New Books In Dance



Interviews with Scholars of Dance about their New Books


  • Harshita M. Kamath, "The Artifice of Brahmin Masculinity in South Indian Dance" (U California Press, 2019)

    08/08/2019 Duración: 50min

    Harshita M. Kamath's new book The Artifice of Brahmin Masculinity in South Indian Dance (University of California Press, 2019) features an investigation of men donning a women’s guises to impersonate female characters – most notably Satyabhāmā, the wife of the Hindu deity Krishna –within the insular Brahmin community of the Kuchipudi village in Telugu-speaking South India. Kamath broaches the practice of impersonation across various boundaries – village to urban, Brahmin to non-Brahmin, hegemonic to non-normative – to explore the artifice of Brahmin masculinity in contemporary South Indian dance. This book is available open access here. For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!

  • Emily Wilcox, "Revolutionary Bodies: Chinese Dance and the Socialist Legacy" (U California Press, 2018)

    18/06/2019 Duración: 01h07min

    What is “Chinese dance,” how did it take shape in during China’s socialist period, and how has this socialist form continued to influence Post-Mao expressive cultures in the People’s Republic of China? These are the questions that Emily Wilcox, Assistant Professor of Modern Chinese Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, takes up in Revolutionary Bodies: Chinese Dance and the Socialist Legacy (University of California Press, 2018). Revolutionary Bodies is the first English-language primary source-based history of dance in the People’s Republic of China. Combining over a decade of ethnographic and archival research, Dr Wilcox analyzes major dance works by Chinese choreographers staged over an eighty-year period from 1935 to 2015. Using previously unexamined film footage, photographic documentation, performance programs, and other historical and contemporary sources, Wilcox challenges the commonly accepted view that Soviet-inspired revolutionary ballet

  • David V. Mason, "The Performative Ground of Religion and Theatre" (Routledge, 2018)

    17/04/2019 Duración: 54min

    To what extent may we say that religion is a theatrical phenomenon, and that theatre is a religious experience? Can making sense of one help us make sense of the other? Join us as we dive into The Performative Ground of Religion and Theatre (Routledge, 2018) with its author David V. Mason (editor-in-chief for Ecumenica: Performance and Religion and the South Asia area editor for Asian Theatre Journal) who posits an intriguing parity between theatre and religion.  Drawing heavily from Hindu aesthetic theory and Hindu religious performance, Mason examines the phenomenology of religion in an attempt to better understanding of the phenomenology of theatre, arguing that religion can show us the ways in which theatre is not fake. For information about your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!

  • Jules Evans, "The Art of Losing Control: A Philosopher's Search for Ecstatic Experience" (Canongate Books, 2017)

    28/03/2019 Duración: 01h14min

    People have always sought ecstatic experiences - moments where they go beyond their ordinary self and feel connected to something greater than them. Such moments are fundamental to human flourishing, but they can also be dangerous. Beginning around the Enlightenment, western intellectual culture has written off ecstasy as ignorance or delusion. But philosopher Jules Evans argues that this diminishes our reality and denies us the healing, connection and meaning that ecstasy can bring. In his book, The Art of Losing Control: A Philosopher's Search for Ecstatic Experience (Canongate Books, 2017) he sets out to discover how people find ecstasy in a post-religious culture, how it can be good for us, and also harmful. Along the way, he explores the growing science of ecstasy, to help the reader - and himself - learn the art of losing control. Evans’ exploration of ecstasy is an intellectual and emotional odyssey drawing on personal experience, interviews, and readings from ancient and modern philosophers. From Aris

  • Discussion of Massive Online Peer Review and Open Access Publishing

    19/03/2019 Duración: 32min

    In the information age, knowledge is power. Hence, facilitating the access to knowledge to wider publics empowers citizens and makes societies more democratic. How can publishers and authors contribute to this process? This podcast addresses this issue. We interview Professor Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick, whose book, The Good Drone: How Social Movements Democratize Surveillance (forthcoming with MIT Press) is undergoing a Massive Online Peer-Review (MOPR) process, where everyone can make comments on his manuscript. Additionally, his book will be Open Access (OA) since the date of publication. We discuss with him how do MOPR and OA work, how he managed to combine both of them and how these initiatives can contribute to the democratization of knowledge. You can participate in the MOPR process of The Good Drone through this link: Felipe G. Santos is a PhD candidate at the Central European University. His research is focused on how activists care for each other and how care practices w

  • Bernadete Barton, "Stripped: More Stories from Exotic Dancers" (NYU Press, 2017)

    28/02/2019 Duración: 58min

    Women get into stripping for money, writes Dr. Bernadete Barton, and the experience the girls have throughout their career in exotic dancing varies. Dr. Barton uses Stripped: More Stories from Exotic Dancers, Completely Revised and Updated Edition (NYU Press, 2017) to take readers inside countless strip bars and clubs, from upscale to back road and specialty lap dancing, table dancing, topless only, and peep shows, to provide up close and personal exposure to the lives of exotic dancers. Join us as Dr. Barton takes a no holds barred approach to explaining the transformation of the strip club since the original publication of this research, the change in behavior both male and female patrons show in the clubs, and the the impact technology has had on strip clubs. Dr. Barton also gifts us with a sneak peek of her newest book project on the effects of raunch culture beyond the walls of the strip club. Michael O. Johnston is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. He is currently conductin

  • Victoria Fortuna, "Moving Otherwise: Dance, Violence and Memory in Buenos Aires" (Oxford UP, 2018)

    28/12/2018 Duración: 39min

    Victoria Fortuna's new book Moving Otherwise: Dance, Violence and Memory in Buenos Aires (Oxford University Press, 2018) examines the different ways in which contemporary dance practices have engaged in resistance amidst the political and economic violence experienced in Argentina, from the 1960s to the mid-2010s. Covering performances on the concert stage to staged protests and impromptu movement, Victoria Fortuna brings to light histories of Contemporary Dance that have until now been under-explored. Victoria Fortuna is Assistant Professor in the Dance Department at Reed College. She received her PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, is a trained modern and contemporary dancer, and collaborates with several dance collectives based in Buenos Aires. Prior to joining Reed University, Dr. Fortuna was a Mellow Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance at Oberlin College. Sitara Thobani is Assistant Professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, Michigan State University. Her research focu

  • McKenzie Wark, "General Intellects: Twenty-One Thinkers for the Twenty-First Century" (Verso, 2017)

    06/12/2018 Duración: 01h04min

    McKenzie Wark’s new book offers 21 focused studies of thinkers working in a wide range of fields who are worth your attention. The chapters of General Intellects: Twenty-One Thinkers for the Twenty-First Century (Verso, 2017) introduce readers to important work in Anglophone cultural studies, psychoanalysis, political theory, media theory, speculative realism, science studies, Italian and French workerist and autonomist thought, two “imaginative readings of Marx,” and two “unique takes on the body politic.” There are significant implications of these ideas for how we live and work at the contemporary university, and we discussed some of those in our conversation. This is a great book to read and to teach with! Carla Nappi is the Andrew W. Mellon Chair in the Department of History at the University of Pittsburgh. You can learn more about her and her work here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!

  • Halifu Osumare, “Dancing in Blackness: A Memoir” (UP of Florida, 2018)

    04/06/2018 Duración: 31min

    Combining memoir with auto-ethnography, historical study and sociocultural analysis, Halifu Osumare draws on her decades of experience to explore the complexities of black dance in the United States. Starting in San Francisco during the rise of the Black Arts and Black Power Movements as well as of hippie counterculture, Osumare’s narrative follows her subsequent journeys to twenty-three countries across Europe, Africa and North America. Throughout Dancing in Blackness: A Memoir (University Press of Florida, 2018), she reflects on her subjectivity as a black woman traveling through and performing in diverse national/cultural contexts. Drawing on her academic grounding in black studies as well as her artistic experiences as a professional dancer, Osumare underscores the relationship between art, performance, and the black struggle for recognition, justice and self-empowerment. Dr. Osumare is professor emerita of African American and African Studies at the University of California, Davis, is the author of The

  • Marc Hertzman, “Making Samba: A New History of Race and Music in Brazil” (Duke UP, 2013)

    19/04/2018 Duración: 48min

    In Making Samba: A New History of Race and Music in Brazil (Duke University Press, 2013), Marc Hertzman revisits the history of Brazil’s quintessential music and dance genre to explore the links between popular music, intellectual property, law, racial democracy and nation formation. Charting more than a century of samba’s development, Hertzman challenges simplistic narratives of the all too often romanticized form, focusing instead on the material conditions under which this cultural powerhouse came to be produced. So doing, he highlights the complex social, cultural and political processes at the heart of making samba, and indeed, making Brazil. Mark Hertzman is Associate Professor of History at the University of Illinois. His first book, Making Samba, was awarded Honorable mention by the Latin American Studies Association for the Bryce Wood Book Prize. He is currently working on his next book project, titled The Death of Zumbi: Suicide, Slavery and Martyrdom in Brazil and the Black Atlantic. Prior to join

  • miriam cooke, “Dancing in Damascus: Creativity, Resilience, and the Syrian Revolution” (Routledge, 2017)

    02/01/2018 Duración: 01h03min

    The Syrian Revolution, which began in March 2011, has since resulted in what can be described as a civil war, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, and the forced migrations of millions of Syrians. This story has been told countless times in news media. However, less known is the story of the Syrian artists who have portrayed the revolution with all of its nuances. miriam cooke’s Dancing in Damascus: Creativity, Resilience and the Syrian Revolution (Routledge, 2017) tells that story, beginning before the revolution and continuing until the present. Through cooke’s work, we see how oppression can beget creativity and how art in the Syrian context can create public memory. cooke brings together different mediums to show how different conversations cut through the Syrian artistic community and how Syrians relate to one another. Dancing in Damascus is comprehensive, provocative, and hopeful. Nadirah Mansour is a graduate student at Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies working on t

  • Edward Ross Dickinson, “Dancing in the Blood” (Cambridge UP, 2017)

    29/12/2017 Duración: 31min

    In his new book, Dancing in the Blood: Modern Dance and European Culture on the Eve of the First World War (Cambridge University Press, 2017), Edward Ross Dickinson charts the development of modern dance in the turbulent decades of the early twentieth century. Arguing that modern dance provided the aesthetic tools to address the central features of modernity, Dickinson illustrates its impact on Euro-American cultural life, as well as on ideas about gender, nation, race, science, spirituality, and selfhood. Furthermore, he ties the development of modern dance to the emergence of mass culture and the work of marketing modernity. As becomes evident in his analysis, these ideas were fraught with contradictions as modern dance was seen to be both chaste and sexual, scientific and spiritual, universal yet grounded in racial difference. Dancing in the Blood thus provides fascinating insight into the development of modern dance, not only as an artistic genre but as part of the larger project of modernity. Edward Ros

  • Mark Fleischman, “Inside Studio 54” (Rare Bird Books, 2017)

    08/12/2017 Duración: 53min

    Studio 54 opened its doors 40 years ago and since that time it has held a place in American popular culture. Studio 54 was the place to go dancing to great music, mingle with celebrities and beautiful people, and do drugs night after night. In his historical and cultural memoir as the owner of Studio 54, Mark Fleischman takes readers behind the scenes and the into the basement rooms and dark corners of the night club. Inside Studio 54: The Real Story of Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll from Former Studio 54 Owner (Rare Bird Books, 2017) introduces readers to the Studio 54 of the 1980s which Fleischman took control over after the original owners went to jail for tax evasion. Fleischman shares stories of celebrities, drugs, and day in and day out partying. He presents how he initiated theme nights and created ways to make the night club a destination for cultural icons of the decade. Through his journey of making Studio 54 the in club of the 1980s after disco was declared dead, Fleischman also shares his story of a

  • Julia Fawcett, “Spectacular Disappearances: Celebrity and Privacy, 1696-1801” (U. Michigan Press, 2016)

    09/10/2017 Duración: 35min

    “How can the modern individual maintain control over his or her self-representation when the whole world seems to be watching?” This is the question that prompts Julia Fawcett‘s new book, Spectacular Disappearances: Celebrity and Privacy, 1696-1801 (University of Michigan Press, 2016). Drawing on a diverse range of material to analyze some of England’s earliest modern celebrities, Fawcett offers a fascinating glimpse into the paradoxes of their eighteenth-century autobiographical performances. More than just the rise of celebrity culture she argues, these performances can help deepen our understanding of the making – and unmaking – of the modern self. Using creative, playful and transgressive techniques, the celebrities in Fawcett’s study experimented with presenting themselves as legible to curious publics even as they obscured their identities through ‘overexpressive’ acts that helped enable their spectacular disappearance. The result is a tantalizing narrative that continues to fascinate, three centuries l

  • Joanna Dee Das, “Katherine Dunham: Dance and the African Diaspora” (Oxford UP, 2017)

    07/09/2017 Duración: 47min

    By drawing on a vast, never-utilized trove of archival materials along with oral histories, choreographic analysis, and embodied research, Katherine Dunham: Dance and the African Diaspora (Oxford University Press, 2017) offers new insight about how this remarkable woman built political solidarity through the arts. One of the most important dance artists of the twentieth century, dancer and choreographer Katherine Dunham (1909-2006) created works that thrilled audiences the world over. As an African American woman, she broke barriers of race and gender, most notably as the founder of an important dance company that toured the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Australia for several decades. The author makes the argument that Dunham was more than a dancer she was an intellectual and activist committed to using dance to fight for racial justice. Dunham saw dance as a tool of liberation, as a way for people of African descent to reclaim their history and forge a new future. She put her theories into

  • Dana Mills, “Dance and Politics: Moving Beyond Boundaries” (Manchester University Press, 2017)

    10/07/2017 Duración: 46min

    Dance & Politics: Moving Beyond Boundaries (Manchester University Press, 2017) by Dana Mills, considers dance as a political expression from a number of perspectives, situating the analysis within a framework of contemporary political theory. Mills notes that dance has always been with us, as humans, but that we do not usually think about it as part of our political discourse in the same way that other performative or artistic expressions are integrated into political discussions and political life. Mills’ book argues that dance, as a language or means of communication, should be considered from the dancers’ perspective but also from the audience or the receivers’ experience and understanding, as well as the choreographers’ point of view, and the interactions of the other dancers involved. Mills digs into the overarching question of how can we expand our notion of what is political so that dance is included, trying to also understand why it has often been excluded from the notion of the political. The book el

  • Carrie J. Preston, “Learning to Kneel: Noh, Modernism, and Journeys in Teaching” (Columbia UP, 2016)

    29/03/2017 Duración: 01h11min

    Carrie J. Preston‘s new book tells the story of the global circulation of noh-inspired performances, paying careful attention to the ways these performances inspired twentieth-century drama, poetry, modern dance, film, and popular entertainment. Inspired by noh’s practice of retelling stories in different styles and tenses, Learning to Kneel: Noh, Modernism, and Journeys in Teaching (Columbia University Press, 2016) also weaves together a number of writing styles, and incorporates Preston’s own lessons in noh chant, dance, and drumming and experience writing plays based on noh models and choreographing dances with noh-related gestures throughout the book. The result is a fascinating exploration of the relationships between pedagogy and performance traced through the work of Ezra Pound, W. B. Yeats, Bertolt Brecht, Samuel Beckett, and others. Learning to Kneel pays special attention to the politics of performance and pedagogy and the themes of submission and subversion, and urges a rethinking of many assumptio

  • Anthea Kraut, “Choreographing Copyright: Race, Gender, and Intellectual Property Rights in American Dance” (Oxford UP, 2015)

    23/06/2016 Duración: 37min

    Is it possible to lay claim to ownership of a dance? Is choreography intellectual property? How have shifting conceptions of race and gender shaped the way we think of dance, property and ownership? In Choreographing Copyright: Race, Gender and Intellectual Property Rights in American Dance, Anthea Kraut wrestles mightily with these questions as she presents the first book by a dance scholar to focus explicitly on matters of copyright and choreography. Combining archival research with critical race and gender theory, Kraut offers new perspectives in this cross-genre history of American Dance. Professor Kraut’s research addresses the interconnections between American performance and cultural history and the raced and gendered dancing body. Her first book, Choreographing the Folk: The Dance Stagings of Zora Neale Hurston, was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2008, and received a Special Citation from the Society of Dance History Scholars de la Torre Bueno Prize for distinguished book of dance s

  • James Nott, “Going to the Palais: A Social and Cultural History of Dancing and Dance Halls in Britain, 1918-1960” (Oxford UP, 2016)

    02/03/2016 Duración: 01h01min

    In his new book Going to the Palais: A Social and Cultural History of Dancing and Dance Halls in Britain, 1918-1960 (Oxford University Press, 2016), cultural historian James Nott charts the untold history of dancing and dance halls in Britain in the first half of the twentieth century. This exploration reveals the transformations of working-class communities, and of the changing notions of femininity, masculinity and leisure that occur in this period. To do so, Nott navigates us skillfully between the perspectives of the dance hall owners, dance teachers and innovators. He them leads us to consider the point of view of enthusiastic jiving individuals. Finally, we take our place on the sidelines with the onlookers and killjoys alarmed by this ‘craze.’ This kaleidoscope of voices and images illuminates the role of the dance hall as a social space. It is argued that the dance hall brought together men and women in search of fun, but also provided them with a safe space to try out identities and behaviors. Nott

  • Clare Croft, “Dancers as Diplomats: American Choreography in Cultural Exchange” (Oxford UP, 2015)

    27/10/2015 Duración: 47min

    What’s missing from our understanding of the role of dancers in the context of American Cultural Diplomacy? Clare Croft‘s first book, Dancers as Diplomats: American Choreography in Cultural Exchange (Oxford University Press, 2015) provides a range of thoughtful, well-researched responses to this question. By exploring the ways in which dancer’s bodies were operationalized and “deployed” on behalf of the US State Department during the Cold War as well as at the dawn of the 21st century, Dancers as Diplomats centers the work of dancers and choreographers as ambassadors, provocateurs and global leaders. Including more than 70 interviews with dancers who traveled on these international tours, the book centers the voices of artists actively engaged in this very particular kind of cultural work. Clare Croft is a historian, theorist, and dramaturg, working at the intersection of dance studies and performance studies. She specializes in 20th and 21st century American dance, cultural policy, feminist and queer theory

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