2017 – 2018 Schedule

Stanford Colloquium on Dance Studies 2017 – 2018

“Mediations of Movement: Theorizing Dance on Screen.”

The Stanford Colloquium on Dance Studies is a free and open-to-the-public lecture-performance series that features interdisciplinary scholars and scholar-performers who critically engage with dance as a theoretical field, method, practice, and/or object of analysis. The 2017-2018 Colloquium is co-curated by Heather Rastovac Akbarzadeh (Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies) and Usha Iyer (Assistant Professor, Film and Media Studies) around the theme, “Mediations of Movement: Theorizing Dance on Screen.” As forms invested in the exploration and exhibition of movement, cinema and dance have had a long history of engagement. Screendance studies has emerged as an exciting discipline within both dance studies and film & media studies, and calls attention to the long history of engagement between dance, cinema, and other moving media. Through the academic year, the Stanford Colloquium on Dance Studies will invite scholars and scholar-practitioners to frame the theoretical and historical questions around screendance studies and dance on screen and their relevance for the study of dance, film, new media, art, and performance.

For this year’s inaugural lecture, the Stanford Colloquium on Dance Studies is excited to present:

“Hiding in Plain Site: Screendance Histories and the Expanded Imagination”

A lecture by Douglas Rosenberg (Professor and Chair of the Art Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Discussants: Usha Iyer (Stanford University) & Sima Belmar (University of California, Berkeley)

Thursday, November 9, 2017, 5:30pm – 7:00pm, Followed by a reception

Oshman Hall in McMurtry Building, Stanford University, Free & Open to the Public

If you will attend, please RSVP here.

In a seminal essay “Video Space: A Site For Choreography,” first published in LEONARDO in 2000, Douglas Rosenberg notes, “Video space as a site for choreography is a malleable space for the exploration of dance as subject, object and metaphor, a meeting place for ideas about time, space and movement.” Dance has been inextricably linked to the sequential image since the earliest days of photography. Expanding the scope of thinking to analog or “hand drawn” technologies offers an even more extended notion of screendance and allows us to theorize a trajectory that wanders into the territories of the visual arts, theater, storytelling and beyond.  Screendance is perhaps the most invasive of all arts species; it has been hiding in plain site since well before there was a critical mass of interest in the form, even before it was named as such.  This talk visualizes a screendance history, theory and practice that is transgressive and ever-present, even if hovering slightly out of the frame.

Presenter Bio:

Pic-Head shotDouglas Rosenberg is Professor and Chair of the Art Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is an artist, theorist, and the author of Screendance: Inscribing the Ephemeral Image and The Oxford Handbook of Screendance Studies, as well as a founding editor of The International Journal of Screendance. His work in video, installation, and performance has been exhibited internationally for over 30 years and has been supported by numerous grants and awards including, the NEA, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Soros Foundation, the MAP Fund in New York, and the James D. Phelan Art Award in Video.  Recent venues for screenings of his work include Limerick City Gallery of Art, Scotland, Lincoln Center, New York, and le Festival Ciné-Corps de Paris in 2018.

Discussant Bios:

Usha Iyer is Assistant Professor, Film and Media Studies, in the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford University. Her research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of cinema, performance, and gender studies, with a specific focus on dance, stardom, and gender in Indian cinema. Her current book project, “The Dancing Heroine: Choreographing Gender in Popular Hindi Cinema,” examines the role of dance in the construction of female stardom from the 1930s to the 1990s.

Sima Belmar holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from the Department of Theater, Dance, & Performance Studies at UC Berkeley, where she is a Lecturer. Her scholarship has been published in the Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices, Performance Matters, and The Oxford Handbook of Screendance Studies. She writes the “In Practice” column for In Dance, a publication of Dancers’ Group, is a member of the Isadora Duncan Awards committee, and is a Low-Res Writer’s Lab fellow at the National Center for Choreography in Akron, Ohio. 

Stay tuned for announcements about our upcoming lectures:

Winter Quarter 2018: Harmony Bench, Assistant Professor of Dance, Ohio State University


Harmony Bench is Associate Professor in the Department of Dance at The Ohio State University, where she is also affiliated faculty with Theatre, Folklore, Translational Data Analytics, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her research sits at the intersections of dance, media, and performance studies and revolves around encounters between bodies and machine or media technologies. Her writing has appeared in the Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen, Choreographies of 21st Century War, and Dance on Its Own Terms as well as Theatre Journal, Dance Research Journal, The International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, Participations, and Performance Matters, among others. Current digital humanities projects include: Mapping Touring, which focuses on the performance engagements of early 20th century dance companies, and Dance in Transit, a collaboration with Kate Elswit that considers transportation infrastructure and support networks in Katherine Dunham’s dance touring of the 1950s. Both of these digital works in progress can be found at http://movementonthemove.osu.edu/. Since 2014, she has been co-editor of The International Journal of Screendance with Simon Ellis.

Spring Quarter 2018: Ida Meftahi, Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Maryland

Afra Pourdad-Headshots-Washington-DC-4006Ida Meftahi is a Visiting Assistant Professor of contemporary Iranian culture and society at the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies, University of Maryland. She completed her doctoral studies at the University of Toronto’s Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at Pennsylvania State University. Her first book, Gender and Dance in Modern Iran: Biopolitics on Stage was released in Spring 2016 (Routledge Iranian Studies Series). Offering a novel approach to corporeality in twentieth-century Iran, Meftahi’s historiographical analysis encompasses gender, urbanism, performance, cinema, and political economy of public entertainment. Her research has also appeared in Muslim Rap, Halal Soaps, and Revolutionary Theater: Artistic Developments in the Muslim Cultural Sphere (2011), Islam and Popular Arts (2016), Oxford Handbook of Dance and Ethnicity (2016), IranNameh (2016), International Journal of Middle East Studies (2016), and Clio. Femmes, Genre, Histoire (forthcoming, 2017). She is currently working on her second manuscript, a spatial humanities reading of Tehran’s historic entertainment district, while directing the Lalehzar Digital Project, a component of the Roshan Initiative for Digital Humanities.

Stanford Colloquium on Dance Studies 2017 – 2018 is curated around the theme of “Mediations of Movement: Theorizing Dance on Screen.” All events are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. For any accessibility needs, please contact Heather Rastovac Akbarzadeh: rastovac@stanford.edu.

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. Co-sponsors include the Office of the Vice President for the Arts, Stanford Humanities Center, the  Department of Theater & Performance Studies, and the Film & Media Studies Program, Department of Art History.