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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This auto-critique examines the intersection of and nexus between dance studies and race/identity studies as viewed through the author’s life in dance and based on her fifty-year career that includes actualizations as professional dancer, professor, scholar-researcher, author, mentor, presenter, and consultant. It is a reflexive turn on the politics of writing, teaching, and speaking race, with dance as the lens. In order to revisit/reassess the backlash that resulted from scrutinizing an iconic “white” dance figure through an Africanist lens, the author dissects an essay that she wrote in 2004 which, in itself, was a deconstruction of the original controversy (dating back to the “culture wars” of the 1990s). Uncovering layer upon layer, the author presents additional complexities by bringing to bear her responses to ongoing issues of systemic and cultural racism as encountered in the dance field and discussed in her recent work.

Keywords: race, identity, dance studies, Africanist lens, auto-critique, systemic racism, cultural racism

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