Jacqueline Shea Murphy

Fulbright-Queen's University Belfast Scholar Award (Creative Writing)

Jacqueline Shea Murphy is professor of dance studies at the University of California Riverside, and prize-winning author or editor of several books, including Dancing Indigenous Worlds: Choreographies of Relation. She writes about Native American and Indigenous dance artists creating in but beyond coloniality. Her first Fulbright took her to Aotearoa where she learned about Māori contemporary dance. This Fulbright, at the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University, Belfast, allows her to explore her Irish roots, asking: what constitutes “Indigenous” in Ireland and in Irish dance? How do bodies in physical relation, bodies in ancestral relation, and centuries of bodies emigrating and immigrating affect that question? She will study what Irish contemporary dance shows about negotiating space with each other. Following Indigenous scholars who cite storytelling as ‘decolonizing methodologies,’ she will also finish a YA speculative fiction novel set in 1846 Ireland, based on family history.