Performing Female Blackness: Blending the Artist and the Academic

Sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University Press

Recorded on 07/12/2023
Posted in The Authority File

Episode 333

Performing Female Blackness book cover.

In the second episode of this four-part series, Dr. Naila Keleta-Mae, a multidisciplinary artist and Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Waterloo, discusses blending her artistic and academic sides in her book, Performing Female Blackness. As the subject, artist, and researcher of her title, Naila explores how these identities worked in tangent—not opposition—to produce a more robust and honest work. She explains the various risks involved when employing artistic expression and personal history in scholarship, and interrogates the issue of who in academia “…gets to just be a person and do the research, whatever that may be, and who has to always position themselves and assert their humanity, often through the demonstration of some kind of pain and evocation of empathy.” Last, she chats about the vulnerability of incorporating art in her scholarship, the influence of region and country in her book, and how the personal is the political.

About the guest:

Naila Keleta-Mae headshot

Naila Keleta-Mae
Associate Professor, Department of Communication Arts
University of Waterloo

Naila Keleta-Mae is a Dorothy Killam Fellow, the Tier 2 SSHRC Canada Research Chair in Race, Gender, and Performance, an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Waterloo, a multidisciplinary artist, and the Principal Investigator of Black And Free.

Enjoy the conversation? Listen to the rest of the series:

Check out our previous series with Wilfrid Laurier University Press:
– Canadian Poetry Today
– Animal Studies, Postcolonial Literature, and Multispecies Modernity
– Unpacking the Personal Library
– Cultivating Indigenous Studies
– Michelle Porter and the Métis Way

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