Rebecca Rossen


Associate ProfessorPh.D.(2006), Northwestern University

Rebecca Rossen

Contact

Interests


Ethnicity, nationality, and gender in performance; Jewish identity in American dance and media; Holocaust performance

Biography


Professor Rossen is a dance historian and performance scholar currently completing her first book, Dancing Jewish: Jewish Identity in American Modern and Postmodern Dance (Oxford University Press). Before commencing her academic career, she was a Chicago-based dancer and choreographer.

Courses Taught

Professor Rossen teaches dance and performance history, as well as courses that focus on identity (ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, etc.) in performance, including "Jewish Identity in American Performance."

Courses


T D 357T • Gender And Sexuality In Perf

25870 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WIN B.202
(also listed as WGS 345)

This course considers what physical performance and dance tell us about gender, sexuality, and the body. How does performance reinforce or undermine societal ideas about masculinity and femininity, heterosexuality and homosexuality? How can movement practices empower bodies and counter norms? How do particular artists challenge the status quo? How does performance function within broader social, cultural, and political contexts? Taking a cross-historical approach, we will study a number of productions and genres including ballet, modern dance, dance-theater, dance competitions, musical films, roller derby, burlesque, voguing, and transgender performance. The seminar is for students who find the body, performance, and identity fascinating topics. Previous knowledge of dance and gender studies is welcome, but not required. Flags: Writing (upper-division) and Cultural Diversity in the U.S. Dr. Rossen is a dance historian, performance scholar, and choreographer. She teaches courses in dance history and seminars that focus on identity in interdisciplinary performance.  She is the recipient of teaching excellence awards in Theatre and Dance and Women’s and Gender Studies.

J S 363 • Jewish Id In Amer Performance

40345 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM WIN 1.148
(also listed as T D 357T, T D 387D)

This course will consider how Jewish artists represent Jewish identity, culture, and history in American performance from the 1920s to the present. Combining the viewing of video and live performance with critical readings, we will examine Jewishness in a wide range of genres including theater, dance, musical theater, film, comedy, and television. Throughout we will consider—what does “Jewish” mean? How is Jewishness performed? What role does gender, race, class, or nationality play in these performances? What role has performance played in shaping our understanding of Jews and Jewish culture in the U.S.? How have Jewish artists addressed themes including anti-Semitism, stereotyping, exile, immigration, assimilation, religion, the Holocaust, Israel, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? This course is open to ALL students who are interested in the relationship between ethnicity and performance. No knowledge of theater, performance, Judaism, or Jewish culture is required.

Texts for the course may include:

  • Bial, Acting Jewish: Negotiating Ethnicity on the American Stage and Screen
  • Brook, ed., You Should See Yourself!: Jewish Identity and American Postmodern Culture (Rutgers 2006)
  • Kushner, Angels in America: Part I and II
  • Bock and Styne, Fiddler on the Roof
  • Course reader

Students will also watch a variety of performances (theater, dance, musicals, film, television) on video.

Grading (subject to change):

  • 15% participation
  • 10% informal journal responses
  • 10% 3-page performance review
  • 15% 4-5 page paper
  • 20% collaborative presentation
  • 30% 6-8 page final research paper and brief oral presentation

Dr. Rebecca Rossen is a choreographer, dance historian, and performance scholar whose research focuses on Jewish identity in American dance and performance. Her writings on this subject have appeared in TDR: The Drama Review (2011), Feminist Studies (2011), and the anthologies You Should See Yourself!: Jewish Identity and American Postmodern Culture (Rutgers 2006), and The Oxford Handbook of Ethnic Dance (Oxford 2012). Her forthcoming book, Dancing Jewish, will be published by Oxford University Press. See:http://www.finearts.utexas.edu/tad/people/faculty_and_staff/faculty/rossen.cfm

T D 357T • Gender And Sexuality In Perf

26465 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WIN 1.148
(also listed as WGS 345)

This course posits that physical performance, and dance in particular, is an especially rich site for the examination of gender, sexuality, and embodiment in relation to evolving social and historical contexts. Moving from the late nineteenth century to the present day and encompassing a wide range of genres including ballet, modern dance, musical films, physical theater, contemporary dance-theater, animation, roller derby, and vogueing, the course juxtaposes readings from gender studies and dance studies with the viewing of videos and live performance in Austin and at UT. How does performance reinforce or undermine normative ideas about masculinity and femininity, heterosexuality and homosexuality? How does physical training construct gendered bodies? Can particular modes of movement empower bodies and counter societal norms? How do particular artists challenge the status quo? How does the staging of gender and sexuality intersect with race, ethnicity, nationality, and class? This seminar is geared towards students who find “the body” and “identity” potent topics. No previous knowledge of dance, performance, or gender studies is required. This course is an upper-division writing flag.

J S 363 • Jewish Id In Amer Preformance

40065 • Spring 2012
Meets MW 2:00PM-3:30PM WIN 1.148
(also listed as T D 357T)

Description: This course will consider how Jewish artists represent Jewish identity, culture, and history in American performance from the 1920s to the present. Combining the viewing of video and live performance with critical readings, we will examine Jewishness in a wide range of genres including theater, dance, musical theater, film, comedy, and television. Throughout we will consider—what does “Jewish” mean? How is Jewishness performed? What role does gender, race, class, or nationality play in these performances? What role has performance played in shaping our understanding of Jews and Jewish culture in the U.S.? How have Jewish artists addressed themes including anti-Semitism, stereotyping, exile, immigration, assimilation, religion, the Holocaust, Israel, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? This course is open to ALL students who are interested in the relationship between ethnicity and performance. No knowledge of theater, performance, Judaism, or Jewish culture is required.      Texts for the course may include Bial, Acting Jewish: Negotiating Ethnicity on the American Stage and Screen, Brook, ed., You Should See Yourself!: Jewish Identity and American Postmodern Culture (Rutgers 2006), Kushner, Angels in America: Part I and II, Bock and Styne, Fiddler on the Roof, and a course reader. Students will also watch a variety of performances (theater, dance, musicals, film, television) on video.   Grading (subject to change): 15% participation, 10% informal journal responses, 10% 3-page performance review, 15% 4-5 page paper, 20% collaborative presentation, 30% 6-8 page final research paper and brief oral presentation   Dr. Rebecca Rossen is a choreographer, dance historian, and performance scholar whose research focuses on Jewish identity in American dance and performance. Her writings on this subject have appeared in TDR: The Drama Review (2011), Feminist Studies (2011), and the anthologies You Should See Yourself!: Jewish Identity and American Postmodern Culture (Rutgers 2006), and The Oxford Handbook of Ethnic Dance (Oxford 2012). Her forthcoming book, Dancing Jewish, will be published by Oxford University Press. See: http://www.finearts.utexas.edu/tad/people/faculty_and_staff/faculty/rossen.cfm

T D 387D • Choreog Gend & Dancing Desire

26675 • Fall 2011
Meets W 2:00PM-5:00PM WIN 1.148
(also listed as WGS 393)

This course posits that physical performance, particularly dance, is an especially rich site for the examination of gender, sexuality, and embodiment in relation to evolving social and historical contexts. Taking a cross-historical approach and encompassing a wide range of examples from ballet, modern dance, physical theater, dance-theater, roller derby, performance art, vogueing, drag, and transgender performance, the course juxtaposes critical readings from gender and dance studies with the viewing of videos and live performance. How does performance reinforce or undermine normative ideas about masculinity and femininity, heterosexuality and homosexuality? How can movement practices empower bodies and counter societal norms? How do particular artists challenge the status quo? How do stagings of gender and sexuality intersect with race and ethnicity? In addition to providing theoretical and methodological grounding in feminist dance studies, this seminar develops performance analysis skills and hones the ability to write critically, skillfully, and artfully about performance. The seminar is geared towards graduate students who find the body, performance, and identity potent topics. Previous knowledge of dance and gender studies is welcome, but not required.

Publications


Dancing Jewish: Jewish Identity in American Modern and Postmodern Dance (book in progress, under contract with Oxford University Press).

“Uneasy Duets: Contemporary American Dances about Israel and the Mideast Crisis,” TDR: The Drama Review 55:3 (Fall 2011): 40–49.

“Hasidic Drag: Jewishness, Gender, and Transvestitism in the Modern Dances of Pauline Koner and Hadassah,” Feminist Studies 37:2 (Summer 2011).

 

“Teaching History: Ruth St. Denis & Ted Shawn,” Dance Teacher Magazine 29:10 (October 2007): 120–24.

“Teaching History: Mary Wigman,” Dance Teacher Magazine 29: 4 (April 2007): 74–79.


The Jewish Man and His Dancing Shtick: Stock Characterization and Jewish Masculinity in Postmodern Dance,” in You Should See Yourself: Jewish Identity in Postmodern American Culture, Vincent Brook, ed. (Rutgers: Rutgers University Press, 2006), 137–154. 

“Moving Through the Interspace: Emio Greco/PC’s Orfeo ed Euridice,” Opera Quarterly 22: 1 (Winter 2006): 144–47.

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