Joanna Dee Das
Field: United States
Advisor: Eric Foner
Joanna Dee Das received her BA in Dance and History from Columbia University and her MA in American Studies from NYU. With particular attention to race and gender, her research focuses on the history of performance and the body in the modern world. Her dissertation examines how choreographer Katherine Dunham (1909-2006) worked to create social and political change through dance. In 2009, Dee Das processed the Katherine Dunham Papers at the Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center, which enabled those archival materials to become available to the public. Her essay on Katherine Dunham for the Dance Heritage Coalition’s “America’s Dance Treasures: The First 100” permanent online exhibit is available here:
She has also contributed entries on Katherine Dunham and Aida Overton Walker for the forthcoming Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism and is editing a series of interviews with Broadway artists for the journal Studies in Musical Theatre. Her scholarship has been supported by Columbia’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, a Victor Barnouw Fellowship, and a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship. In addition to her research, Dee Das has guest lectured at Harvard University, Marymount Manhattan College, and Barnard College. She also serves as an advisor for Columbia’s undergraduate American Studies Program.