I am a scholar, educator, and practitioner focused on bodies in motion working across dance and theater. I use dramaturgical and choreographic analyses to study movement-based performance as art and culture in order to understand how communities interpret movement as meaning. I received my PhD from the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Theatre Arts and my MA from the University at Buffalo’s English Department. I am also a graduate of St. Olaf College. From 2014-2015 I was the Interdisciplinary Arts Coordinator at Vassar College, directing a grant – Creative Arts Across Disciplines – from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Currently I am an Assistant Professor of Dance Studies in the Department of Theatre & Dance at the University at Buffalo.
My current book project, Democracy Moving: Bill T. Jones, Contemporary American Performance, and the Racial Past, is a history of twenty-first century US American performance centered on the prominent choreographer Bill T. Jones that theorizes choreo-historiography as a method that scholars of performance, race, American studies, and history might use to understand how movement makes, conveys, and reimagines historical narratives of race and nation. Democracy Moving demonstrates how formations of aesthetics and genre and questions of how and why we remember the past interanimate one another.
I am beginning the research for a book-length cultural history of choreographers who worked across concert and commercial stages, particularly those on Broadway throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. My focus is on the professional stakes of bouncing between artistic spaces and how this movement renegotiates the place of dance in a US hierarchy of cultural production.
In fall 2019 I will be a Humanities Institute Fellow at the University at Buffalo. I am the recipient of several awards including a 2018 Targeted Research Area Grant from the American Society for Theatre Research to support my second book project. In 2016 I received the ASTR Selma Jeanne Cohen Conference Presentation Award for research related to Democracy Moving and in 2012 I was awarded ASTR’s Gerald Kahan Scholar’s Prize for my essay “Queens ‘Campin” Onstage: Performing Queerness in Mae West’s ‘Gay Plays.'” I serve on the editorial boards of Theatre Annual: A Journal of Theatre and Performance of the Americas and The Journal of American Drama and Theatre and am the incoming Book Review Editor for Theatre History Studies.