Emily Wilcox is assistant professor of modern Chinese studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is a specialist in Chinese dance and performance culture, with broader interests in twentieth-century history, transnationalism, gender, and postcolonial studies. In 2014-15 Dr. Wilcox was the recipient of a humanities fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, for her book project “National Movements: Socialist Postcoloniality and the Making of Chinese Dance.” Using a combination of documentary research, ethnography, and performance analysis, this book explores the previously unexamined history of contemporary native dance, the dominant form of concert dance in the People’s Republic of China. Starting in the mid-1940s, this book follows Chinese (including both Han and ethnic minority) dance artists who began their careers in the early Maoist period, then continued to shape China’s dance field into the early 2000s. Invested in a commitment to indigeneity born out of anti-colonial leftism, these artists conducted research on regional dances, operatic theater (xiqu), martial arts, and devotional art, creating technique systems and repertoire that challenged the hegemony of ballet and Euro-American modern dance in China and around the world.
Emily Wilcox received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University (2003), her MPhil from the University of Cambridge (2004), and her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley (2011). She has been a visiting scholar at the Beijing Dance Academy (2008-2009), a non-residential postdoctoral research fellow at the Shanghai Theatre Academy (2011-2013), a Fulbright scholar (2008), and a Blakemore Freeman Fellow (2007). Dr. Wilcox joined the University of Michigan faculty in the fall of 2013 after teaching modern Chinese studies at the University of California, Davis (2011), and the College of William and Mary (2011-2013). She is president-elect of the Association for Asian Performance and a board member of the Society for Dance History Scholars. For information on publications and courses taught, see the above links. Dr. Wilcox is currently accepting graduate students in modern Chinese studies (all topics and areas) and Asian performance. For more information, learn about the University of Michigan’s MA in Chinese Studies, PhD in Asian Languages and Cultures, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, and Graduate Certificate in World Performance Studies. Or, email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.