The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Senior Honors Thesis Grant Recipient: Jovanay Carter '19

Jovanay Carter

Rockefeller Center Senior Honors Thesis Grant Recipient: Jovanay Carter '19.

Article Type 

The Rockefeller Center Senior Honors Thesis Grants program provides funding of up to $1,000 for undergraduate students writing a senior honors thesis in the social sciences.

Jovanay Carter, a member of the Class of 2019, has developed a project which highlights the experiences of black ballerinas in the United States from the mid-20th century to the contemporary era. Jovanay plans to emphasize a small part of the cultural experience of blacks in America to highlight key themes of class, race, gender, intersectionality, power dynamics, body politics, and the myth of the black superwoman.

As a dancer and black woman, herself, she found it confusing that she was passionate and committed to an experience that openly excluded black bodies and wanted to understand more of the phenomenon. She started thinking about this project her sophomore year when she was accepted as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. From there she was given the opportunity and the resources to develop her ideas and find the exact perspective that she wanted to start her academic career with. She settled on black ballerinas, because of the beauty and the rarity that came with the title and how it most directly challenged what it means to exist as a black person in America.  Jovanay's advisor is Jesse Shipley, the John D. Willard Professor of African and African American Studies and Oratory and Chair of Program.

Close
The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences