Andrea Medovarski is an associate professor in the Department of Humanities at York University. She is the author of Settling Down and Settling Up: The Second Generation in Black Canadian and Black British Women’s Writing (University of Toronto Press, 2019).
Title: “Ruttier for an Athlete: A Reflection on Dionne Brand’s A Map to the Door of No Return “
Abstract: This reflection considers the ways Dionne Brand’s conceptualizations of the Black body in Map to the Door of No Return reveal its liberatory potentialities. By grouping athleticism with other forms of artistry, Brand’s consideration of the sporting body suggests its possibilities in creative and intellectual projects. I use the conceptual tools provided in Map to consider American gymnast Simone Biles’ actions in the 2020 Olympics as one of these sites, moments, and movements of possibility. Reading her experiences historically and metaphorically through the Door of No Return, I suggest that Biles’ refusal to compete to preserve her mental health was a powerful act of resistance and “way-finding” (Map 44).