Dr. William R. Jones Archive Residency | January 17 - 23, 2023
Dr. William R. Jones Archive Residency 2023
Last year, MANCC initiated a new archive residency program in honor of the late Dr. William R. Jones with Maria Bauman, multi-disciplinary artist, artistic director of MBDance, and community organizer, as the inaugural Fellow in residence in July 2022. Ms. Bauman returned to MANCC to continue her research from January 17 to 21, 2023, delving into the archives about and from the late Dr. William R. Jones.
Dr. William R. Jones, an internationally recognized and celebrated activist, scholar, philosopher, theologian, and educator taught at Florida State University from 1977–’99 in the Department of Religion and founded FSU’s African American Studies Program in 1977–’78. The idea of this residency program developed during Darrell Jones’ year-long FSU Alumnus Fellow residency at MANCC in 2020-’21. Darrell, a performer, choreographer, tenured faculty member at The Dance Center of Columbia College in Chicago and Dr. Jones’ son, spent his time in his year-long residency furthering his archival research around the work of his late father. Darrell’s thinking has been highly influenced by his father’s line of research. While Dr. Jones’ tools were often words and speech, Darrell's are cellular, embodied, and expressed mainly in the physical and three-dimensional world. (See mancc.org/artists/darrell-jones/). This program is intended to provide other dance artists of color with aligned interests access to these singularly important and influential archived materials to inform their creative work as well.
During her second residency, Bauman, along with collaborators Audrey Hailes, Olivia Mozie, Rhapsody Stiggers and Embedded Writer/MANCC alumnus jumatatu poe, further dove into her relationship with Dr. Jones as a former student, questioning and reconsidering her own assumptions about art making and socialization through engaging with Dr. Jones’ extensive collection of archived materials. Bauman again worked in the Special Collections and Archives reading room in Strozier Library, which houses Dr. Jones’ impressive archive, as well as MANCC’s dance studio, moving her practice into new contexts to meet the demands of Dr. Jones’ work. Bauman and her collaborators continued to analyze Dr. Jones’ concepts in several different directions, highlighting his JOG and JAM tools of analysis (Jones Oppression Grid and Jones Analytic Model), listening to his lectures and reviewing physical materials. She also drew on the work of his contemporaries such as James H. Cone, and the depth of knowledge present in Darrell Jones, who was able to visit Bauman and discuss her work during both residencies, July 2022 and now.
As part of Bauman’s creative process, she explored Dr. Jones’ archives more extensively and created a representation of her residency time with his work through a presentation of physical scholarship as part of the January 2023 Dr. William R. Jones Symposium, hosted by FSU’s Special Collections and Archives, College of Fine Arts, and Department of Religion.
Bauman’s work manifested in a two-hour long showing of her work at FSU’s School of Dance in Studio 404. The embodied showing allowed participants to experience some of Dr. Jones’ practices that Bauman included in her multidisciplinary offering, utilizing movement, sound, text, voiceovers and provocations. After the showing, participants were encouraged to voice their opinions and experiences in a discussion, and a reception was conducted in FSU School of Dance’s lobby to allow the performers and participants to mingle and interact about the performance and the residency as a whole.
The Dr. William R. Jones Residency at MANCC and the Embedded Writer Program are supported, in part, by the Mellon Foundation.