Naimah Petigny

Naimah Petigny is a Black Feminist scholar and social justice educator. Her research and teaching centers questions of blackness, embodiment, memory, and performance. She grew up organizing amongst youth of color in Western Massachusetts and dancing in West African and Afro-Caribbean performance ensembles.  Naimah graduated with a B.A in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Vassar College in 2014. Currently, Naimah is a doctoral candidate in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota. Working at the intersections of Black Feminist Theory and Performance Studies, her dissertation-in-progress The Hold is also an Embrace: Haunting and Contemporary Black Feminist Performance analyzes Black women’s dance theater performance and the unruly, and often overlooked, dimensions of Black subjectivity it catalyzes. Through the application of auto-ethnographic methods, Naimah’s research connects contemporary Black performance with the historical legacies of slavery and present-day anti-black violence.  Naimah’s writing blends critical theory and poetics while her pedagogy works to carve out spaces of abundance, honesty, and collective transformation in the university and beyond. Naimah is a recipient of the 2019-2020 University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship and the 2019-2020 Hennepin County Graduate Fellowship with the Center of Innovation and Excellence.