Naimah Zulmadelle Pétigny is a Black feminist scholar, dancer and educator. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Literary Arts and Studies at the Rhode Island School of Design, and holds the Schiller Family Assistant Professorship in Race in Art and Design. Pétigny’s research and teaching is shaped by her experiences as a youth organizer, racial justice facilitator, and dancer in professional ensembles. Pétigny holds a BA in Women’s Studies and Sociology from Vassar College and earned her PhD in Feminist Studies in the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota in 2021. Pétigny’s research and writing is multimodal and exists at the intersections of Black feminist theory, gender studies and performance studies. Petigny writes from, and towards, expansive and experimental spaces of Blackness. Her current research centers Black women’s contemporary dance theater performance and rethinks the linkages between coloniality, performance, erotics and Black liberation. Pétigny’s work has been published in Commoning Ethnography, The Walker Art Center Magazine, Agitate! Unsettling Knowledges Journal and the Routledge International Handbook of Gender and Feminist Geographies.
In 2021 Pétigny began working with Leslie Parker Dance Project as a writer and developer of Black Space. As a CtR collaborator, Petigny has been deeply animated by the question of how to document and archive CtR’s many embodiments and wide-ranging practices of remembrance. She’s honored to support the Black creative research elements of CtR.