Applications for a PhD position within research project Border-Dancing Across Time

The Department of Art, Music and Dance Studies, University of Salzburg (Austria)
Due June 17, 2020

The Department of Art, Music and Dance Studies at the University of Salzburg invites applications for one PhD position within the research project Border- Dancing Across Time: the (forgotten) Parisian choreographer Nyota Inyoka, her œuvre, and questions of choreographing créolité (project number P 31958-G), sponsored by the Austrian Science Fund, FWF (20 hrs/week; starting date 15th of September 2020; duration 12 months). Employment and payment according to the guidelines and personnel costs/salary scales of the FWF for a PhD Position (1.470,40 Euro/month, 14 payments/year, see costs-2020.pdf)

The research project sets out to investigate three trajectories of research via the case study of French-Indian dancer and choreographer Nyota Inyoka (1896–1971): (1) (dance) modernity in the plural and créolité as constitutive, yet neglected seminal dimensions of the performing arts within modernity; (2) pre- and post WWII transitions of choreographic practices in France; (3) parameters and aspects of authorial positionality and voice of European of color choreographic articulations. The project intends to expand archival research and dance historiographic investigation through recovering Inyoka’s biography and œuvre and connecting it to current (decolonizing) impulses in cultural and dance studies. In the course of such a decolonizing reassessment of European (dance) history and ‘othered’ dancers of modernity without categorizing them as “pre-modern” we aim to highlight and investigate a facet of European dance that remains a lacuna thus far confined to footnotes: the authorial position and œuvre of othered European dancers in modernity.

The project, therefore, aims to expand the methodologies of dance historiography and draw on contemporary theoretical models, notions and fields such as Anglophone and Francophone Postcolonial Studies, Decolonial Thought (Mignolo), Border Theory (Hicks), créolité (Glissant), Mestiza Consciousness (Anzaldúa), and theories of racialized Europeanness and postmigrant cultural formations (Yildiz; Sharifi; El- Tayeb) to develop new modes of dance history writing and analysis in order to contribute to a decolonization of the history of dance and performance.

The most important methodological approaches will be an empirical survey of available archival sources, inventarization of ‘forgotten’ exoticized dancers, critical analyses of both Inyoka’s œuvre and its contemporary reception, rethinking of critical theoretical models, movement analysis and practice-based exploration using Inyoka’s extensive dance notations.

The position includes assisting the research team in conducting archival research, data management and organizational tasks.


  • completed Masters degree or equivalent in Dance Studies, Performance Studies, Postcolonial Studies, History or an allied discipline
  • Excellent knowledge of relevant archives and collections in France as well as experience in conducting archival research, as well as translating (French to English) and organizing findings.
  • Proficiency in French (very good skills/fluency) and English (good skills);
  • Resident in Paris

Additional Qualifications

  • Translation (French -> English) and research skills
  • ability to read/follow German desired but not strictly required

Personal skills

  • target-oriented way of thinking and working
  • ability to work in a team
  • good communication skills

How to Apply