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Caress without Body: Stranded Affect, Queer Diasporic Dancing, and Questions Concerning Technology
  • Monday, April 17, 2023 - 11:30am to 2:30pm

FBH Faculty Lounge (presentation), FBH Graduate Lounge (reception)

This dissertation uses methods from performance studies, literary studies, and cinema and media studies to offer an account of how queer approaches to the diasporic dancing body create novel ways for perceiving relationships between the moving body, the moving image, and political mobilization. Across scenes of dance in black and Asian diasporic cultures (the Harlem Renaissance, the cinema of Jia Zhangke, and the works of contemporary performers Jaamil Olawale Kosoko and Be Heintzman Hope), I identify the presence of “stranded affect,” a term that attunes us to specific ways that affect functions racially and relationally (strandedness implies both abandonment and woven togetherness). Through case studies of dance as it appears on stage, in studios, in literature, and in the audiovisual cultures of the 20th and 21st centuries, I offer an account of stranded affect’s force in cultural practices of embodied representation, identification, and witnessing. Studying how art mobilizes stranded affect for political projects,  my dissertation provides critical frameworks for grasping how artists have turned to dance to create new—and less cruel—conditions of visibility for racialized bodies.

Committee: Karen Redrobe (co-chair), Margo Crawford (co-chair), Simone White, Jasmine Johnson 

The public presentation will begin at 11:30 am and adjourn at 12:30 pm for the committee-only portion of the defense. We will reconvene at 1:30 pm in the FBH Graduate Lounge (FBH 330) for a reception.

For those who wish to join Dahlia's defense virtually, please use the following link: