Runnie Exuma

Anthropology Graduate Student

Degrees prior to starting this degree program:

BA, Comparative Literature and Society (magna cum laude), Columbia University, 2023
BA, Political Humanities, Minor in International Law, Paris Institute of Political Studies (SciencesPo), 2023

Areas of Interest:

blackness; gender; space; anthropology of the body and the senses; migration & movement; theories of the image; racial slavery, debt, and forced labor; aesthetics and performance; the Mediterranean; the Caribbean

Field Research Plans/History:

An amorous poet, story-keeper, performer, and feminist cartographer, 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 previously conducted research in Rio de Janeiro, and Salvador, Bahia, 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 worked on mapping Haitian women’s labors in constructing food geographies that eschew the oppressive logics of the plantationocene and its impact on global foodways.

Thinking about how bodies are perceived and produced in space, her current ethnographic work continues to investigate the category of the black captive maternal and the shifting economies of sense/sense-making underwriting it within the spaces of the northern Mediterranean. Experimenting around material, motion, and form, her research explores black femmes’ reproductive labors, compositional movements, their corporeal and formal refusals, as well as their ‘unpayable debts.’ Runnie’s dissertation work also concerns expounding the relation between sexual violence and racial slavery, landscapes of harm and injury, bodies in movement, the politics of the image, blackness and aesthetics, the sea, and the Mediterranean/Caribbean as passage.

In addition to her research, she is a multi-media artist working with performance, film, images, geography, and

Publications, Multimedia Projects:

The Black Mater(nal) at the End of the World, May 2023 (Columbia)
Men Anpil, Chay Pa Lou: Women, Food Geographies, and Abolition in Haiti, May 2022 (Sciences Po)
Terra Nullius: Violence, Blackness, and Space, April 2022 (Columbia)