Clare Croft (Photo provided)
Mar 02, 2023 - 6
Lower Level, Auditorium (KAM 62)

Public Lecture by Clare Croft, Associate Professor of American Culture at the University of Michigan

Sponsored by a Humanities Research Institute Research Cluster Grant with support from Krannert Art Museum, the Department of Dance, and the Program in Comparative and World Literature.

In queer spaces, we often use a list of letters to signal coalitional possibility. What does a list make possible? In this talk, I draw on the virtuosic listmaking deployed by dance critic and lesbian feminist activist Jill Johnston to consider what we can and cannot derive from understanding ourselves alongside one another. How does a list become a movement? An audience? A performance?

About the Speaker

Clare Croft is a dance historian and theorist, and sometimes dramaturg and curator. She is the author of Dancers as Diplomats: American Choreography in Cultural Exchange (Oxford UP), the editor of Queer Dance: Meanings and Makings (Oxford UP), the founder/curator of the EXPLODE queer dance festival, and a former critic for newspapers including The Washington Post and Austin American-Statesman.

Croft’s current work focuses on dance critic and lesbian feminist activist Jill Johnston, the central figure of her next book, Her Disruptions, which will be published by Duke University Press. Croft is also the editor of the book series, Studies in Dance: Theories and Practices; a frequent dramaturg for Andee Scott, Jennifer Harge, and Thomas DeFrantz; and the founder of the curatorial platform Daring Dances, which considers how dance can moves us into necessary, if difficult conversations.

Croft’s writing has been recognized with a number of awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Society of Theatre Research’s Sally Banes Publication Prize, the Congress on Research in Dance’s Outstanding Book Award; and the Oscar G. Brockett Book Prize for Dance Research. Croft is Associate Professor of American Culture at the University of Michigan, and holds a PhD in Performance as Public Practice from the University of Texas-Austin.


As part of Clare Croft's residency at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, she will also hold a March 3 workshop at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, titled Can Writing and Dance Touch?

Time: 9-10:45 am workshop open to all faculty and graduate students, no registration required

Location: Dance Rehearsal Room Krannert (DRK) on the second floor of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts


In this workshop we’ll be experimenting with how a score, an invitation to dancing, is a site where the acts of writing and dancing might touch. I’ll share thinking and writing from my current book project, Her Disruptions, which focuses on the writing, performance, and activism of dance critic and lesbian feminist activist Jill Johnston. We’ll then activate the score that (provisionally) closes the book. Prior to the workshop, participants are invited to read my piece on Johnston “I’m Gay, She Never Said.”

Absolutely no dance experience is required for the workshop, just a willingness to think and experiment.