The Intersection of Identity and Performing Arts of Black Physicists



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



How one negotiates their physics identity is crucial to gaining and maintaining membership in the physics community. However, there is an exclusive culture of physics that has marginalized Black people and leads them to feel that they do not fit the criteria of who a physicist is supposed to be. Therefore, to understand what keeps Black physicists in the field, we must analyze their physics experiences. Studies show that the arts can act as an identity mediator or coping mechanism for underrepresented groups in STEM. In this work, we collect and analyze interviews of thirteen Black physicists, building on previous studies. We find themes in the ways that Black physicists participate in the performing arts. We map those themes onto the previously-developed Critical Physics Identity (CPI) framework in order to understand how the arts have impacted their physics identities. In this thesis, we found that five of the CPI framework codes overlapped in our arts section. Secondly, four of the CPI framework codes used in the arts section had positive subcodes. Our last finding we found was a code connection relations among codes that appeared next to one another - sequential patterns.



Physics Identity, Black Physicist, Performing Arts