Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

Artist Statement

I am a geographer and writer whose work focuses on how human difference is thought about and acted on in the world. Animated by loves ranging from music to maps, and driven by a conviction that such media don’t merely reflect our culture’s mores, but shape them, I am interested in the limits and powers of narrative prose; in the essay form; in exploring how all of us, whether or not scribblers by trade, make stories to live.

While at Headlands

While at Headlands, I will be working on a book about the racial history of America since World War II, viewed through the lens of pop culture and taking in subjects including Harry Belafonte’s calypso, Oprah Winfrey’s sway, and the revolutionary pedagogy–and lasting import–of Big Bird.