“Dance Studies in/and the Humanities” announces its inaugural class of Postdoctoral Fellows in Dance Studies and its first Summer Dance Seminar at Northwestern University funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

May 23, 2012—Evanston IL
Contact: Jennifer Britton at j-britton@northwestern.edu or 847.491.7294

“Dance Studies in/and the Humanities” announces its inaugural class of Postdoctoral Fellows in Dance Studies and its first Summer Dance Seminar at Northwestern University funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Jason Bush, a specialist in transnational indigenous performance and global dance studies who received his Ph.D. in Theatre Studies from The Ohio State University, will become the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies at Stanford University. Jose Luis Reynoso, a specialist in the history of Mexican and American modern dance who received his Ph.D. in Culture and Performance from the University of California-Los Angeles, will become the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies at Northwestern University. Brandon Shaw, a specialist in phenomenology and dance spectatorship who received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, will become the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies at Brown University.

“The fellows were drawn from a rich and diverse pool of applicants,” says Janice Ross, a co-director of the Mellon project and Professor of Dance at Stanford. “Whereas roughly a third of applicants came from dance-specific Ph.D. programs, the remainder came from twelve other disciplines in the humanities, ranging from American Studies and Anthropology to Religion and Sociology. Just as dance studies has much to learn from adjacent fields in the humanities, so dance studies has much to offer adjacent fields.”

“We were surprised that all the finalists were men,” says Rebecca Schneider, co-director of the project and Professor and Chair of Theatre and Performance Studies at Brown. “This is quite anomalous within dance studies, for the majority of scholars in the field in the U.S. academy are women. But we set up a selection process whereby local search committees chose candidates who best fit their profile and needs, and it turned out that Jason, Jose, and Brandon exactly fit the bill at Stanford, Northwestern, and Brown.”

The Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows will start their appointments by participating in an intensive week-long summer seminar to be held at Northwestern University June 24-30, 2012. There they will be joined by 24 other young dance scholars, “drawn from an equally rich and diverse pool of applicants,” says Susan Manning, project director and Professor of English, Theatre, and Performance Studies at Northwestern. “We’re anticipating an amazing five days of discussion and debate on ‘best practices’ for interdisciplinary research and teaching in the field. Priya Srinivasan, Associate Professor of Critical Dance Studies at the University of California-Riverside, and Gerald Siegmund, Professor of Dance Studies at Justus-Liebig University in Germany, will join us to lend their distinctive perspectives to our conversation. Norman Hirschy, an acquisitions editor at Oxford University Press, will address the group on recent trends in academic publishing.”

The project website at www.mellondancestudies.org/summer-seminar-2012 includes short biographies of all the participants in the summer seminar, including the postdoctoral fellows. In the fall, the website will post a call for applications for future postdoctoral fellows as well as for next year’s summer seminar scheduled for June 23-29, 2013 at Brown.

Planning for 2012 Summer Seminar

We a busy planning our upcoming summer seminar for Dance Studies in / and the Humanities!  Applications are currently being accepted.  Please see qualifications and application details here. Application deadline is March 1, 2012. Questions?  Please contact Jennifer Britton at Northwestern University.

MELLON FOUNDATION INVESTS IN DANCE STUDIES

Northwestern, Brown and Stanford collaborate to fund fellowships, summer seminars

EVANSTON, Ill. — Northwestern University, in partnership with Brown and Stanford, has received a $1,420,700 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a multi-year, multi-school project that will fund postdoctoral fellowships and weeklong summer seminars designed to advance the field of dance studies.

The project, “Dance Studies in/and the Humanities,” will fund the fellowships at each school from 2012 to 2016. The weeklong summer seminars will allow Mellon fellows to work alongside other recent Ph.D.s, advanced graduate students and junior faculty to formulate strategies for interdisciplinary research and teaching in the field.

The inaugural summer seminar will be held at Northwestern June 24 to 30, 2012. The summer seminars will then rotate among the three schools.

“Over the last decade the best young scholars in the dance field have contributed to ongoing conversations across the academy, and the Mellon project aims to intensify this momentum,” said Susan Manning, project director for the grant and a professor of English, theatre and performance studies at Northwestern University.

In contrast to other fields in the humanities, which have experienced a contraction in the number of faculty and students over the last decade, dance studies has experienced modest growth. “It’s getting to the point that we no longer have to explain that dance studies stands in roughly the same relation to dance practice as musicology to music-making, art history to studio art and literary studies to creative writing,” said Manning.

“The summer seminars will engage rigorous thinking about the live body as archive as well as engage efforts to develop digital technology for teaching and research in dance,” said Rebecca Schneider, co-director of the project and chair of theater arts and performance studies at Brown.

“North American as well as international scholars are invited to apply for these postdoctoral fellowships as part of the project’s goal in bringing global dance studies scholarship into the intellectual life of the university and the academic mission of the humanities,” said Janice Ross, project co-director and director of the dance division at Stanford University.

Northwestern will act as the administrative center for the project. Applications for both the postdoctoral fellowships and summer seminars are due Feb. 15, 2012. Postdoctoral fellowship applicants need to send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, writing sample, sample syllabus for an introductory course in dance studies and three letters of recommendation.

Summer seminar applicants need to send a cover letter stating research and teaching interests, curriculum vitae, writing sample and two letters of recommendation.

All applications should be sent to the Dance Studies Search Committee, Northwestern University, University Hall 215, 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston IL 60208-2240. Electronic applications (in Word or pdf) may be emailed to project assistant Jennifer Britton (j-britton@northwestern.edu) with the subject line “Dance Studies Search.”

NORTHWESTERN NEWS: www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/