Associate Professor, Vice-Chair of Graduate Affairs
Anurima Banerji is Associate Professor in the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance. She is the author of the monograph Dancing Odissi: Paratopic Performances of Gender and State (Seagull Books/University of Chicago Press, 2019) and co-editor, with Dr. Violaine Roussel, of How to Do Politics with Art. Currently she is working on a new book project, The Impossibility of Indian Classical Dance, as well as co-editing The Oxford Handbook of Indian Dance with Dr. Prarthana Purkayastha (Royal Holloway University of London). As a trained Odissi dancer and poet, Banerji shares the faculty’s important goal of bridging the worlds of academia and art. Her research concerns critical historicizations of Indian dance and its relationship to the state, with an interest in exploring conversations between dance history and political theory, since each area shares a common concern with the body as it moves through space. Banerji’s work is informed by an intersectional and interdisciplinary approach based on the insights of postcolonialism, critical race theory, performance studies, feminist and queer philosophy, and discourses of class, regionalism, and religion in India. She has received fellowships from the American Association of University Women, the Hellman Foundation, the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Study, and the International Research Center at Freie Universität to support her work. In 2013, her essay “Dance and the Distributed Body,” published in About Performance, received the Gertrude Lippincott Award from the Society of Dance History Scholars. She also won the 2007 Outstanding Graduate Research Award from the Congress on Research in Dance for her essay “Paratopias of Performance: The Choreographic Practices of Chandralekha,” later published in Planes of Composition: Dance, Theory, and the Global, edited by Andre Lepecki and Jenn Joy (Seagull Books, 2009). Additional writings appear in the journals and edited collections Dance Research Journal, EPW, e-misferica, Manushi, The Moving Space: Women and Dance, Oxford Handbook of Dance Reenactment, Theatre Topics, and Women and Performance. Banerji is affiliated with the UCLA Center for India and South Asia, Center for Performance Studies, the Center for the Study of Women, and the LGBTQ Studies Program, and is on the Nominations Committee at the Dance Studies Association. She participated as guest faculty at the 2019 DSA/Mellon Seminar for Emerging Scholars and has served as guest lecturer at Jawaharlal Nehru University’s School of Art and Aesthetics in New Delhi, India, and the Center for Contemporary Dance at the University of Music and Dance in Cologne, Germany.
Dance and performance theory, postcolonialism, theories of space, political theory, South Asian performance, and interdisciplinary research methods (historical approaches, ethnography, choreographic analysis, discourse analysis).
Creative Practice & Research
- Recent courses include: Theories of Performance, Introduction to Dance Studies, World Dance Histories, and Odissi Dance.
- At UCLA, Banerji is affiliated with the Center for India and South Asia, Center for Performance Studies, Center for the Study of Women, and the LGBTQ Studies FAC.
- Publications include: Dancing Odissi: Paratopic Performances of Gender and State (2019) and the edited volume How to Do Politics with Art (2017).
- Banerji is the recipient of UCLA grants, Hellman Fellowship, Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Study Fellowship (New Delhi, India), and International Research Centre fellowship, Freie Universitat (Berlin, Germany).
- Current research involves a book-in-progress titled The Impossibility of Indian Classical Dance.