Sarah Wilbur's debut book Funding Bodies: Five Decades of Dance Making at the National Endowment for the Arts has been shortlisted by the Dance Studies Association for three annual book awards, each of which celebrates and acknowledges scholarly excellence in dance studies.
Wilbur is the Director of Graduate Studies (MFA in Dance: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis) and Associate Professor of the Practice of Dance Program, as well as Associate Professor of the Practice of Theater Studies.
About the book:
Funding Bodies is the first scholarly study of National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to focus specifically on dance. It departs from a choreographic question: How have federal grant guidelines rewarded specific patterns of dance practice and production?
Drawing upon archival documentation of NEA narratives, program eligibility guidelines, and standards of evaluation as well as testimony from past and present insiders, Wilbur's work theorizes endowment as an economic and practical struggle by people with differential power and competing investments in the production and professionalization of dance.
The book's structural critique highlights internal debates around funding policies—with an emphasis on inclusion, race, region, and class—during the first half-century of the Endowment's history. Practically-speaking, its cultural analysis also credits the bureaucratic angling of dance grant makers from the early "boom" years through successive administrations and economic highs and lows. A history of dance funding tools and their practical use by people in power, Funding Bodies traces the disciplinary force of U.S. arts policy through the workplace performances of generations of dance organizers.
With a wealth of detail and previously untold stories, this institutional history brings clarity to the complex processes that underlie the continuing struggle to achieve equitable resource distribution and parity of opportunity in American dance.
The DSA short lists:
The de la Torre Bueno® First Book Award
Awarded annually to the best first book in dance studies published in the English language in the previous calendar year.
The de la Torre Bueno First Book Prize® is awarded annually to the best first book in dance studies published in the English language in the previous calendar year. Named after José Rollin de la Torre Bueno, the first university press editor to develop a list of titles in dance studies, the de la Torre Bueno Prize has recognized scholarly excellence in the field since 1973. It carries a cash prize of $1000.
The de la Torre Bueno Prize®
Awarded annually to a book published in the English language that advances the field of dance studies.
The de la Torre Bueno Prize® is awarded annually to a book published in the English language that advances the field of dance studies. Named after José Rollin de la Torre Bueno, the first university press editor to develop a list of titles in dance studies, the de la Torre Bueno Prize has recognized scholarly excellence in the field since 1973. It carries a cash purse of $1000.
Oscar G. Brockett Book Prize for Dance Research
Awarded each year to the best book in dance published during the previous three calendar years.
The Oscar G. Brockett Book Prize for Dance Research will be awarded each year to the best book in dance published during the previous three calendar years. The award carries a cash value of $1000. DSA adjudicates the award, while the Oscar G. Brockett Center for Theatre History and Criticism at the University of Texas Austin provides the monetary prize. The Center initiated this DSA Award to honor Professor Brockett and to advance its mission of recognizing the finest scholarship in theatre, dance, and performance history.