Conferences / Annual Conference

Contra: Dance & Conflict

July 5 – July 8, 2018
University of Malta
Valetta, Malta

The Dance Studies Association is hosting its first international conference in Valletta, Malta 5-8 July 2018. We invite you to join us for papers, panels, roundtable discussions, lecture-demonstrations, movement workshops, dance works, and screendances that address the conference theme, Contra: Dance & Conflict.

While often used as a metaphor for peace, the reality of dancing, dance-making, and scholarship surrounding dance is often one of conflict. Yet, as a venue for interaction, friction, and potential energy, conflict can be as creative as it is destructive. Calling out to delegates across the globe, we are convening to discuss the ubiquity and necessity of conflict within and around dance. We ask: How has dance served as a vehicle for reconciliation? What are the conflicts within dance studies? How has choreography represented, exposed, or challenged practices of violence and war? Are there means of reconciling or using these conflicts productively that are informed by dance practice?

Conference details


* Single-day registration does not include July 5 Opening Reception or July 7 Awards Dinner

* Single-day members may purchase a ticket to the Opening Reception for $40.

* All multi-day registrations include July 5 opening reception and July 7 Awards Dinner.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Because catering must be confirmed in advance, the Awards Dinner cannot be offered/available to on-site registrants.

EVENTBRITE: Please note that in addition to the conference registration fee, an Eventbrite service fee will be added to each transaction.

REFUND POLICY: Registration fees for registrations cancelled by Tuesday, 5 June will receive a full refund minus a $30 administrative cancellation fee. Registration fees for registrations cancelled after Thursday, 28 June will not be refunded.


July 5

DSA Board meetings; Palazzo Pereira


Standing Committee for Publications; Palazzo Pereira


Editorial Board Dance Research Journal: Palazzo Pereira


Concurrent Working Group sessions; various locations


Registration & Information ; Excelsior Hotel


Opening Reception and Provocation/Plenary; Ballroom, Excelsior Hotel. Provocation Speakers: Anne Cooper Albright, Melissa Blanco Borelli, and Prarthana Purkayastha


Hors d'oeuvres, drinks, and dancing


Optional Performance. Zfin Malta Dance Ensemble.

July 6

Registration & Information; Excelsior Hotel


Keynote Speakers: Bojana Cvejić and Nicholas Roew; Excelsior Hotel


Walk to Valletta Campus


Registration & Information; Valletta Campus


Concurrent Sessions, 3-person panels; Valletta Campus


Lunch Break; Valletta Campus


Concurrent Sessions, 4-person panels; Valletta Campus


PM Break; Valletta Campus


Concurrent sessions, 3-person panel; Valletta Campus


Graduate Student gathering, Palazzo Pereira


Performance. UM Dance Studies and Guests; Valletta Campus

July 7

Registration & Information; Valletta Campus


Concurrent Sessions, 3-person panel; Valletta Campus


Break; Valletta Campus


Concurrent Sessions, 4-person panel; Valletta Campus


Lunch; Valletta Campus


Concurrent Sessions, 4-person panels; Valletta Campus


Walk to Great Siege Bell for pickup; Valletta Campus


Shuttle to Le Meridien Hotel


DSA Membership Meeting; Meridien Hotel


Begin Awards Banquet into Dinner; Le Meridien Hotel


First shuttle returns to Excelsior Hotel

10:30pm (approx)

Second shuttles return to Excelsior Hotel

July 8

Registration & Information; Valletta Campus


Concurrent Sessions, 3-person panels; Valletta Campus


Short Break; Valletta Campus


Concurrent sessions, 3-person panels; Valletta Campus


Lunch Break; Valletta Campus


Convocation: Concluding panel and discussion. Convocation speakers: Anurima Banerji, Maria Firmino-Castillo, Jasmine Johnson, Anusha Kedhar, Royana Mitra, and Janet O'Shea; Valletta Campus


Optional Contact Improvisation Jam; Valletta Campus


Optional Performance. UM Dance Studies and Guests; Valletta Campus

Download Full Schedule


Conference Chair

  • Brandon Shaw, University of Malta

Program Committeee

  • Brandon Shaw, University of Malta
  • Takiyah Nur Amin, Davidson College
  • Sarah Whatley, Coventry University
  • Karima W. Borni, Middlebury College
  • Ramsay Burt, De Montfort University Leicester
  • Jo Butterworth, University of Malta
  • Yaping Chen, Taipei National University of the Arts
  • Meiver De la Cruz, Oberlin College
  • Thomas F. DeFrantz, Duke University
  • Jens Richard Giersdorf, Marymount Manhattan College
  • Nicole Haitzinger, University Salzburg
  • Jasmine Johnson, Brown University
  • Janet O'Shea, UCLA
  • Stacey Prickett, University of Roehampton
  • Danielle Robinson, York University
  • Malaika Sarco-Thomas, University of Malta
  • Kin-Yan Szeto, Appalachian State University

Local Arrangements Committee

  • Sara Accetura
  • Lucia Piquero Alvarez
  • Jo Butterworth
  • Kathrina Farrugia-Kriel
  • Malaika Sarco-Thomas
  • Brandon Shaw
  • Francesca Abela Tranter

Conference Contacts


Publishers' Exhibits

With over 250 dance scholars and educators in attendance, the 2018 DSA Conference offers publishers an excellent venue to promote dance and performance titles.

Display by Table

Make an impact as an exhibitor. This opportunity gives you the ability to network, advertise and promote and sell your books, products and services to a captive audience which is highly vested in the study of dance.

Each six-foot display table includes two chairs, wastebasket, and name badges for booth attendants. Display tables must be attended for the duration of the Exhibit.

First table: $250.00
Additional tables: $125.00 each

Display by Publication

This is the perfect opportunity to promote one of your books to dance scholars and educators from around the world!

Display books or materials on the DSA Scholars Table. Each display item is $30.00. (You may display a book and an order form for the $30 price; additional display items subject to the $30 fee.)

Program Advertising

Market and endorse your books, products, events, and services by placing an ad in the program guide. This program guide is distributed and used by each attendee.


Program Book Trim Size: 8.5" x 11"
Advertisements with bleed: 8.75" x 11.25"
Advertisements without bleed: 8.25" x 10.75"
Live Area: 8" x 10.5"


Back Cover: $1,000
Inside Front Cover: $800
Inside Back Cover: $800
Full Page: $600
Half Page: $300
Quarter Page: $150
Eighth Page: $75

For more information on exhibiting or advertising, view the 2018 Exhibitor and Sponsor Prospectus or contact us.


Visa information

Citizens of EU countries, North America, and Australia do not need visas for the period of the conference, but may need to provide evidence of a return ticket. For unofficial information, see here.

To see official documents relating to visas, consult the following site:

Financial transactions

You may withdraw Euros from a BOV (Bank of Valletta) or HSBC ATM at the airport. This is recommended over the poor exchange rates you’ll be offered from the currency exchange stations within the airport. There are exchange houses in Valletta for converting currencies to Euros. It is difficult to exchange travelers’ checks in Malta, so you are discouraged from relying on that as a currency.

Most restaurants and stores accept Visa and Mastercard, though many do not take other cards (such as Discover and American Express). Minimum purchase with a card is often €10 as companies are charged for purchases by credit/debit.

Value-Added Tax (VAT) in Malta is 18%. It is always included in purchases.


The unit of currency in Malta is the Euro.


There are banks in all the towns and villages with additional "Bureaux de Change" in Sliema, St Julians and Valletta.

Bank of Valletta and HSBC banking hours are as follows:

Bank of Valletta
Monday - Thursday 0830hrs - 1400hrs
Friday 0830hrs - 1530hrs
Saturday 0830hrs - 1230hrs

Monday - Thursday 0830hrs - 1330hrs
Friday 0830hrs - 1630hrs
Saturday 0830hrs - 1230hrs


Electricity supply is 220/240 volts, single phase, 50 cycle. The square fitting standard three-pin plugs and sockets are used (identical to the UK).



Delegates are encouraged to reserve at the recommended accommodations due to traffic and parking in Malta. If you would like to find your own accommodations, you are recommended to 1) find accommodations in Valletta, 2) in an area accessible by a ferry to Valletta (close to Sliema Ferry or Birgu Ferry) or 3) in Floriana, a nearby area within walking distance. Please be aware that even a short distance can be a long trip in traffic at rush hour.

In Valletta (all within walking distance to conference activities)

The Grand Hotel Excelsior:

DSA 's opening reception will be held at the Grand Hotel Excelsior. The Grand Hotel Excelsior offers beautiful views of the bay and is a 15-minute walk to the Valletta campus. (A smaller shuttle is also available, with priority given to those with considerations for mobility.) The Excelsior’s facilities include a full restaurant and bar, large outdoor and indoor swimming pools, and a health and beauty center. Unfortunately, we have reached our deadline for holding our room block.


Other Hotel Options

DSA has negotiated rates with the following hotels located in Valletta. 

The Osborne Hotel:

Double for sole use - €145.00 per room per night with breakfast included
Double / Twin - €155.00 per room per night with breakfast included
Half Board Supplement - €10.00 per person per day

Availability is on first come first served and any enquires shall be done on and code use should be DSA Conference

The Grand Harbour Hotel:

5% Discount can be offered on any published room rates. Discount is valid only when reservations are made through our website. A special promotional code was created for the delegates. DSA Conference must be used in the promo code section.

British Hotel:

Budget small single internal rooms (no TV , AC or safe deposit €75)

Single room (with TV, AC, Safe deposit)                         Ã¢â€šÂ¬115
Seaview room for single Occupancy                               €125
Twin Inland room                                                           €135
Twin Seaview room                                                        Ã¢â€šÂ¬145
Superior Twin Seaview room                                         Ã¢â€šÂ¬155

All rates are per room per night including hot/cold buffet breakfast. Additional person in a twin pays an extra €30.00 per person per night, includes breakfast.

39 Main Street, Balluta Bay, St. Julian’s, STJ1017

Additional Hotels in Valetta

Castille Hotel
Castille St, Valletta

SU29(Boutique Hotel)
29, St. Ursula Steps, Valletta

Hotels in Sliema near the Ferry

Sliema Marina Hotel
163 Tigne Sea Front, Sliema SLM 15

Sliema Hotel
59 The Strand Sliema, Sliema SLM07

Additional Recommended Hotels

Le Meridien (location of Awards Dinner and after-party)

Things To Do In Malta

DSA 2018 Conference's Public Events

Key website for visitors:

Malta Tourism Authority:

Articles on Malta

Dance Workshops

Dancers may like to stay for the week following the conference, when the Dance Hybrid is hosting a week-long intensive workshop with Kerry Nicholls and Chris Benstead! 9-14 July 2018.

Watch here for updates and registration:

Performances and Cultural Events

Malta International Arts Festival. Watch here for details:

Malta Jazz Festival. Watch here for details:

Valletta 2018 European City of Culture Events surrounding the conference

Exiled Homes 01 JUN 18 - 30 JUN 18

Cendrillon 28 JUN 18 - 30 JUN 18

Code Red 29 JUN 19 -30 JUN 18

La Lupa 30 JUN 18 - 01 JUL 18

Burhan Öçal’s Bosphorus Quartet 13 JUL 18 - 13 JUL 18

Pope Joan 13 JUL 18 - 22 JUL 18

Major Cultural Sites and Tours

Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum

The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is a complex made up of interconnecting rock-cut chambers set on three distinct levels. Earliest remains at the site date back to about 4000BC, and the complex was used over a span of many centuries, up to c. 2500 BC.

Book your tour of the hypogeum at least 3 months early:

St John’s Co-Cathedral

St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta, which houses Caravaggio’s Beheading of John the Baptist and St. Jerome Writing: https://www.stjohnscocathedral...

Recommended Tours

All-day cruise to the Blue Lagoon with optional tour of Gozo:

Mention ‘DSA 2018 Conference’ for a 20% discount on your cruise

About the University of Malta Department of Dance Studies

About Malta