Victoria Phillips, PhD - Chair

Victoria Phillips, Ph.D. is the author of Martha Graham’s Cold War: The Dance of American Diplomacy (20 December 2019; UK 2020). The book explores Martha Graham’s international political life as she and her company promoted the United States in over thirty nations for every presidential administration from Franklin D. Roosevelt through George H.W. Bush.

A Lecturer in History at the European Institute and Department of History at Columbia University in the City of New York, Dr. Phillips is also Associated Faculty at the Harriman Institute, director of the Cold War Archival Research project (CWAR), and Visiting Fellow in the Department of International History at the London School of Economics. She developed CWAR as a cooperative research group and bi-annually accompanies advanced students to international archives to explore Cold War cultural projects. Dr. Phillips’ articles have appeared in such varied publications as the New York Times, American Communist History, Dance Chronicle, Ballet News, and Dance Research Journal. She has curated several public exhibitions in the United States and Europe. Phillips has lectured at renowned universities, colleges, high schools and international institutes. Although she typically appears in the role of speaker or classroom instructor, she also combines historical talks with live dance performance, technique and improvisation classes, to offer audiences an experiential format.

Jens Richard Giersdorf is an international dance scholar whose research focuses on choreographies of politics in a global context as well as epistemological concerns in dance studies. His writing has been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals as well as translated and anthologized internationally. Giersdorf is regularly invited by key national and international institutions to speak on his work. His monograph The Body of the People (The University of Wisconsin Press, 2013) is the first study on dance in East Germany and the German translation Volkseigene Körper (transcript Verlag, 2014) was supported by the Swedish Lilian Karina Foundation. In co-authorship with Gay Morris, Giersdorf edited Choreographies of 21st Century Wars (Oxford University Press, 2016) and in co-authorship with Yutian Wong the third edition of the Routledge Dance Studies Reader (Routledge, forthcoming).

In his service to the professional field, Giersdorf serves as the Vice President for Publications and Research of the Dance Studies Association. Giersdorf has also served on several College committees, including the Committee on Promotion and Tenure and the Governance and Handbook Committee. His teaching expertise includes critical European and U.S. American dance history, disciplinary discourses of embodiment and dance education, as well as politics of dance and movement practices.

Jens Richard Giersdorf - Treasurer

Elizabeth Aldrich - Vice Chair

Elizabeth Aldrich is an American dance historian, choreographer, writer, lecturer, consultant, administrator, curator, and archivist. She is internationally known for her research, performance, choreography, teaching, and lectures on Renaissance and Baroque court dance, nineteenth-century social dance, and twentieth-century ragtime dance.

Aldrich has had a remarkable succession of related careers. As a musician, she has participated as a performer, both in the touring and recording sectors of the industry. She was also a member of a professional company specializing in period dance and served as co-artistic director for a number of years. As a scholar of early dance, Aldrich received choreographic commissions from the Court Dance Company of New York, the Dance Division of the Juilliard School, and the New York Baroque Dance Company. As a specialist in nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century social dance, she also created choreography for American Ballroom Theater, the Jane Austen Society of North America, the Smithsonian Institution, and Festival Folklórico de Taxco, México. As a presenter, Aldrich has conducted workshops and given lectures and speeches for numerous scholarly organizations in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. She has also worked as an administrator and consultant for multiple prestigious institutions since 1974.

In 2006 Aldrich was employed by the Music Division of the Library of Congress, as she was named to the newly created position of Curator of Dance. Just before Aldrich retired from the library in 2013, she was instrumental in the acquisition of the collection of American Ballet Theatre. 

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