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Faculty Spring 2021: Abigail Celis

Unsettled Bodies: Staging Belonging in Contemporary Black French Arts and Literatures

Assistant Professor of French and African Studies

Unsettled Bodies investigates how contemporary Black artists and authors living in France envision belonging to a national, diasporic, and planetary community. Analyzing works that stage the materiality of human bodies in various states—as corpses, as exhibit specimens, as heterogeneous assemblages, as environmental detritus—this research reveals that a key part of these artists’ and authors' theorization of Afro-diasporic belonging relies on rethinking embodiment and agency.