May 19: Jacqueline Shea Murphy on “Dancing in the Here and Now”

Murphy HeadshotJacqueline Shea Murphy

Associate Professor in the Department of Dance at University of California, Riverside.

Dancing in the Here and Now: Indigenous Presence and the Contemporary Choreography of Emily Johnson/Catalyst and DANCING EARTH

This presentation addresses ways that Indigenous choreographers are using contemporary dance in ways that strengthen and assert Indigenous knowledge. Shea Murphy will offer some thoughts about two specific contemporary dance making practices and what they say about time, space, caregiving and taking, disrupted and disputed ways of knowing, visual markers of Native American identity, and being in relationship to each other and the world. She will tease out points of tension around “Indigenous choreography,” including questions about different ways it is and isn’t visible to those viewing; about its strategies of refusal, response-ability, relationality, and “radical decolonial love;” and about the multiplicities, complexities, and possibilities it engages to assert ongoing Indigenous presence and refute the presumptive force and finality of ongoing settler colonization.

TUESDAY, MAY 19  5:30-7pm

125 Memorial Hall, Stanford University. For a map, click here. For directions, click here.


Jacqueline Shea Murphy teaches courses in Critical Dance Studies in UC Riverside’s Dance department. She is author of “The People Have Never Stopped Dancing”: Native American Modern Dance Histories (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), awarded the 2008 de la Torre Bueno Prize® for outstanding book of the year in Dance Studies by the Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS). For over a decade, she has been following the work of Native American and Indigenous choreographers in the U.S., Canada, and Aotearoa (New Zealand), traveling to see Indigenous dance events and performances and to visit, talk, plan, laugh, and dance with Indigenous dancers and choreographers. Drawing on this research and the relationships that have build around it, she has published on Indigenous dance and contemporary choreography in journals including Discourses in Dance, Theatre Research International, Interventions, and Biography. She has helped bring Indigenous dance studies into visibility to dance scholars and to the public through this and other writing, in her lectures and teaching, and also by organizing and producing numerous showcases, panels, and symposia on the topic at conferences and through the “Indigenous Choreographers at Riverside” project at UC Riverside, which she directs. In 2015-16, Shea Murphy will be a fellow at the International Research Center “Interweaving Performance Cultures” at Freie Universität Berlin, writing a new book engages with ways that contemporary Indigenous choreography inhabits and strengthens Indigenous epistemologies. She is also currently editing a Special Issue of Dance Research Journal (DRJ) on “Indigenous Dance Today,” due out next year.

This event is free, but please register by emailing

The Stanford Colloquium on Dance Studies is sponsored by the Mellon “Dance Studies in/and the Humanities” initiative and is generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


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