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Thomas F. DeFrantz US

Thomas F. DeFrantz directs SLIPPAGE: Performance|Culture|Technology, the Chicago-based group explores emerging technology in live performance applications.
DeFrantz believes in our shared capacity to do better and engage creative spirit for a collective good that is anti-racist, proto-feminist, and queer affirming.
Creative Projects include Queer Theory! An Academic Travesty commissioned by the Theater Offensive of Boston and the Flynn Center for the Arts; fastDANCEpast, created for the Detroit Institute for the Arts; reVERSE-gesture-reVIEW commissioned by the Nasher Museum in response to the work of Kara Walker. Current project re-OrientationS, an exploration of concepts of queer phenomenology.
Books: Routledge Companion to African American Theater and Performance (with Kathy Perkins, Sandra Richards, and Renee Alexander Craft, 2018), Choreography and Corporeality: Relay in Motion (with Philipa Rothfield, 2016), Black Performance Theory: An Anthology of Critical Readings (with Anita Gonzalez, 2014), Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance (2002), and Dancing Revelations: Alvin Ailey's Embodiment of African American Culture (2004).
DeFrantz convenes the Black Performance Theory working group as well as the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance, a growing consortium of 325 researchers committed to exploring Black dance practices in writing.
Teaching assignments include University of the Arts Mobile MFA in Dance; ImPulsTanz; New Waves Institute; SNDO; Movement Research; Lion’s Jaw; Fresh Festival; and faculty at Hampshire College, Juilliard, Stanford, Yale, MIT, NYU, Northwestern University, the University of Nice.
DeFrantz consults often with dance programs around the globe, and has helped artists and educators rethink how critical studies are entirely foundational to the making of a fully-engaged artist. DeFrantz has chaired the Program in Women’s and Gender Studies at MIT; the concentration in Physical Imagination at MIT; the Department of African and African American Studies at Duke; and served as President of the Society of Dance History Scholars. DeFrantz acted as a consultant for the Smithsonian Museum of African American Life and Culture, contributing concept and a voice-over for a permanent installation on Black Social Dance that opened with the museum in 2016.