Miya Shaffer

Miya Shaffer

Ph.D. in Culture and Performance


Miya Shaffer is a PhD candidate and dancer from Toronto, Canada. Her dissertation explores an original theorization of a multiracial analytic for dance interpretation, a critical lens through which spectators can examine the mobilization of contemporary multiracial discourses in twenty-first century North American experimental dance. She is a 2020-2022 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellow and a 2019 recipient of the Dance Studies Association’s Selma Jeanne Cohen Award for excellence in dance research. Miya’s dissertation has been generously supported by the American Society for Theater Research, the New York Public Library’s Short-Term Research Fellowships, the University of California Humanities Research Initiative, and UCLA’s Collegium of University Teaching Fellows, among other awards. Her writing can be found in Arts Journal, Dance Chronicle, The Routledge Handbook of Dance and US Popular Culture, and is forthcoming in Performance Matters. She holds a MA in Culture and Performance from UCLA and a BA in English and World Cinema Studies from McGill University.

Areas of Interest

Dance studies; performance studies; critical race theory; critical mixed-race studies; queer theory; visual studies; media studies; politics of spectatorship


• PhD Culture and Performance, UCLA (in progress)
• MA Culture and Performance, UCLA
• BA English Literature, Minor in World Cinema Studies, McGill University