Thomas DeFrantz

Professor in the Department of African and African American Studies

Professor in the Program in Dance

Professor of Theater Studies

Professor of Women's Studies

Chair of the Department of African and African American Studies

External address: 1316 Campus Dr, Rm 243C, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: African and African-american S, Box 90252, Durham, NC 27708
Phone: (919) 668-1929

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., New York University 1997

Black Performance Theory. Edited by TF DeFrantz and A Gonzalez. Duke University Press, April 14, 2014. (Edited Book)

Dancing Many Drums. Edited by TF Defrantz. Univ of Wisconsin Press, April 1, 2002. (Edited Book)

DeFrantz, T. "Hip Hop in Hollywood: Encounter, Community, Resistance." In The Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen,edited by MB Borelli. Oxford University Press, July 30, 2014. (Chapter)

DeFrantz, T. "Hip Hop Habitus v.2.0." In Black Performance Theory: An Anthology of Critical Readings,edited by TF DeFrantz and A Gonzalez, 223-242. Duke University Press, April 14, 2014. (Chapter)

DeFrantz, T. "Unchecked Popularity: Neoliberal Circulations of Black Social Dance." In Neoliberalism and Global Theatres: Performance Permutations,edited by L Nielson and P Ybarra, 128-140. Palgrave Macmillan, August 2012.

DeFrantz, T. "Unchecked Popularity: Neoliberal Circulations of Black Social Dance." In Neoliberalism and Global Theatres,edited by LD Nielsen and P Ybarra. Palgrave Macmillan, July 24, 2012.

DeFrantz, T. "'Popular Dances of the 1920s and early 30s: From Animal Dance Crazes to the Lindy Hop' and 'Popular African American Dance of the 1950s and 60s.'." In Ain't Nothing LIke the Real Thing,edited by R Carlin and K Conwill, 66-70. Smithsonian Inst Press (Natl Museum of African American History and Culture), April 1, 2010.

DeFrantz, T. "Donald Byrd: Re/Making 'Beauty'." In Dance discourses,edited by S Franco and CNDLD France, 221-235. Routledge, December 20, 2007. (Chapter)

DeFrantz, T. "Hip Hop Sexualities." In Handbook of the New Sexuality Studies,edited by S Seidman, N Fischer, and C Meeks. Routledge, March 12, 2007. (Chapter)

DeFrantz, T. "On the Presence of the Body: Essays on Dance and Performance Theory."edited by A Lepecki, 64-81. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2004. (Chapter)

DeFrantz, T. "African American Dance: A Complex History." In Dancing Many Drums,edited by TF Defrantz. Univ of Wisconsin Press, April 1, 2002. (Chapter)

DeFrantz, T. "Ballet In Black: Louis Johnson and Vernacular Humor." In Dancing Bodies, Living Histories,edited by L Doolittle and A Flynn, 178-195. Banff Centre Press, 2000. (Essay)

Pages

DeFrantz, TF, and Willis, TA. "Introduction: Black moves: New research in black dance studies." Black Scholar 46, no. 1 (January 1, 2016): 1-3. Full Text

DeFrantz, T. "Theorizing Connectivity: African American Women in Concert Dance." Journal of Pan African Studies 4 (September 2011): 56-74.

DeFrantz, TF. "Movement in the age of globalization: A Panel." Theater 40, no. 1 (April 6, 2010): 39-45. Full Text

DeFrantz, T. "Performing The Breaks: African American Aesthetic Structures." Theatre Journal 40, no. 1 (January 2010): 31-37.

DeFrantz, TE. "Composite Bodies of dance: The repertory of the Alvin Ailey American dance theater." Theatre Journal 57, no. 4 (December 1, 2005): 659-678. Full Text

DeFrantz, T. "Believe the Hype! Hype Williams and Afro-Futurist Filmmaking." Refractory: a journal of entertainment media 4 (2003).

DeFrantz, T. "Blacking Queer Dance." Dance Research Journal 34, no. 2 (2002): 102-105.

DeFrantz, T. "Being Savion Glover: Translocation, Black Masculinity, and Hip Hop Tap Dance." Edited by R Burt and SL Foster. Discourses in Dance (2002): 102-105.

DeFrantz, T. "Black Bodies Dancing Black Culture: Black Atlantic Transformations." Embodying Liberation: The Black Body in American Dance 4 (2001): 11-16.

DeFrantz, T. "Demons of disorder: Early blackface minstrels and their world." TDR-THE DRAMA REVIEW-A JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCE STUDIES 44, no. 3 (2000): 183-188. Full Text

Pages

ZwischenRaum. Dramaturg. (2012)

Dresden Ballet, Dresden, Germany. Original 25 minute ballet.

Why Are We First?. Choreographer. (2012)

Structured improvisation duet made with Amanda Miller and a third performer, Jung-Eun Kim. Explored practice of creating work. 8-Minute piece included video and camera interface and live internet radio accompaniment, and improvised text.

Performing Black. Choreographer. (2012)

This thirty-minute duet work explored Africanist aesthetics and challenges of viewing and responding to work made by black artists in the context of a downtown, live art New York tradition. The work was reviewed by the New York Times.

Theory-Ography 4: we queer here. Choreographer. (2012)

This iteration of an ongoing research and performance project explored concepts of queer theory in relation to dance improvisation. The twenty-minute work was performed by seven dancers, including myself, as a keynote presentation for the CORD conference

Based on Images. Director, Dramaturg. (2012)

SLIPPAGE provided direction and conceptual Design for Based on Images created by Wideman-Davis Dance Company; included visual design and soundscore design. Forty-Five minute contemporary dance performance, run from November 27 to December 1, 2012.

ZwischenRaum. Dramaturg. (2012)

Dresden Ballet, Dresden, Germany. Original 25 minute ballet.

Why Are We First?. Choreographer. (2012)

Structured improvisation duet made with Amanda Miller and a third performer, Jung-Eun Kim. Explored practice of creating work. 8-Minute piece included video and camera interface and live internet radio accompaniment, and improvised text.

Performing Black. Choreographer. (2012)

This thirty-minute duet work explored Africanist aesthetics and challenges of viewing and responding to work made by black artists in the context of a downtown, live art New York tradition. The work was reviewed by the New York Times.

Theory-Ography 4: we queer here. Choreographer. (2012)

This iteration of an ongoing research and performance project explored concepts of queer theory in relation to dance improvisation. The twenty-minute work was performed by seven dancers, including myself, as a keynote presentation for the CORD conference

Dance: American Art, 1830–1960. Consultant, Performing artist. Dance and the Museum: Professor on New Hit Exhibit (2016)

Contributed a video installation of tap traditions and African-American dance forms for the exhibit "Dance: American Art, 1830–1960" on display at the Detroit Institute of Arts, March-June 2016.

where did i think i was going? [moving into signal]. Creator, Performing artist. (2014)

"where did i think i was going? [moving into signal]" engages five separate interface designs gathered to underscore the vagaries of contemporary life reflected through prisms of digital scale. Digital cameras, Kinect cameras, and wireless microphones will record gestures by the performers and process the images and sounds through MAX, Isadora, and Ableton Live software. The work wonders at the physical and emotional cost of incessant movement resulting from job changes, natural disasters, and shifts in available technology.