About the Ph.D.

2018-2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies. Founded by Selma Jeanne Cohen, Susan L Foster, Sally A Ness, Susan Rose, Christena L Schlundt, Fred Strickler, Linda J Tomko, and Heidi L Gilpin, the Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies (formerly the Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory) at UC Riverside provides an advanced interdisciplinary base for innovative research in the field of cultural, political, and historical studies of dance. Inaugurated in 1993, the program has achieved world-class status as the preeminent site for intellectual inquiry into dance, corporeality, movement, choreography, and performance. The specificity of the program’s focus on dance studies distinguishes it in the fields of performance studies, theater studies, and cultural studies. At the same time, the program is committed to interdisciplinary models of dance scholarship and accordingly pursues a variety of methodological and theoretical approaches. The critical dance studies approach of our Ph.D. program is equally distinct for the close relationship it maintains with the department’s M.F.A. in Experimental Choreography, inaugurated in 2001. Depending on the nature of individual projects, the work of Ph.D. students is informed by their exposure to specific, intersecting curricula that bring Ph.D. and M.F.A students together. This environment of close cooperation between our graduate programs contributes to the department’s embrace of both dance making and written scholarship – dancing and writing about dancing – as complementary, intertwined modes of theorizing corporeality.  

First dance Ph.D. in U.S. and only first creative writing program in UC approved for UCR,” Fiat Lux, May 1993

Writ(h)ing bodies: teaching the dog to sit,” first graduate student dance concert, January 1997