Symone Antoineé Johnson
Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationNotre Dame, U. of
Grant numberGr. 10006
Approve DateAugust 26, 2020
Project TitleJohnson, Symone (Notre Dame, U. of) "Making the Marvelous: On Care and Black Belonging in Brooklyn, New York"
In light of the ever-growing issue of gentrification in U.S. urban centers, this project is set in Brooklyn where the biopolitics of blackness are glaringly salient. Here, blackness is objectified as a cultural aesthetic, while the Black subject is a target for violence and harm — a result of constructions of racialized personhood that have determined who is worth caring for and about. Generations of cultural history reveal the ways that Black people have employed rituals of healing and everyday acts of care to refigure terms of cultural citizenship that redefine Black identity and construct alternative places of belonging. I will employ a folkloristics of health methodological program (Briggs, 2012) to investigate how everyday practices of care are shaped by contemporary social conditions and politics, and in turn, how care is wielded by Black communities as a tactic of well-being within the Brooklyn cityscape. This work is imperative to the future of anthropological theory-making around care as a comprehensive framework in which to situate questions regarding health and well-being and as a lens through which to engage in critical studies of the implications of the neoliberal political economy for identity formation and terms of belonging.