Conferences / Annual Conference

Beyond Authenticity & Appropriation: bodies, authorship, and choreographies of transmission


November 3 – November 6, 2016
Pomona College

Issues of authenticity and appropriation, although fraught, remain pertinent. For the 2016 joint conference, we called for papers and presentations which critically interrogate issues around the choreographies of tradition, innovation, and appropriation in dance. 

Kaustavi Sarkar. Photo by Jess Cavender, 2016

How do moving bodies counter, resist, support or negotiate ideologically constructed notions of these complex terms? How do authenticity and appropriation structure the legal, political, economic, aesthetic, and theoretical approximations of dance?Under what conditions does the transmission of movement between bodies become framed as ‘appropriation’; and what assertions of ownership, identity, or history underlie this framing? How is the transmission of movement between bodies, and across apparent boundaries, framed in terms of rights, property, propriety, or in some other manner?

Topics considered were:

  • The role of whiteness in the discourse on the ‘authentic’ and ‘appropriation’
  • Transcultural, transhistorical, and dialogic embodied exchanges
  • Historical and contemporary power relationships in dance
  • Copyright and property rights in dance
  • Heritage, tradition, and property in indigenous dance
  • The role of the archive in generating visibility and invisibility
  • The role of taxonomy, choreography, and codification in the generation of pedagogies of the ‘authentic’
  • Nation, modernity, and folklore  in light of scholarship on migration and neo / decolonial and postcolonial theory