Call for Papers | Dance as Experience: Progressive Era Origins and Legacies | Baltimore, Maryland March 26–28, 2015

Society of Dance History Scholars Special Topics Conference:

Dance as Experience: Progressive Era Origins and Legacies

Baltimore, Maryland, March 26–28, 2015. Jointly sponsored by Peabody Dance and SDHS

juliet-burnettPeabody Dance, founded in November 1914, is one of the nation’s oldest dance training programs. Historical highlights of the program’s first hundred years include being the first American school to introduce Dalcroze Eurhythmics, instruction of Native American dances in the 20s and 30s, and a high degree of institutionalized interdisciplinary collaboration the likes of which was normally encountered only at summer festivals.

In celebration of the program’s 100th anniversary, 100th anniversary, Peabody Dance is hosting a conference focusing broadly on dance and the progressive era and its parallels and legacy today. The conference committee invites proposals for papers, panels, roundtables, and non-conventional forms of presentation (including performative papers, performances, and workshops) that address any of the topics listed below, as well as other topics related to the theme of dance and the Progressive Era:

  • The progressive roots of dance education and its early 20th century origins (e.g. the inclusion of dance as part of physical education curriculums, the establishment of university dance programs, and the growth of community dance organizations) and subsequent developments in dance education rooted in these ideals.
  • Dance, inclusion and democratizion as related to the empowerment of women, the status of men on the concert stage, African dance and Black identity, and portals of popular access to dance.
  • Dance and changing views of culture as expressed through Denishawn, exoticism, anthropology, and cinema; 21st century parallels as expressed through TV, internet and social media.
  • Early global interchange between dance practices and practitioners such as Dalcroze Eurythmics, Rudolf von Laban, Mary Wigman and Hanya Holm, Asadata Dafora, Michio Ito, Uday Shankar and La Argentina in the U.S., the influence of Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Josephine Baker, Fred Astaire, Martha Graham and American popular dance throughout the world, and the subsequent role played by dance festivals, such as Jacob’s Pillow, in promoting this interchange.
  • Current research and practice that incorporates ideas and ideals originating d during the progressive era including Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences and dance integration.

Proposals are to be in the form of an abstract, maximum 250 words, not including the attached preliminary bibliography. Individual presentations should not exceed 20 minutes; panels and workshops can be proposed for 60 or 90 minutes. The deadline for proposal submissions is 15 September, 2014.

A proposal submission form, which includes submission instructions, is available here.

A preliminary schedule outline is available here.

The conference committee (partial list):

  • Melissa Stafford — Chair, Peabody Dance Department
  • Lisa Green-Cudek — Faculty, Peabody Dance
  • Olivia Sabee — PhD Candidate, Dept. of German and Romance Languages and Literatures, The Johns Hopkins University
  • Eric Beatty — Johns Hopkins University
  • Ilsa Bush — Dance Heritage Coalition
  • Melanie George — American University
  • Susan Kirchner — Towson University
  • Arlene Yu — New York Public Library

Olivia Sabee
The Johns Hopkins University
Dept. of German & Romance Languages
3400 North Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21218
Visit the website at http://

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