Dance_2145_RAWC.jpgBy Judy Moore


EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University will continue to team up with two other premier schools in fostering emerging leaders in dance studies thanks to a $600,000 grant renewal from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


The multi-year project, “Dance Studies in/and the Humanities,” began in 2012 with the appointment of postdoctoral fellows at Northwestern, Brown University and Stanford University. The renewal will fund additional advanced teaching and research in dance studies at all three institutions through the 2017-18 academic year.


“The Mellon Fellows have enriched academic discourse by contributing diverse perspectives to the liberal arts and our community,” said Northwestern President Morton Schapiro. “We thank the Mellon Foundation for their continued support of this wonderful program.”


“Before the Mellon initiative, developing dance studies as an inter-discipline of the humanities felt like my own personal obsession,” said Susan Manning, professor of English, theatre and performance studies at Northwestern. “With postdoctoral fellows now on campus, we’ve truly built a community of interest among undergraduates, graduate students and faculty from several departments.”


A number of interdisciplinary initiatives are planned, including an ongoing Working Group in Dance Studies hosted by Northwestern’s Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.


Amanda Graham, the current Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies at Northwestern, is planning a symposium for spring 2016 in conjunction with the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art’s exhibit “A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s-1980s” (Jan. 15 to July 17, 2016). The symposium, titled “Performed in the Present Tense,” will bring together artists, scholars and performance curators to reflect on dance in the museum. Participants will include Noemie Solomon, the current Mellon Fellow in Dance Studies at Brown, and Brendan Fernandes, a visiting artist at the Kaplan Institute who works across choreography and visual art.


The program has already proven successful in cultivating dance studies leaders. Jose L. Reynoso, the inaugural Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies at Northwestern, is now an assistant professor of critical dance studies at the University of California, Riverside. Brandon Shaw, the inaugural fellow at Brown, is now permanent faculty in Dance Studies at the University of Malta, while Joanna Dee Das, last year’s fellow at Stanford, just started a tenure-track position at Williams College. The current Stanford fellow, Rachel Carrico, will also be invited to Evanston within the next year, Manning said.


Applications are currently being accepted for Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships in Dance Studies at all three campuses for the 2016-17 academic year. They must be completed by Jan. 1, 2016. For information on how to apply, see the project website at


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