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Dancing East Asia | Speaker Biographies

Beverly Bossler is Professor of History at University of California Davis, where she studies gender and family in imperial China, especially the tenth to fourteenth centuries. Her most recent publications are Courtesans, Concubines, and the Cult of Female Fidelity (2013) and the edited volume Gender and Chinese History (2015).

Ting-Ting Chang was an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis, focusing her research on contemporary dance development in Asia and cross-cultural performance studies. She is a board member of the Taiwan Dance Research Society, and an adjunct assistant professor at National Taiwan University of Arts and University of Taipei. Chang’s choreography recently won the 2016 McCallum Theatre Choreography Festival, and the Silver Award of the 8th China Lotus Cup. She has presented works in American Dance Festival, Avignon Festival OFF, Esplanade Theater in Singapore, Guangdong Dance Festival in China, Hong Kong Dance Festival,  Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival, and University of Surrey, among others.

Ya-Ping Chen is a scholar of dance history and cultural studies. She is Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Institute of Dance, Taipei National University of the Arts, Taiwan. Her monograph Enquiry into Subjectivity: Modernity, History, Taiwan Contemporary Dance (in Chinese, 2011) focuses on the dance history of Taiwan within the context of modernity theories and cross-cultural interaction of dance practices.

Ellen Gerdes is a PhD student in the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at University of California, Los Angeles. Her publications appear in Asian Theatre Journal, Dance Chronicle, and The Journal of Dance Education. She was previously Lecturer in Dance at Temple University.

Sara Jansen is a researcher and dramaturg in dance. She holds degrees in Japanese Studies (KU Leuven, Belgium) and Performance Studies (New York University), and was a Japan Foundation Fellow at Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan). Currently, Sara is completing a PhD on choreography, history, and the postwar Japanese avant-garde at the universities of Brussels (VUB) and Antwerp (UA).

Dong Jiang is Research Fellow and Vice Director of the Dance Research Institute at the Chinese National Academy of Arts in Beijing. He is an expert in dance history, with a focus on modern and contemporary Chinese dance, world ethnic dance, and intangible cultural heritage. His recent books include Rethinking Classical Dance (in Chinese, 2014) and Contemporary Chinese Dance (in English, 2007).

Suzy Kim is Associate Professor of Korean History in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at Rutgers University. Her publications include a special guest-edited volume of Cross-Currents: East Asian History & Culture Review on “(De)Memorializing the Korean War” and Everyday Life in the North Korean Revolution, 1945-1950.

Yatin Lin is an Associate Professor in the School of Dance and School of Cultural Resources at the Taipei National University of the Arts. She earned her PhD in Dance History and Theory from University of California, Riverside. A former Board Member of The Society of Dance History Scholars and current President of the Taiwan Dance Research Society, she published her book, Sino-Corporealities: Contemporary choreographies from Taipei, Hong Kong, and New York (in English) in Taiwan in 2015.

Nan Ma is Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies at Dickinson College. She received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests include modern Chinese literature, visual culture, and dance and performance studies. Her paper “Transmediating Kinesthesia: Wu Xiaobang and Modern Dance in China, 1929-1939” appears in Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, spring 2016. 

Katherine Mezur is Lecturer in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Beautiful Boys/Outlaw Bodies: Devising Kabuki Female-Likeness (Palgrave, 2005). Her new project is "Cute Mutant Girls: Performing Sweet and Deviant in Contemporary Japan." Dr. Mezur is also a dramaturg and choreographer and directs performance workshops.

Mariko Okada is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Humanities, J. F. Oberlin University, Tokyo, Japan. She received her PhD from Waseda University in Tokyo with a dissertation on traditional dance in 2011. She published her first book The Birth of Kyōmai ("Kyoto Dance"): Inoue-ryu Dance in Nineteenth-Century Kyoto, Japan (in Japanese) in 2013.

Tara Rodman is a doctoral candidate in Theatre and Drama at Northwestern University. The recipient of fellowships from the Nippon Foundation and Fulbright IIE, her research has been published in Theatre Journal and Theatre Research International. Her dissertation focuses on Itō Michio as a figure of transnational modernism.

Okju Son is a postdoctoral scholar at the National Research Foundation of Korea and a researcher in Theatre Studies at Chung-Ang University in Seoul, South Korea. She studied in Creative Writing and Comparative Literature in Korea and completed her PhD in Theatre and Dance Studies at Freie Universität Berlin in 2014. She is working on her current project titled Orientalism in Dance: Representation of Korea in the German Modern Dance Scene.

Emily Wilcox is Assistant Professor of Modern Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her work focuses on Chinese dance and performance in transnational perspective. Her articles and essays appear in The Journal of Asian Studies, TDR: The Drama Review, Asian Theatre Journal, the books Chinese Dance (Wesleyan, 2016) and Queer Dance (Oxford, 2017), and other venues.

Catherine Yeh is Professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature at Boston University. Her research interest is in global cultural interaction and flow in the field of literature, media, and visual culture during the 19th and 20th centuries. Her current project is “The Rise of Peking Opera dan Actors and Chinese Theater Modernity, 1910s-1930s.”

Soo Ryon Yoon is a Postdoctoral Associate in East Asian Studies at Yale University. She received her PhD in Performance Studies at Northwestern University. She is currently working on her book manuscript, Choreographing Affinities: Performing Global Afro-Asian Relations and Racial Thinking in South Korea, exploring the circulation of African and African diasporic dance in the context of multiculturalism, racial politics, and neoliberal economy of South Korea.

Ji Hyon (Kayla) Yuh is a PhD candidate in Theatre at CUNY Graduate Center. Her dissertation examines the global circulation of race and the formation of racialized others through musical theatre productions in South Korea and East Asia. She is also a contributing author in the Routledge Handbook of Asian Theatre (Edited by Siyuan Liu), and Palgrave Handbook of Musical Theatre Producers (Edited by Laura MacDonald and William A. Everett).