Historical past,’” she stated. “He writes, ‘The place are your monuments, your battles, martyrs? / The place is your Tribal reminiscence? Sirs, / in that grey vault. The Sea. The ocean / has locked them up. The ocean is historical past.’ Many within the African diaspora have paid homage to that vast loss and different losses via writing and choreography.”
For example, in her 2016 ebook “Within the Wake: On Blackness and Being,” Christina Sharpe invokes the actions of enslaved our bodies as they drifted in limbo or fell slowly via the depths. And in Isaac Julien’s 2010 video “The Leopard,” which explores African refugees’ boat journeys to Europe in the hunt for higher lives, a dancer performs the actions of falling via water with haunting, lyrical precision.
To know how the ocean reappears in up to date dance, Schneider will analysis dance traditions such because the Caribbean Limbo and the Barbadian Landship and discover the folklore of the Gullah-Geechee communities within the coastal Southeast. A talented sailor, Schneider may also take to the ocean herself. She’s going to sail from Rhode Island to the Caribbean, approaching vital and missed websites of the slave commerce by boat and mooring at watery historic websites alongside the Japanese seaboard, such because the shoals upon which a mutinied slave ship foundered in 1803 at Igbo Touchdown on Georgia’s Outer Banks.
“As a white scholar, I’ve inherited sedimented settler-colonial habits of understanding,” Schneider stated. “My ancestors had been concerned within the early capitalism that was slavery. They sailed into Massachusetts and the Chesapeake within the 17th and 18th centuries and finally pressed into what grew to become Missouri and Kansas and California. White folks stay within the wake of our ancestors’ actions. I’m fascinated by what may be enabled by going to the ocean and treating it each as dwelling reminiscence and as historic archive. I’m going to try to go there and unlearn.”