(Abstract submissions will open January 4th and be accepted until February 15, 2021.)

Adanna Jones and Jeff Friedman, program co-chairs
Julia M. Ritter, local arrangements chair

The DSA 2021 Program Committee collectively re-imagines this international conference as a vessel that builds, explores, collaborates, performs, and agitates current practices within the field(s) of dance. Specifically, as our first COVID-times conference, it is important that our work responds to our current global crises. We imagine this conference as the start of a long process of holding ourselves to account. As dancers/scholars, we can equitably uphold diverse movement(s) of care and connection. From this generative yet fractious position, our theme, “Galvanizing Dance/Studies,” calls for dancers, choreographers, activists, curators, pedagogues, technologists, scholars, and those who otherwise engage with dance and movement practices to submit proposals that interrogate the many embodied, disembodied, and colonial laden conversations around the urgent needs of our current moment, by putting theory into action. Knowing that this year’s conference format and structures will be curated to expose, dismantle, challenge, and transform white, supremacist practices of convening and assembly, we seek a wide range of critical perspectives and modalities that yield to future propositions, questions, and/or critiques. 
As always, DSA welcomes all proposals that address the full spectrum of dance studies and practice. This year, we particularly invite you to consider the multiple ways your work intersects with each of the following sub-themes:




 In the spirit of the conference theme and looking toward how we might engage in “galvanization,” DSA encourages submissions to a new presentation format: Hubs. Briefly, Hubs consist of 12 linked presentations, of any format, meeting three times over the course of the conference, for 90 minutes each day. Please note that you must opt-in to participate in a Hub using the submission portal, as applications are made individually. It is DSA policy that individuals only present research once throughout each conference; your Hub participation counts as your singular presentation and will you not be able to submit a proposal in any additional formats. At the time of submission, you will be asked to choose the sub-themes (listed above) that best represent your work, as well as answer demographic questions to ensure that presenters from various geographic locations and career trajectories will be present. Accepted Hub members will then dive deeply into each other’s work during their three Hub sessions, to which conference attendees can be audience members. Your work and feedback can be presented in various formats, from performance to papers and beyond. 

Proposed presentations, following  DSA’s guidelines about presentation types, may include

  • Hubs
  • Lightning Sessions
  • Gatherings
  • Individual Papers
  • Panels
  • Lecture/Demonstrations
  • Movement Workshops
  • Dance Works (using outdoor or indoor sites)
  • Screendances

Individual proposals are welcome, but sessions that are already grouped—such as Lightning Sessions and Panels—have a higher likelihood of acceptance and are encouraged. Because this conference is privileging intersectional collaborative efforts that feature research from those working across diverse fields, Hub proposals are strongly encouraged and have the highest likelihood of acceptance. Lastly, although the conference will be held on the ground in Brunswick, New Jersey, applicants who cannot attend in person can apply to be part of remote sessions.  Indicate remote presentation at the time of submission.


  • Membership Requirement: Only DSA members in good standing are eligible to present at conferences.  Potential presenters may submit a proposal as a non-member, but must be a member of DSA in order to submit a Presenter Acceptance Form. For membership information, visit the Join Us section of our website.
  • Participation Limits: A potential delegate’s name may be included on only one proposal submitted to the conference portal, whether as a presenter or as moderator. Though some exceptions apply, these are initiated by the program committee (i.e. if invited by the program committee after a panel has been accepted, a delegate may also serve as a moderator on someone else’s panel.) 
  • Travel & Conference Awards: Graduate students interested in having their submissions considered for the Selma Jeanne Cohen Award, or in applying for a Graduate Student Travel Award, can submit here as a part of conference submissions.  DSA will also support three Conference Fellowships for Contingent Faculty/Independent Scholars with up to $1,000 for hotel and travel reimbursement. Consult the Awards page for more information
  • Remote Participation: Participants may apply to present remotely – indicating at the time of submission – and will be curated with other remote presentations. Curation of these Zoom events will depend upon how many applicants, types of applicants, and length of presentations.  Remote presentation will require DSA membership-in-good-standing and virtual registration.  If you want to propose a hybrid in-person/virtual event, you will note this upon submission.  In this case, the in-person presenter will be in charge of all technology and logistics for the virtual presenter. If a paper is accepted for presentation in-person at the conference, only the author of the paper may deliver the presentation. Remote requests for these can be considered on a case-by-case basis (generally for those from regions that prohibit travel to the conference location, or due to health or other personal or global emergencies). 

Note about DSA Working Groups: At each conference, ongoing DSA Working Groups meet immediately before the conference starts to discuss a particular topic. Currently, there are working groups in: Dance and Music; Dance and Technology; Dance History Teachers; Dancing the Long Nineteenth Century; Diversity; Early Dance; Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Dance Studies; Popular, Social, and Vernacular; Practice as Research; and Students. If you wish to join an ongoing Working Group, contact its organizer HERE . If you wish to propose a new Working Group, or for additional information about WG requirements, visit our website HERE.

Questions or concerns: conference@dancestudiesassociation.org

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