About the Colloquium

The Stanford Colloquium on Dance Studies offers an opportunity for dance scholars, practitioners, and critics in the San Francisco Bay Area to engage in thoughtful conversations about new directions in dance research. The Colloquium is open to multiple perspectives and approaches to studying dance, whether through embodied practice, performance, ethnography, historical research, movement/choreographic analysis, or cultural and social theory. Each meeting, a guest speaker or performer presents his or her work, followed by discussion. The Colloquium is free and open to the public. Please visit the “2016 – 2017 Schedule” and “Upcoming Events” pages for detailed information about upcoming meetings. Post-meeting reflections and media will be shared on the site’s “Blog.”

The 2016 – 2018 Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies in/and the Humanities, Heather Rastovac Akbarzadeh, has curated the 2016 – 2017 Stanford Colloquium on Dance Studies around the theme “Dance on the Move: Migration, Border Zones, and Citizenship.” The Colloquium’s engagement with interdisciplinary scholars and scholar-practitioners will foster critical dialogue concerning the ways in which dance performance and practice are sites for examining the mobilities and immobilities that shape and are shaped by various forms of transnational migration and citizenship. We will examine how (im)migrant bodies – as subjects constructed through political-economic power relations of race, gender, sexuality, class, nationality, and religion – negotiate, contest, and affirm experiences of belonging/unbelonging in daily life and artistic practice across diverse geographical sites. The rigorous scholarship and performance praxis of this year’s presenters will allow us to assess shared aesthetics between various performances and practices emerging from and within migrant, refugee, and other displaced populations, while critically discerning the historical and situated distinctions between migrant subjects and experiences.

Some of the questions this year’s Colloquium will explore include: How can dance—as theory, method, performance, practice, and an object of analysis—generate critical insight into various forms of migration (voluntary or involuntary) and the subjectivities that emerge from them? What are the limits of dance studies lenses in the study of migration? What conditions of migration, borders, and citizenship produce certain dance forms and certain dancing bodies, historically and today? How do border technologies regulate the movement of bodies and how do dancing bodies intervene in the constructions of borders? What are the affective and material economies within which migrant dancing bodies circulate? How does the study of migration help us think about embodiment, spatiality, temporality, and visuality differently?

The Colloquium, founded in 2014 by Joanna Dee Das,  is sponsored by the Mellon “Dance Studies in/and the Humanities” initiative and generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Co-sponsorship include the Stanford Humanities Center, Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity, Institute for Diversity in the Arts, Center for South Asia, Center for Latin American Studies, Stanford Global Studies, Clayman Institute for Gender Research, and Stanford’s Feminisms+Queerings working group. The Colloquium receives administrative support from Stanford’s Department of Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS).

Please email Heather Rastovac Akbarzadeh (rastovac@stanford.edu) to join the mailing list.

Header image: Akram Khan and ENB dancers in Khan’s Dust. © Dave Morgan.

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