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Felicia McCarren

Tulane University, New Orleans
Planting Dance: Natural History and Cultural History of Gender in Performance
01 October 2016 - 30 June 2017
Music, musicology and performance arts

Felicia McCarren, Professor of French at Tulane University in New Orleans, is a performance historian and theorist. She has taught and lectured in the US, Sweden, Spain, Belgium, Britain, and France and participates in the Seminar in the Cultural History of Dance (EHESS).
Her most recent book, French Moves: The Cultural Politics of le hip-hop received the Outstanding Publication Award from the Congress on Research in Dance and the De la Torre Bueno Prize, from the Society of Dance History Scholars.

Research interests

Dance and performance studies; History of the body and history of science, technology and medicine; Modernism; Minority representation and cultural politics in contemporary France

Planting Dance: Natural History and Cultural History of Gender in Performance

Dance’s performances of gender - coded into movement, different from drama’s gendered costumes - might best be seen in roles based on flora rather than fauna. In the cultural history of biology, and of concert dance, we can find ideas about the dynamics and variation of sex in plant science finding their way to the stage. In parallel with naturalists, choreographers were thinking through natural as well as social definitions of gender. What sorts of gender narratives did botany make possible for choreography, and what sorts of roles has concert dance made possible for plants? In a climate of rising biologism, professionalization of science, and state-centered bio-power, the stage is also a laboratory.

Key publications

French Moves: The Cultural Politics of le hip-hop, Oxford University Press, 2013.

Dancing Machines: Choreographies of the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Stanford University Press, 2003 (reprinted 2015).

Dance Pathologies: Performance, Poetics, Medicine, Stanford University Press, 1998.

Conference de Felicia McCarren, ancienne résidente de l'IEA, Chaire Fulbright Tocqueville (printemps 2023)
17 Apr 2023 17:30 -
17 Apr 2023 19:00,
Paris :
Histoires naturelles, histoires culturelles en scène : chorégraphies, écologies, savoirs
Workshop organized by F. McCarren (Paris IAS), E. Claire (CNRS) and J.-P. Le Glaunec (U. of Sherbrooke)
30 May 2017 09:00 -
30 May 2017 19:00,
Paris :
Regards et résistances : performances, archives et les figurants de l’histoire
Workshop organized by F. McCarren (Paris IAS), E. Claire (CNRS) and S. Sebastiani (EHESS), with the support of the Paris IAS
22 Mar 2017 09:00 -
22 Mar 2017 19:30,
Paris :
Species & Spectacle
08 Mar 2017 09:00 -
08 Mar 2017 10:30,
Malte :
French Moves: cultural politics, minority poetics and choreographic techniques of "Le hip - hop"
Contemporary period (1789-…)
World or no region