- BA, Bryn Mawr College, 1981
- MFA, Temple University, 1983
- PhD, New York University, 1991
A dancer, scholar, and a 2019-2020 John Simon Memorial Guggenheim fellow, Ann Cooper Albright is professor and chair of the Department of Dance. Originally an undergraduate philosophy major at Bryn Mawr College, she received an MFA in dance at Temple University, and a PhD in performance studies at New York University.
Combining her interests in dancing and cultural theory, including phenomenology, gender, sexuality and feminist studies, Albright teaches a variety of courses that seek to engage students in both practices and theories of the body.
Her publications include her new book, How to Land: finding ground in an unstable world, recently published by Oxford University Press; Engaging Bodies: The Politics and Poetics of Corporeality (2013), which won the Selma Jeanne Cohen Prize from the American Society for Aesthetics; Modern Gestures: Abraham Walkowitz Draws Isadora Duncan Dancing (2010); Traces of Light: Absence and Presence in the Work of Loie Fuller (2007); and Choreographing Difference: the Body and Identity in Contemporary Dance (1997).
She is coeditor, with Ann Dils, of Moving History/Dancing Cultures (2001) and, with David Gere of Taken By Surprise: Improvisation in Dance and Mind (2003).
Albright is the founder and director of Girls in Motion, an award-winning afterschool program at Oberlin’s Langston Middle School, and is codirector of Accelerated Motion: Towards a New Dance Literacy in America , an NEA-supported website that facilitates active learning and the exchange of teaching strategies and resources to support educators who teach dance studies as a humanistic discipline.
She also is a practitioner of Contact Improvisation (CI) and has taught workshops in CI throughout the United States and abroad. The book Encounters with Contact Improvisation (2010) is the product of one of her adventures in writing and dancing and dancing and writing with others.
- How to Land: finding ground in an unstable world (2018), Oxford University Press
- Engaging Bodies: The Politics and Poetics of Corporeality (2013), which won the Selma Jeanne Cohen Prize from the American Society for Aesthetics
- Modern Gestures: Abraham Walkowitz Draws Isadora Duncan Dancing (2010)
- Traces of Light: Absence and Presence in the Work of Loie Fuller (2007)
- Choreographing Difference: the Body and Identity in Contemporary Dance (1997)
- Moving History/Dancing Cultures (2001)
- Taken By Surprise: Improvisation in Dance and Mind (2003)
Ann Cooper Albright Gives Keynote and PublishesAugust 22, 2019
Professor of Dance Ann Cooper Albright gave a keynote talk at the Nordic Forum for Dance Research’s (NOFOD) annual conference which was held in Helsinki, Finland. Her essay “Life Practices” is the lead essay in the recently published Oxford Handbook of Improvisation in Dance.
Ann Cooper Albright's Spring 2018 Varsity Contact Class Writings PublishedFebruary 13, 2019
Professor of Dance Ann Cooper Albright's spring 2018 Varsity Contact class writings have been published in Contact Quarterly Vol.44 #1. For the program of their performance “One Breath: an evening of stillness and motion,” the students each came up with a word that captured an essential element of Contact for them.
Ann Cooper Albright Publishes BookDecember 7, 2018
Professor of Dance Ann Cooper Albright’s book, How to Land: Finding Ground in an Unstable World foregrounds the importance of embodiment as a means of surviving the disorientation of our twenty-first century world. Linking somatics and politics, Cooper Albright argues that a renewed attention to gravity as both a metaphoric sensibility and a physical experience can help transform moments of personal disorientation into an opportunity to reflect on the important relationship between individual resiliency and communal responsibility. Each chapter interweaves discussions of movement actions with their cultural implications, documenting specific bodily experiences and then tracing their ideological ripples out through the world. The book is published by Oxford University Press.
Ann Cooper Albright Gives LectureNovember 14, 2018
Ann Cooper Albright, professor of dance, gave a lecture titled "Falling into Memory" for the Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities at Rutgers University.
Ann Cooper Albright PerformsSeptember 6, 2018
Professor of Dance Ann Cooper Albright performed as part of the opening plenary “provocation” panel at the Dance Studies Association conference in Valletta, Malta in July. The conference theme was “Contra: Dance and Conflict,” and the opening provocation was titled “Working It Out with The Flaming Bitches” in honor of her first feminist study group at Oberlin College in the early 1990s.
Ann Cooper Albright Publishes EssaySeptember 5, 2018
Professor of Dance Ann Cooper Albright published the essay “Touching History” in The Sentient Archive: Bodies, Performance, and Memory published by Wesleyan University Press.
Ann Cooper Albright Presents KeynoteMarch 16, 2018
Ann Cooper Albright recently gave a keynote titled "Falling into Memory" at the Performance and Culture: Cities, Technologies, Embodiments conference at the University of Malta. Cooper Albright's presentation was attended by the U.S. ambassador to Malta, Kathleen Hill, as well as Susan Ross, cultural attaché.
Ann Cooper Albright Receives Dixie Durr AwardNovember 2, 2017
Ann Cooper Albright, professor of dance, received the Dixie Durr Award for "outstanding service to dance research" on October 20, 2017, at the Dance Studies Association's inaugural conference.
Albright was honored with the following remarks: "Ann Cooper Albright has served the field of Dance Studies throughout her career. She has been an active member of the Congress of Research in Dance and has held leadership roles in the Society of Dance History Scholars where she chaired the editorial board from 2004-2012 and then served as President of the organization from 2014-2017. Service for Albright extends beyond her own outstanding scholarly works and achievements to include numerous group endeavors, such as edited volumes, panels, and conferences, intended to build the field of dance studies. Practical and grounded, yet always pushing at and stretching the limits, Albright leads and encourages by example."
Ann Cooper Albright Presents, Performs in GermanyOctober 6, 2017
Ann Cooper Albright, professor of dance, was a visiting fellow at the Interweaving Performance Cultures Research Center in Berlin, Germany where she presented a talk entitled “On Being and Unknowing: Moving with an ‘Other’ in Capoeira, Contact Improvisation, and Queer Tango.” She also performed with Benoit Lachambre at the Freiburg Contact Festival in August.
Ann Cooper Albright Participates in FellowshipApril 21, 2017
Professor Ann Cooper Albright was a fellow at the Interweaving Performance Cultures Research Center at Berlin's Free University during the spring 2017 semester. She also taught a module course on dancing and writing at the University of Salzburg in Austria.
Ann Cooper Albright Leads WorkshopsFebruary 8, 2017
Ann Cooper Albright, professor and chair of the department of dance, led “Teaching in Three Dimensions” at Reed College in January 2017. The daylong workshop was sponsored by the office of institutional diversity and was specifically designed for junior faculty and advanced graduate students working on issues of diversity in the classroom. While in the Northwest, she also taught a workshop entitled “Training a Political Body” for professional dancers at FLOCK, a cooperative studio in downtown Portland.
Ann Cooper Albright Lectures at University of Patras and Teaches Workshops in Athens, GreeceDecember 16, 2016
Ann Cooper Albright, professor and chair of the department of dance, lectured at the University of Patras’ Department of Theater Studies and taught workshops in Athens for professional dance students and an intercultural group of German and Greek dancers.
Professor Albright’s book Choreographing Difference was also recently translated into Greek by Nissos Press.
Ann Cooper Albright presents keynote talk and workshop in Seoul, KoreaNovember 21, 2016
Professor of Dance Ann Cooper Albright in October gave a keynote entitled "Moving with the Other: embodied research at the intersection of dance and anthropology" for the International Symposium of the Korean Society in Dance in Seoul, Korea. While in Seoul, she also gave a workshop in contact improvisation in the Department of Dance, School of Fine Arts at Kook-Min University.
Dance Department Awards and RecognitionMay 16, 2016
Professor of Dance and Department Chair Ann Cooper Albright and Assistant Professor of Dance Holly Handman-Lopez each received Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council. The Dance Department and Dance Diaspora, directed by Artist in Residence Adenike Sharpley, were recognized by the Dance Department Awards and Recognition for their ongoing service to the Oberlin community. In addition, the community-based programs Girls and Boys in Motion and Dance Diaspora were the focus of an article in the May edition of Dance Magazine entitled “Dance to Give Back.”
Ann Cooper Albright Edits Special Magazine Issue, PublishesSeptember 30, 2015
Professor of Dance and Chair of the Dance Department Ann Cooper Albright guest edited a recent special issue of Choreographic Practices on dance and disability. “Entitled Dis/abilities: the politics of a prefix,” this international collection of essays was a collaboration with Gabriele Brandstetter, professor of theater and dance studies at the University of Berlin and 2013 Harold Jantz lecturer in German at Oberlin College.
Albright also recently published “Split Intimacies: Corporeality in Contemporary Theater and Dance” in the new Oxford Handbook of Dance and Theater.
Ann Cooper Albright Teaches and Lectures, Produces ConferenceJuly 30, 2015
At the end of May, Ann Cooper Albright, professor of dance and chair of the dance department, taught a weeklong intensive at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (SEAD) in Salzburg, Austria. While in Austria, she also gave an invited lecture at the University of Salzburg.
Following these ventures, Albright produced the international dance studies conference Cut & Paste: Dance Advocacy in the Age of Austerity. Held in Athens, Greece, the annual conference is a joint effort between the organizations Congress on Research in Dance (CORD) and Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS), the latter of which Albright is president.
The 2015 conference panels addressed issues surrounding dance advocacy on local and global levels and also put dance advocacy into practice by supporting a dance community that has been hit especially hard by the global financial crisis. By going to Athens at this particular historical moment, international dance scholars supported their colleagues in Greece, giving them an opportunity to participate in a multifaceted dance studies conference without having to travel abroad. In addition to a scholarly conference, there were free dance classes offered and curated performances by Greek companies. Scholars also donated more than 100 books to seed the first international dance research collection in Greece.
Ann Cooper Albright and Students Present at ConferenceApril 23, 2015
On March 27, Ann Cooper Albright, Chair of the Dance Department and Professor of Dance, along with senior dance majors Silvia Sheffield and Miryam Coppersmith, presented at the conference Dance as Experience: Progressive Era Origins and Legacies in Baltimore, Maryland. The conference was jointly sponsored by the Society of Dance History Scholars and Peabody Dance.
Their collaborative talk focused on a new section of the Accelerated Motion: Towards a New Dance Literacy in America website entitled Modern Motion, which includes materials from the Oberlin College Archives. Sheffield and Coppersmith have been working with another student, Shang-Wei Young, along as Albright throughout the year to update the website that was originally set up by Wesleyan University Press. Their work has been funded in part by a Mellon Ohio Five Digital Scholarship grant.
Ann Cooper Albright Becomes President of the Society of Dance History ScholarsDecember 1, 2014
At the November joint SDHS/CORD conference, Ann Cooper Albright, Professor of Dance and Chair of the Dance Department at Oberlin College, officially became President of the Society of Dance History Scholars, an international organization of dance scholars dedicated to furthering the field of dance studies. She is also the program chair for their next meeting (June 2015), which will focus on dance advocacy in Athens, Greece.
Ann Cooper Albright Publishes, to Teach MFA Candidates this SummerMarch 12, 2014
Professor of Dance Ann Cooper Albright's latest book, Engaging Bodies: The Politics and Poetics of Corporeality, not only has a photo of Cooper Albright dancing with her students on the front cover, but it also is dedicated to her students. The book was officially launched at the joint conference of the Society of Dance History Scholars and the Congress on Research in Dance, held in November 2013. This summer, she will join the Hollins University MFA faculty teaching studio and theory courses.