EVENT Apr 13
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MENACA2023 - First Symposium on Middle Eastern, North African, and Central Asian Dances: New Paradigms, New Directions

Pendleton Dance Center, Pomona College, Claremont, CA
Organization: Dance Department, Pomona College
Categories: Postcolonial, Popular Culture, Gender & Sexuality, Women's Studies, Anthropology/Sociology, Cultural Studies, Film, TV, & Media, History, African & African Diasporas, Asian & Asian Diasporas, Mediterranean, Middle East
Event Date: 2023-04-13 to 2023-04-16 Abstract Due: 2023-01-29


Please submit your proposals via our website! (linked below)

Why Middle Eastern, North African, and Central Asian Dances?

Few areas of dance research and writing have been as underrepresented and misunderstood in scholarly literature as MENA (Middle Eastern & North African) and Central Asian dances, whether with regards to historical or contemporary contexts of performance.

However, as witnessed through conferences of the Dance Studies Association (formerly known as Congress on Research and Dance and Society of Dance History Scholars), the number of presentations in this field has increased. Furthermore, there have been increasing numbers of emerging scholars over the past decade whose research have focused on various aspects of dance genres originating in MENA and Central Asia. These combined, merit a full conference dedicated to new research in these regions and their diaspora communities.

This symposium aims to contribute to debates on decolonization and dance studies. These concerns were discussed during the DSA Conference in Malta (2018), and further explored in the 2020 issue of Decolonizing Dance Discourses and at the most recent DSA Conference in Vancouver (2022).  In addition to decolonization in dance studies, we seek to bring to the debate concern on how future prospects for dance education should reconsider present academic canons.

Now is the time to convene the first scholarly symposium on MENA and Central Asian dances to gather as many scholars as possible in one scholarly environment to present their most recent research. We are planning to hold the symposium at Pomona College, Claremont, CA, hosted by the Pomona College Dance Department, April 13 – 16 2023.

We welcome you to participate in this exciting opportunity to meet dancers, choreographers, and scholars active in education, performance, and research in MENA and Central Asian dances.



Anthony V. Shay, Maria Faidi, Shahrzad Khorsandi, Roberta L. Dougherty