Literary Arts

Literary Arts Receives Brown Arts Initiative Grants

Assistant Professor Sawako Nakayasu and Jo Stewart MFA '21 have received grants from the Brown Arts Initiative to fund work that will take place in the 2020-21 academic year.

            Assistant Professor of Literary Arts Sawako Nakayasu has received a research and development grant in support of her bilingual, multi-modal book project, The Past and Future of Chika Sagawa, Japanese Modernist Poet, undertaken under the auspices of Brown’s Digital Publications Initiative.  Sawako will work with collaborators in the U.S. and Japan on this project, which will be first in either country to undertake extensive study of a female avant-garde Japanese poet.  Sagawa (1911 – 1936) was a prominent member of a group of avant-garde Japanese poets of the early twentieth century whose work marked a definitive break from longstanding traditions of Japanese poetry.  Although Sagawa has long been recognized in the Japanese poetry community as “everyone’s favorite unknown poet,” she has more recently been hailed as “the point of origin for contemporary Japanese poetry.”

            Jo Stewart MFA ’21 has received a Fitt Artist-in-Residence grant to host New York-based dancer/choreographer Jasmine Hearn on campus for a week-long residency during the Fall 2020 semester. Hearn is the recipient of a 2017 “Bessie” Award for Outstanding Performance whose work investigates how to use memory, sensation, and imagination to enter the body and articulate story. They have performed with David Dorfman Dance, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Solange Knowles, and Will Rawls.  Hearne is currently a member of Urban Bush Women Dance Company. While on campus, Hearn will conduct a workshop on poetics and the body for the graduate and undergraduate student communities in the Department of Literary Arts and TAPS (Theatre and Performance Studies), conduct a classroom visit and demonstration for J Dellecave’s fall course “Critical Dance Studies,” and develop a duet with poet and performer Jo Stewart. The duet-in-progress, which will draw on movement theater, modern dance, zydeco, ballet, Afro-Cuban, improvisational, jazz and liturgical traditions, will be presented in a public performance during the residency week.