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Conversations on Race and Dance

  • Author(s): Etter, Lauren Gibson
  • Advisor(s): Fisher, Jennifer
  • et al.

This ethnographic research project explores how identity and experience shape our understandings of race and racism, and how these understandings influence the frequency, quality, and productivity of conversations concerning race and dance in the United States.

Using self-reflexive ethnography practices, I question my role as a white woman when it comes to dealing with racial issues in the dance community, and present the opinions, attitudes, and experiences of eleven dance artists from across races, generations, genders, and roles in the dance community, whom I interviewed. Their thoughts, supported and deepened by the work of dance studies scholars like Brenda Dixon-Gottschild, Thomas DeFrantz, Ananya Chatterjea, and Susan Manning, as well as critical race theory scholars like Imani Perry and Kimberlé Crenshaw, serve to help explain obstacles present when talking about race and dance in a post-2016 United States.

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