Faculty and Students Bring Dance Expertise to Society of Fellows Cohort

September 29, 2022

Faculty and Students Bring Dance Expertise to Society of Fellows Cohort

Society of Fellows Callout Box

The 2022-2023 Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme (GAHDT) Society of Fellows faculty cohort includes Dance Professors Dr. Harmony Bench and Crystal Perkins. They are joined by faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences with affiliations in the Departments of African and African American Studies, Comparative Studies, English, History (Newark), and Spanish and Portuguese. External fellows bring expertise in East Asian media. The Graduate Team Fellows Program cohort includes Dance Graduate Students Emily Kaniuka and Ishmael Konney, and the Undergraduate Apprentices in the Society of Fellows include BFA Dance Student Angela Ciarochi. 

According to the GAHDT website: 

These fellowships provide faculty with release time (two-course reduction) to focus on a scholarly and/or creative project that advances the seminar theme. The theme for the 2022-23 Society of Fellows seminar is Archival ImaginationsDefining the concept of the “archive” as a mode of inquiry, invention and knowledge production, this theme asks how the study of existing, emergent, or imagined archives can help us to better understand critical societal challenges.

About the Society of Fellows

Multidisciplinary inquiry is built on the strength of disciplinary foundations and comparative skills. The Society of Fellows fosters a multidisciplinary community of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students that support the synthesis and translation of knowledge across disciplines to engage critical societal challenges in the form of an annual theme.

Photograph of Harmony Bench

Associate Professor, Dance
Project Title | 
Dance as Embodied Knowledge and Archive
Project Description | What would it mean for scholars to take seriously the idea that dancers’ bodies are archives, and that the language used in dance training is a shared repository of embodied knowledge? Can new experimental and experiential approaches to dance-based knowledge practices support a paradigm shift within the study of dance histories? This project will build upon previous engagement with print archives of twentieth-century African American choreographer Katherine Dunham — with collaborator Kate Elswit (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) — on the project Dunham’s Data: Katherine Dunham and Digital Methods for Dance Historical Inquiry.

Photograph of woman with long black hair and a black shirt

Assistant Professor, Dance
Project Title | 
 Cookbook Project
Project Description | This project is an ancestral evocation, living archive, communal design and intergenerational strategy wrapped within dance-making practices that hopes to protect and sustain Black women’s presence in the world. It asserts that Black women’s bodies are archives for a specific way of being and creating, and we learn that through transmission and generational practice. As an embodied archive that is rooted in the ways Black women move through homes and share generational knowledge, this work details blueprints for thriving in a threatening world. Outcomes include a published manual of recipes rooted in Black feminist approaches and articulated improvisational dance scores alongside archival gatherings found in both object and spirit.

Photograph of Emily Kaniuka

PhD, Dance

Photograph of Ishmael Konney

MFA, Dance

Photograph of smiling woman's face, long brown hair, standing outdoors

Majors | Dance and Communications