Inclusion and Intersectionality Symposium, 19-20 Nov, 2021

Society for Dance Research with C-DaRE, Coventry University and Candoco Dance Company

Call for proposals

Image Credit: Hot Mess choreographed by Theo Clinkard. Dancers: Joel Brown, Laura Patay, Nicolas Vendange, Megan Armishaw, Olivia Edginton, Mickaella Dantas, Toke Broni Strandby. Photographer: Stephen Wright 2019.

Audio description of Call :

‘If we grapple with intersectionality as a provisional concept that enables us to live our struggle identities [sic] in a radically different way, eschewing the categorical, representational and political violence in and through which they have been forged to fragment, marginalize, and silence some subjects while exalting and empowering others, can we envision, on the horizon, an intersectional politics of coalition which intimates the decolonial “elsewheres” that all of us-on all sides of colonial divides – urgently need to imagine?’
 (Anna Carastathis, 2016)

Intersectional thinking highlights the complex inequalities and matrices of domination, oppression and power relations that shape and inform everyday lives, global politics and the production of narratives and knowledge (Crenshaw 1991). Trajectories of lived experiences informed by racial politics, and dominant tropes of heteronormativity, ableism, patriarchy and capitalism (amongst many) meet at the crossroads or intersections of these matrices in which exclusions and opportunities run parallel with one another. 

This Symposium focuses on complex practices and processes of inclusion and exclusion at play within the fields of dance production, practice, participation and scholarship. It challenges dance makers, performers, organisations, academics, participants and students to consider how notions of inclusivity and accessibility are considered and performed in dance practice and research and to re-examine them in light of intersectional modes of thinking and doing. How does dance include and exclude? Whose voices are heard, in what way and in what manner – what stories do we see and how (and whose) bodies are mobilized and empowered through the practices we engage with, produce and promote? How are complex identities obscured in favour of dominant, normative characteristics such as whiteness, ability, maleness and straightness (for example)? How might intersectional thinking expose the “non-performativity” of institutional commitments to inclusion and diversity, which so often “do not bring into effect that which they name” (Ahmed, 2012: 119). 

For this symposium the Society for Dance Research will be joined by Candoco Dance Company and C-DaRE (Centre for Dance Research, Coventry University) who will present curated panels that interrogate the conference themes. Alongside these panels we are inviting a limited number of research papers, interactive workshops, lecture-demonstrations, or hybrid formats that particularly address one or more of the following:

  • How can intersectional thinking (and doing) transform dance practice and production?
  • How do practices and narratives of inclusion and diversity dialogue with intersectional ideas and concepts?
  • What future, inclusive modes of making, practising and researching dance might we envision?
  • How might ideas of intersectionality inform the ways in which we organize infrastructures and imagine dance futures?
  • What modalities of working, moving, collaborating, creating, researching and writing embody intersectional thinking?
  • What institutional and power structure does intersectionality challenge within the dance world?
  • To what extent do the inclusive policies and goals of our dance institutions – both in the industry and in the academy – support intersectional thinking and doing?
  • What productive dialogues can dance practice and research initiate between intersectionality and key social and political concerns of the current time?
  • What are the limits of intersectionality, as a term and a concept, which can appear as exclusive and overly academic? 

How to Apply:

Deadline for Proposals: Monday 31st May 2021 by 5.00 pm

To submit your proposal please send an abstract (300 words max) outlining your key ideas and preferred mode of presentation, technical and space / format  requirements and a biography (200 words max) to:

Ella Tighe:

Presentations will be 20 mins in length, alternative formats (i.e. performances, lecture demonstrations, workshops) are also encouraged – please indicate your technical requirements.

Proposals are invited for papers, performances, lecture demonstrations, screen dances, hubs, collaborative papers, Pecha Kucha presentations, work demonstrations, artist talks and provocations, as well as other proposed formats. While we are limited by the symposium schedule, we will endeavour to devise a program that best utilises the time for the accepted contributions.

The symposium will have a maximum of 30 individuals attending in person and the remainder online. Online attendance will be facilitated via Zoom. Once the final presenter line-up has been agreed we will invite in-person attendance via the panels and individual applications. 
Applicants will be notified of the outcome by Friday 2nd July 2021.

We particularly encourage proposals from dance artists and scholars from marginalised and underrepresented groups and scholars outside of the UK

PhD  and early career researchers are also encouraged to submit proposals – there will be a dedicated session reserved for presenters from these groups, curated by the Society for Dance Research.

We would like this symposium to be as accessible and inclusive as possible in the current climate. If you have any access needs, for either the event itself or in submitting your proposal (perhaps in an alternative format), please email Ella at

This symposium will be held in English and the organisers cannot provide simultaneous or consecutive translations. If you wish to present in a different language, please specify this in your proposal and make sure that your presentation is accompanied by an extended slide presentation in English. Also, please be aware that discussion sessions will be held in English, however some of the symposium organisers speak Spanish, Italian, French, Dutch and Turkish and can assist during question and answer sessions – please indicate on your proposal if you require translation assistance.

Registration information will follow in due course – please note that, due to ongoing travel restrictions, in person participants / delegates numbers are limited to a maximum of 30 people. Online attendance will be facilitated via Zoom.

Black Lives Matter – Solidarity Statement

The Executive Committee of the Society for Dance Research wishes to express solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and people of colour around the world suffering under structures of systemic racism, white supremacy, inequality and oppression.

We recognise we have further work to do to embed anti-racist practices in our work to advance the field of dance research. As a starting point, we commit to prioritising the work of dance scholars of colour for funding and support and to addressing underrepresentation on the Executive Committee. We welcome any suggestions for action from members and others who engage with the Society through different channels.

The Executive Committee of the Society for Dance Research


Ahmed, Sara (2012) On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life, Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Carastathis, Anna (2016) Intersectionality: Origins, Contestations, Horizons, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Crenshaw, Kimberlé ‘Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Colour’, Stanford Law Review 43.6 (1991) pp. 1241-99.

Image Credits

Hot Mess choreographed by Theo Clinkard. Dancers: Joel Brown, Laura Patay, Nicolas Vendange, Megan Armishaw, Olivia Edginton, Mickaella Dantas, Toke Broni Strandby. Photographer: Stephen Wright 2019.