Abstract photography black and white of person dancing on concrete floor outside

Interrogating Situated Colonial Practices in the Dance Archive

Eligibility: UK/International (including EU) graduates with the required entry requirements

Duration: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 27 May 2024

Interview date: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2024

For further details contact: Karen Wood


This PhD project will examine the historical and geographical relevance of colonial histories in relation to dance and archival practices. It exam-ines through practice research, how dance contributes to the interro-gation of the colonial history of archival practices in art spaces and art events.

Project details

The project chimes well with a larger questioning in dance of its rela-tionship to social justice and how practices and narratives of inclusion and diversity can be put into dialogue in envisioning new modes of production. In addition, the project is concerned with ‘undoing’ and ‘liberation’ from a dominant colonial paradigm (Vázquez, 2021) and how dance has an important role to play in this.
According to Mayes and Whitfield (2021), African American artists are generally hidden or missing from archives yet nevertheless had an important role in creating musical theatre, particularly the dance we know today. The U.K. received an influx of people migrating in the 19th century, many from the United States, contributed to the significant evolution of musical theatre and dance. As one example, this is especially evident in the impact of the work of Master Juba who became well-known in the U.K. for his expressive rhythms on stage.


This is a fully-funded studentship, including tuition fees and stipend/bursary.


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.


  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years.
  • A minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS academic overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).

Additional specifications

The potential candidate might have an ongoing dance practice or a vested interested in dance.

How to apply

To find out more about the project, please contact Karen Wood.

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

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