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01 June 2021
Critical Institutional Studies
We will be editing a special issue of the journal focused on the systematic inquiry into the workings of dance institutions. “There is more to dance than meets the eye,” as Sally Banes began the introduction to a sequence of articles within a 2002 issue of Dance Chronicle titled, “Where They Danced: Patrons, Institutions, Spaces.” Banes noted that this collection of articles explored what she called “critical institutional studies,” or research that considers the institutions and patrons that form the conditions of possibility for dance practices. Nineteen years later, we wish to return to the questions that Banes posed and to reflect on how dance studies has developed frameworks for the political economic analysis of dance in the last two decades. Banes cited the influence of institutional critique in the visual arts, the rise of museum studies as well as “a long tradition of left-wing art criticism—especially Marxist criticism” on emerging inquiries in dance studies. We invite contributions addressing the institutional location and economic context of dance practices from a range of genres, time periods, and geographic locations. Articles may address, but need not be limited to, subjects such as:
- How does access to money, space, and time influence choreographic aesthetics?
- How do artists of color navigate the agendas of white funders?
- How do artists in post-colonial contexts navigate funding sources from former colonial powers?
- How can the widespread circulation of diversity, equity, and inclusion discourses be deepened or challenged in light of their institutional functions?
- How can practices of “institutional critique” in the visual arts inform dance practices and research?
- How can methodologies of “workers inquiry” provide insight into labor struggles within educational dance departments and cultural organizations?
- What can the perspectives of part-time and contingent workers illuminate about institutional politics?
- How have dance venues positioned themselves in relation to urban redevelopment, gentrification, and land use struggles?
- How have dance institutions been erected from different sources of money—for example, public funding, private funding, land rent, surplus value, debt, accumulated wealth from chattel slavery?
- How are dance funding and university endowments imbricated with fossil fuel investments and energy infrastructure?
- What roles have clients, johns, and sexual patrons played in the economic structure of dance institutions (Paris Opera, for example)?
- What are the merits of different theoretical frameworks (e.g., Marx, Adorno, Bourdieu, Foucault, Moten/Harney) for critical institutional studies?
- What forms of lateral power exist within cultural and educational institutions for dance?
- How can abolitionist politics inform the analysis of dance institutions?
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Submission Instructions: All manuscripts will receive double-blinded anonymous peer review. Manuscripts, 6,000–10,000 words in length (inclusive of footnotes and endnotes), may be submitted any time before June 1, 2021. Dance Chronicle follows the Chicago Manual of Style. Please submit manuscripts through the Taylor & Francis Submission Portal.
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