Naimah Z Petigny

Naimah Petigny is a Black Feminist scholar and dancer. As the granddaughter of Haitian and Jamaican immigrants, Naimah grew up in Western Massachusetts as a youth organizer, racial justice facilitator, and student of Afro-Caribbean dance. Naimah received her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Women's Studies and Sociology from Vassar College in 2014. Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate in Feminist Studies in the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota. Naimah’s interdisciplinary research exists at the intersections of Black Feminist Theory and Performance Studies and is dedicated to the study of Black life and liberation. Her research has been generously supported by the College of Liberal Arts; Steven J. Schochet Endowment for Queer, Trans and Sexuality Studies; the Race, Indigeneity, Gender & Sexuality Studies Center; and The Center on Women, Gender and Public Policy at the University of Minnesota. As a fellow in Hennepin County Government’s Center of Innovation and Excellence, Naimah pulls on her backgrounds in Ethnic Studies and project management to conduct mix-methods research on racial disparities in Minnesota. Currently, she is supporting the creation of an Urban Indigenous Elder’s Advisor Council, in partnership with the Minneapolis Foundation. Naimah’s pedagogy is grounded in interdependence and experimentation and she teaches courses on U.S social movements, Black cultural production, and Feminist Theory.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Bachelors of Arts : Women's Studies , Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, 2014.
  • Bachelors of Arts : Sociology , Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, 2014.


  • Black Feminist Theory
  • Performance Studies
  • Queer of Color Critique
  • (Auto) Ethnography
Courses Taught
  • GWSS1003: Women Write the World (Teaching Assistant)
  • Feminist Film Studies
  • Radical Practice: Black Performance and the Everyday
  • Engaging Justice
Research & Professional Activities


  • Project Manager : Art of Healing: Embodied Storysharing as Resistance and Praxis
  • Research Assistant: Department of Communications, University of Minnesota, 2014
  • Youth Participatory Action (YPAR) Researcher: Youth Participatory Action project at Parkway Montessori School in St.Paul, MN, 2016
  • Researcher: School for International Training, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2012
  • Researcher, Oral History Interviewer : Vassar College Queer Oral History Project, 2012 - 2014
  • Archival Intern: Real Cost of Prisons Project, 2013
  • Research Assistant: Department of Education, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, 2011
  • Rapturous Groundings: Bouchra Ouizguen's Corbeaux and the Performance of Release: Petigny, Naimah, Author. Link
  • Decolonizing Methods Through Embodied Praxis: Petigny, Naimah, Routledge International Handbooks, Routledge International Handbook of Gender and Feminist Geographies, , 2019.
  • Dancing Black Militancies: A Meditation on Performance, Dissent and Black Ecological Praxis in Ananya Dance Theater: Petigny, Naimah, University of Washington Press, Meditation on Dream: Intersecting Artistic Excellence and Social Justice, 2019.
  • Black Feminist Film Review : Petigny, Naimah, Films for the Feminist Classroom , 9 , 2020. Link
  • Performing Embodied Translations Decolonizing Methodologies of Knowing and Being: Petigny, Naimah, Commoning Ethnography , 2 , 2019. Link
  • Steven J. Schochet Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship in in Queer, Trans, and Sexuality Studies, 9/1/17 - 5/20/18
  • Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies Graduate Research Partnership Program Fellowship, University of Minnesota, 6/1/17 - 9/1/17
  • University of Minnesota Graduate School, Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, Sept 2019 - May 2020
  • Hennepin County Government Graduate Fellowship , May 2019 - May 2020