Barbara Browning

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Barbara Browning is the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Her BA is from Yale University, and MA and PhD from Yale University. She is a member of the Editorial Board for Women & Performance and the Advisory Board of the Dance Research Journal. Currently, Barbara is working on intermedia fiction/performance, including a novel with ancillary dances, and a semi-fictional documentary film on an aging French rock star who may or may not exist. 


As soon as I got here it felt like home. I came to the department in 1995. Before that, I didn't even know the field existed, but as soon as I got here, I felt like I'd found my home. I'm not leaving! That's partly because of my extraordinary colleagues. At the English Department at Princeton, which was where I was coming from, I was kind of a weird outlier, trying to stuff dance and music into my literature classes. But here, everyone was working between disciplines, media, genres, genders - and often between scholarship and artistic production. This was true of the students as well, and over the years they've surly shaped my work as much as I've shaped theirs. I take inspiration from them. They turn me on to new music and dance and writing - as well as their often thrilling revolutionary projects!


Of course it helps that we're located in New York, downtown, in a very porous neighborhood where performance abounds. You couldn't avoid it if you wanted to. I mean, seeing it, just strolling through Washington Square Park, which is basically our back yard. But you also can't really avoid doing it, or realizing you're doing it. You become a part of a performance collective the minute you set foot in this space. It's a profoundly collaborative, quirky, rich and fascinating environment. 


  • Fictocriticism
  • Performative Writing and Feminist Theory
  • Performance on the Internet
  • Dance and Quotidian Movement
  • Performative Objects (Fetish)


  • Fulbright Fellow
  • Fellow, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
  • President's Award for Teaching, Princeton University
  • Mellon Visiting Professor, Tulane University
  • De la Torre Bueno Price Award for Best Book in Dance 


  • Samba: Resistance in Motion (dance ethnography)
  • Infectious Rhythm (cultural analysis)
  • The Correspondence Artist (ficto-critical novel)
  • I'm Trying to Reach You (ficto-critical novel with ancillary dances)


  • Ph.D., Comparative Literature, Yale University
  • M.A., Comparative Literature, Yale University
  • B.A., Comparative Literature, Yale University

"[The students] have surly shaped my work as much as I've shaped theirs. I take inspiration from them." - Barbara Browning