Galvanizing Dance Studies Building Anti-Racist Praxis, Transformative Connections, and Movement(s) of Radical Care

deadline for submissions: 
February 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Dance Studies Association

Galvanizing Dance Studies Building Anti-Racist Praxis, Transformative Connections, and Movement(s) of Radical Care

Dance Studies Association,October 14-17, 2021

Rutgers University/Hyatt Regency, New Brunswick New Jersey

Adanna Jones and Jeff Friedman, program co-chairs Julia M. Ritter, local arrangements chair

The DSA 2021 Program Committee collectively re-imagines this international conference as a vessel that builds, explores, collaborates, performs, and agitates current practices within the field(s) of dance. Specifically, as our first COVID-times conference, it is important that our work responds to our current global crises. We imagine this conference as the start of a long process of holding ourselves to account. As dancers/scholars, we can equitably uphold diverse movement(s) of care and connection. From this generative yet fractious position, our theme, “Galvanizing Dance/Studies,” calls for dancers, choreographers, activists, curators, pedagogues, technologists, scholars, and those who otherwise engage with dance and movement practices to submit proposals that interrogate the many embodied, disembodied, and colonial laden conversations around the urgent needs of our current moment, by putting theory into action. Knowing that this year’s conference format and structures will be curated to expose, dismantle, challenge, and transform white, supremacist practices of convening and assembly, we seek a wide range of critical perspectives and modalities that yield to future propositions, questions, and/or critiques.

As always, DSA welcomes all proposals that address the full spectrum of dance studies and practice. This year, we particularly invite you to consider the multiple ways your work intersects with each of the following sub-themes:


  • Addressing ANTI-[Blackness, Brownness, Asianness, Indigeneity].
  • Acknowledging/reckoning with how existing social/political/economic disparities have been revealed and/or exacerbated during the global pandemic and thus our responsibility/ accountability towards those disparities.


  • Engaging with the precarious position of the body, dance, and dance institutions.
  • Engaging with histories of instabilities, e.g., looking at the ways particular communities and subjectivities have historically navigated instability through embodied practices.


  • Laying bare/re-appropriating terms and uses of technology and technique. 
  • Making space for tools and strategies invisibilized by supremacist ideals/value systems, including Black and Global Majority worldviews or alternative concepts of both sustainability and world-building.
  • Challenging what has been legitimized as “technology” and valid “techniques.”


  • Sustaining experiences of thriving vis-à-vis virtual exchanges of effort and labor, including energy, touch, sweat, breath, and physical closeness.
  • Building movements across difference, such as coalitional work, or holistic/embodied pedagogies.


  • Examining the precarious position of the body, especially when considering whose bodies are essential and/or disposable vis-à-vis systems of health and care.
  • Addressing interdisciplinary connections between dance/studies and bio-science, and also complementary and alternative non-hegemonic modes of healing versus curing.
  • Critically contemplating ways we engage with & respond to COVID-19, alongside endemic global crises (including Black-death, climate change, and migration/refugee crises).


  • Examining and articulating equitable relations among everyone in the dance field—including practitioners, scholars, activists and those who engage with moving bodies.
  • Shifting the onerous labor of anti-racist praxes from oppressed peoples to those with privilege.
  • Choreographing protest and other forms of civil disobedience.

Submissions will open on January 4, 2021 and be closed on February 15, 2021. For more information, see:

In the spirit of the conference theme and looking toward how we might engage in “galvanization,” DSA encourages submissions to a new presentation format: Hubs. Briefly, Hubs consist of 12 linked presentations, of any format, meeting three times over the course of the conference, for 90 minutes each day. Please note that you must opt-in to participate in a Hub using the submission portal, as applications are made individually. It is DSA policy that individuals only present research once throughout each conference; your Hub participation counts as your singular presentation and will you not be able to submit a proposal in any additional formats. At the time of submission, you will be asked to choose the sub-themes (listed above) that best represent your work, as well as answer demographic questions to ensure that presenters from various geographic locations and career trajectories will be present. Accepted Hub members will then dive deeply into each other’s work during their three Hub sessions, to which conference attendees can be audience members. Your work and feedback can be presented in various formats, from performance to papers and beyond.

Proposed presentations, following DSA’s guidelines about presentation types, may include Hubs, Lightning Sessions, Gatherings, Individual Papers, Panels, Lecture/Demonstrations, Movement Workshops, Dance Works (using outdoor or indoor sites) and Screendances. Individual proposals are welcome, but papers that are already grouped—such as Lightning Sessions and Panels—have a higher likelihood of acceptance and are encouraged. Because this conference is privileging intersectional collaborative efforts that feature research from those working across diverse fields, Hub proposals are strongly encouraged and have the highest likelihood of acceptance. Lastly, although the conference will be held on the ground in Brunswick, New Jersey, applicants who cannot attend in person can apply to be part of remote sessions. Indicate remote presentation at the time of submission.

DSA presents up to six awards each year to graduate students. The Selma Jeanne Cohen Award is for conference presentation; the graduate travel award is for participation or presentation. It is not possible to win both the same year. The deadline for both awards is the same as for proposals, February 15, 2021. For details on both awards, see:

DSA will also support three Conference Fellowships for Contingent Faculty/Independent Scholars with up to $1,000 for hotel and travel reimbursement.

Additional full and partial scholarships will be offered to the conference theme-related pre-conference workshop. Check back on the DSA website for more information on application opportunities.

You do not need to be a DSA member to apply to the conference, but you must be a DSA member-in-good-standing to accept an offer to present your research. For more information on conference policy and procedure, please visit:

All questions, including regarding access, should be sent to 2021 Conference Program Committee: Ojeya Cruz Banks, Dasha Chapman, Meiver De la Cruz, Ayrin Ersoz, yonTande Whitney Hunter, Kimberleigh Jordan, Mario LaMothe, Soon Ryon Lee-Hoon, Cristina Fernandes Rosa, Melissa Templeton, Prema Thiagarajan.