Tracing Black Movements: Chor[e]ographing Dis/placements in North Carolina’s Piedmont


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Performance Studies


“Tracing Black Movements: Chor[e]ographing Displacements in North Carolina’s Piedmont,” begins with the assumption that Black movements are essential to the nature and making of a place. Using the term chor[e]ograph, a theoretical framework developed by combining chorography - description of a region- and choreography - understanding how certain bodies are able to move, this project makes contentions about North Carolina’s Piedmont. In order to trace these 19th and 20th century Black movements, this project draws on performance studies, Black studies, critical urban studies, historical sociology, and archival research. The regional mapping that this dissertation undertakes, however, is not just about shifts in populations but also the food-ways, folkways, and politics—the various modes of place-making—that inform the region. This dissertation elaborates on the relationship between black presence, black displacement and the making of place by Black people in the Piedmont.