Pew Fellow Kariamu Welsh passed away on October 12, 2021, at the age of 72.
Welsh developed her own dance technique, called Umfundalai, which incorporated elements of a variety of styles of African dance. “It’s a memory of dancing in your mother’s kitchen when you’re making dinner for Sunday or when you’re dancing around the house,” her colleague C. Kemal Nance, a dance and African American studies professor who teaches the technique, told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Welsh was also a dance scholar, earning her doctorate in dance history from NYU and writing and editing numerous books on Black movement and Afrocentric history. She was a professor at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance for three decades, retiring in 2019.
In addition to her 1996 Pew Fellowship, Welsh received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowship, and three Fulbright Scholarships.