Runnie Exuma

Anthropology Graduate Student

Degrees prior to starting this degree program:

Dual degree between the Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Paris Institute of Political Studies) and Columbia

University in the City of New York.

  • Political Humanities with a concentration in International Law (Paris Institute)
  • Comparative Literature and Society (Columbia), graduated Magna Cum Laude

Areas of Interest:

Blackness, political economy of sex/gender, violence, slavery & coloniality, corporeal geographies, sensory ethnography (film & performance as method)

Field Research Plans/History:

An amorous poet, story-keeper, feminist cartographer, and drop of sun under the earth, Runnie has worked through the question of how the figure of the black captive maternal emerges in early modern cartography and archives of contemporary migration across the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. She has conducted fieldwork in the hyper-visibilized spaces of the favela and the quilombo in Rio de Janeiro, documenting the infrapolitics of black Brazilian women crafting resistance against state-sanctioned terror and forced displacement. Studying the colonial history of food insecurity in Haiti, Runnie has also mapped Haitian women’s labors in constructing abolitionist food geographies that eschew the oppressive logics of the plantationocene and its impact on global foodways.

Thinking of how bodies and spaces are produced through sites of subjugation, pleasure, and terror, she will be researching how the dialectics of anti-black violence unfold on the black female body, and how the legacy of transatlantic slavery institutes spatial and temporal modes of containment and dispossession globally. Runnie plans to conduct fieldwork grounded in the shared thematics between the Caribbean and the Black Mediterranean. Weaving embodied and sensory ethnographic methods, she will continue to work with black women navigating gender-based violence within contexts of migration, displacement, and precarity.

Publications, Multimedia Projects:

  • “The Black Mater(nal) at the End of the World,” May 2023 (Columbia)
  • Professor Saidiya Hartman’s Republication of Scenes of Subjection (2022) — (Re)Mapping its Conceptual Appendix, October 2022 (Columbia)
  • “Men Anpil, Chay Pa Lou: Women, Food Geographies, and Abolition in Haiti,” May 2022 (Paris Institute)
  • “Terra Nullius: Violence, Blackness, and Space,” April 2022 (Columbia)
  • “Worlding Ourselves: Mapping Abolition Geographies in the Caribbean,” August 2021 (Columbia)