Queer Ecologies

Queer Ecologies: Dance as Interdisciplinary Research Method

Queer Ecologies: Dance as Interdisciplinary Research Method brings together students from several departments at the University of Michigan, including the Departments of Dance and Women’s Studies, and brings renowned contemporary artists to campus to involve students in inter-disciplinary conversations about art and the environment.  This project aims to make dance students aware of the unique contribution dance can make to ways of studying the world and also expose women’s studies students—a group interested in critical knowledge production—to dance as a tool they could use to ask questions, too.

The project facilitates a two-week artistic residency with choreographer/performer Jennifer Monson and other key artists from iLAND, the interdisciplinary Laboratory of Art, Nature, and Dance, which Monson founded and leads. iLand is a dance organization that investigates “the power of dance, in collaboration with other fields, to illuminate kinetic understanding of our world.” By bringing iLAND artists to campus, this project exposes students to a non-profit arts organization oriented toward artmaking and social justice and offers a model of collaborative arts research that refuses the too usual divide between artmaking inside and outside of a university context. The project will focus specifically on what Monson terms, “queer spaces,” considering how all environmental elements—human, animal, and structural—transform marginal locales into sites of liveliness. In other words, how might a space often seen as illicit or abandoned become a stage for something out of the ordinary?

Project Team:

Clare Croft, Assistant Professor of Music, School of Music, Theatre and Dance

Victor Mendoza, Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies, College of Literature, Science and Arts