On-Campus Open Days

Dr Clare Parfitt

Reader in Popular Dance

c.parfitt@chi.ac.uk

Clare Parfitt is an interdisciplinary dance scholar working at the intersections between popular dance studies, memory studies and Atlantic studies. Her research focuses on cultural memory and popular dance in the Atlantic world, particularly between France, Haiti, northern Canada and the US, and more recently between Britain and the Caribbean. Clare initially trained in social anthropology at Cambridge University, carrying out ethnographic fieldwork in Guyana, before completing an MA and PhD in dance studies (Surrey, Roehampton). In 2014 she  was awarded an AHRC Leadership Fellowship (2014-2016) to lead the project Dancing with Memory, which explored the relationship between popular dance and cultural memory via the case study of the cancan. The ‘Dancing with Memory’ project was described as a “paradigm-shifting research programme” (Fensham, 2019) when it was highlighted as a case study in a new key text for dance studies. Clare is Chair of PoP Moves, an international network for popular dance research, and Co-chair of the Memory Studies Association’s Performance and Memory working group. She is also a member of the AHRC Peer Review College.

“My research uses archival and ethnographic methods to engage with communities whose memories, practices and knowledges have been marginalised. I strive to create research projects and networks that are inclusive, sustainable and decolonial. These values also underpin my teaching and curriculum development, which focuses on intercultural, decolonial, popular cultural and political perspectives.”

Research Interests

  • Popular dance and performance
  • Cultural memory and forgetting
  • Popular memory across live and mediated forms
  • Decoloniality
  • Migration and performances of diasporic memory
  • French and British Atlantic worlds

Postgraduate Research Supervision

Clare is an experienced research supervisor and co-author of two pedagogical texts on this topic, Planning Your PhD and Completing Your PhD (Palgrave). She has supervised 4 PhDs and 1 MPhil to completion and served as Research Degrees Co-ordinator for Dance, Theatre and Fine Art from 2011 to 2019. She has externally examined 3 PhDs. Clare is interested in supervising further postgraduate research in line with her research interests above.

Links

Twitter @DrClareParfitt

Academia.edu page

PhD thesis: ‘Capturing the Cancan: body politics from the Enlightenment to Postmodernity’ (Roehampton University)

PoP Moves

Dancing with Memory

Email: 

c.parfitt@chi.ac.uk

Publications

Sole-authored Book

Parfitt, C. (Forthcoming) Remembering the Cancan: Popular Dance and the Kinetics of Memory between France and the Atlantic World. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press (Under Contract)

 

Edited Collection

Parfitt, C. (ed.) (Forthcoming) Cultural Memory and Popular Dance: Dancing to Remember, Dancing to Forget. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan (manuscript submitted)

 

Book Chapters

Parfitt, C. (2019) ‘Movements of freedom: performing popular liberty in the early cancan’, in Midgelow, Vida (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Improvisation in Dance. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 243-257

Parfitt-Brown, C. (2014) ‘An Australian in Paris: techno-choreographic bohemianism in Moulin Rouge!’, in Blanco Borelli, Melissa (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 21-40

Parfitt-Brown, C. (2013) ‘The Problem of Popularity: the cancan between the French and digital revolutions’, in Cook, Susan and Dodds, Sherril (eds.) Bodies of Sound: Studies Across Popular Music and Dance. Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 9-24

 

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Parfitt-Brown, C. (2010) ‘Popular Past, Popular Present, Post-Popular?’ in Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies, Special Issue on Dancing the Popular guest-edited by Danielle Robinson, Vol. XXXI, pp. 18-20

Parfitt, C. (2009) ‘‘Like a Butterfly Under Glass’: the cancan, Loïe Fuller, and cinema’, International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, Special Issue on Dance on Screen guest-edited by Sherril Dodds, Vol. 5, No. 2-3, December, pp. 107-120

Parfitt, C. (2005) ‘The Spectator's Dancing Gaze in Moulin Rouge!’, Research in Dance Education, Vol. 6, No. 1-2, April-December, pp. 97-110

 

Co-authored Books

Williams, K., Bethell, E., Lawton, J., Parfitt-Brown, C., Richardson, M., Rowe, V. (2011) Completing Your PhD, Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan

Williams, K., Bethell, E., Lawton, J., Parfitt, C., Richardson, M., Rowe, V. (2010) Planning Your PhD, Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan

 

Journal Article

Parfitt, C. (2009) ‘Cyborg Cinema: (dis)embodying cultural memory in the digital age’, The Korean Journal of Dance, Vol. 61, pp. 403-418

 

Encyclopaedia Entry

Parfitt, C. (Forthcoming) ‘Cancan’ in Garafola, Lynn, Manning, Susan, O’Shea, Janet and Robinson, Danielle (eds.) The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernist Dance. New York and London: Routledge

Parfitt-Brown, C. (2016 ) ‘Cancan’ in Ross, Stephen (ed.) Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. New York and London: Routledge

 

Book Reviews

Parfitt-Brown, C. (2013) ‘Society Dancing: Fashionable Bodies in England, 1870-1920, by Theresa Jill Buckland’, Dance Research Journal, Vol. 45, No. 2, August, pp. 148-150

Parfitt, C. (2009) ‘Dance in a World of Change: Reflections on Globalization and Cultural Difference, edited by Sherry B. Shapiro’, Research in Dance Education, Vol. 10, No. 2, June, pp. 143-147

 

Seminar and Conference Papers (selected)

Guest Seminar Presentations

2015 ‘Protean memory: dancing around oblivion in post-Revolutionary Paris’ to be presented at the University Seminar for Cultural Memory, Columbia University, New York, US, 14th October

2015 ‘Bodies of Memory: identity politics in the early cancan’, presented in the Dance Studies Colloquium, Temple University, Philadelphia, US, 24th February.

2011 ‘An American in Paris: Race, Nationality and the Moulin Rouge as Liberal Space’, presented in the Film and Television Seminar Series, London Metropolitan University, 13th December

 

Keynotes

2019 Invited Opening Provocation ‘Dance and Memory in the Aftermath of Conflict’, presented at Embodied Performance Practices, Memory, Conflict and Reconciliation, Birkbeck College, 22nd November

2018 Keynote Speaker ‘Cancan: A Rebellious History’, at Klondike Cancan Gala Dinner and Awards Banquet, Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, 9th February

2014 Presenter on Plenary Keynote ‘‘Mine’ by Beyoncé’, Music Videos and Pleasure(s), Dancing the Politics of Pleasure, Royal Holloway, University of London, 18th October 2014

2008 Keynote Address ‘Revolutionary Moves: ‘the popular’ between the French and digital revolutions’, presented at Popular Dance and Music Matters Symposium, University of Surrey, 25th October

 

International Conference Papers

2018 ‘ “The Commune is dead: Long live the carnival!”: The cancan in the aftermath of the Paris Commune’, presented at Contra: Dance & Conflict, Dance Studies Association Conference, University of Malta, Valetta, Malta, 5th-8th July

2017 ‘ “I breathed on their dust”: Popular Dance, Protean Memory and Tactile Media’, presented at the Memory Studies Association Conference, University of Copenhagen, 14th-16th December

2016 ‘ “I breathed on their dust”: Protean Memory and Tactile Media’, presented as part of the Roundtable ‘Mediated Moves: Popular Dance, Cultural Memory, and Modernity’ at Beyond Authenticity and Appropriation: Bodies, Authorship and Choreographies of Transmission, Society of Dance History Scholars and Congress on Research in Dance Conference, Pomona College, California, 4th-6th November

2014 ‘Cancan vs. the State: archival traces of the battle for Parisian bodies’, presented as part of the Roundtable on ‘Sourcing Popular Dance: Danced Archives from the Cancan to Ragtime’ at Writing Dancing/Dancing Writing, Society of Dance History Scholars Conference, University of Iowa, Iowa City, 12th-16th November

2012 ‘Paris Dansant? Improvising across urban, racial and international geographies in the early cancan’, presented at Dance and the Social City, Society of Dance History Scholars Conference, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, 14th-17th June

2011 Invited Roundtable Panellist ‘First Kicks: translating early sources on the cancan’, presented as part of the Roundtable on ‘Current Problems and Methods in Dance Reconstruction: Focus on Cross-Cultural and Social Dance Reconstruction’, at Dance Dramaturgy: Catalyst, Perspective, Memory, Society of Dance History Scholars Conference, York University, Toronto, 23rd-26th June

Published in the Proceedings of Dance Dramaturgy: Catalyst, Perspective, Memory

2009 ‘From Fairground Site to Website: the dancing body and visual technology in early film and YouTube’, presented at Topographies: Sites, Bodies and Technologies, Society of Dance History Scholars Conference, Stanford University and San Francisco, California, 19th-22nd June
Published in the Proceedings of Topographies: Sites, Bodies and Technologies, p. 180-184

2008 Invited Speaker ‘Cyborg Cinema: (dis)embodying cultural memory in the digital age’, presented at Dance and Culture, The 23rd International Academic Symposium of the Korean Society of Dance, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul, South Korea, 7th November (simultaneous translation into Korean)
Published in the Proceedings of Dance and Culture, pp. 52-64 (English), pp. 39-51 (Korean translation)

2007 ‘Chahut: The Mediation of Rationalism and the Unruly Body in the Cancan’, presented at Re-thinking Practice and Theory, Congress on Research in Dance/Society for Dance History Scholars Conference, Centre Nationale de la Danse, Paris, 21st-24th June
Published in the Proceedings of Re-thinking Practice and Theory, pp. 34-37

 

National Conference Papers

2018 ‘Le Corancan: Reproducing, circulating and erasing the female bodies of French (trans)national memory’, presented at Dance in the Age of Forgetfulness, Society for Dance Research Conference, Royal Holloway, University of London, 18th-20th April

2016 ‘Dancing in Tight Places: power and pleasure in the early cancan’, presented at High and Low Culture: Elite and Popular Constructions, 30th Annual Conference for the Society for the Study of French History, University of Chichester, 3rd-5th July

2015 ‘ “Islamic veil + French tradition = Corancan?”: an image-based discussion’, presented at Dancing (trans)national memories, Senate House, University of London, 20th June

2014 ‘Performances of Protest, Power and Pleasure: improvising liberty in the early cancan’, presented at Dancing the Politics of the Popular, PoP Moves annual conference, Royal Holloway, University of London, 18th October

2011 ‘Americans in Paris: re-choreographing memories in post-war cancan films’, presented at Not Just Fred and Ginger: Camaraderie, Collusion and Collisions Between Dance and Film, The Annual Conference of the European Association of Dance Historians, London, 14th-16th October

2010 Invited Speaker ‘Firing the Canon: integrating popular dance into the dance curriculum’, presented at Teaching Popular Dance in Higher Education, Palatine (Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Dance, Drama and Music) Symposium, Institute for Performing Arts Development Dance Centre (Trinity Buoy Wharf), University of East London, 26th January

2008 Keynote Address ‘Revolutionary Moves: ‘the popular’ between the French and digital revolutions’, presented at Popular Dance and Music Matters Symposium, University of Surrey, 25th October

2008 ‘The contredanse, the quadrille, and the cancan: dancing around democracy in post-revolutionary Paris’. presented at The Established Scholars Conference, Society for Dance Research, Roehampton University, London, 15 March

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