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2019-2020 Fellows

Christi-Anne Castro
Associate Professor of Musicology

Dr. Castro will travel to Winnipeg, Canada for Folklorama, the world’s largest and longest running multicultural festival, in order to examine how community groups deploy music and dance as acts of self-determination. While music festivals such as Folklorama maybe viewed as performative sites of multicultural domestication within a larger society, this research project seeks to explain how an aesthetics of agency is achievable through an inherent antagonism found in the politics of diversity that finds voice in cultural presentations. In doing so, Castro frames the amateur community performances of Folklorama as political identity work rather than mere cultural commodity.

Clare Croft
Associate Professor of Dance & American Culture

EXPLODE is a research project in which Croft explores how curating a mixed repertory evening of dance is the live performance corollary to print scholars editing of printanthologies. How might a research question—in this case, “What makes a dancequeer?”—be explored across an evening of performance by artists from a broadrange of identities and dance forms. This year, California performances are a collaboration with the Indigenous Choreographers Research group, led by University of California-Riversideprofessors Maria Firmino-Castillo and Jacqueline Shea Murphy, and Chicago performances are co-curated with Black, queer Chicago-based danceartist Anna Martine Whitehead.

Xiaodong Hottman-Wei
Lecturer, Residential College

Professor Hottman-Wei will travel to Mongolia to learn how to play Ma Tou Qin, and take lessons on Chinese bamboo flute. Ma Tou Qin is a Mongolian fiddle which produces a unique sound, that transports you to the grassland. There areabout 24 million Mongolians living in Inner Mongolia China. Her fieldwork will also include attending Mongolian Festivals in the Inner Mongolian region. 

Mbala Nkanga
Associate Professor of Theatre Studies

This research is part of an overall project titled "Performance, Rumor, and Audience: The Theatre of Resistance in Central Africa." Following the election and inauguration of Felix Antoine Tshilombo Tshisekedi, Nkanga will observe changes in artists’ behaviors and works as compared to the previous years of autocracy and dictatorship under Mobutu and Kabila. How do the new generation of artists dealwith radio-trottoir and the limitation of freedom of speech in public spaces? What are the new dramatic approaches in terms of political and social rhetoric? How is the memory of past and not too recent events negotiated by this generation of artists?

Stephen Rush
Professor of Performing Arts Technology

The impetus for this research project comes from a groundswell for a re-considering of fundamental materials in all music with a keen acknowledgement of race and gender- whether or not talking about music from the “non-Western” canon. The research will focus on experience-based Music Theory – the project is not a piece of cultural criticism/cultural studies nor is it a redux on music history told from a wider cultural lens, but rather a proposal to create a way for students to experience basic elements of Music Theory with no presumption of a grounding or preference toward Western European music or history. Fieldwork will take place in Mysore, India.

Carlos Rodriguez
Assoicate Professor of Music Education

Dr. Rodriguez's research will look at how higher education in Mexico helps prepare students for careers in the performing arts. This project seeks to to learn from neighboring countries whose cultures are co-influential to United States culture, in order to further conversations regarding how music conservatories are gradually changing to accommodate the increasingly diverse needs for musical involvement and understanding in the communities they exist to serve. The final product of this investigation might well be less of a direct comparison between conservatories in Mexico and the US, and more a naturalistic, descriptive report of Mexico’s growth in performing arts education. 

Malcolm Tulip
Assistant Professor of Theatre

Professor Tulip will work on the development of "After Unica," a multi-media performance inspired by Unica Zürn, a German Surrealist writer and artist best known for her anagrammatic poems and automatic drawings. Her work was to be closely identified through the lens of her mental illness, her traumas, her partners, and her suicide. In-field research will take place in New York City and Paris, France.