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Dr. Jens Richard Giersdorf, Ph.D.

Professor, Contemporary Dance
Chair, Contemporary Dance

Dr. Jens Richard Giersdorf, Ph.D.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 4738

Jens Richard Giersdorf is an international dance scholar whose research focuses on choreographies of politics in a global context as well as epistemological concerns in dance studies. He received a Magister Theater, Dance and Music Theater Studies from the University of Leipzig, Germany, and a Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory from the University of California, Riverside, USA. He taught at the University of Surrey, UK, Marymount Manhattan College, and the University of California, Riverside, both USA. His writing has been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals as well as translated and anthologized internationally. Giersdorf is regularly invited by key national and international institutions to speak on his work. His monograph The Body of the People: East Germany Dance since 1945 (University of Wisconsin Press, 2013) is the first study on dance in East Germany, it was named “Outstanding Academic Title” for 2013 by Choice magazine. The German translation Volkseigene Körper: Ostdeutscher Tanz seit 1945 (transcript Verlag, 2014) was supported by the Swedish Lilian Karina Foundation. Giersdorf edited Choreographies of 21st Century Wars (Oxford Studies in Dance Theory Series, Oxford University Press, 2016) in co-authorship with Gay Morris and the third edition of the Routledge Dance Studies Reader (2019) with Yutian Wong. In his professional affiliations, Giersdorf is a member of Dance Studies Association, where he also served as the Vice President for Publication and Research and the International Federation of Theater Research.



Volkseigene Körper: Ostdeutscher Tanz seit 1945. Berlin: Transcript Verlag, 2014. 


The Body of the People: East German Dance since 1945. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013. 


The Routledge Dance Studies Reader. 3rd Edition. Eds. Jens Richard Giersdorf and Yutian Wong. London: Routledge, 2019. 


Choreographies of 21st Century Wars. Eds. Gay Morris and Jens Richard Giersdorf. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.


Special Issue: Randy Martin and Dance Studies, Co-edited with Mark Franko. Dance Research Journal. 48.3. (2016), (peer-reviewed journal).


An der Schnittstelle von Choreografie und zeitgenössischer Kriegsführung. Co-authored with Gay Morris, Tanz, 2022. 


“A tánctudomány a nemzetközi felöoktatásban: Egy tudományág kialakulásának genealógiája” Tánctudományi Tanulmányok. Eds. Fuchs Lívia, Fügedi János, Péter Petra. Budapest: Magyar Müvészeti Adakémia, 2021. 


“(In)distinct Positions: The Politics of Theorizing Choreography” The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Reenactment. Ed. Mark Franko. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017. 


“Patricio Bunster“ and “Gret Palucca” entries, Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. Eds. Janet O’Shea and Susan Manning (dance editors), Stephen Ross (general editor) London: Routledge, 2016. 


“Is it OK to Dance on Graves? Modernism and Socialist Realism Revisited” The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Politics. Eds. Gerald Siegmund, Rebekah Kowal, and Randy Martin. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.


“Wiederständige Bewegungen” Arila Siegert. Ed. Regine Herrmann. Berlin: Akademie der Künste, 2014. 


“Immer hier und selten da: Die Politik der choreografierten Tanztheoretisierung als Zwischenraum” Heterotopien. Perspektiven der Intermedialen Ästhetik, Eds. Nadja Elia-Borer, Constanze Schellow, Nina Schimmel, Bettina Wodianka, Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2013, 575-592. 


“Gli ‘studi di danza’ in alcune istituzioni accademiche straniere. Genealogia di una formazione disciplinare,” transl. Patrizia Veroli, La danza tra il pubblico e il privato, ed. Francesca Falcone, Rome: Aracne editrice S.r.l., 2013, 177-204. 


“Moving against Disappearance: East German Bodies in Contemporary Choreography” New German Dance Studies, ed. Susan Manning and Lucia Ruprecht, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012, 165-181. 


“Tanzwissenschaft in höheren Bildungsinstitutionen: Eine Genealogie der Unterschiede.” Choreographie und Institution: Zeitgenössischer Tanz zwischen Ästhetik, Produktion und Vermittlung. Ed. Yvonne Hardt and Martin Stern, Bielefeld: Transcript, 2011, 161-184.


“Dall’utopia all’archivio. Patricio Bunster e la funzione politica della coreografia” RicordanzeMemoria in movimento e coreografie della storia. Ed. Susanne Franco and Marina Nordera. UTET Libreria, 2010, 361-374.  


“Unpopulärer Tanz als Krise universeller Geschichtsschreibung oder

Wie Yutian und ich lang anhaltenden Spaß mit unseriöser Historiographie hatten.” Original and Revival. Ed. Christina Thurner, Zurich: Chronos Verlag, 2010, 91-100.  


Trio A Canonical” Dance Research Journal. 41.2. Winter (2009): 19-24, (peer-reviewed journal).


”Dance Studies in the International Academy: Genealogy of a Disciplinary Formation” Dance Research Journal. 41.1. Summer (2009): 23-44, (peer-reviewed journal).


“Dancing, Marching, Fighting: Folk, the Dance Ensemble of the East German Armed Forces, and Other Choreographies of Nationhood.” Discourses in Dance. 4.2 (2008): 39-58, (peer-reviewed journal).


“Von der Utopie zum Archiv: Patricio Bunster und die politische Funktion der Choreographie” Forum Modernes Theater. 23.1 (2008): 29-36, (peer-reviewed journal).


“The Embodied City: Walking and Writing in the Urban Classroom.” co-authored with Cecilia Feilla and Magdalena Maczynska, Transformation: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy. XIX.1 (2008): 118-137. (peer-reviewed journal).


“Why does Charlotte von Mahlsdorf Curtsy?: Representations of National Queerness in a Transvestite Hero.” GLQ Gay and Lesbian Quarterly 12.2 (2006): 171-96. (peer-reviewed journal).


“Border Crossings and Intra-National Trespasses: East German Bodies in Sasha Waltz’s and Jo Fabian’s Choreographies." Theater Journal 55.3 (2003): 413-32. (peer-reviewed journal)


“’Hey, I Won’t Let You Destroy My History’: East German Dance Theater and the Politics of Restaging.” Maska, Slovenian Theater and Performance Journal. November 2003. (translated into Slovene) 

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