Karen Jaime (‘97) Assistant Professor of Performing and Media Arts and Latina/o Studies has been awarded a 2023-2024 Schomburg Fellowship. As a Scholar-in-Residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture— the world-renowned repository of materials devoted to the documentation and critical study of the African diasporic experience—Jaime will conduct research necessary for the completion of her second solo authored manuscript wherein she troubles contemporary queer discourses surrounding the term “butch” as a marker for those assigned female at birth that now operates as out of place and time, as under the threat of constant erasure, and that is framed within the vocabulary of extinction. Specifically, in her manuscript-in-progress, Jaime challenges the narrative forecasting an inevitable butch erasure and instead proposes an alternate framing for butch survival by focusing on diverse racialized iterations of female masculinity on television, on stage, on the internet, and in visual culture. Significantly, Jaime analyzes the supposed disappearance of butch lesbians through three key issues: 1) a lack of accessible and affordable elder care, 2) the Black Lives Matter Movement and Covid-19, and 3) gentrification and housing insecurity.
While in residence at the Schomburg, Jaime will focus on the activism, staged performances, and life of lesbian activist and Stonewall veteran, Stormé DeLarverié by examining the materials located in the Stormé DeLarverié papers (1980-2014), and the Stormé DeLarverié Photographs (1955-2014).
Alongside this prestigious fellowship, Jaime is also this year’s recipient of the Faculty Champion Award for Junior Faculty, presented annually by the Graduate School Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement and the Graduate and Professional Student Diversity Council at Cornell.
Karen Jaime '97 (Ph.D., Performance Studies, NYU) holds a joint appointment in Latina/o Studies and the Department of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University.
Receiving the Schomburg is an incredible honor, and I am excited to be in community and conversation with the other fellows for 2023-2024. I am also deeply honored to have received the Faculty Champion Award. It is a recognition and affirmation of the work I devote to ensuring that my students have a safe place to land where they are supported, mentored, and cared for in ways that are often challenging in places such as Cornell. This award is about those students and how much they inspire me to continue to do the work that I do, both within and outside of the classroom.