Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow in Dance Studies
Brandon Shaw (PhD Comparative Literature, UMass Amherst) is Mellon Fellow in Dance Studies at Brown University. His dissertation, “Sitting-there: Embodied Perception, Kinesthetic Empathy, and Reading Pain in Concert Dance,” explores spectatorship through a critical phenomenological lens. He is currently researching representations of grief in concert dance and dance adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays. His research into grief follows upon an analogy phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty draws between phantom limb pains and grief and engages with the history of medicine, thanatology, and Disability Studies. The duet during the final “tomb scene” from dance adaptations of Romeo and Juliet serves as an example of the present-absent/living-dead ambiguities shared by testimonials concerning both phantom limb pains and grief. Dr. Shaw’s broader research investigates how representations of the body in European artifacts such as medical and philosophical texts, Shakespearean drama, and sculpture reflect conflicting social mores concerning issues of expressivity, sickness, gender, and race.
Dr. Shaw stages aspects of his research into themes such as violence, de-escalation, and grief through the physical theater ensemble, Cleave/Brandon Shaw.
Courses taught at Brown:
Introduction to Dance Studies: “Sex, Death, and Endurance” (Fall 2012) and “Virtuosity, Virtuality, Viscerality, and Virtue” (Fall 2013)
Africana Dance in the U.S. “Evolution, Revolution, and Revelation” (Spring 2013)
Spectatorship Studies: “Moving Bodies, Viewing Bodies” (Spring 2014)