© Sonja Jokiniemi
Dance   /   Lecture
Culturele Studies KU Leuven & STUK

Symposium Differing bodyminds: Choreographing New Pathways

TU 19.04.2022
14:00 - 18:00
OPEK Kleine Zaal, Vaartkom 4, 3000 Leuven & Online
Language: English

Free of charge, registration required

Please find the livestream below. During the symposium, you'll be able to react via the chatbox.

On April 19th, 2022, Cultural Studies (KU Leuven), NeuroEpigenEthics (U Antwerp), and STUK House for Dance, Image & Sound organize Differing bodyminds: Choreographing New Pathways, a hybrid symposium that brings together speakers from different theoretical fields with dance scholars, practitioners and an interested audience to think about issues that are situated at the border between dance and dis/ability.

This edition’s theme is Differing bodyminds: Choreographing New Pathways.

Speakers: Prof. Jane Gallop (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Prof. Carrie Sandahl (University of Illinois at Chicago), Sonja Jokiniemi (performance artist), Prof. Robert McRuer (George Washington University)

14.00 – 14.10 Welcome and introduction
14.10 – 15.55 Lecture Jane Gallop
14.55 – 14.05 Short Break
14.05 15.50 Lecture Robert McRuer
15.50 – 16.00 Short Break
16.00 – 16.45 Lecture Carrie Sandahl
16.45 – 17.15 Coffee break (time to visit the worktable)
17.15 – 18.00 Round table: Gallop, Sandahl, McRuer
18.00 – 19.00 Time to visit the worktable

Dance is traditionally associated with notions of fitness and ability. The trained body of the dancer is muscular yet supple, perfectly malleable, always ready to move. In recent years, however, choreographers have been increasingly questioning this conventional bodily regime, working with dancers that do not conform to the norms of “able-bodiedness” or age and taking the specificity of these dancers as a generative matrix for the exploration of new movement vocabularies. In so doing, these choreographers not only carve out new pathways in the field of dance, but they also disturb the conventional scripts that are entrenched in our cultural framework and that prescribe how bodies and minds are supposed to function and behave.

The symposium will set up a dialogue between dance studies and insights produced by disability studies, CRIP theory and queer theory. It will explore the potential of these ‘differing bodyminds’ to rethink notions of corporeality, ability, skill and virtuosity in relation to dance.

This symposium is a collaboration between STUK and Cultural Studies (KU Leuven) as part of the course Contemporary Dance & Dance Studies.
The programme was compiled by Prof. Anneleen Masschelein, Jonas Rutgeerts and Leni Van Goidsenhoven.
The course Contemporary Dance & Dance Studies was initiated from the cultural policy plan KU Leuven.
The Centre for Cultural Studies (KU Leuven) is a member of CoDA - Cultures of Dance, the newly created Research Network for Dance Studies funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO).

Doctoral School 20-21.04.2022
The Symposium is followed by a Doctoral Seminar on Crip Theory in the Arts and Humanities, co-organised by Antwerp University, KU Leuven and Ghent University.
More info and registration here.

Jane Gallop is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee and the author of numerous books, including The Daughter's Seduction: Feminism and Psychoanalysis, Thinking Through the Body, Anecdotal Theory, Living with his Camera and, most recently, Sexuality, Disability, and Aging: Queer Temporalities of the Phallus.

Carrie Sandahl is Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Disability and Human Development. She directs Chicago’s Bodies of Work, an organization that supports the development of disability arts and culture, through festivals, advocacy, and an artist residency program. Her research and creative activity focus on disability identity in live performance and film. Sandahl’s publications include a co-edited an anthology, Bodies in Commotion: Disability and Performance, which garnered the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s award for Outstanding Book in Theatre Practice and Pedagogy (2006). Sandahl frequently travels nationally and internationally to speak about her research and arts advocacy initiatives. She collaborated on a documentary, Code of the Freaks, a critique of disability representations in cinema, which premieres in 2020.

Robert McRuer’s work focuses on queer and crip cultural studies and critical theory. His most recent book, Crip Times: Disability, Globalization, and Resistance, was released in January 2018. Crip Times considers locations of disability within contemporary political economies and the roles that disabled movements and representations play in countering hegemonic forms of globalization. His first book, The Queer Renaissance: Contemporary American Literature and the Reinvention of Lesbian and Gay Identities, centered on contemporary lgbt writers, particularly lgbt writers of color, and his second book, Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability, attended to cultural sites where critical queerness and disability contest heteronormativity and compulsory able-bodiedness.

Sonja Jokiniemi is a choreographer, performer and self-taught visual artist based in Helsinki, Finland. She makes transdisciplinary work with research interests in thing ecologies, language and thinking structures, neuro and psychodiversity. She often works with objects, materials and drawings as collaborators on stage.

Tue 19 Apr 2022 14:00


  • Vaartkom 4
  • 3000 Leuven