'The Role of Popular Dance in Higher Education in Australasia and the Asia Pacific Region' banner
Dance Studies Department, Choreographic Research Aotearoa, University of Auckland 28th-29th November 2023

PoP Moves Australasia / Pacific Region 
2023 Symposium
November 28 and 29, 2023 
Dance Studies Department, Choreographic Research Aotearoa
University of Auckland

Venue address:

Dance Studies Department
University of Auckland
Room 130, Level 1, Building 201
10 Symonds Street [via Charles Nalden Way] 
Enter the side of the building on level 2, Symposium is downstairs on level 1

The program can be downloaded here.

Registration is open here.

The PDF of the Call for Papers can be downloaded here.

Call for Papers (now closed)

In this localised / regionalised in-person special topics symposium, we are seeking to think and move through the role that popular, social, and vernacular dance plays (or does not play or only marginally plays or should ideally play) in higher education institutions in the Australasian as well as the broader Asia Pacific region, and to further reflect (on) the reality of how our dance communities interact as well as how our dance scholars interact in between and across these areas.

This idea started taking shape as part of the #PopDanceProfs campaign initiated by the PoP Moves affiliated Dance Studies Association Working Group for Popular, Social, and Vernacular Dance in the lead up to DSA’s 2022 annual conference. In this campaign, the Working Group advocated for popular dance being knowledge in order to address the ways that higher education institutions have not valued all forms of dance equally. To contribute to the discussion from a regionalised / localised perspective, the Tiny PoP Moves Salon Australasia team ran a special topics salon at the end of 2022, focusing on the role that popular dance plays in higher education institutions in the region, given how dispersed popular dance scholar/practitioners are, for example, how those working regularly in academia are often asked to fit into different departments that are not necessarily dance oriented, or how popular dance scholar/practitioners are often asked to cover a week or two on the topic as casually contracted work (ie. guest lectures/workshops/tutorials), and how this positions popular, social, and vernacular dance in the broader curriculum.

For this 2023 localised / regionalised symposium, PoP Moves Australasia invites traditional and also specifically non-traditional papers, roundtables, workshops, and/or alternative format presentations that reflect on the possibilities and limitations of popular, social, and vernacular dance in higher education institutions. Papers may address, but are not limited to, some of the below questions:

  • What is the role of popular, social, and vernacular dance in dance departments? How much are they included? In what way do they show up in the curriculum?
  • What forms of knowledges do popular/social/vernacular dance scholars/practitioners bring to the institution?
  • What are the benefits of including popular, social, and vernacular dance more firmly into the curriculum, both inside and outside of dance departments?
  • What conditions need to be created to more firmly situate popular, social, and vernacular dance knowledges into the curriculum and into departments, dance or otherwise?
  • What are the barriers to make popular, social, and vernacular dance knowledges more firmly part of the curriculum?
  • How do popular/social/vernacular dance scholars/practitioners navigate institutions, misconceptions about their practices, and precarity?
  • What are the interactions and collaborations that you have experienced or witnessed between dancers/dance groups/dance researchers/dance institutions in Australasia and the broader Asia Pacific region?

How to Apply

PoP Moves Aus welcomes proposals in the form of regular academic papers, pre-formed panels, round tables, and also especially workshops and other alternative formats given the topic of the conference.

For those unable to travel to Auckland or wishing to further address the issue of (im)mobility (in)accessibility within a globalised but also even a regional context, we encourage remote/virtual presentations, as we are aware that in-person options might not be feasible / accessible to everyone in the region.

Please send the following information by Sunday, May 21, 2023 at 11:59pm (AEST) to popmovesaus2023@gmail.com

Document 1


Format: paper, pre-formed panel, round table, workshop, alternative format* (indicate here if you intend to present remotely / virtually)

An abstract of 250-300 words, outlining the research/practice-based area and key issues within a clearly articulated methodology or practice method

An indicative bibliography of 4-5 key texts, if applicable

*Alternative formats: additional 200 words (max.) describing the proposed presentation format and time frame (see below re time frame)

Please note: The name of the speaker should not appear in document 1, as the abstracts will be blind reviewed. Please include the speaker’s name in document 2 only.

Document 2


Presenter’s name

Affiliated institution if applicable

Email address

Technical Requirements and Resources

  • Regular academic paper presentations should be 20 minutes in length
  • Pre-formed panels and rountables should be 60-90 minutes (max.) in length and should consist of 3 or more speakers (3 speakers for regular panels and 3 or more for a roundtable is a good rule of thumb here)
  • Lecture-demonstrations and workshops can be 45 or 60 minutes in length
  • Alternative formats can  be 45 minutes or 60 minutes (stand-alone), with room for question / discussion time

Publication Opportunities

The PoP Moves Australasia node intends to curate a special topics journal issue based on the theme and the presentations selected for this symposium. Further information will be circulated at the symposium in November.

Coordinating Committee / Conference Chairs

Dr Elena Benthaus (University of Melbourne)

Dr Kristie Mortimer (University of Auckland)

Serenity Wise (University of Auckland)

Program Committee

Dr Elena Benthaus (University of Melbourne)

Dr Rachael Gunn (Macquarie University Sydney)

Francine Hills (University of Auckland)

Deanne Kearney (York University Toronto)

Chas Mamea (University of Auckland)

Dr Kristie Mortimer (University of Auckland)

Alex Quinn (Roehampton Alumna, London)

Serenity Wise (University of Auckland)

Instagram: @popmoves

Facebook: popmoves

Choreographic Research Aotearoa