PhD in Dance Studies

The PhD in Dance Studies at York University is the first doctoral-level degree to be offered in Canada. Beginning in 2008-09, the program’s purpose is to prepare scholars for careers in academia or the cultural sector. Employment possibilities for graduates range from teaching in post-secondary education to work in archives and museums, arts administration, publishing, journalism and the media.

A small program, the PhD in Dance Studies admits four full-time PhD students per year to pursue advanced research in the context of a large Department of Dance. York runs established MA, BA and BFA programs and is introducing the MFA in Choreography and Dance Dramaturgy in 2008-09.

For the PhD, admission requirements include at least an A- average, proof of English language proficiency and a Master’s degree in dance or a related field in the fine arts (such as music), the humanities (such as history or women’s studies) or the social sciences (such as anthropology). Preference is given to Canadian and landed immigrant applicants.

Faculty resources currently include twelve core faculty members in the Department of Dance and seven adjunct professors from other universities and institutions, in addition to the disciplinary and interdisciplinary richness of Canada’s largest Faculty of Fine Arts and third-largest university.

The program focuses around seminars, field trips, fieldwork, conferences and work in archives and special collections in Toronto and elsewhere. York University has excellent facilities and resources: the Sound and Moving Image Library, state-of-the-art studios, computer labs and video equipment. Students benefit from assistantships and scholarships, contacts with the professional world, interaction with students of diverse backgrounds and an extensive network of MA alumni.

Fields

Dance Ethnography & Cultural Research

Dance Ethnography & Cultural Research takes an interdisciplinary approach to cross-cultural dance studies through ethnographic and historical research methods, with emphasis on economic and cultural globalization as well as education. The field addresses a range of dance forms in local and global contexts—from popular contexts to religious settings, and from educational institutions to concert stages. Drawing upon critical and cultural theory, students will delve deeply into the social, cultural and political implications of dance, while also querying the challenges of approaching the body and bodily experience as a research subject and research tool. The field’s emphasis on contextual analysis involves explorations into how historical and cultural constructions of power, gender, sexuality, the body, identity, class and race influence dance practices.

Courses for this field:

GS/DANC 5100 6.0 or 5110 3.0 Directed Readings
GS/DANC 5200 3.0 Research Methods
GS/DANC 5210 3.0 Selected Topics in Dance Studies I
GS/DANC 5211 3.0 Selected Topics in Dance Studies II
GS/DANC 5212 3.0 Selected Topics in Dance Studies III
GS/DANC 5213 3.0 Selected Topics in Dance Studies IV
GS/DANC 5214 3.0 Selected Topics in Dance Studies V
GS/DANC 5225 3.0 Choreography
GS/DANC 5231 3.0 Dance, Gender and Sexuality
GS/DANC 5300 3.0 Methods and Materials for Movement Observation
GS/DANC 5310 3.0 Dance Writing
GS/DANC 5330 3.0 Anthropology of Dance in Canada
GS/DANC 5340 3.0 Topics in Historical or Cultural Dance Style
GS/DANC 6400 3.0 Issues in Dance Ethnography and Cultural Studies
GS/DANC 6420 3.0 Dance and Globalization
GS/DANC 5900 3.0 Imaging the Arts: Interdisciplinary Collaborations
GS/DANC 6200 3.0 Advanced Research and Dissertation Seminar
GS/DANC 6375 3.0 Dance Education: Historical and Social Perspectives

Dance History & Heritage Studies

Dance History & Heritage Studies explores ways in which theatrical, social and popular dance has been practiced, theorized, transmitted and documented in diverse times and places. The field uses methodologies from the fine arts, humanities and social sciences to investigate movement styles and repertoires as well as identities, communities, discourses, organizations and institutions. The Canadian dance context provides a framework for studying Aboriginal and immigrant dance experiences within the political and theoretical constructs of colonialism, nationalism, regionalism and official multiculturalism. Dance reconstruction, choreographic analysis, iconography and musicology combine with critical writing, historiography, oral history and public history in the process of assessing the status of dance and examining its artistic, social and political functions. Archival and museum work emphasizes the preservation of dance through collections, exhibitions and publications.

Courses for this field:

GS/DANC 5100 6.0 or 5110 3.0 Directed Readings
GS/DANC 5200 3.0 Research Methods
GS/DANC 5210 3.0 Selected Topics in Dance Studies I
GS/DANC 5211 3.0 Selected Topics in Dance Studies II
GS/DANC 5212 3.0 Selected Topics in Dance Studies III
GS/DANC 5213 3.0 Selected Topics in Dance Studies IV
GS/DANC 5214 3.0 Selected Topics in Dance Studies V
GS/DANC 5220 3.0 Dance and Modernism
GS/DANC 5310 3.0 Dance Writing
GS/DANC 5300 3.0 Methods and Materials for Movement Observation
GS/DANC 5320 3.0 Methods of Dance Reconstruction
GS/DANC 5230 3.0 Women Performing Heroism
GS/DANC 5325 3.0 Creativity Studies and Performing Arts
GS/DANC 5340 3.0 Topics in Historical or Cultural Dance Style
GS/DANC 5345 3.0 Issues in Canadian Dance
GS/DANC 5900 3.0 Imaging the Arts: Interdisciplinary Collaborations
GS/DANC 6200 3.0 Advanced Research and Dissertation Seminar
GS/DANC 6315 3.0 Issues in Dance Heritage Studies
GS/DANC 6375 3.0 Dance Education: Historical and Social Perspectives