Thinking Spaces, the Improvisation Reading Group and Speaker Series, considers the ways in which improvisation can provide us with new ways of thinking and acting. The group is open to all—community members, faculty, and students—and presents several in-person and online events per semester.
Our next session, “Black Women Who Move Jazz Methodologies”, is presented by scholar Dr. Rashida K. Braggs. The talk takes place Monday, March 6 from 1-2:30 pm in-person at MacKinnon 103, University of Guelph, and online via Zoom. Sign up through our registration form to attend in-person or online. A Zoom link will be sent to participants email address the day before the event.
How do you make a book move? Move to depart and return to the diverse homes of Black African diasporic women… move in the word-sound-mood tones of the jazz they perform… move readers to resonate and sense their experiences beyond static pages of academic prose.
In this presentation, Rashida K. Braggs discusses her methodological moves that mix dance ethnography, songwriting, and playwriting in her book-performance in progress on the migrations of black women jazz performers to Paris, France. Braggs guides us through an early chapter where she weaves her material and embodied research on the Malagasy-Senegalese singer MFA Kera and Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo as they first migrate to Paris in 1969 and 1983 respectively.
Rashida K. Braggs is Associate Professor in Africana Studies and a faculty affiliate in Comparative Literature at Williams College. Her book Jazz Diasporas: Race, Music and Migration in Post-World War II Paris investigates the migratory experiences of African American jazz musicians in 1946-1963 Paris. In her current manuscript and accompanying performance project “Move Jazz, Black Woman Move,” she explores how and why black women jazz performers of African descent migrate to and from Paris from 1969-2019.
Rashida K. Braggs is also a scholar-performer who acts, dances, sings, composes music and performs spoken word. Trained in Performance Studies, Communications, Theater Studies, and English, she consistently weaves performance through her pedagogy and scholarship. Jacob’s Pillow, the Williams College Museum of Art, the Tapir gallery and the United Solo Theatre Festival have featured her performances.