April 11, 2023
THE SATIN SISTERS: FELT ARCHITECTURES AND THE AFRO-FILIPINA CHORUS
ABSTRACT. This presentation examines the under-studied performance trio “The Satin Sisters,” a 1970s poetry-theater collective formed in San Francisco that featured writers Jessica Hagedorn, Ntozake Shange, and Thulani Davis. Hagedorn, Davis, and Shange’s friendships and artistic collaborations—since their first work in Shange’s choreopoem for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is not enuf (1974)—illuminate an overlooked instance of transnational Black and Filipina American artistic affinities. In their collaborations in poetry and performance, the Satin Sisters were “felt architects” that experimented with poetry, theater, choreography, and music. They created not only works of art that transgressed and worked beyond the categorical limits of these genres as imposed by Euro-American frameworks, but that also forged intimate and emotional environments for the artists engaged in that work. This presentation will analyze their poetic performance “where the mississippi meets the amazon” (1978) and how they gave chorus to one another by citing and layering their poetic voices and connecting with one another through improvisational sight and sound. Ultimately, this presentation seeks to add to scholarship in Philippine and African American performance histories by centering Black and Filipina women’s relational experiences and collective artistry through an invocation of “felt architectures.”
BIO. Jewel Pereyra is a writer and doctoral candidate in the American Studies program at Harvard University, where she holds a secondary concentration in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her dissertation, Afro-Filipina Aesthetics: Transnational Sound Cultures and Dance Performances, 1898-1978, examines the understudied poetic, theatrical and musical performances that emerged from transnational contacts between Filipina and Black women performers. A Fulbright research grantee, she is currently a visiting researcher at the University of the Philippines College of Music.
Register by April 15 via https://bit.ly/KKLectureTHESATINSISTERS