Rosemarie A. Roberts is a dance studies scholar, dancer and educator. Her artistic and scholarly work blend history, dance and theater in order to conduct social psychological and anthropological investigations of Afro-diasporic dance as embodiments of difference, knowledge and resistive power. Professor Roberts is an interpreter of traditional and folkloric Cuban, Haitian, Puerto Rican and Brazilian dance forms. In the Katherine Dunham tradition, dance is a forum for investigating the historical, cultural and spiritual richness of these forms.
At Connecticut College, Professor Roberts teaches courses in Afro-Caribbean dance techniques and traditions, dance pedagogy and dance history. She also teaches a freshman seminar, "Embodied Resistance," which examines educational and pedagogical theories through movement workshops of Afro-diasporic dance, text and films.
Professor Roberts has taught workshops for people of all ages, directed programs and performed to diverse audiences at a variety of venues in the Caribbean and the United States including Yale University, Mount Holyoke College and Howard University. At the School at Jacob’s Pillow, Professor Roberts has taught Afro-Cuban dance. In 2006 she co-directed the Cultural Traditions Program and in 2009 was the Hip Hop Continuum Cultural Traditions Program research fellow. There she launched her most recent project, "Locating Action, Power, and Knowledge Through the Body in Hip Hop Dance." This qualitative research project examining knowledge production and performance as an embodied process was initially undertaken with Connecticut College students through the generous support of a CONNSharp grant.
Professor Roberts was awarded the 1997 Ethnic Dance Award for her commitment to teaching and performing African diasporic dance and its history. Other awards include a National Science Foundation Minority Graduate Fellowship, Leslie Glass Foundation Fellowship and an American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship Dissertation Award.
Roberts earned her degrees from Hunter College, graduating Summa Cum Laude, City College and City University of New York where she earned a Ph.D. in Social Personality Psychology.
In addition to publishing in the areas of inter-group and intra-group relations, qualitative research methods, participatory action research, curriculum, gender, race, ethnic and cultural identities, Professor Roberts has also published in peer-reviewed journals, edited volumes and co-authored a book/DVD project on conceptions of social justice in education and dance, Katherine Dunham’s Research to Performance Methodology, the concert stage as a public site of scholarship and choreographic processes as pedagogies of embodiment and critical engagement. Professor Roberts is presently writing a book-length manuscript about the relationship among racialized bodies, knowledge and power discontents.
Roberts, R.A. (Forthcoming, 2013). Dancing with Social Ghosts: Performing Embodiments, Analyzing Critically. (Transforming Anthropology).
Roberts, R.A. (Forthcoming). How Do We Quote Black and Brown Bodies? Critical Reflections on Theorizing and Studying Embodiments. Qualitative Inquiry 19:3.
Roberts, R.A. (2011). Facing and Transforming Hauntings of Race Through the Arts. Equity and Excellence in Education, 44(3), 330-347.
Bell, L.A. & Roberts, R.A. (2010). The Storytelling Model: A Framework for Teaching About Race and Racism Through Storytelling and the Arts. Teachers College Record 112(9) 2295-2319.
Roberts, R.A., Bell, L.A., & Murphy, B. (2008) Flipping the Script: Analysis of Youth Talk About Race and Racism. Anthropology and Education Quarterly 39(3) 334-354.
Roberts, R.A. (Forthcoming). From the Field to the Concert Stage: Retheorizing Research to Performance Methodology and Humanism. In E. Chin (Ed.), Katherine Dunham and the Anthropology of Dance: Theory, Experiment, and Social Engagement. Santa Fe, NM: SAR Press.
Fine, M., Torre, M.A., Boudin, K., Bowen, I., Clark, J., Hylton, D., Martinez, M., Wilkins, C., “Missy,” Rivera, M., Roberts, R.A., Smart, P., & Upegui, D. (2010). Changing Minds: A Participatory Action Research Project on College in Prison. In R. Solinger, P.C. Johnson, M.L. Raimon, T. Reynolds, & R.C. Tapia (Eds.), Interrupted Life. 188-195.
Bell, L.A., Love, B., & Roberts, R.A. (2007). Racism and white privilege. In M. Adams, L.A. Bell, and P. Griffin (Eds.), Teaching for diversity and social justice (2nd Ed.). 123-144. New York, NY: Routledge.
Body as Inquiry Method: Locating the Black and Brown Body. American Educational Research Association. Vancouver, British Columbia, April 2012
Contained Bodies: Hip Hop Dance as Enactments of Social Justice. Show and Prove Hip Hop Studies Conference. New York University, New York, March 2012
Transforming the Legacy of Katherine Dunham. American Anthropology Association. Montreal, CA, November 2011
Engaging with Embodied Data and Doing Embodied Analysis: Framework and Methodology. International Congress of Qualitative Research. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Urbana, Ill, May 2011
Radical Humanism: Katherine Dunham’s Response to Racial Segregation. African American Cultural Festival. Cottager’s Corner. Oak Bluffs, MA. July 2010
From the Field to the Concert Stage: Katherine Dunham’s Research to Performance Methodology. Katherine Dunham and the Anthropology of Dance Advanced Seminar: Theory, Experiment and Social Engagement. School of Advanced Research. Santa Fe, NM, June 2010
Visit the dance department website.
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