Thomas F. DeFrantz

Durham, NC

Founding Director, Collegium for African Diaspora Dance

Thomas F. DeFrantz is Professor of African and African American Studies, Dance, and Theater Studies at Duke University; President of the Society of Dance History Scholars; and Director, SLIPPAGE: Performance|Culture|Technology. His books include: The edited volume Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance (2002), winner of the CHOICE Award, Outstanding Academic Publication and Errol Hill Award, the American Society for Theater Research; Dancing Revelations: Alvin Ailey’s Embodiment of African American Culture (2004), winner of the de la Torre Bueno Prize, Outstanding Publication in Dance. His direction and other writing include Queer Theory! An Academic Travesty, commissioned by the Theater Offensive of Boston and the Flynn Center for the Arts, and he has performed in Botswana, France, India, Ireland, and South Africa. He has taught at NYU, Stanford, Hampshire College, MIT, the University of Nice, and Yale and he has presented research in Australia, Canada, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, and Sweden. In 2005 Thomas worked with Donna Faye Burchfield to design the American Dance Festival/Hollins University MFA Program in dance. His current research imperatives include explorations of black social dance, and the development of live-processing interfaces for performance.

DeFrantz received a PhD in Performance Studies at New York University, a MA in Liberal Studies from the City College of New York, and a BA in Music Composition and Theater Studies from Yale College, New Haven, CT.