The Dance Studies Association's (merging organization of the Society of Dance History Scholars and Congress on Research in Dance) 2018 conference will be held July 5-8 at the Univerisity of Malta in Valletta, Malta. Our theme is “Contra: Dance & Conflict.” We are looking to host over 300 delegates from around the world who will address the conference theme through presentations, workshops, choreographies, lecture-demonstrations, and screen dances.
While often used as a metaphor for peace, the reality of dancing, dance-making, and scholarship surrounding dance is often one of conflict. Yet, as a venue for interaction, friction, and potential energy, conflict can be as creative as it is destructive. Calling out to delegates across the globe, we are convening to discuss the ubiquity and necessity of conflict within and around dance. We ask: How has dance served as a vehicle for reconciliation? What are the conflicts within dance studies? How has choreography represented, exposed, or challenged practices of violence and war? Are there means of reconciling or using these conflicts productively that are informed by dance practice?
About the University of Malta Department of Dance Studies
Founded in 2010, the Department of Dance Studies provides institutional support and theoretical undergirding for Malta’s long-standing passion for dance. With a harmonized engagement with practice and theory, the program prepares students for careers in dance, choreography, dance education, cultural management, and university positions. The 3-year Bachelor’s degree (Honours) hosts students from Malta, the EU, and around the world, and provides training in modern and contemporary dance and choreographic techniques, dance and technology, dance science, dance education, and an international third-year tour. Master’s degrees offer further opportunities in Practice as Research and deeper engagement with critical theory. The Department has ongoing exchange with leading researchers, choreographers, dancers, and partner-universities across the world.
Nestled between southern Italy and northern Africa, Malta’s beautiful shores, baroque heritage, ancient monuments, and mouth-watering cuisine make it a destination highly sought after by tourists, historians, deep-sea divers, and food connoisseurs. With constructions dating as early as 4000BCE, Malta’s strategic position at the heart of the Mediterranean made it a highly-valued territory for centuries. Artifacts and other historical testimonies bear witness to the presence of the Phoenicians, Romans, Sicilians, northern Africans, Turks, and French. Gaining independence from Great Britain in 1964, Malta recognizes English as an official language alongside Maltese, which has roots in old Arabic and old Sicilian with elements of French and English.
Malta became a Republic in 1974 and joined the EU in 2004. Today, Malta has a population of nearly 450,000 and is visited annually by some one and a half million tourists. In early July you can expect afternoon heat but cooler mornings and evenings.
Valletta, the capital city where the conference will be held, is a baroque city with fortifications and palaces still standing from their construction by the Knights of Malta. In its streets you’ll find scores of restaurants, museums, shops, and beautiful facades. The Valletta campus is housed in the Old University Building that dates back to the founding of the Collegium Melitense 1592. Valletta is the 2018 European Capital of Culture.
Malta was recently featured in the New York Times article, Malta, Where the West Was Born.