Barbara Sellers-Young
Professor Emerita

Performance Studies

BSc, MSc, PhD (Oregon)

Barbara Sellers-Young is a Senior Scholar and Professor Emerita in the Dance Department of York University. She was Dean of the School of Arts, Media, Performance and Design (2008-2013) and Professor in the Department of Dance at York University (2008-2016). She previously taught in the Department of Theatre and Dance at UC/Davis (1990-2008) where she also served as the interim executive director of the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts (2005/06). She has also taught at universities in England, China, and Australia. Her research projects on the intersections of performance, body and globalization have taken place in Sudan, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Nepal, China, England, and Australia.

Her articles can be found in The Journal of Popular Culture, Theatre Topics, Asian Theatre Journal, Dance Research Journal and elsewhere. She is the author of three single authored books: Teaching Personality with Gracefulness, Breathing, Movement, Exploration, and Belly Dance Pilgrimage and Identity as well as the jointly authored book with Robert Barton Movement OnStage and Off.  Edited volumes include: Oxford Handbook of Dance and Ethnicity and Belly Dance and Orientalism, Transnationalism and Harem Fantasy with Anthony Shay; Embodied Consciousness: Performing Technologies and Narrative in Performance with Jade Rosina McCutcheon; Belly Dance Around the World: New Communities, Performance and Identity with Caitlin McDonald; and, Spiritual Her Stories with Amanda Williamson.

Professor Sellers-Young’s research has been supported by fellowships from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (Canada), American Council of Learned Societies (United States) and the Centre for Cultural Research into Risk, (Charles Sturt University, Australia), as well as numerous grants, including a Davis Humanities Fellowship and a Pacific Rim Planning Grant. She served for two years as convener of the International Federation of Theatre Research Working Group: Theory and Practice of Performing and from 2008 to 2010 was president of the Congress on Research in Dance.  She is the recipient of the 2008 Alumni Award from the School of Music and Dance at the University of Oregon and the 2011 Dixie Durr Award for Outstanding Service to Dance Research from the Congress on Research in Dance. She was the 2018 editor—in-residence for the Dance Chronicle and is a member of the advisory council for the School of Music and Dance at the University of Oregon.

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Areas of Research and Teaching Specialty: Performance Studies