Joanna Dee Das

Assistant Professor of Dance​
PhD, Columbia University
MA, New York University
BA, Columbia College of Columbia University
research interests:
  • Global Dance History & Theory
  • Modern Dance
  • African Diasporic Dance
  • Musical Theater
  • Politics of Performance
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    contact info:

    mailing address:

    • Washington University
    • CB 1108
    • One Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    Joanna Dee Das is a dancer and scholar who has taught at Barnard College, Stanford University, and Williams College. She is passionate about teaching dance history from a global perspective and linking theory and practice in the classroom. 

    Joanna Dee Das is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research interests include dance in the African diaspora, musical theater dance, and the politics of performance in the twentieth century. She is the author of Katherine Dunham: Dance and the African Diaspora (Oxford 2017), which won the 2018 de la Torre Bueno Best First Book Award from the Dance Studies Association and an honorable mention Errol Hill Award for outstanding scholarship in African American theatre and performance from the American Society for Theatre Research. She has published articles in the Journal of Urban History, Dance Research Journal, and the anthology The Futures of Dance Studies (Wisconsin 2020). She has won several fellowships and awards for her research, including an American Council of Learned Societies Faculty Fellowship, a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Dance Studies in/and the Humanities, and a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship in Ethnic & Cultural Studies. 

    In addition to her scholarship, Joanna is a Certified Instructor of Dunham Technique and is passionate about teaching the history, theory, and practice of dance from a globally-informed perspective. Before and during graduate school, she worked as a professional dancer and choreographer in New York, where she performed at Dance Theater Workshop (NYLA), the Cunningham Studio, WAXWorks, and DanceNow/NYC. She is also committed to public engagement. Since 2015, she has annually co-organized the public symposium on Katherine Dunham as a part of the Institute for Dunham Technique Certification. Her interests have also led to some fun side gigs, including serving as a historical consultant for The Rockettes.
     

    Katherine Dunham Dance and the African Diaspora

    Katherine Dunham Dance and the African Diaspora

    Joins perspectives on dance studies, history, women's studies, and Africana studies

    Highlights the importance of dance in the African diaspora

    Utilizes never-before-seen documents and interviews with Dunham's students, dancers, and colleagues in the United States and Haiti