About the working group

The Social Choreography Working Group examines how systems of discipline, desire, power, and sociality choreograph movements, patterns, and gestures that make up lived experience. With concerns ranging from urban design to dance, Social Choreography seeks to understand how movement is conditioned by larger cultural infrastructures and how it responds to and impacts these infrastructures in antagonistic or reflexive ways. Seminar discussions and research may engage activist-oriented artistic interventions, the structuring of public movement and the circulation of bodies, theories of theater and performance, ethnographic understandings of everyday rhythms and habits, and institutions of control and holding including incarceration, housing, education, and labor management. What are the forms that push back on these aggressions? What is the role of aesthetics as it intersects with politics and the social order?

Of concern to our research workshops are recent events of police violence, gentrification, as well as migration due to political conflict and climate change. We hope to engage these matters from as broad a disciplinary base as possible. The working group consists of presentations of participants’ research at any stage of completion and will adopt the format of the studio “crit” during meetings. Though the working group is primarily targeted at graduate students in all fields, faculty are invited and guest speakers will engage discussion periodically. At the end of the fall term, participants will cooperatively determine how to frame or present their research, whether in a multi-author publication, public programming, or the continuation of sessions. Given the focus on presentations and active conversation, the working group will be closed in the fall semester. The Social Choreography Working Group is organized by Joseph Henry and Kaegan Sparks, Ph.D. Program in Art History, and Katherine Carl, The Graduate Center, CUNY.

This working group is a component of Social Choreography, an interdisciplinary research group devoted to intersections between art movements and social movements. The group is supported by the Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and  Collaborative Research. For more information or to join, email ch@gc.cuny.edu.

Participants