Popular, Social and Vernacular Dance

Popular, Social and Vernacular Dance Working Group
Chair: Jo Hall
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The Working Group on Popular, Social and Vernacular Dance comprises members of the Society for Dance History Scholars with either a teaching, research, or personal interest in dance products and practices that exist in popular, social and vernacular contexts. In recognition of the complexity and ambiguity of those labels, the Working Group does not seek to be overly prescriptive about the dances that may be situated within those broad categories. Therefore it can include dances that are located on screen, stage, and "street," participants and performers that range from amateurs through to professionals, dances that demand different skill levels, and that are financed through a variety of economic frameworks.

The Working Group has two main strands of activity: the first seeks to raise scholarly dialogue concerning popular, social and vernacular dance; the second aims to create initiatives for the study of popular, social and vernacular dance.

In relation to the first strand of activity, the following key issues form a starting point for debate within the Working Group:

  • Definitions - How do we employ and problematize the labels "popular," "social," and "vernacular" in categorizing particular dance practices?
  • Performance - How do we deal with issues of performance, choreography, aesthetics, genre and style with regards to "improvised social dance"?
  • History - How do we historicize dance practices that are dynamic in form due to the privileging of innovation and modification by their participants?
  • Value and pleasure - How do we theorize the complex issues of value and pleasure in relation to dance practices that are frequently associated with "leisure" and "entertainment"?
  • Theory and Methodology - What are some of the theoretical and methodological approaches that lend themselves well to the study of popular, social, and vernacular dance practices?

In relation to the second strand of activity, the Working Group seeks to look at ways of promoting the study of and research in popular, social, and vernacular dance by the scholarly community and the student body. We therefore aim to identify opportunities to forge links with other groups working in similar areas, and to develop initiatives for promoting research in popular, social, and vernacular dance forms.

SDHS publications

Studies in Dance History SDHS’s monograph series, published by University of Wisconsin Press, answers a growing demand for works that provide fresh analytical perspectives on dancing, dancers, and dances in a global context. Read more...

[cover of 2012 Conversations] Issued yearly in early spring generally, Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies reflects the dynamic and diverse membership of SDHS. We seek to bring you themes and debates current in the field of dance studies and the profession, alongside news from the international community of scholars in dance and related disciplines. Read more...

conferences

Conference 2014: Writing Dancing/Dancing Writing
A Joint Conference of The Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS) and The Congress on Research in Dance (CORD)
13–16 November 2014
Hosted by the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa

Conference 2015 will be held in Athens, Greece. Dates and other details will be available later this Spring.

news

The SDHS Board of Directors election takes place during the final two weeks of February. All SDHS members may vote. Please log in and then click here to view candidates’ biographies. Ballots will be available beginning on Feb. 15.

SDHS announces the November 2013 awards, including de la Torre Bueno Prize® Special Citations.

Proceedings of the 2013 joint NOFOD/SDHS conference are now available.

Proceedings of the Special Topics Conference 2013: “Sacre Celebration: Revisiting, Reflecting, Revisioning” are now available.

Call for proposals for contributions to Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies: Network of Pointes (Guest Editors: Drs. Kathrina Farrugia and Jill Nunes Jensen). Note that the deadline has been extended to May 15, 2014.

Updated 3 April: Conference announcements and calls for papers

Updated 3 April: Job postings and opportunities for students

Updated 24 February: News and announcements from SDHS members: “The American Society for Theatre Research is now seeking nominations for the Biennial Sally Banes Publication Prize....”

SDHS endorses MLA statement on learning another language

Connect to Amazon.com through this link and a percentage of your purchase will help fund graduate student travel to SDHS conferences.