Naimah Z Petigny
Naimah Petigny is a Black Feminist scholar, educator, and dancer. As the granddaughter of Haitian and Jamaican immigrants, Naimah grew up in Western Massachusetts as a racial justice organizer and student of Afro-Caribbean dance. Naimah received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Women's Studies and Sociology from Vassar College in 2014. Currently, she’s a Ph.D. candidate in Feminist Studies at the University of Minnesota. Naimah’s work exists at the intersections of Black Feminist Theory, Black Studies, and Performance Studies and probes the relationships between subjectivity, representation, and cultural production across disciplinary divides and methodological approaches. Her dissertation, The Hold is also an Embrace: Readings in Contemporary Black Feminist Performance, centers contemporary Black performance to rethink the relationship between performativity and Black liberation. This research reads across staged choreography, dance improvisation, public processionals, site-specific ritual, and direct-action mobilization protests to map how performance extends Black feminist genealogies of radicalism. 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; The Center on Women, Gender and Public Policy at the University of Minnesota. As a research and innovation professional, Naimah has experience with interdisciplinary research, training, community engagement, and disparity reduction across government, non-profit, and higher education. She’s a proven leader with strong analytical and change management skills who brings a racial equity lens, and analysis of structural racism, to applied research, development, and systems change initiatives. During 2020-2021, Naimah is a University of Minnesota Leadership in Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Fellow and P.E.O International scholar.