It is my pleasure to announce that Janet O’Shea, professor in UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance since 2008, will step into the role of chair of the department, effective July 1, 2022. Janet is taking over from Associate Professor Emerita Angelia Leung, who has served as interim chair since July 2021.
Janet is an author, scholar, and martial artist, whose research and teaching focuses on critical dance studies, performance, and martial arts studies grounded in social and political contexts. She is the author of Risk, Failure, Play: What Dance Reveals about Martial Arts Training (2019, Oxford University Press) and At Home in the World: Bharata Natyam on the Global Stage (2007, Wesleyan University Press), the co-editor of the 2nd edition of the Routledge Dance Studies Reader, and a member of the editorial review board for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism.
Recipient of the 2020 UCLA Faculty Gold Shield Prize, she has given a TEDxUCLA Talk on competitive play and is a regular keynote/plenary speaker at dance, performance, and martial arts conferences. She is currently writing a book on emotion, corporeality, and activism entitled Bodies on the Line: Physicality, Sentiment, and Social Justice. Her essays have been published in five languages and seven countries.
Please join me in welcoming Janet into her new role, and thanking Angelia for her excellent leadership of the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance over the last year.